Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Kalachakra (Buddhist Deity) - Mantra Monogram

དུས་འཁོར། ནང་ལྷ། 时轮(佛教)
(item no. 83422)
Origin Location China
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Buddhist
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Kalachakra Mantra Monogram (Tibetan: nam chu wang den), ten syllables combined as one, written in a highly stylised and ornate Ranjana or Lanza script.

This example of Chinese art, in a Himalayan style, depicts an abstract Buddhist emblem. The symbol is composed of ten letters that make up the short Kalachakra mantra. This embodiment of Kalachakra, as visual sound, is often used as a decorative element in Tibet, where it can be found placed over doorways or at the beginning of books.

Above the large letter monogram is a bear faced deity with one face and two arms, standing in a dancing posture. This figure belongs in the retinue of Simhamukha.

Jeff Watt 3-2016

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