Thursday, December 17, 2020

Shakyamuni Buddha Teaching the Lotus Sutra Thangka


Shakyamuni Buddha Teaching the Lotus Sutra thangka Shakyamuni_Buddha_thangka

This thangka print of Shakyamuni Buddha Teaching the White Lotus Sutra on Vulture Peak is available for purchase here

There are actually only a few historic examples of this event in collections of Tibetan art, though they are common in Chinese and Japanese art. I have chosen to take as my model an 18th century thangka in the collection of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation. The image can be found in Worlds of Transformation by Rhie and Thurman. They write: "This is the culminating scene of his teaching the White Lotus of Truth Sutra. According to the Chan and Zen traditions ... at the high point of the ... teaching the Buddha wordlessly held up a white lotus and gave a radiant smile, at which moment Mahakashyapa ... gained his own fully enlightened understanding. The dragons entwined around the Buddha's throne are the gardeners of the Vulture Peak paradise who bring clouds each early morning to water the jewel trees and plants ....." The Buddhas of the ten directions surround his aura. Four armed Avalokiteshvara is at the top center, and White Tara is beneath the Buddha's throne. The Buddha is surrounded by bodhisattvas, yakshas, nagas, Kubera, a kinnara, world gods, monks and humans making offerings. The lower right side vignette is a scene from the sutra.

The original painting is 30" by 41". Giclee of archival inks on acid-free rag paper. Signed, limited edition.

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