Tibetan Buddhist Tangkas & Mandalas
What is a Tangka and a Mandala?
Tangkas, also spelled Thangka, are paintings used for teaching and meditation. The term tangka is a Tibetan term that means 'something that can be rolled up.' Historically very few Tibetans learned to read and write, including monks; the tangka served as a pictorial lesson that the observer could remember the lessons by association with painted icons rather than the printed script. In a very true sense tangkas are pictoral books with just one page and lots of information. Tangkas further allow for meditation; by seeing and concentrating on the figures painted on the tangka, the practitioner strives for liberation or enlightenment through beholding. Additionally tangkas are said to radiate a positive force relative to the figure contain there on.
Mandalas are symbolic representations of several different cosmic energies. They are seen by some as a two dimensional representation of the Stupa. They have a central point that is the seat of a deity or the deity itself. Out from the deity seat are gates, or cardinal directions that are elements represented by color. These gates many times lead to stupas and a number of symbols. Surround this are 3 or 4 rings, depending upon the type of deity, a wrathful deity will have the ring of sacred burial sites to make the 4th ring.
for more information about the Sange monastery tangkas and mandalas
Additional paintings may be viewed on our Tibetan Buddhist art page, these were hanging in the temples at the lower Sange monastery.
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