Loading...
 

Avalokiteshvara Iconography

Avalokiteśvara Guardian of Souls Thanghka

Image

Name:

Avalokiteśvara Guardian of Souls Thanghka

Setting:

The Lord is active from His temporary abode, the spirual dimension here on the earth plane. This is symbolized by ‘drifting’ on the executive lotus seat.

Main Message / Teaching:

The Lord guards the diamond / gem / priceless pearl in two hands. This symbolizes the Truth that was once hidden from humankind by religions and conventions. The Lord is guardian of our souls not only because He guards the Truth to make sure it will never again be obscured, but also by actively manifesting Wayist ethics and learning all over the world. The Lord is the Great Saviour, the Christ of all sentient being. He gave not only His life but also his liberty. He sacrifices his seat in Heaven for our sake as he is waging war on the forces that would again obscure the Truth and in so doing rob us of our birthright, the ability to fulfill our purpose in life.

Mantras:

The Lord’s mantra Om Mani Padme Hum in the Tibetan script appears on the banner

Other Elements:

1) The Lord sits in the meditative action pose. This is the pose of the spiritual CEO - he is working. 

2) The Lord is not dressed for parade or official appearances, he is dressed as a yogi engaged in actiion.

3) The style of the lotus seat of the Lord, and its colour, is normative. The dusty-rose lotus is universally reserved for Avalokitesvara.

4) The Lord’s body is white, the universally reserved skin colour for the Lord.

5) Behind the Lord is the disc of The Way-shower, a uniquely Wayist symbol. This mandala combines the symbols of YinYang to symbolize the two energies (the Way) which flow from the Almighty One. Through these two energies all are created and upheld, organized and managed. The universes have light (yang) energy and matter as we know it, as well as dark (yin) energy and matter as we have yet to learn about. The Way-shower mandala also carry symbols of Sirius, the Lord’s and the Father’s spiritual heaven where Wayists are destined to go. Then, there is the Lord’s particular double dorje, with lotus ends, also a universal symbol for Wayist spirituality. The Way-shower or Margadarzaka mandala is framed as if in a lotus flower, placing the Lord in the lotus, viz. the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum

6) Sacrificial items brought to the Lord to be enthused, or blessed are symbolized in front, bottom. These symbolize any prayer, wish, cry for help, thanghka, mala, medication, or whatever we may bring to the Lord to be inspired, enthused with His divine energy.

Fascilitator of The Way - Thangka

Image

Official name:

Avalokiteśvara Facilitator of the Way Thangka

Setting:

The setting of the scene is in the spiritual realm around planet Earth. This realm of awareness is not accessible to human because we don’t have sufficient sensory tools to know it. Our spiritual chakras (top three chakras), can however sense limited aspects of this realm and that awareness will increase as our souls mature. Spiritual beings in this realm experience Earth a a whole - on the ground, under the sea, in the deep forest floor, deep in the mountains and the skies of this star system, all are as one to these beings and nothing is hidden from them. Their awareness of the plight of sentient beings (beings who are able to perceive and feel things) is not limited to one or another particular dimension of life on Earth.

The scene hosts the Lord as the central figure. To the Lord’s right (our left) is his beloved disciple Bodhisattva Tara in her White (yang) form, and to the Lord’s left she appears in her Green (yin) form.

Two other types of spiritual workers in service of the Lord (on our behalf) appear. To the Lord’s right appear the Apsara and to the Lord’s left the Dakini. These two worker types specialize in different aspects of helping humans.

Mantras:

Three core mantras appear in this beautiful devotional guide. Center bottom is the Lord’s mantra Om Mani Padme Hum. Below White Tara, appears her mantra, Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Mama Ayuḥ Punya Jñānā Puṣtiṃ Kuru Svāhā. Below Green Tara her mantra Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā.

Other elements

1) The Lord sits in the water-moon pose, which is characteristic of the Saviour, our Lord. The pose is a symbol of Heaven, where we are destined. The Lord’s abode, our Heaven, is such a place where one can say the qualities ascribed to water and moon by ancient teaching are dominant in that Heaven. 

