The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
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In the center of the mandala is Akshobhya, peaceful in appearance, light blue in colour, the right hand in the mudra of earth touching extends across the knee. The left hand placed in the lap in the mudra of meditation supports a gold upright vajra. Wearing sambhogakaya vestments (the enjoyment body of a buddha) he is adorned with a gold and jewel crown, earrings, necklaces and the like. Attired in yellow and orange silks, he is seated in vajra posture above an elephant supported throne surrounded by a blue nimbus and red areola.
The outer ring is comprised of the Goddesses of the 8 Auspicious Emblems on an 8 petalled lotus. Each with one face and two hands, in various colours, adorned with jewels and silks, they sit in relaxed postures. Starting from the top and circling to the right they hold a parasol, vase, conch shell, fish, endless knot, wheel, lotus and victory banner.
The floor of the palace mandala is red at the top - west, white below - east, yellow at the left - south, and green to the right - north. The edge of the square enclosure marks the extant of the walls and the 'T' shaped structures are the four doors topped with four lintels, etc. Above those can be seen the tips of the large double vajra on which the palace sits. Outside of that is the ring of lotus petals followed by the five-coloured ring of flames of pristine awareness.
Arranged in rows at the top and bottom are the lineage teachers of the Nine Deity Akshobhya Mandala. Starting at the top left are Shakyamuni buddha and the bodhisattva Manjushri followed by 19 Indian and Tibetan panditas and lamas. All of the 19 figures wear monastic robes and the teachers along the top wear orange pandita hats. At the bottom right corner is the bodhisattva of long-life, White Tara, with the right hand in the mudra of generosity and the left holding the stem of a lotus to the heart. This form of Akshobhya belongs to the Kriya tantra classification. The background of the painting is a swirl of dark floral design common to Nepali influenced paintings.
Jeff Watt 9-99