University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Native NameThangka
Object Number:51-4-190C
Current Location: Collections Storage
Culture:Tibetan
Provenience: Tibet
Date Made: Early 20th Century
Early Date: 1900
Late Date: 1951
Section:Asian
Technique:Painted
Iconography:Goddess
Manjusri
Dakini
Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. Robert R. Service, 1951

Description

Painting. A Wisdom Scroll. Tibetan Lamaism has two forms, an outer one known to all Tibetans and an inner one known only to specially trained adepts. This banner belongs to the latter. At the top is a small figure of the Lord of Wisdom, Manjusri. The goddess in the center shares some of his attributes, the sword to combat ignorance and the book (the sheaf of pages in her lap). She is sitting on and crushing the symbol of ignorance. The four goddesses accompanying her are equal in rank and power. The lesser dancing goddesses around the central part belong to a group known as dakini. A mystic wealth-goddess of the dakini type occupies the bottom center, and wealth symbols, offerings to the goddesses decorate the bottom of the painting. Only a very few of the lamas would know what this painting was about, and they would not be allowed to discuss it with anyone who did not also belong to the inner group of wise lamas. Recent. Bright colors.


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