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į”kyamuni   - An Exhibition of Rare Thankas

Thanka No. 11



Collection: Hemis Monastery

School of art: Sman-bris

18th century


He was the prince of Singala (Sri Lanka) who fled to India from his kingdom in search of the Dharma teachings. He crossed the ocean and arrived at Rameshwaram in India. He discarded his valuable robe and ornaments and took the life of a mendicant. From there he moved to Bodh Gaya where the į”kyamuni  had attained perfect enlightenment. He had the vision of a ·”kin¢ there who revealed to him the method of finding out the truth. He lived in a cemetery for sometime while seeking the perfection.

He paid a visit to P”¶aliputra where he went to a common tavern for food. The hostess of the tavern was a earthy ·”kin¢ who recognised that his mind was still tainted. In order to make him purified in his mind she offered him a bowl of putrid food. The prince repulsed on account of its smell and threw it away. She scaled him with angry words, "You still harbour the concept of good and bad in you. How then can you practise the doctrine?". He immediately understood her implication and abandoned his dualistic beliefs and superstitions.

For 12 years, he meditated near the bank of the river Ganga. His guru, a ·”kin¢ instructed him to eat fish entrails for twelve years. Hence, he lived on the meagre entrails of fish which were discarded by the fishermen. So, the fishermen called him Luipa. He attained perfection and his fame spread far and wide.

The central figure is Luipa who holds the fish with his hand. In the lower left is a woman who is offering fish. In the upper right is Hevajra.

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