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Terma Art

Refuge Tree of Karma Kagyu Thangka High Quality Print A1 Golden Frame together with explanation card

Refuge Tree of Karma Kagyu Thangka High Quality Print A1 Golden Frame together with explanation card

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Refuge Tree of Karma Kagyu

In front of you is a beautiful green meadow. In the middle of meadow there is a beautiful lake filled with sacred water (nectar).  In the middle of the lake there is a wish fulfilling tree. A very huge tree with four branches in four different directions: front, back, left and right like an umbrella, with the main trunk in the middle. At the center of the main trunk is the Guru; all the gurus of the lineage, and at the top is the Buddha Vajradhara. In between are all the lineage masters: the Karmapa and other lineage masters such as Situ Rinpoche, Gampopa. Jetsun Milarepa, Marpa, Lodro Rinchen (Indian Guru), and the Vajradhara. The Masters of Mahamudra and other accomplished masters in India and Tibet are surrounded by Guru Vajradhara like a cloud of color. This thangka also includes the 16th Gaylwa Karmapa, which is the most updated complete version of the Kagyu Refuge Tree today.

At the front (east) of the tree is for the deity, the Vajravarahi, and all the deities in the four tantras and they are surrounded by many dependents. 

The south (right) of the refuge tree that is the Buddha, the Nirmanakaya Buddha, surrounding are all the Buddhas of ten directions and the three worlds.

On the western branch, which is behind not visible, that is the Dharma, all the teaching of Buddha the text. They are vinaya, abhidharma sutras and tantras.

On the branch in the north (the left of the Refuge Tree), Avalokitesvara Bodhisattvas is in the centre, surrounded by the other seven Bodhisattvas, which are altogether known as eight Bodhisattvas also representing all the Bodhisattvas. Sariputra and Mongalputra are also here as the representatives of all the Arhants.

Underneath the branches are all the Protectors, Two-arm Mahakala, Four-arm Mahakala, Six-arm Mahakala, and Protector Deity Palden Lhamo, etc.

In the space above are all the masters of all lineages filled in the air.

On the plain meadow are all sentient being like us. We do the prostration and say the refuge prayer.

When Master Thinley Norbu thought of drawing this thangka, it was not really smooth. From the day he started this thankga to the completion, there were so many challenges and toughness to be faced. 

He started to drafted this thangka in Nepal. It was 2015, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal and he had no choice but to go back to Bhutan. Then he started again the work in hometown but during that time he became very sick and almost died. Doctor told his family that he had chronic kidney disease. He had to stop the work for good. 

Master Thinley Norbu is not fearful to death, he is fearful of unfinished. He took every ounce of his energy to hold his pen tight bit by bit, days by days, years by years…all difficulties he gone through just making this thangka a greater masterpiece. He also taught us the value of sacrifice for greater achievement - through hardships, through dedication, through struggles, pains, bloods and everything.  After 8 years, this great piece is born. 

"In life, it’s not the struggles nor the pain matters. It’s whether you would dedicate your life to give all sentient beings a better world and a better life,” said Master Thinley Norbu.  May this thangka bring compassion to all sentient beings in all realms. 

Original Art information
Refuge Tree of Karma Kagyu, 2022
82cm x 127cm, in Hong Kong
9999 pure gold, stone pigment, gelatin on cotton cloth

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This is the high quality print in 84cm x 62cm x 3cm, comes with a gold metallic frame.
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