Thangkas are beautifully hand painted with precious gold leaf and ground pigments for a luminous quality. Each thangka is framed in a fine brocade cloth. When a thangka painting is displayed, the protective curtain may be tucked in at top, making a cornice with ruffles. By using the support of these sacred images in your meditation practice, you are able to purify karma, generate great spiritual merit and receive blessings. It is important to ask a qualified dharma teacher and read recommended commentaries about proper motivation and methods for one’s meditation practice.
The literal word THANG KA means the recorded message. In Nepal it means “Pauvha” in Newari and in Tibetan paraphernalia of Buddhist. It is the means of communicating message to the practitioner, serving as an aid to teaching and as an aid to meditation through the visualization of the deity. Lama and monks used scroll painting to instruct the Buddhist Dharma. Thangka painting are the visual expression of the fully awakened state of enlightenment and ultimate foal of the Buddhist spiritual path. It is also called the roadmap to enlightenment.
A thangka is a complicated, composite three-dimensional object consisting of: a picture panel which is painted or embroidered, a textile mounting; and one or more of the following: a silk cover, leather corners, wooden dowels at the top and bottom and metal or wooden decorative knobs on the bottom dowel. It is a scroll done on canvas, with different color made of minerals, vegetable dyes and the execution of which generally follow the strict rule as to proportion, symbol and colors.
Thangka has three types obtained in our recent trip to Nepal. Life History of Buddha thangka illustrates events in the life of Buddha. Wheel of Life illustrate the Buddha belief in the cycle o the soul and Mandala illustrate the cosmic residence of the deities.
It is believe that Thangka has positive influence in the surrounding with brilliant colors and forms awaken the mind and energize consciousness, looking itself is a good deed and bring good health, prosperity or long life.
There are six basic steps followed in thangka painting-
1. Stretching the canvas on a wooden frame
2. Preparing the painting surface
3. Creating the design or composition by sketching and tracing
4. Laying down the initial coats of paint
5. The principal application of paints of color pigments, silver and gold dust
6. Adding the finishing touches