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The Purpose of Thangka Painting
A quote by the Dalai Lama (from the foreword of ‘The Mystical Arts of Tibet’):
“All the elements of a Tibetan religious painting have a symbolic value. These symbols serve as aids to developing inner qualities on the spiritual path. The deities themselves are regarded as representing particular characteristics of enlightenment.
For example, Manjushri embodies wisdom and Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig) embodies compassion.
Paying respect to such deities therefore has the effect of paying respect to wisdom and compassion, which in turn functions as an inspiration to aquire those qualities within ourselves.“
The pictures shown here depict the process of Carmen’s painting of the Mandala of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit), the Buddha of Compassion
His Holiness the Dalai Lama (born July 6, 1935) is the spiritual leader of Tibet. His official name is Tenzin Gyatso. He is a lama of the Gelug order (also known as the Yellow Hat school of Tibetan Buddhism) that was founded by Lama TsongKhapa in the 14th Century.
The Dalai Lama is considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus (reincarnated Tibetan Buddhist lamas and masters) who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokitesvara (Tib.: Chenrezig), the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion.
The current Dalai Lama is the 14th in this lineage.
In 1950 China invaded and occupied Tibet brutally, leading the Dalai Lama to fled to India nine years later. Since then, he has been campaigning from exile for Tibet to be given greater autonomy.