Buddhas of the Past, Present, and Future with Mahasiddhas and Monks
Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan
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The six monks at the bottom of this painting are performing a ritual that invokes the visions above them. Long, red, still-smoking spo incense sticks; a katak scarf; and a golden mandala--symbols of smell, touch, and the universe, respectively--are offered. The monks' blue begging bowls represent requests for Buddhist blessings and teachings, while the heap of multicolored gems denotes the rewards of Buddhism. The table altar in front of the central buddha displays riches affiliated with the Seven Abundances--faith, morality, honesty, modesty, learning, renunciation, and wisdom. Birds frolic in the water, epitomizing an earthly paradise promised to those who follow the Buddhist path.