2) The Lord has a front tightening belt, an unusual thing among His peers (other Buddha and Bodhisattva art). It is said to symbolize the “foreign” origin of his human birth.

3) The style of the lotus seat of the Lord, and its colour, is normative. The dusty-rose lotus is universally reserved for Avalokitesvara.

4) The Lord’s body is white, again a universally reserved skin colour for the Lord.

Behind the Lord is the disc of The Way-shower, a uniquely Wayist symbol. This mandala combines the symbols of YinYang to symbolize the two energies (the Way) which flow from the Almighty One. Through these two energies all are created and upheld, organized and managed. The universes have light (yang) energy and matter as we know it, as well as dark (yin) energy and matter as we have yet to learn about. The Way-shower mandala also carry symbols of Sirius, the Lord’s and the Father’s spiritual heaven where Wayists are destined to go. Then, there is the Lord’s particular double dorje, with lotus ends, also a universal symbol for Wayist spirituality. The Way-shower or Margadarzaka mandala is framed as if in a lotus flower, placing the Lord in the lotus, viz. the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum

5) White Tara holds her characteristic blue lotus in full bloom while, as usual, Green Tara being a yin symbol holds a lotus half closed as it would be in her yin domain (dark, night, evening, deep forest, emotive, etc).

Main Message and Teaching

The sacrificial fruit brought to this altar for blessing and to be enthused by the spiritual helpers in this setting, is placed in the water or even under the water. Sentient beings under the water, above the water and in the skies all benefit from the Lord showing us the Way. When we follow and venerate the Saviour of humankind, we learn from him (even if only by example) about compassion, humility and simplicity. Humankind is the most destructive force on the planet. As we learn to be more like the Lord, the planet and all her billions of species of wondrous beings get to be a little closer to be saved from our terrible effect on their lives. For every Wayist who inches toward enlightenment, the positive effects of that runs through society like ripples through a pond.

The Lord does not work all alone. There is a veritable army of angels and other spiritual beings whom the Lord gathered and commandeer to help Him in the quest to be of assistance to any person in need of spiritual guidance and solace in soul.

Forceful Segregation Tanghka: Iconography of the शक्ति विचिनोति tanghka

Image

Name:

Forceful Segregation Tanghka (Skt. translit: zakti vicinoti

The significance of the name has to do with the main theme of the tanghka. The Sanskrit word zakti speaks to power inherent is things, ability and powerful potential. It is sometimes used to indicate female genitals, in this sense more particularly the inherent potential of the soul to metamorphose and ‘give’ birth to the spirit within.

The word vicinoti speaks to the heart of Wayism; it says inspect, investigate, separate, single out, and most importantly, segregate.

While there are different levels of meaning in these words that teachers impart to students, the exoteric meaning here is that the Lord takes a powerful interest in each individual person’s heart and walk on the Path. He picks us out individually, and works with us, imbues us with empowerments. It is a distinctive feature of Wayism that the Lord works for all sentient beings, all the time. This tanghka however has the theme of the Lord’s particular interest in the individual devotee, nothing to do with other people around you; this is between you and the Lord.

Artist

Manoj Bhargav

Main Theme

Each tanghka tells a different story. Tanghkas are designed as symbols to things otherworldly, and to act as guides in our meditations.

Forceful Segregation tanghka has as theme and main lesson, the devotee’s personal, existential path and walk on the Way toward liberation from samsara and enlightenment.

We see the theme repeat in many different aspects of the tanghka, from ornaments, to the Bodhisattva’s earrings, markings, colours, and more. The devotee of this tantra learns from his/her teacher about the significance of each element and make use of those in the spiritual quest.

We will make passing remarks on some of the elements present in this tanghka that relate to the main theme.

Main subject

The main figure is Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara with Buddha Amitābha on top, and Mrgadrzaka Mandala below.

