A Treasury of Drawings of Buddhas, Deities and Lamas of Tibet
Author: Keith Dowman
The Tibetan Buddhist pantheon is immense, the Nyingma school familiar with only a fraction of it, while the Nyingma Icons includes only the pre-eminent images in an ancient and vast tradition. Insofar as all the Tibetan schools recognise their own origins in the Nyingma School, however, the figures in this book are known to all Tibetan Buddhists, and as archetypal realities residing in human awareness they should resonate in the minds of all human beings. The sacred art of Tibet is best known through its painted scrolls, or tankas. Each tanka describes a vision arisen in meditation. The ninety-four line drawings that comprise the Nyingma Icons delineate the graphic basis of these tankas, incorporating the principal images of the Nyingma pantheon. An American, Richard Tenzin Mueller, was a patron and friend of both Oleshe and Lama Sangye Tenzin, and it was at his request that Oleshe produced these ninety-four drawings and Sangye Tenzin collected and penned the songs of homage. The original line drawings belong to Richard Tenzin, but they have been reproduced in many forms to be used as icons on Buddhist altars throughout the world.