Explaining Dipamkara Buddha
Dipamkara is often remembered as the buddha who predicted Shakyamuni’s future enlightenment.
Table of Contents
- 1 - The Viability of the Dipamkara Buddha
- 2 - Iconography of the Dipamkara Buddha
- 3 - Depicting the Dipamkara Buddha Thangka
- 4 - Dipamkara with Maitreya Buddha Thangka
- 5 - Dipamkara with Sakyamuni Buddha Thangka
- 6 - Dipamkara with Amitayus Buddha Thangka
The Viability of the Dipamkara Buddha
In this portion, we are going to grab about the viability of the Dipamkara Buddha. After that, we will present the short etymological description of the Dipamkara Buddha itself.
Etymology of the Dipamkara Buddha
Diipamkara Buddha is known as the previous Buddha prior to the age of Shakyamuni. And laterDipamkaea Buddha is to be followed by Maitreya.
Dipamkara Buddha is known as mar me mzad in Tibet.
Iconography of the Dipamkara Buddha
Spritual power of Dipamkara Buddha
The Dipamkara Buddha has his hands in the teaching gesture imitating an eight-spoked wheel which he also has decorating the palms of the hands and feet.
There are two attendant monks stand at the sides of the throne above a lotus pond of Dipamkara Buddha.
In the pond of Dipamkara Buddha, there are three naga figures holding upraised precious wish-fulfilling gems.
Depicting the Dipamkara Buddha Thangka
Sixteen bodhisattva figures
At the upper right and left of the Dipamkara Buddha, there are sixteen Buddha figures, eight to each side, seated on billowing clouds.
Additional monks are seated at the lower left and right below the Dipamkara Buddhas. In the bottom foreground of the thangka, there are five human figures.
A Buddha is known for having thirty-two major and eighty minor distinguishing physical characteristics based on the Indian cultural description of a Universal Monarch the highest and most developed male form.
Only a few of these 112 marks are depicted in the art such as the Ushnisha on the top of the head, the Urnakesha between the eyes, three curved horizontal lines on the neck, a Dharma Wheel impression on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
The identification of the Dipamkara Buddha is proffered based on a process of elimination.
Each of the Buddhas of the Three Times would be depicted with their own set of sixteen great Bodhisattvas.
Likewise, the form of the Buddha does not immediately stand out as the future Buddha Maitreya in Buddha’s Appearance.
The thangka is lacking clear iconographic signatures or inscriptions on the front or back of the painting it is difficult to be certain.
The thangka can be identified as belonging to the Qianlong Period and the region can be located to the Beijing area or surrounding district.
The palette of dominant dark blues and green colors along with the white bodies of the human figures are just a few of the characteristics of this 18th-century style.
Dipamkara with Maitreya Buddha Thangka
The central figure in this thangka is identified as Dipamkara Buddha because it belongs to a set of thangka depicting Shakyamuni Buddha and the Sixteen Great Elders.
This information is known by identifying the figures in the composition: six elders, one attendant (Dharmatala), and two Direction Kings.
There is no tradition or precedent for creating a composition with this random selection of figures.
The Subjects of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Sixteen Great Elders are the most basic and the first of the common iconographic number sets.
In the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism, it is popular to include the Buddhas of the Three Times either at the top of a single composition or as the central figures in a set of three paintings.
This is the 2nd painting in a set of three thangkas depicting Shakyamuni Buddha and the Sixteen Elders.
Each of the three thangkas has the central figure as one of the Buddhas of the Three Times.
Dipamkara with Sakyamuni Buddha Thangka
Dipamkara Buddha with Kathmandu narrative scenes and the Swayambhunatha Stupa above the central figure.
Dipamkara is the Buddha of the previous age prior to the time of Shakyamuni the historical Buddha.
Dipamkara is especially remembered as the Buddha that predicted the future enlightenment of the historical Buddha.
In approximately the 17th century his rituals were popularized by Nepalese Buddhists who considered him a patron deity for merchants and alms-giving.
During special alms giving festivals a thangka such as this would be commissioned and displayed. The location of the festival illustrated in the thangka is the Swayambhunath Stupa of Kathmandu.
The stupa is depicted above the central figure. Accompanying depictions of the patrons of the painting appear in the lower registers.
Dipamkara with Amitayus Buddha Thangka
The meaning of Dipamkara Buddha is Mar ma dze, sang Gye in Tibet.
Dipamkara Buddha is from a set of three thangkas depicting the Buddhas of the three times, Shakyamuni, Dipamkara, and Maitreya, along with the Sixteen Great Arhats.
Amitayus and Manjushri
At the top of the thangka, there is Amitayus Buddha along with what appears to be Manjushri and another bodhisattva.
BothAmitayus Buddha and Manjushri are seated at the upper sides.
Four Arhats descend alongside the central figure with another arhat Hvashang and two Direction Kings.
Virupaksha and Dhritarashtra
Virupaksha and Dhritarashtra are at the bottom in the thangka.