Facial expression - Mahakala

Protector of Dharma

Black or blue in colour, the Mahakala has six arms and two legs. Its Sanskrit name is Sadbhuja Mahakala, while its Tibetian name is Chadroukpa. In his right hand he holds a necklace of skulls, a curved knife, and a dhamaru. In his left hand is a trident, a kapala, and a cord.

Motherly Compassion – Green Tara

The Green Tara is often painted on Thangkas and her symbolism is deep yet simple. She can be considered as the Mother, ready to help and love all beings that pray to her. Considered as one of the most important deities in the Buddhist pantheon and widely revered in Tibet, her compassion is infinite. This article will try and shed some light on the symbolism of this Thangka.

Vajrasattva – the Practice of Purification

White in color and bearing all the princely ornaments and crown, he will always be represented in the form of sambhogaya, translated as “Glorious Form”. Vajrasattva belongs to the family of Akshobya. Some believe that he is an emancipation of Vajradhara, while others will regard him as the patriarch of the 5 Dhyani Buddhas.

Maitreya – the Buddha to come …

Buddha Maitreya is considered to be the Buddha that will come after Shakyamuni Buddha, and is often represented as a Boddhisattva. There are numerous ways to represent him, and we will analyse one of the most common Thangkas and take a closer look at the story of Asanga, Maitreya and the dog.

The Wheel of Life – Samsara

By Samsara (bhavachakra) we are talking of all existences that are conditioned by: ignorance, suffering and the unexplainable flow of time, often represented by Yama holding the wheel of life. Nirvana, on the other hand, represents the world unaffected by negative emotions, which by definition is the nature of happiness.

Samsara – The Wheel of Life – pt.2

The Wheel of Life, contains twelve unique images each linked to one another called dvadasanga pratityasamutpada or the 12 Interdependent Factors. These can be found on the outer most circle, each image has its own symbolism to help us better understand Samsara.