White Tara of Mt Kailash
I painted this thangka in 2010 as part of my preparation to go to Mt Kailash in western Tibet. My yoga teacher, Deskachar’s father was Krishnamacharya. While mastering his yoga practice, Krishnamacharya lived for seven years in a cave near Lake Manasarovar, close to Mt Kailash. I joined Joan Halifax and her Medical Nomad trip which was making the journey to do a circumambulation of Mt Kailash. At the time, the only way to do this was by walking or by horseback. During this journey, I had a horse-riding accident, and what I learned from my Yoga practice literally saved my life.
Atisha a prince from Bengal who brought the teaching of Tara as the mother of all Buddhas to Tibet in the 11th century. Before traveling from India to Tibet to teach about Tara, Atisha was told that his life would be shortened by twenty years if he made the journey, because of the harsh life in the cold high Tibetan plateau, but this didn’t sway him from making the journey. His sacrifice for the teaching of Tara made me realize that, in order to achieve enlightenment Buddhists really do sacrifice their self.
Reading the story of Atisha’s life made me want to know more about the Tara teaching. To me, Tara became an inspiration of great teaching and great action. This made me want to paint something in honor of Atisha. Tara is depicted as a sixteen-year-old pure virgin. She has the same role as Avalokiteshvara. She’s a young woman who already has so much mercy for the world.
White Tara sits in full lotus with seven eyes, to see what’s happening all around her. Sacred Mt Kailash is in the background with Lake Manasarovar in the foreground. The elephants represent the connection between India and Tibet. The blue flower in the painting is called udambara, which blossoms every three thousand years.
It’s thought that to see a fully awakened person is so rare it is like seeing an udambara flower.
Original Thangka Painting, created in 2010, size price $120,000.00
Acrylic on raw canvas
Size--36" x 77"
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Rare original thangka painting.