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.
VAIROCANA BUDDHA : BRIEF DESCRIPTION
He is one of the five Tathagatas symbolizing all pervasive wisdom(skt. suvi suddha dharma dhatu jnana) i.e. knowledge free from all kinds of obscuration. He is placed generally in the sanctum of the stupa. sometimes he is placed between Akshobhya and Ratna Sambhava in the stupa. He resides always in the Akanistha heaven.He is white in color and his hands are held against his chest with the tips of thumb and forefinger of each hand joined displaying Bodhyanga mudra. His vehicle is a pair of lions symbolizing lions roar of dharmadhatu jnana which terrifies all wrong views. He can be recognized through white disc or dharmacakra which cuts all wrong views.
When Vairocana Buddha is four faced and eight-armed he is addressed as Vajradhatu Buddha. According to Vajradhatu Mandala of Nispanna Yogavali, Vairocana is seated in Vajra Priyanka and is white in color. His four faces are of white, yellow, red, and green color. He is eight-armed with his two hands holding a vajra and displaying dharmacakra mudra; the second pair shows dhyana mudra, third pair holds a rosary and an arrow and the last pair holds a discus and a bow.