Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mandala of Chart - Protective Talisman

རེའུ་མིག། བྲིས་ཐང་སྣ་ཚོགས། 表格(绘画种类)
(item no. 90710)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Uncertain
Size 49.53x39.37cm (19.50x15.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Tibet House, New York
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Object/Concept

Interpretation / Description

Protective Talsiman Chart (Tibetan: sid pa ho).

The central figure is a yellow tortoise, emanation of the bodhisattva Manjushri, lying on the back with the head pointed upward and the four limbs extended at the sides holding staves with impaled corpses. In the center of the round flat belly is a small circle of nine variously coloured squares containing the 9 magic numbers (Tib.: me wa gu). Surrounding that, on a dark blue background are the 8 trigrams (Tib.: par kha ge) of Chinese origin. The outer circle in various colours, representing the elements, contains the 12 animal figures of the 60 Year Cycle; surrounded by flames.

Below the central figure are two smaller mandala circles containing protection wheels - the left also on the belly of a tortoise. Both contain mantras and verses to bring about good fortune. Between the two are the symbols of the planets - also representing the days of the week; sun, moon, eye, hand, kila, arrowhead, sheaf and black bird head.

At the top left is the bodhisattva Manjushri, orange, holding a sword and lotus, seated. In the middle is Avalokiteshvara, white, holding a lotus with the left hand. At the right is the wrathful form of Vajrapani, blue, holding a vajra and lasso, in a standing posture.

At the top left corner is the combined mantra of Kalachakra, the ten power letters (Tib.: nam chu wang den). Below that, written vertically, are the protective seals for the 12 year cycle and the 'Earth Lords and Ministers.' At the top right corner is the seal of Padmasambhava, a set of multi-coloured squares with auspicious verses and mantras. Below that are the seals of protection against nagas, 'nyen,' earth lords and the seal of the 'sid pa ho' astrological chart. The names of the seals and what they protect from are written below each. At the bottom, on a red background, auspicious verses and protection mantras are written with black lettering. The Tibetan system of astrology derives from two main sources: the early Manjushri system and the later Kalachakra Tantra system.

Jeff Watt 7-98

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: lo bskor bcu nyi kyi phag rgya. sa bdag rje blon gyi phag rgya. klu gnyan sa bdag gi phag rgya. srid pa ho'i phag rgya.

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