Jonathan – tome 17 – La Piste de Yéshé – Planche originale 49
  See it in the Museum
India and Nepal
Orientation 1
Wall object 7

ABE 008

 Code: ABE 008

  Country: Switzerland


  Date: 2021

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: Unknown

  Materials: Encre de Chine sur papier

Vajrayana the “adamantine vehicle” (also known as Mantrayana, “the mantra vehicle”) spawned from Mahayana and Indian tantras. Its followers must strictly observe its precepts so they can reach Buddhahood in a single lifetime. To achieve this goal, they must apply a codified discipline and perform practices drawn from tantras: yogic practices, visualizations, mantra recitations, very elaborate meditations and express a total confidence in the master. Another particularity is the numerous practices based on a large pantheon of deities comprising a crowd of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, dakinis and protectors of the doctrine (dharmapalas).

Bodhisattvas are beings yearning for Buddhahood to benefit every sentient being. They can be male or female characters and are represented in dressed in the Indian royal attire. The most important bodhisattvas possess a great spiritual realization close that of the Buddhas and they are endowed with great powers. They can be identified thanks to their attributes symbolizing their specific enlightened qualities – like the sword and book of wisdom. 

In Tibet, Avalokiteshvara (Chenrézig in Tibetan) and Tara are especially worshipped for their compassion and the help they grant when invoked against the major difficulties in life.

On the left end of the wall is a large painting of Avalokiteshvara, bodhisattva of compassion, under his “Thousand-armed and thousand-eyed” form (Sahasrabhuja - ABP 070). Is skin is “white as the snowy summit of a mountain in the morning sun”. His eleven faces are stacked on five levels. Unlike his usual Tibetan aspect with eight principal hands, he has 28 holding various attributes. The remaining 972 are displayed in a circle, each one possessing an eye in its palm. This “seeing hands” symbolize the compassion of Avalokiteshvara spreading in all direction to reach every sentient being.

At the center of this room is a wooden statue of Tara (ABS 097). Many other statues of Tara, whether in her green or white aspect, are scattered in the museum.