Collection of Tsakli Painted Buddhist Teaching Cards Tibet
|Size||18cm x 15cm Each|
A Collection of 31 Tsakli Painted Buddhist Teaching Cards from Tibet. Dating from the 18th Century or earlier, I was told by a couple of very knowledgeable people that these small painted cards could be earlier than 18th Century and could be Bon religion Tsakli, a indigenous Tibetan religious practice. I myself don’t know.
Each card is a relatively large size at 18cm x 15cm , other Tsakli that I have in my collection are mostly 12cm x 8cm size. These are the most amazing set of Tsakli paintings I have ever owned the front of the paintings are each finely painted in polychrome pigments depicting different wrathful deities & Bardo deities but the back of each painting has a second remarkable painting used when teaching novice monks about the deities.
According to the Tibetan expert David Templeman writing in my exhibition catalogue: The Art of Compassion: Buddhist Art in The Todd Barlin Collection 2018
” 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 Tibeto-Mongol 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, small cards 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 retain the details in their memory. These small cards are called tsakli or tsakali. Due to their constant use, itis extremely rare to find any that pre-date the 17th century, although there do exist tsakli dating to the 13th century. 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 David Templeman
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