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į”kyamuni   - An Exhibition of Rare Thankas

Thanka No. 13



Collection: Chemre monastery

School of art: Sman-bris

18th century


He flourished in the 12th century A.D. in western Tibet. He had to face serious difficulties in his youth. He accumulated a myriad of evil deeds living at home. Once, he looked back on his own past life and he was remorseful in his mind. He repented on his evil deeds done in the past. He had strong aspirations in search of real path to liberation.

He, therefore, visited Lama Marpa to learn the path of atoning the sin and attaining liberation. Lama Marpa recognised his inner potency that he could develop the spiritual path. He planned in such a way that made Melerepa atone for the sin first and then reach the spiritual path. He mercilessly tortured Melerepa through many ways. When Melerepa cleaned his mind from the sin, he taught the real path. Marpa made him retreat to living in solitude of a mountain cave. Faithfully obeying his instruction, Melerepa spent his whole life in the cave concentrating on retreating. As a result, Melerepa attained perfect enlightenment within his short span of life. Marpa founded Kugupa sect and Melerepa and Sgampopa propagated this order throughout Tibet.

Mah”mudr” is the cardinal conception of bka rgyud pa. Mah”mudr” refers to the union of the great bliss and the clear light. It is developed through constant meditation. In the process of meditation, the practitioner makes wind enter, abide and dissolve within the central channel. As a result the clear light arises and one feels great bliss and at the same time he realises the emptiness. It is the real path to the perfect enlightenment.

This is a figure of Melerepa who is portrayed in singing posture. He used to sing usually his own verses which contain religious themes. On the right side is his spiritual son, Raschungpa and on the left is sGampopa. In the lower left comer are two devotees paying homage to him. 

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