Buddhist Devotional Hanging
Tibetan Tibet, Buddhist Devotional Hanging, late 18th - early 19, Appliqued silk satin weave, with silk compound weave borders; 118.1 cm (46 1/2 inches) (length), Gift of Miss Lucy T. Aldrich 35.433
In the Himalayan Buddhist tradition, the painted or appliquéd devotional hanging (thangka) is displayed in temples on special occasions or is used in personal prayer and meditation. This small appliquéd thangka depicts one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism—-Guru Rinpoche (precious teacher) Padmasambhava (born from a lotus). Over his monk’s robe he wears rich clothes and fine jewels that symbolize his status as founder of Tibetan Buddhism. His other attributes include the staff, skull cup, and double-headed thunderbolt symbolizing enlightenment. The lotus on which he sits and the two lotuses before him refer to his birth and name.