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Shakya Senge
The Pamasambhava Series #2

20" X 30"


original sold

(click on picture to make larger)

Visualization jpg Visualization large jpg

Notes on Visualization

The painting Visualization represents another of the eight "aspects" of Padmasambhava. Keep in mind that we can view his life from three different points of view: from a historical perspective, from a psychological perspective, and from a tantric perspective. In this painting I have portrayed him as an ordained monk or bhikshu. His Tibetan name is now Shakya Senge or "Lion of the Shakyas" which connects him to the Buddha who was sometime called the "Sage of the Shakyas".

I have painted him as an elderly monk practicing a sadhana (a ritualized form of tantric meditation). A protective boundry has been set by installing guardians at the perimeter of his meditation room and he is about to visualize himself as the yidam or "diety" of the particular sadhana he is practicing. Since Buddhism in Tibet, as elsewhere, is "nontheistic" the diety should not be thought of as a manifestation of an external god but rather as a mental configuration of an archetype of perfection like the Self archetype, devoid of egoic influence.

"In other words, the yidam is finally not external but is a representation of who we most essentially are. This marks an important difference between the Vajrayana notion and a diety in the conventional sense; here, the diety cannot be said to exist in an objective way. As a reflex of our awarness, the yidam is apparent yet empty - that is, the yidam appears in a most vivid fashion but is utterly ungraspable, without an objectified, solidified, conceptualizable nature."

The tantric practice of meditation on the yidam "may be compared to a metal plate with an etching on it that is put in an acid bath. The flat surface is our egos, while the etching of our enlightened selves is invisible. Through the sadhana practice, which is the acid bath, gradually the extraneous ego matter is dissolved. Finally, only the etching remains, which is our fully awakened being, manifesting in a selfless way the enlightenment of our basic nature."

Reginald A. Ray,    Secret of the Vajra World