Tibetan Buddhist Guruparampara (Refuge Tree)
Guruparampara translates to Line of Teachers and usually represents the line of descent of the Nyingma line. The Nyingma school is the oldest in all of Tibetan Buddhism. In most cases, this name is translated to Refuge Tree, which also represents how the image is a refuge for people who believe in the power of gods and teachers to lead them to spiritual enlightenment. The people described in the lineage here include the 8 sons of Mahayana Sangha, 8 supreme ones of Hinayana Sangha, the gurus, Buddhas, and other deities.
This thangka showcases the Refuge Tree in a rich red palette with minimal strokes of gold to outline the important images. The figures of the persons can be seen positioned around a tree in a space that represents the cosmos or cosmic ocean. The tree has been a symbol of creation and life and it gains another deeper meaning in Buddhism when the Buddha himself attained enlightenment under a tee. Moreover, Nyingma Buddhism is founded by Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) who legends say have tamed deities and paved the way for the start of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. He is seen at the center of the thangka, on a lotus throne, and is usually depicted in yab yum position with his consort. He holds a vajra (a ritual object that holds the strength of a diamond and power of lightning bold) on his right hand while the left-hand holds his consort. He is decked in monk's robes with a hat with a vajra. The main deities on his sides are Avalokiteshvara and Red Tara Kurukulla (both Boddhisattvas of compassion).
TIBETAN THANGKA PAINTING
SIZE OF PAINTED SURFACE 17.5 INCHES X 26.5 INCHES
SIZE WITH BROCADE 29.5 INCHES X 41.5 INCHES