Explaining Mandala of Chakrasamvara
Chakrasamvara is also known as the Thirteen Deity Samvarodaya Chakrasamvara. Chakrasamvara Mandala is from the Shri Maha Sambarodaya Tantraraja.
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The Esse of Chakrasamvara
In this section, we are going to learn about the ease of Chakrasamvara, after that the short etymological description of the word Chakrasamvara itself.
Etymology of Chakrasamvara
Chakrasamvara s known as khor lo dem Chog lha chu sum Gyi Kyil kor in Tibet. Chakrasamvara is one of the most popular deities in Tantric Buddhism. Chakrasamvara is also known as the wheel of Supreme Bliss in English.
Iconography of the Chakrasamvara
Possture of the Chakrasamvara
Within the center of the two-dimensional circular diagram of the mandala representing the top view of a three-dimensional celestial palace and surroundings. The tutelary deity Chakrasamvara is blue-black in color. Chakrasamvara is with three faces and six hands.
In the first pair of hands of Chakrasamvara, there are a vajra and bell crossed at the heart embracing the consort red Vajravarahi, surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness. The painting style is heavily influenced by Nepali aesthetics and a strong penchant for red is typical of older Sakya and Ngorpa tangkas and wall murals.
He can appear in several dozen different forms, which makes it necessary to rely on the descriptive literature in the Sanskrit and Tibetan languages to identify him. Adding to the complexity, there are more than fifty different traditions of these forms in Tibetan Buddhism.
They are meant to emphasize different types of meditation practices. Meditation practices are suited for specific types of emotional and psychological characteristics in the tantric practitioners who take on these intricate practices. The form of the subject of this painting is the Thirteen Deity Samvarodaya Chakrasamvara Mandala as described in the Sanskrit text the Shri Maha Samvarodaya Tantraraja.
Within the center of the mandala representing the view from above of a three-dimensional celestial palace and surroundings is the meditational deity. Chakrasamvarais blue in color. Chakrasamvara is with three faces and six hands.
In one first pair of hands of Chakrasamvara crossed at the heart. He holds a vajra and bell and is embracing his consort red Vajravarahi. The couple is surrounded by the red flames of pristine awareness.
Earlier, we learn about the ease of Chakrasamvara and the iconography of the Cakrasamvara. Now, we are going to learn about depicting Chakrasamvara.
Depicting Chakrasamvara Tangka
The thangka of Chakrasamvara is from Tibet. The thangka of Cakrasamvara is made between 1500 – 1599 AD. The thangka of Chakrasamvara is from Sakya, Ngor (Sakya), and Buddhist. The size of the painting is 54.61×44.45cm. The base of the painting is Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton. Currently, this thangka is in the Rubin Museum of Art.
By depicting this tangka, we are going to learn about the presentation of Chakrasamvara with different deities such as Four Female Deities.
Four Female Deities
Four female figures are immediately around the central figures of the thangka. Four figures deities are Dakini, Lama, Khandarohe, and Rupini. In the surrounding square are four more figures along with another four standing at the T-shaped structures of the outer square. Lineage teachers are depicted in the top register and arranged around the mandala circle at the left and right.
A Dakini is a tantric deity that might best be described as a female embodiment of enlightened energy. Although Dakini figures appear in Hinduism and in the Bon tradition. Dakinis are particularly prevalent in Vajrayana Buddhism.
Especially Tibetan Buddhism they are of volatile or wrathful temperament. Dakinis are energetic beings in female form, evocative of the movement of energy in space. In this context, the sky or space indicates Sunyata, the insubstantiality of all phenomena which is at the same time the pure potentiality for all possible manifestations.
Additionally, they act somewhat as a muse for spiritual practice. Dakinis being associated with energy in all its functions are linked with the revelation of the Anuttara Yoga Tantras or Higher Tantras which represent the path of transformation. Here, the energy of negative emotions or kleshas called poisons is transformed into the luminous energy of enlightened awareness or gnosis yielding Rigpa.
Lama is a title for a teacher of the Dharma in Tibetan Buddhism. The name is similar to the Sanskrit term guru and in use it is similar, but not identical to the western monastic rank of abbot. Historically, the term was used for venerated spiritual masters or heads of monasteries.
Today the title can be used as an honorific title conferred. On a monk nun or advanced tantric practitioner to designate a level of spiritual attainment and authority to teach or maybe part of a title such as Dalai Lama or Panchen Lama applied to a lineage of reincarnate lamas Tulkus.
Perhaps due to misunderstandings by early western scholars attempting to understand Tibetan Buddhism. the terms lama has historically been erroneously applied to Tibetan monks in general. Similarly, Tibetan Buddhism was referred to as Lamaism by early western scholars and travelers who perhaps did not understand that what they were witnessing was a form of Buddhism.
They may also have been unaware of the distinction between Tibetan Buddhism and Bon. The term Lamaism is now considered by some to be derogatory. In the Vajrayana path of Tibetan Buddhism, the lama is often the tantric spiritual guide.
Earlier, we learn about the ease of Chakrasamvara and the iconography of the Cakrasamvara. And finally, we learn about depicting Chakrasamvara.