Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Miscellaneous - Landscape

པར་ཤིང་སྣང་བརྙན། སྣ་ཚོགས། 版画 (多种)
(item no. 65672)
Origin Location Mongolia
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Object/Concept

Interpretation / Description

Mount Sumeru: the center of a Buddhist world system, also known as One Small Universe. Many of these small universes make a medium universe and many medium universes make a great universe.

Mount Sumeru stands in the middle of a small universe. The mountain has four distinct sides each composed of a single precious substance commonly said to be ruby, crystal, blue sapphire, etc. Surrounding the mountain are numerous rings of islands. Also in the four directions are four large continents each accompanied by two large islands. The southern continent, Jambudvipa, the land of the jambu fruit, in the shape of the Indian sub-continent, is considered to be the Earth.

In the text Sheja Rabsal (page 13) of Chogyal Pagpa, he lists the four sides of Mount Sumeru as composed of silver in the east, lapis lazuli in the south, ruby in the west and gold in the north. A Kagyupa source lists crystal for the east and emerald for the north.

"...on an earth, completely pure, of great power with a ground of gold, ...surrounded by an outer wall of iron mountains, in the middle is ...the king of mountains Sumeru. East Purvavideha; south Jambudvipa; west Aparagodaniya; north Uttarakuru; Deha and Videha; Chamara and Apachamara; Sata and Uttaramantrina; Kurava and Kaurava; treasure mountains, wishing trees, wishing cows, uncultivated crops, precious wheels, precious jewels, precious queens, precious ministers, precious elephants, precious excellent horses, precious generals, great treasure vases; goddesses of beauty, garlands, song, dance, incense, flowers, lamps and perfume; sun, moon, precious umbrellas, banners - victorious in all directions..." (Extracted from the long mandala offering prayer written by Chogyal Pagpa).

Jeff Watt 5-2001

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