Painting of a Buddha is called in Sanskrit a "Buddharupa," meaning "the form of an Enlightened One." So Amitabha Buddha thanka or thangka represent "Buddha of Infinite Light," personifies the transmutation of passion into all encompassing luminous awareness. Seated in his celestial paradise called Sukhavati, the "realm of bliss," Amitabha rests his hands the gesture of meditation while holding the begging bowl of an ordained Buddhist monk - a symbol of infinite openness and receptivity.
In the Kalinga – Bodhi Jataka, the Buddha condemns anthropomorphic representations of his forms as "groundless, conceptual, and conventional" (Avatthukam Manamattakam).
In deep meditation or spontaneous states of lucid awareness, body and mind can be directly experienced as dissolving into porous and incandescent bliss, reshaping itself as celestial being. The Buddhist art of Nepal and Tibet illustrates this inner reality, which has remained unchanged for millennia. Thangka Paintings Gallery brings this trancenscendent world into vivid presence with its images of our primordial nature, beyond culture and conditioning.
The Amitayur - Dhyana Sutra states, "if you ask how one to behold the Buddha is, the answer is that you have done so only when the thirty - two major and minor characteristics (i.e. the iconography) have been assumed in your own heart: it is your own heart that becomes the Buddha and which is the Buddha." In this Thangka, the Buddha Amitabha illustrates the timeless continuum of enlightened awareness - mind and body liberated into the light of wisdom and compassion. According to Buddhist art history, the first images of the Buddha were traced from the rays of light reflected from his body. In this final Thangka, the anthropomorphic form of the Buddha dissolves back into the rays of light from which it first manifested. This rainbow body represents not only the Buddha's own luminous origins, but the potential within all beings to achieve the same exalted state. The paintings in Thangka Paintings Gallery are points of departure, windows more than scrolls, a gallery of empty forms to inspire our own journey into the cosmos. From the point of view of Buddhist Tantra, life and death are a seamless continuity. When we free ourselves from outmoded, each one is mirroring aspects of our own deepest nature, which remains inseparable from the Buddhas of past, present, and future. Breath enters the body like a spiraled rainbow, bringing with it the life force of the universe. This vital air, or prana, feeds the subtle body that dwells within us. In meditation, absorbed in the flow of the breath, we can actually see this divine body.