Setting

Bodhisattva floats, seated on a pastel-pink to subtle peach coloured lotus, between heaven and earth. Earth is symbolized by mountains and heaven by clods with the Father of Heaven center top. A range of blue hues are used for all of the elements in the background.

Border

The tanghka has a border in royal colour with subtle pink/peach rectangular patterns, and pastel orange and blue lotus flower patterns inter-weaved. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara’s mantra is repeated in Devanagari script all along the border.

Distinctive Elements of Main Figure

Male and Female Features

Image In this tanghka, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara displays both male and female attributes.

Image The mouth is feminine and sensual. Body shape hints at feminine hips and lower abdomen, male-like shoulders, one muscular arm another less so. The left chest area hints at a female breast while the right seems male. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is not androgynous, he is both male and female and will manifest in any manner most acceptable to the devotee’s mind. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara appears to people as Jesus, Goddess, QuanYin, Shiva, Tara, Krishna, Christ, angels, apsara, and whatever other form will be most acceptable to the person.

Mahāpuruṣa Signs

Image Typical of the Wayist tradition Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara exhibits signs considered to be mahopurusha,which are not necessarily agreed to by main stream Buddhism or Tibetan Buddhism. Among these are blue eyes, large ears but not the typically stretched ear lobes of Buddhism from wearing heavy gold earrings. The ushnisha is present on top of the head but is always covered with hair. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara typically displays long black hair, often taken tied up at the back of the head, sometimes showing around the shoulders as in this tanghka.

 Here, Avalokitesvara wears jade earrings; the significance of which is part of the main theme of the tanghka — the devotee’s self-realization.

The urna (in the brow) decoration of this tanghka shows that the Bodhisattva, insofar as the main theme is concerned, reminds the devotee of Wayism’s affinity with the Vaishnava tradition. There were changes in the 1stcentury that affected Buddhism and Vaisnava alike, causing three great rivers to flow in the same direction, often sharing subsidiaries and tributaries. Wayism is quick to acknowledge that because it is important for humankind. The urna shown here is particularly interesting because it point to the Gaudiya school of Vaishnavism more so than other. One of the reasons for this identification is Gaudiya’s focus on mantra offerings in bhakti rather than sacrificial fires, a matter that the Lord has been concerned with even during His earthly ministry as Iesous / Yesu. Additionally, Lord Krishna can be approached through the vehicle of this tanghka. Presence of the urna is of course to signify that the Lord sees beyond this world and has insight into our very intimate selves. Another aspect of this urna is the combination of ruby and anchor. Space does not permit to discuss every detail but your teacher can explain the deep significance of this.

Both Hands Mudra

Image It is exceptional to have both hands showing the same single handed mudra. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara’s hands are in the sochi tarjani (flaming or glowing forefinger) mudra. This mudra is infrequently used in tanghka. It is therefore highly significant here.
Sochi tarjani has two parts:
1) it is a scolding finger pointing to the evil that is aiming at the devotee, keeping it at bay.
2) it is the finger of segregation, the Lord point at you, personally, calling you out from the crowd to come and do what you know has to be done.

Water Flask

The ceremonial water sprinkling flask in Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara’s left hand is used to cool (calm) devotees when the quest on the Path gets a bit much from time to time, when troubles along the Way get to their hearts and upset their body-minds. The water is for clarity, clearing of troubled thoughts, clearing of fogged minds and for deeper more meaningful meditations.

Vajra

The meaning and uses of vajra are multiple. Suffice it to say that the main meaning here is the symbolic significance of the power of the Lord to dispel Maya and bestow enlightenment. Many devotees are only ready for brief moments of that supreme sight and delight, but the Lord has called you out, personally, and is working with you as an individual.  Read more about the symbolic meaning of vajra in this tantra path.

मृगव्याध Mrgavyadha

Sirius, our final destination features on the forehead and on the Lord’s mala beads.

Search For a Wiki Page

Newest Blog Posts

No records to display