Tibetan buddhist Temple
baronet 4 tibet
Tibetan Buddhist Art furniture & Antiques from the monasteries of the Ser Shong (Golden Valley)
comodo security

Buddhist Altar Table C401-07

Tibetan Buddhist Furniture altar table Tibetan Buddhist Furniture altar table
side 1 end 1
Tibetan Buddhist Furniture altar table Tibetan Buddhist Furniture altar table
side 2 end 2
Tibetan Buddhist Furniture altar table-auspicious symbol treasure jar  
top  

click on the thumbnail pictures above to see larger views

The altars iconic theme is that of gaining spiritual wealth, as well as material wealth and moving toward enlightenment through purity of thought speech and action and by learning the scriptures. There is an iconography available as a meditation aid for this altar, see below. This beautiful altar table was made for use in a Labrang (lama's residence) in central Tibet. When altars are painted on all 4 sides they are made to be placed in the center of a room with sufficient space to walk around. They were always circumambulated in a clockwise direction. This item is painted on front, top,  back, & both the right & left ends. This altar was never used and has been stored for decades, this has taken a small toll on the art work as the large variances in temperatures have had an adverse effect and made effective cleaning very difficult. The top is exquisitely painted, with the Treasure Jar, one of the Eight Auspicious symbols, sitting on top of an Ashoka throne. This is set in the Mahamudra mists of the pure lands, and is bordered by blue and red chrysanthemums.   The only metal hardware on this piece are the brass Silk Road transit tax coins and round pull on the drawer-fronts at each end. This altar comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, an iconography explaining the theme and meanings of the various icons, a map of the Amdo region where the Sange monasteries are located, and pictures and additional information about the monasteries and people of the Golden Valley; there is also pictures of the lama that blessed this altar.

Dimensions: H=19.75 x W=31.5 x D=15.75   
Age: circa 1940
Materials: Juniper and pine

SOLD SHIPPED TO FLORENCE, AL

Price $1495.00, plus shipping & handling
Shipping: West Coast $140, Mtn. States $149, Mid West $160, Atlantic coast $175  Canadian destinations contact us  for a quote. 

Iconography

The red and 24kt gold zigzag kyungbur adorning the frame is the transition of passion into compassion and the resultant Buddha like purity of actions and thoughts. The 24kt gold continuous ‘T’-wave just under the top edge of the of the offering cabinet is also called the thunder wave. This is the thunder of the vajra (diamond scepter, dorje in Tibetan), symbolizing skilful means, compassion, samsara. This compassion is an active quality rather than mere sympathetic feelings not transformed into action. Compassion refers to action that is exactly consonant with whatever is occurring and that is not self-referential.

The top of this nicely done altar sets the tone and theme for the sides and ends. The top is exquisitely painted, with a Flaming Cintamani sitting on top of a Treasure jar, which in turn sits upon an Ashoka throne. In the background are the pure lands; mountains, cumulus clouds, Mahamudra Mists and pure water forming a river from the glacial melt of the mouintains. Cintamani are wish-granting jewels and additionally represent wisdom. When depicted in sets of 3, they represent the body, speech and mind of Buddha such as the practitioner may possess. Cintamani are also referred to as the "Thinking Jewel" and symbolize the importance of teaching and as well as the enlightened mind. The flames around the border of the Cintamani are symbolic of the burning away of false desires and ignorance, giving way to enlightenment. The Treasure Jar or urn (kalasa) promises the good fortune of spiritual and material fulfillment, symbolizing the treasure of spiritual wealth.  Among those treasures is the jewel of enlightenment. It also extends to the material side and it is characteristic of the deities that symbolize prosperity. The Ashoka, the second of the trinity of holy flowers, sprouts from the holy water-font of the Amitayus, one of the forms in which the Buddha Amitabha appeared (symbolizing the transformation from greed to discriminating wisdom). This flower sprouted when Amitabha heard of Ashoka, a great warrior, that lead his people to freedom, overcoming and defeating overwhelming forces of the enemy. Intermixed with the Mahamudra mists are mare's tail cumulus clouds which are quite common in Tibet. One significance of these fast moving clouds and the pure clarity of the sky is metaphorically an illustration of the Buddha Mind. Clouds may come and go across the heavens, like the transitory thoughts or delusions which appear to obscure the mind's true nature, yet the nature of the sky remains unchanged. this is like the mirror, which is always unaffected by the appearances which arise in it, the sky is clear, transparent, infinite and immaculate. The waving clouds or mist are Mahamudra: the union of compassion and wisdom -- the ultimate realization of one’s true nature.  They are represented as the transformation of our vices into the 4 powers of regret, vow, reliance, and remedy, so the practitioner will realize purification and enlightenment.  This is also the basic meaning of the "Heart Sutra." The chrysanthemum border symbolizes autumn & the gathering of the harvest. In this case, it is a metaphor for achieving the goal of enlightenment & its accompanying peace. The blue represents compassion. Red is the transmutation of passion into that active compassion.

The drawer ends feature a Lotus blossom flanked by multi colored Durva grass and the Mahamudra Mists. The lotus flower is a natural symbol and represents earth. Tibetan Buddhist mystics imagined the earth floating like a lotus flower on the oceans of the universe. The heart of the flower is the cosmic mountain, the axis of the universe. The generally acknowledged meaning of the lotus flower is purity of mind or divine creation. From the muck of a pond, where the roots of the lotus reside, an immaculate white flower emerges to rest on the surface of the water as a metaphor for the harmonious unfolding of spirituality. Durva grass is a symbol of long life. Because grass is highly resilient, it is believed to be immortal. Therefore, it proclaims the end of samsara, the successive death and rebirth of all beings It usually takes a long time to overcome samsara, and a longer lifespan will allow greater progress in moving towards enlightenment within a given cycle.

The sides have a finely crafted Lotus blossom flanked by blue and green rock cliffs with Kusha grass growing out of the tops. In the upper corners are camp flowers. The lotus is an important Buddhist motif. Images of the Buddha and other important persons often are shown seated on a lotus throne. The growth of the lotus, with its roots in mud, growing through water, and emerging as a wonderful plant above the water's surface, is seen as an analogy of the soul's path from the mud of materialism to the purity of enlightenment. The 3 stages of the lotus, bud, utpala (mid-blossom) and the full blossoming throne represent the past present and future respectively. The rock/cliff formation represents the syllable "E" which appears in the opening stanza of early Buddhist scriptures, ("'thus,' I have heard"). The blue and green cliffs represent the unmoving nature of the mind when enlightenment has been attained. Kusha grass grows to a height of two feet and is used to purify defilements. Those wishing purification sleep in a field or patch of kusha grass for ritual purification. Placed under a pillow at night before initiation, Kusha grass is believed to produce clear dreams; it is also used to enhance the clarity of visualization and meditation. Kusha is the grass of choice for the manufacture of sacred meditation mats.

About Us | Site Search | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2003~2011 Baronet 4 Tibet