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聖kyamuni   - An Exhibition of Rare Thankas

Thanka No. 09



Collection: Central Institute of Studies, of Buddhist

Choglamsar, Leh (Ladakh)

School of art: Tsang-bris

20th century


The ma막ala is a very complex building of yidam. It is separated from the profane world by different fences. The outermost circle is made of burning flames in the five alternative colours. It is called Meri in Tibetan. The second fence is adorned with the chair of vajras which is called Dorje Raba. The third ring is formed with lotus petals.

Inside the circles, the proper ma막ala is situated as a splendid palace in the square shape. It has four comers and four wonderful doors on each of its four sides of the walls which are attached with four gate projections. It has many steps from the bottom to the top~ such as raja, vedi, stambha, kapola, canopy and the like. It is decorated with various ornaments, such as wheel of Dharma, parasol, lotus, lunar disc and the prong of a cross of vajra. The roof of the Ma막ala is also ornamented with jewels, banner in flask, saints and parasol and so forth.

The inner side of the Ma막ala is sub-divided by two diagonals into four triangles which have equal size. It contains a further circle in the centre with vajra symbols. The innermost centre of the ma막ala is a creative locus of the mystery where emerge the rays of the void. The Yidam resides in the centre of the ma막ala who is surrounded by the entourage of four or eight Buddhas. He is attended by four high ranking goddesses. Ma막ala is a very essential factor to receive the initiation of any Yidam. It is also necessary for the trainee who gets practice of any Tantric meditation.

Here, the ma막ala of Avlokite퓏ara is illustrated. In the upper portion of the ma막ala are some deities viz., on the left comer is white Tara, in the centre, Vajradhara and on the right U픪i픞v줷aya. In the lower portion Ma탂u퓊 and Vajrap「i are portrayed. These are outside the ma막ala.

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Copyright Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Choglamsar, Leh, Ladakh, 2001