Thangka painting

Thangka painting

Thangka is a Tibetan term that has two syllables Thang which means a plain surface and Ku or Ka which means an image and these two syllables form the word thangka which literally means image on plain surface. This form of painting is done on a cotton canvas (Tib.rhe-shi; cloth base). Thangka art is essentially religious in both content and function, and has developed over several centuries, shaped and influenced by religious traditions. It serves as the object of reverence and the field of offering in order for the practitioners to accumulate merits on the one hand and as means of the visualization on the other hand. Thangka painting has also been used as a visual means of disseminating various aspect of Buddha’s teaching and the different events and deeds of the Buddha. Best example of this can be seen in the painting related to Buddha’s Life. Thangka
This type of painting is known as narrative painting because it narrates the account of Buddha’s life story from his decent from the Tushita heaven through his birth, his princely life, his renunciation of the palace, his accomplishment of enlightened wisdom, his acts of the dissemination of his teaching to his leaving this world physically and entering into peace. Though there are innumerable varieties and number of painting, essentially, they all are various aspects of mind that consist of our thoughts, emotions, afflictions, and wisdom underlying within every one of us.