INTRODUCTION TO NEWARI PAUBHA [ पौभा ]
Paubhā (Devanagari: पौभा) is a traditional religious painting made by the Newar people of Nepal. Paubhas depict deities, mandalas or monuments, and are used to help the practitioner meditate. The Tibetan equivalent is known as Thangka. Most paubhas show Buddhist subjects, but a few have Hindu themes. The paintings are made to earn religious merit both for the artist and the patron. Newar Buddhists commission artists to paint paubhas which are displayed during festivals and other special occasions. The traditional painters of paubhas are the Chitrakar caste who are known as Pun (पुं) in Nepal Bhasa.
INTRODUCTION TO THANKA
A thangka, variously spelt as thangka, tangka, thanka, or tanka (Nepali pronunciation: [ˈथान्का]; Tibetan: ཐང་ཀ་; Nepal Bhasa: पौभा), is a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton, silk appliqué, usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala. Thangkas are traditionally kept unframed and rolled up when not on display, mounted on a textile backing somewhat in the style of Chinese scroll paintings, with a further silk cover on the front. So treated, thangkas can last a long time, but because of their delicate nature, they have to be kept in dry places where moisture will not affect the quality of the silk.
Most thangkas are relatively small, comparable in size to a Western half-length portrait, but some are extremely large, several metres in each dimension; these were designed to be displayed, typically for very brief periods on a monastery wall, as part of religious festivals. Most thangkas were intended for personal meditation or instruction of monastic students. They often have elaborate compositions including many very small figures. A central deity is often surrounded by other identified figures in a symmetrical composition. Narrative scenes are less common, but do appear.
Amitabha Buddha is also one of the five Tathagatas representing the wisdom of discriminating awareness (skt. Pratyavekshanajnana). When discriminating wisdom dawns on us we realize Non-production or non-origination of all things. He also represents purified form of desire.Amitabha Buddha is red in color. He is represented in the stupa facing to the west. He rides on peacock symbolizing that he can take away the suffering of others just as the peacock eats poisonous plants and yet his tail shines forth.
Amitabha in Sanskrit means immeasurable light or limitless light. He resides in the western land of unlimited bliss (skt. Sukhavati). He is assisted by two Bodhisattvas viz. Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta. When he was a bodhisattva he was called Bhikshu Dharmakara. He made vows to establish an adorned land of unlimited bliss to ferry over those living beings who recite his name. On the basis of those vows, any living being who has faith, makes vows and practices diligently will be received by this Buddha and reborn in the pure land of unlimited bliss.
Amitabha Buddha presides over the Bhadrakalpa i.e. Fortunate Aeon. He always exhibits Dhyana mudra. He belongs to the Lotus family. He originates from the seed syllable Hrih. He can be recognized through the symbol of the lotus. With his extensive vows and great compassion this Buddha has ferried over innumerable sentient beings. The recitation of the name of Amitabha Buddha is a common practice in China and Japan. In Tibet too, devotees recite very often the prayer to be reborn in the land of Amitabha Buddha