Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Chorten (Bon)

མཆོད་རྟེན། 佛塔 (主页)
(item no. 200005)
Origin Location Nepal
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Bon
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.11.7
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Object/Concept

Interpretation / Description

Chorten, Yungdrung Koleg: the original Bon chorten from which the 120 physical chortens emanate; described in the Ziji biography of Tonpa Shenrab. The name of the artist is Yungdrung Wanggi Gyalpo.

A symbolic structure representing the complete path to enlightenment and the goal of realization itself, every aspect is layered with meaning. Seated on a multi-coloured lotus as a base representing the purity of the structure rising out of the world of suffering, the five coloured steps signify the realms of beings. The square shape, marked with an ever-lasting swastika, and upper steps represent kindness, love and compassion. The vase at the middle marked with the primordial letter 'A' embodies the Enlightened One and the thirteen discs stacked horicontally one above the other, decorated with a red scarf, represent the special knowledge of that, along with the thirteen levels of the Sempas (Awakened Heroes). At the top, an umbrella and a pair of Khyung horns (the King of Birds) represent method and wisdom. And at the very top, symbolizing the natural state of reality is a tigle (drop).

Jeff Watt & Lee Hartline 1-2000

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Bon: 'A' Letter
Bon: Artworks (All)
Stupa (chaitya): Main Page
Bon: Miscellaneous
Bon Religion Main Page
Bon: Chorten (Stupa)
Exhibition: Bon, The Magic Word (RMA 2007)
Bon: Ritual Objects
Stupa: Painting, Textile & Print
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Bon Artworks