Tibetan Thangkas

All proceeds to Pema Kilaya Rangjung Ngötsar Dzogchen Choling, founded in 2003, as the Buddhist sangha practicing and studying with H.E. Dza Kilung Jigme Rinpoche

A thangka (also known as tangka, thanka or tanka) is a painting on silk with embroidery, usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala of some sort.

These thangka served as important teaching tools depicting the life of the Buddha, various influential lamas and other deities and bodhisattvas. One subject is The Wheel of Life, which is a visual representation of the Abhidharma teachings (Art of Enlightenment). Thangka, when created properly, perform several different functions. Images of deities can be used as teaching tools when depicting the life (or lives) of the Buddha, describing historical events concerning important Lamas, or retelling myths associated with other deities. Devotional images act as the centerpiece during a ritual or ceremony and are often used as mediums through which one can offer prayers or make requests. Overall, and perhaps most importantly, religious art is used as a meditation tool to help bring one further down the path to enlightenment. The Buddhist Vajrayana practitioner uses a thangka image of their yidam, or meditation deity, as a guide, by visualizing “themselves as being that deity, thereby internalizing the Buddha qualities.”

The thankga is not a flat creation like an oil painting or acrylic painting but consists of a picture panel which is painted or embroidered over which a textile is mounted and then over which is laid a cover, usually silk. Generally, thangkas last a very long time and retain much of their lustre, but because of their delicate nature, they have to be kept in dry places where moisture won't affect the quality of the silk. It is sometimes called a scroll-painting.

Since thangkas are so delicate and rare, we are offering some modern thangka images as archival fine art prints that can be purchased on paper or as a traditional scoll-like presentation on a resilient polyester fabric. Proceeds from the sale of these fine art prints go to the Pema Kilaya organization, under which H.E. Dza Kilung Tulku Jigme Rinpoche guides practitioners and students in the West. Jigme Rinpoche is the fifth reincarnation of H.H. Jigme Ngotsar Gyatso, the enlightened yogi who built Kilung Monastery in the 18th century.

In order to support the relationship between Rinpoche and sangha members, and to help students in their spiritual development, Pema Kilaya fulfills many purposes:

  • Providing a home and support for Rinpoche in the Pacific Northwest, on south Whidbey Island
  • Sponsoring and organizing teachings, meditations, practices, and retreats, both at Yeshe Long House and other locations
  • Providing a formal program of study and practice, which lays out the scope and sequence of developing as a serious Vajrayana student
  • Making relevant dharma materials available
  • Facilitating communication between Rinpoche and the sangha members.