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Thangka Painting

Thangka (also "Tanka", "Thanka" or "Tangka") are Buddhist scroll paintings. They are on silk, yak skin or canvas paper, usually depicting the life of a Buddhist or Hindu deity, a famous scene or mandala, (a geometric pattern that represents a microcosm of the universe) originating in Nepal and Tibet. Thangka play a significant role in Buddhist and Hindu culture and spiritual life.

Thangka paintings perform several different functions. Images of deities can be used as teaching tools when depicting the life (or lives) of the Buddha, describing historical events, or retelling myths associated with other deities or bodhisattva (an enlightened existence or being). Devotional images act as the centerpiece during a ritual or ceremony and are often used as mediums through which one can offer prayers or make requests. Most importantly, religious art is used as a meditation tool to help bring one further down the path of enlightenment. The Buddhist practitioner uses a Thangka image of their meditation deity as a guide to internalizing the Buddha qualities.

Originally, Thangka painting became popular among traveling monks because the scroll paintings were easily rolled and transported from monastery to monastery. These Thangka served as important teaching tools.

Green Tara

A female Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism who appears as a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism. She is known as the "mother of liberation", and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements.

Tara is a tantric meditation deity whose practice is used by practitioners of the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism to develop certain inner qualities and understand outer, inner and secret teachings about compassion and emptiness.

Tara is actually the generic name for a set of Buddhas or bodhisattvas. These may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same quality, as bodhisattvas are often considered metaphoric for Buddhist virtues.

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