Friday, February 8, 2019

The origin of First Thangka

The legend describing how the first Thangka came to be painted originates in India. 

A king of the city-state of Rajgir (present day Bihar) was sent a costly gift by a neighboring king. 

Puzzling over what he could possibly send in return to match the gift, he asked the Buddha who recommended that he send a precious Thangka, the "Wheel of Life" showing the entire cycle of existence and Nirvana.

In the upper corner, an image of the Buddha was to be painted, but the artist commissioned to make the portrait was unable to gaze directly at the Buddha.

In the end, Buddha seated himself beside a body of water and the artist painted from the reflection. The resulting image is known as the Thangka "taken from water."

The image was then encased in layers of gold and silver and covered with precious stones. It was then sent to the neighbor king on the back of a jewel-bedecked elephant.

The king was amazed at the gift and filled with happiness. He sent a message back requesting to meet some monks. Five hundred were sent and spread the dharma by building many temples and performing pious deeds.

Today, you will find countless of this Thangkas all over the world and many living life by selling them. Blissfully in all Bhutanese house one will always find one or two or many Thangkas placed at their alter.

Thangkas has been originated directly from lord Buddha's instructions and has immense blessing if place properly in your house.

Bhutan has countless big old Thangkas and considered them as national treasure and unfurls only during special occasion and Tshechu.

So if you are without Thangkas, get one at your house.

Cultivate Generous Thought and practice giving gifts to the Sanghas.

The Buddha once explained that it is a meritorious act even to throw away the water after washing one's plate with the generous thought:...