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Three Fine Old Mongolian Buddhist Tsakli Paintings Teaching Cards


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Collection No. TB-2671
Size 14cm x 11cm each painting

Three Fine Old Mongolian Buddhist Tsakli Paintings Teaching Cards

These three fine Old Mongolian Tsakli Paintings depict from left to right: A Blue Deity Riding a Horse, A Deity Riding a Yak, and A Deity riding a Mythical Animal. They are all finely painted with polychrome pigments on thick handmade paper. The back of the middle Card is painted in Mongolian script. Dating from the 18th Century and in very good condition. They are mounted in a single row with the museum-quality archival card in dark blue, they are ready to put into a frame of your choice.

Buddhist teaching is not something learned from books, although they certainly play a part in reinforcing what one has already learned. The prime way of learning in Tibetan & Mongolian Buddhism is through one’s master’s words. A common sentiment in those lands is that, without a fully qualified master to transmit them, the Buddha’s teachings may well never have existed.

In learning the many complex rituals involving sometimes hundreds of deity forms, their names, iconography, secret syllables, and so on, a student must have a teacher who almost always transmits this information orally. As an aid to memory, especially where complex deities are to be learned, these small cards called Tsakli representing these myriad forms are shown by the master to the teacher, and the details, often found on the back of each card, are read aloud by the teacher with the intention that the student retains the details in their memory.

When a deity form has been fixed in the mind and one has embarked on the path of Buddhist tantra, at a certain stage one is expected to select a tutelary deity; that is, a deity that is core to one’s heart practice. This deity then becomes the focus of one being, and it is not unusual for both monks and laypeople to spend a great deal of money commissioning a large painting of such deities. These scroll paintings are known as thangkas ”

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist Art & Asian Art

Exhibited:  The Art of Compassion: Buddhist Art from The Todd Barlin Collection. Sydney Australia 2018. Catalogue written By Dr David Templeman,

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