90 x 70 см.
canvas, mineral colors, gold, brocade, silk
Ordered by A. Markov
|Wheel of life
(tib. srid pa'i 'khor lo gshin rje chos kyi rgyal pos 'dzin pa ii)
Held in the tight grasp of Samsara personified (cyclic
existence) seen as a fierce wrathful figure, red in colour,
with one face and two hands, the circular disc is pressed up
against the mouth ready to be swallowed at any moment -
the immediacy of impermanence. This wrathful figure is
sometimes referred to as Yama, the Lord of Death, and at
other times as the red female daemon of death, possibly
Yami, the sister of Yama.
First: The inner most of the 4 concentric circles shows a
black pig (ignorance), green snake (anger) and a rooster
(desire) circling on a dark background. They are often
shown biting on each others tail.
Second: The next circle, made up of a white half and a
black half, shows those individuals having performed
meritorious actions (good karma) moving upwards in the
circle of existence and those having performed bad actions
moving downward, naked, led by red and green attendants
of the Lord of Death.
Third: The widest of the circles is that of the six realms of
existence; god, asura (semi-gods), human, animal, ghost
(preta) and hell. Each segregated by a red dividing line. At
the top is the Realm of the Gods highlighted by a heavenly
being in a palace playing a stringed instrument. To the right
is the Asura Realm, a lower form of god always engaged in
conflict. To the left is the Human Realm and below that is
the Realm of Pretas. To the lower right is Animal Realm.
At the bottom is the Hell Realm with a central dark red figure,
wrathful, holding a stick in the right hand and a mirror in the
left. This is Yama Dharmaraja, the Lord of the Dead, King of
Judgement (the Law of Karma). He holds a mirror to reflect
those actions (and consequences) performed by each
individual that comes before him. In each realm the various
beings are portrayed engaged in their respective activities
along with the occasional buddha or bodhisattva.
Fourth: The outer circle is composed of 12 scenes which
represent the Twelve links of Dependant Arising starting at
the top right with three blind figures (#1 ignorance) and
then moving clockwise around the Wheel of Existence to
a figure carry bundled corps to the funeral pyre (#12 old age and
Yama the Lord of Death, although portrayed in the Hell
Realms, actually resides in the Realm of Ghosts and is the
King of the Pretas. He lives in the city of Pretas, Kapila, 500
miles below the classical North Indian city of Rajgir and is
accompanied by 36 attendants. His association with the Hell
Realms is in the capacity of a judge of karma.