All you need to know about consecration of Thangkas and Mandalas
Table of Contents
- 1 - Thangka and Mandala painting process
- 1.1 - Consecration Process
Thangka and Mandala painting process
Thangka painting process is very difficult and time-consuming. To sketch the figures in a Thangka and mandala, the artist must be an expert in the measurements and proportions of different deities. There are thousands of different deities in Tibetan Buddhism.
- Generating a pure motive
- Canvas preparation
- Foundation line drawing
- Mixing the paint
- Painting brush making
- Redrawing and shading
- Shading and final painting
- Gold application
- Opening the eye of deity in thangka
This final step of thangkas and mandalas painting process is “idol worship” called as the consecration of Thangka and Mandala paintings. In the Buddhist tradition, consecration is considered essential for any sacred implement used for meditation or devotional practice.
Consecration is a ceremonial process of blessing the Paintings by Rinpoche, Lama, Monk; a highly realized Buddhist master makes offerings to request the master’s blessings.
Consecration serves to “awaken” the status of any sacred image used for meditation or devotional practice.
The master, endowed with the clear mind of enlightenment, is able to “bring alive” the image on the painting by infusing it with energy and beseeching the deity to open its eyes and look upon all sentient beings.
Traditional Thangkas and Mandalas Painting are a receptacle of wisdom and is considered as living Gods and Goddess.
The painting, having now been properly consecrated, is a receptacle of wisdom. It is ready to be hung and venerated as a genuine living embodiment of enlightened mind.
Why should a Mandala or Thangka be consecrated?
Mandala or Thangka should be consecrated to bring it to life or to awaken the state of Thangka or Mandala.
What is the process to consecrate a thangka?
The painting will be inscribed with holy mantras and consecrated by a qualified Lama from the Buddhist monastery. The Lama proceed with an involved filling process, followed by a consecration ceremony.
What is the ritual performed in Consecration?
The monks do a visualization practice where they welcome the wisdom being of the particular deity or image and dissolve it into the mandala or thangka paintings, bringing it to life.
By receiving the wisdom being into the commitment being allowing them to become one being, the mandala or thangka gains vitality and is made a true living image.
At this time the request is made that the wisdom being will reside permanently until this image or world system is extinguished.
What are the materials needed for Consecration service?
To perform this service the materials such as the tightly rolled strips of paper containing the mantras, the incense, the chhoksing (the wooden “heart” of the statue), rice, the medicinal and purifying herbs etc are needed.
How can I get Thangka or Mandala consecrated? Is there a charge?
The consecration materials are required, and we need to make a donation to the Lama for his time and services. A small donation is suggested, but he will be happy to accept any amount offered to him.