Himalayan Art Resources

Collection of The Metropolitan Museum (Initiation Cards Set)

MET Paintings Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Type: Initiation Cards
- Complete Set: (Unknown)
- Tradition: Nyingma
- Painting Style: Gyantse
- Date: 15th century
- Size: 16 x 14.5 cm.
- Medium: Paper
- Comparables: Medicine Buddha Mandala, Initiation Cards (Bon)

A set of initiation cards, Gyantse, Tibet, 15th century, paper, used in the performance of a Tantric initiation ceremony. The subject of the cards is most likely to belong to the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism because of the inclusion of the Six Buddhas of the Six Realms of existence. (See the Initiation Cards Main Page).

There is a similar set following the same painting style of small compositions depicting the fifty-one deities of the Medicine Buddha Mandala. This set is painted on cotton and are not initiation cards but rather miniature paintings strung together as a banner to be displayed in a small chapel or hung during specific rituals and ceremonies.

Jeff Watt 9-2019