At the top of our Shakyamuni Tibetan thangka painting the Five Wisdom Tathagatas are sitting in the clouds. Also known as the “Dhyani Buddhas”, they are very important figures in Tibetan Buddhism. In this thangka painting, they are depicting their mudras and paying their respects to Shakyamuni Buddha. In the center of the thangka sits Shakyamuni Buddha and at the thangka bottom are two standing Arahants.
Shakyamuni Buddha is the Buddha of our era and he is the central figure in all of the Buddhist schools. Additionally, he is the self arisen Buddha who taught the Dharma to sentient life. As a result, the Buddha is often depicted in Tibetan Buddhist art. In this Shakyamuni Tibetan thangka painting he is seated in full lotus pose on a single lotus pedestal. He is depicting the Bhumisparsha “earth touching” mudra and also the Dhyana “meditation” mudra. In the palm of his left hand he holds the alms bowl of a Buddhist monk and he is wearing a golden robe. Surrounding Shakyamuni Buddha, is the landscape of a pristine land.
Our Shakyamuni Tibetan thangka painting includes all of the markings of a Buddha. As a result, the Buddha is depicted wearing the ushnisha top knot, three necklines, third eye of wisdom and elongated ear lobes. These markings were traditionally worn by Hindu royalty in ancient India. When he was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama, he would have certainly been well adorned as a member of the royal Shakya family. Click here to learn more about Shakyamuni Buddha.