Interpreting Buddhist Elder Kanakabharadvaja Thangka
Kanakabharadhvaja is the Elder of 8th arhat from the set of 16 great arhats. Kanakabharadhvaja is known as Bha ra dhva JA ser Chen Chong in Tibet. The meaning of Kanakabharadhvaja is Sthavira Kanaka Bharadhvaja in Sanskrit.
Table of Contents
- 1 - The life of Kanakabharadhvaja
- 2 - Iconography of the Kanakabharadhvaja
- 3 - Story of Kanaka the Bharadvaja
- 4 - Explaining Kanakabharadhvaja with Two Monks Thangka
- 5 - Kanakabharadhvaja with Kanakavatsa Thangka
- 6 - Kanakabharadhvaja Thangka
The life of Kanakabharadhvaja
Kanakabharadhvaja was born in 1600 to a wealthy householder. He grew up generous and compassionate, supporting the poor and giving alms to religious persons. Buddhist Elder Kanakabharadvaja was dead in 1699.
Buddha Teaching changed Kanaka Bharadhvaja Life
Kanakabharadhvaja is the principal students of the Buddha Shakyamuni. Upon hearing the Buddha teaching he disposed of his wealth to the poor and, requesting his parents’ permission, he became a monk. After practicing for some time he became an arhat.
Iconography of the Kanakabharadhvaja
Kanaka dwells on the western continent (Aparagodaniya) with 700 arhats.
Invoking him opens opportunities for practicing the six paramitas and developing along the Mahayana path.
Kanakabharadhvaja is mainly shown in elderly appearance with receding brown hair, long eyebrows, and extensive age lines. Kanakabharadhvaja looks downward with the two hands folded together at the heart.
With the right shoulder bare he wears across the left a patchwork robe of green and purple decorated with gold floral design.
Posture of Kanaka Bharadvaja
Kanakabharadhvaja is in a relaxed posture with the left knee raised. Kanakabharadhvaja sits on a cushioned seat exposing the unshorn toenails of the left foot. The heads of Kanakabharadhvaja is adorned with a dark green areola.
Story of Kanaka the Bharadvaja
The word alms bowl was borrowed from Sanskrit by taking the first of the three syllables of the original word because there was no such word in Chinese.
In the very beginning, the bowl was made of metal. Nowadays, however, the bowl is sometimes found to be made of finely polished coconut shell halves or red beech wood. Its use, that of holding alms-food, remains unchanged.
Explaining Kanakabharadhvaja with Two Monks Thangka
Kanakabharadhvaja is placid in a meditative mood. Kanakabharadhvaja is youthful in appearance and gazes to the side.
Gesture of Hands
The two hands of Kanakabharadhvaja are placed in the lap in the mudra of meditation right over left with the tips of the thumbs touching.
Dress of Kanaka the Bharadvaja
Kanakabharadhvaja is attired in the orange and red patchwork robes of a monk. The upper robe of Kanakabharadhvaja is with a green lining is composed of strips of discarded fabric. A large yellow areola encircles the head of Kanakabharadhvaja.
Atop a cushioned, Kanakabharadhvaja is a seat and the low golden throne. He sits observing at the side a green dragon and flying on a bank of billowing clouds.
The 2 Monks
On the left side of the Kanakabharadhvaja, there are two monks wearing similar orange and red attire gaze upward at the vibrant image of the appearing dragon.
At the right of the Kanakabharadhvaja, there are precious jewels, conch shells, gold ornaments, and red coral arranged in a row.
The background of the thangka is filled with a steep blue rock face.
Kanakabharadhvaja is adorned with flowering plants and trees contrasted by the vast open tawny-colored of grassland.
Kanakabharadhvaja with Kanakavatsa Thangka
Outlook of Kanakabharadhvaja
On the left side of the thangka, there Seated Kanakabharadhvaja with a yellow cloth head covering. He has a thin black mustache, goatee, and long eyebrows. The two hands of Kanakabharadhvaja are folded in the lap in the mudra of meditation.
The legs of Kanakabharadhvaja are folded together seated on a yellow and blue meditation mat and the head is framed with a bright red areola.
Robe of Kanakabharadhvaja
An orange robe imprinted with gold designs is worn across the shoulders and loosely wrapped about the body. A red lower robe is tied at the waist with a green sash.
At the bottom left of the thangka, there is in a wealthy household in Shravasti, Kanakabharadhvaja was born with a gold coin in his hands pictured as a child kneeling over a heap of coins.
Always generous wearing a blue jacket and dispensing gold coins like a stream giving all his wealth away. He received ordination directly from the Buddha and meditated in solitude.
On the right side of the thangka, there is Kanakavatsa with dark hair, mustache, and goatee. He holds upraised in the two hands a string of jewels a gift of the nagas. He is Wearing an orange robe with gold designs atop a dark shirt and a lower garment of red.
The birthplace of Kanakavatsa
At the top right of the thangka, there is a wealthy house in the town of Magadha is the birthplace of Kanakavatsa and coincidentally an elephant calf with the ability to produce gold.
At the lower and bottom right of the thangka, there is growing up together as inseparable childhood companions, King Ajatashatru greatly coveted the elephant. Although giving the elephant to the king it would not stay and always return to Kanakavatsa.
At the center of the thangka, there seated in a beautiful temple three nagas with the lower torso that of a snake present the Arhat with a jeweled lasso. At the top center if the thangka, there seated on a mountain slope in Kashmir he teaches to a gathering of arhats.
On the wealthy of Apara-Godaniya is the noble elder Kanakabharadvaja. Kanakabharadvaja is surrounded by 700 arhats. Kanakabharadvaja is an homage to the One with the two hands placed in meditation.