Samantabhadra and Samantabhadri

I am currently working on an image from the wonderful Nyimgma tradition for the practice known as The Lake Born Vajra. I wanted to have the Primordial Buddha as the minor figure at the top of the thangka. Having completed the linework I couldn’t resist the opportunity to create a separate piece to give this profound icon its own place as a major work.

I have always loved this form so I was very happy to be able to create this work. I wanted the image to be a simple as possible since I believe the bare metaphor of unpainted space to be very profound. The space element portrayed in this thangka is a very rich metaphor for emptiness itself, both on an experiential level and on the philosophical. Contemplating the nature of unproduced space can become a major stepping tone to a correct view of emptiness, where emptiness itself isn’t reified in the meditators mind as an existing (albeit subtle) aspect of phenomena, it is merely an absence in the same way that unproduced space is an unchanging phenomena characterised by the absence of obstruction.

On an experiential level I also find the divine shape of Samantabhadri’s hair, along with its alignment to the central channel, to have great spiritual poetry. Traditionally only half of the female deities face is shown in full profile. I like to break from tradition and portray her in 3/4 so that Her beauty can be more fully realised.

I hope you like and benefit from the image. I have only shown a small vignette of the completed work here, if you are interested in seeing the full version please email me and I will endeavour to send you a copy…

With love,
Ben (Jampay Dorje)

Vignette from a larger image.