Saturday, August 29, 2009

Greyscale Image Pages

Greyscale has been used throughout the HAR site to create a clear image composition with written names and numbers to improve navigation and identification. Important iconographic subjects, architectural features and composition sequences have been labeled either directly with names on the image or as numbers corresponding to an identification key in the body of explanatory text. There are four basic types of composition where greyscale numbering is most helpful: [1] Cityscapes, [2] Narratives, [3] Figure Compositions and [4] Lineage Compositions.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vajramrita & Related Forms

Yes, Vajramrita is a rare and unusual form and not commonly represented as a central figure in art. The deity mostly appears as part of an iconographic compendium such as the Vajravali of Abhayakaragupta, Bari Gyatsa, Sadhana-samucchaya, or in the group of Ten Wrathful Ones. There are four forms of the complex deity that have the name 'amrita' in common and they are all grouped together in the Vajravali literature. Each is described with a retinue of deities and a complex mandala. Several other forms of the deity, usually in a more simplified form, appear in other traditions. There are two deities similar in appearance that can cause confusion in identification: Humkara and Avalokita Samvara. (See the Vajramrita Outline Page).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mitra Gyatsa: a Compendium of Mandalas

The Mitra Gyatsa is a collection of one hundred and eight Tantric Mandalas compiled by Mitra Yogin in the 12th - 13th century. It has remained a popular collection and is still current today especially in the Kagyu and Gelug Traditions. It is an important early collection that ranks with the Vajravali, Bari Gyatsa, and Sadhana-samucchaya as one of the most significant iconographic resources describing the deities and mandalas that appear in Himalayan and Tibetan art.

Mitra Gyatsa:
Outline Page
Mandala Contents List
Initiation & Teaching Lineage

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Amoghapasha: Unfailing Lasso

Amoghapasha is a complicated deity subject in Tantric Buddhist iconography. He is easily mistaken for Avalokiteshvara in most artistic depictions. The two deities are frequently conflated together by Western scholars. Sometimes Amoghapasha is described as a form, or emanation, of Avalokiteshvara and again at other times, such as with this mandala of Amoghapasha, a retinue figure while Avalokiteshvara is the central deity in the mandala. It begs the question, why is this mandala called the Five-deity Amoghapasha if the central deity is Avalokiteshvara?

New Outline Pages:
Amoghapasha Outline Page
Amoghapasha: Forms & Traditions Outline

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Outline Pages

1. Yogi Appearance in Himalayan art with an Outline Page and an Image Sets Page.

2. Female Teachers Outline Page: the teachers represented as main figures in art from India and Tibet.

3. Petroglyphs Outline Page: the beginnings of an outline distinguishing types and regions.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mongolian Treasures Uncovered

More Buddhist art treasures have been unearthed from the sands of the Gobi desert in Mongolia and taken to the Danza Rabjaa Temple. See other previously unearthed objects at the Danza Rabjaa Museum in the town of Sainshand. Also see the BBC news article.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Newsletter: May - July 2009

The HAR Newsletter for May, June and July is ready for mail-out. In the future we will not be doing a separate page for the newsletter but rather relying more on the 'New on the Site' page (blog) along with more frequent e-mail notifications. There are too many changes going on all the time to wait three months for an announcement of changes and additions. To stay on top of things we need to announce changes as they happen.