Tibetan Thangka of Buddha’s Life Story explains the historic phases of the Siddhartha Gautama both before and after his enlightenment.
The painting starts from the top and moves towards the anti-clockwise direction. The story starts from the top left and ends right at the center where he reaches the stage of Nirvana.
Gautama Buddha was born in 563 BCE. also known as Siddhartha Gautama or simply Buddha. Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is recognized by Buddhists as an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering.
Accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral traditional first committed to writing about 400 years later.
This Life of Buddha Thangka explains the 12 deeds of Lord Buddha. To understand clearly, the deeds can be divided into three important phases:
- His descent into the world, his birth, and his young years as a Prince
- The recognition of human suffering and the quest for a way to alleviate human suffering
- The fulfillment of his search and his determination to spend the rest of his life teaching people how to achieve enlightenment for oneself.
12 Deeds of Buddha
- Transferring to a Southern Island-Continent from a Pure Land of Joy, after having transferred his throne there to the next – Maitreya Buddha
- Entering his mother’s womb
- Taking birth
- Becoming skilled and learned in the arts
- Enjoying himself with his wife and her circle
- Setting forth from family life as a renunciate
- Undergoing difficult ascetic practices
- Proceeding to a seat for enlightenment under a bodhi tree
- Taming the demonic forces
- Manifesting full enlightenment
- Setting flow rounds of transmission of the preventive measures of the Dharma (turning the wheel of the Dharma)
- Demonstrating a total release from all suffering by passing away