This thangka depicts the mandala of Cakrasamvara. It is shaped like a square divided into nine equal segments and in the centre is an image of Samvara, whose Dharma realm (Dharma-dhatu) opens out from this figure. This mandala is painted and is composed of both square and circular motifs. If we first examine the circular motifs from the outside to the inside, the jnana-prajna flames constitute the outermost protective circle of the Cakrasamvara mandala. The second circle is divided into eight segments depicting the Eight Mahasitavanas which symbolise the six paths of those who have died when young among the sitavanas, and is a highly unusual representation. The third circle contains lotus petals and lotus thrones in various colours; the blue circle represents the ocean and signifies the ocean of wisdom (prajna) in which the lotus grows. This is the realm of the division between the sacred and mortal realms. Within the lotus thrones are the palaces of the main deities (yidam). On each of the four sides is a large gate each of which is protected by a Dharmapala (Guardian of the Dharma). In the layer outside the main deities are the dependant deities of Cakrasamvara. In the upper register of this painting are the six Buddha-matri of the Unsurpassed Yoga (Anuttarayoga), as well as Tsongkhapa and other great teachers; in the lower register are the Six-armed Guardian (mgon-po, centre), Tara (right) and Jambhala, the God of Wealth (left).


  • Title: Cakrasamvara Mandala
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1800 - 1899
  • Physical Dimensions: w590 x h840 mm
  • Type: Thangka

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