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- Textile tangka
- Length: 23.75 inch
- Width: 21.50 inch
- Acquired: Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India
- Koelz number: K580
The four main figures of this tangka, clockwise from the upper left, are Bhaisajyaguru, Manjushri, Tara, and Aryavalokiteshvara. Bhaisajyaguru, the blue Medicine Buddha, is seated on a lotus throne supported by lions and he holds the golden myrobalan, symbol of healing, in his right hand. Chandragupta and Suryagupta flank him, indicated respectively by the crescent moon and sun resting next to their outer shoulders. Above him are seven Buddhas who, with Bhaisajyaguru, make up the eight Medicine Buddhas. To his sides are the 12 yaksha princes.
Manjushri is seated in dharmachakra mudra, with a book resting on the lotus at his left shoulder and a sword on the lotus at his right. Manjushri is said to have had a human origin sometime before 300 AD when he brought civilization from China to Nepal. On his right is the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara as Padmapani, the lotus bearer; on his left is the Bodhisattva Vajrapani.
Tara holds the vishvavajra in her right hand and an upturned bell in her left. Her green color and the vishvavajra are symbols of Amoghasiddhi, the Dhyani Buddha from whom she emanates. In this form she usually represents the directional Tara of the north. She is surrounded by fourteen directional deities.
Aryavalokiteshvara has 11 heads and a thousand arms with an eye in the palm of each hand, representing his all-seeing mercy.
This is one of two tangkas in the collection that is actually composed of four individual tangka images in a single painting (see also tangka 17467). It is not clear whether a doctrinal program is involved in the choice of subjects or whether this choice represents the personal needs of the individual for whom it was painted. The scrollwork and layout point to a west Tibetan style. 16th century.