Vintage Tibetan Buddhist Thangka ABA54


Complete with silk brocade, this vintage Tibetan Thangka depicts the Wheel of Life known as the bhavacakra– a symbolic representation of samsara – the cycle of existence. It is found on the outside walls of Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries in the Indo-Tibetan region. In the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, it is believed that the drawing was designed by the Buddha himself in order to help ordinary people understand the teachings.

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The fierce looking beast supporting the wheel represents impermanence. This suggests that the entire process of samsara or cyclic existence is impermanent, in flux, and transient. Above the wheel, the Buddha is pointing to the moon, signifying that liberation from samsara is possible.
The meanings of the main parts of the diagram are:

1. The images in the hub of the wheel represent the three poisons of ignorance, attachment and aversion.
2. The second layer represents karma.
3. The third layer represents the six realms of samsara.
4. The fourth layer represents 12 links of dependent origination.
5. The fierce beast supporting the wheel represents impermanence.
6. The moon above the wheel represents liberation from samsara or cyclic existence.
7. The Buddha pointing to the moon indicates the opportunity for liberation

There is some evidence of wear visible on the external silk brocade but the overall condition is very good. These paintings are an important tool for explaining the teachings and life the Buddha in Tibetan culture.

Height (with silk): 83cm, 32.6 in
Width (with silk): 64cm, 25 in
Painting Height: 32cm, 12.6 in
Painting Width: 25cm, 9.8 in
Material: mineral and plant pigments, gold, silk, cotton

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