Featured Projects Om Mani Padme Hum

Above the mountain is the dome of the sky. This is symbolized by the umbrella, whose important function is to cast a shadow, the shadow of protection. The dictionary defines a parasol as an umbrella used for protection from the sun. Thus its function is to protect exclusively from the heat rather than the rain - as the word 'parasol,' meaning 'to hold off the sun,' and 'umbrella,' meaning 'little shade,' similarly imply. The Sanskrit term 'chattra,' also means 'mushroom,' in an obvious reference to its shape.

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Tibet Artwork, Tibetan Silver Jewelry , Tibetan Jewelry, Tibet Jewelry, Jewelry from Tibet, Tibetan Buddhist Jewelry, Tibetan Turquoise Jewelry, Tibetan Jewelery

Tibet Artwork, Tibetan Silver Jewelry , Tibetan Jewelry, Tibet Jewelry, Jewelry from Tibet, Tibetan Buddhist Jewelry, Tibetan Turquoise Jewelry, Tibetan Jewelery, Buddhist Jewelry

The parasol or umbrella (Skt. chattra; Tib. gdugs) is a traditional Indian symbol of both protection and royalty. The ability to protect oneself against inclement weather has always, in all cultures, been a status symbol. In Europe, until a few decades ago, a sunshade was a status symbol for society ladies. In Oriental thought, the fact that it protected the bearer from the scorching heat of the sun was transferred into the religious sphere as a "protection against the heat of defilements." Thus the coolness of its shade symbolizes protection from the heat of suffering, desire, and other spiritually harmful forces.

The dome of the umbrella is held aloft by a vertical handle (just like the mountain upholds the sky), which is identified with the 'axis mundi,' or the central axis upholding the world. The umbrella is carried above an important dignitary or the image of a deity, to indicate that the person or symbol below the umbrella is in fact the center of the universe, and also its spiritual support. Umbrellas seem to be especially important in processional rites, being like mobile temples. Thus, depictions of the Buddha often display an elaborate and large umbrella above his head.

As it is held above the head it naturally symbolizes honor and respect. In Vajrayana Buddhism, this large umbrella (atapatra) was even deified into the thousand-armed, -footed goddess Sitapatra, whose name literally means 'the white umbrella.'

In Tibet, depending on their status, various dignitaries were entitled to different parasols, with religious heads being entitled to a silk one and secular rulers to a parasol with embroidered peacock feathers. Exalted personalities such as the Dalai Lama are entitled to both, and in processions, first a peacock parasol and then a silk one is carried after him.

The Tibetan version of the parasol was adopted from its royal Indian and Chinese prototypes, and fashioned from a wooden, spoked frame with a domed silk cover and hanging silk pendants making up an overhanging skirt.

The dome symbolizes wisdom, and the hanging skirt, compassion. Thus the composite form of the parasol signifies the union of these dual elements.

Octagonal and square parasols are also common, representing the Noble Eightfold Path and the four directional quarters respectively.

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Buddhist Symbols

In the earliest centuries of Buddhism, statues of the Buddha were not used. Instead, Buddhist art consisted of images symbolizing the Buddha and his teachings, such as the lotus, the Wheel of the Law, the Bodhi tree and the Buddha's footprints.

Eventually, the Buddha image became one of the most popular representations in Buddhism, but these early symbols remain important and are frequently used to this day. They are especially important in Theravada Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka and Thailand.

As Buddhism spread, Buddhist symbolism was enriched by the cultures it came into contact with. This is especially true of Buddhism in Tibet, which has developed a rich symbolic tradition. The central symbols of Tibetan Buddhism are the Eight Auspicious Symbols, known in Sanskrit as Ashtamangala (ashta meaning eight and mangala meaning auspicious). The Eight Auspicious Symbols are printed on Tibetan prayer flags, incorporated into mandalas and thangkas, and used in other forms of ritual art. Another important symbol is the Wheel of Life, a symbolic representation of the universe as understood by Tibetan Buddhists.

Other important types of symbolism in Buddhism include colors, especially the five colors of white, yellow, red, blue and green, and symbolic hand gestures called mudras. The articles in this section explore these Buddhist symbols, providing information on their history, meaning and use in Buddhism today. (For an introduction and quick guide to Buddhist colors, see our Chart of Buddhist Color Symbolism.)


Abhaya Mudra


Bhumisparsha Mudra


Lotus

 


Featured Handmade Tibetan Jewelry

The most precious & widely used gemstones in Tibetan artworks & Tibetan jewelry - turquoise & coral. Coral is known to be used as a gem since prehistoric times. Has a history of religious meaning and is one of the seven treasures in Buddhist scriptures. Turquoise is one of the world's earliest-used gem materials. Ranked with the jades of the Orient and lapis in the Near East, turquoise has been revered for thousands of years. Coral was long thought to be a strong talisman against bleeding, evil spirits, and hurricanes.
tibetan necklace
This Handmade Tibetan Double Stone Stirling Silver Necklace is handcrafted by the Tibetan Craftsmen from stirling silver and top-grade natural turquoise and red coral.
tibetan pendant
This Handmade Tibetan Buddha Eye Pendant was made in Nepal from stirling silver & turquoise. Buddha eye is the Nepali character for the number 1, which symbolizes unity of all the things as well as the one way to reach enlightenment—through the Buddha's teachings. Above this is a third eye, symbolizing the all-seeing wisdom of the Buddha.
tibetan necklace
This Handmade Tibetan Necklace was made in Nepal from Turquoise, Red Coral, Lapis Lazuli & Stirling Silver. Very Charming Tibet Necklace.
tibetan ring
Om Mani Padme Hum can not really be translated into a simple phrase or even a few sentences. By pray the OM Mantra words, all of the Dharma is based on Buddha's discovery that suffering is unnecessary: Like a disease, once we really face the fact that suffering exists, we can look more deeply and discover it's cause; and when we discover that the cause is dependent on certain conditions, we can explore the possibility of removing those conditions.
tibetan earrings
This pair of Tibetan Earring was handmade in Tibet from sterling silver and Turquoise
tibetan gau box
One of the most stunning pieces of Tibetan jewelry is the famed Ghau pendant. Also called a prayer box pendant, this jewelry piece often features rare and unusual gemstones and incredible carved silverworks. In Buddhism, the Ghau is actually a portable shrine that holds an image wrapped in silk that represents the owner's personal deity. Some Ghaus have a small opening allow you to see the personality deity.
buddha statue
Tibetan Buddha Statues come in the shape of every possible Buddhist deity. In general, Buddhism is a practice of finding peace within oneself. Tibetan Buddhism is practiced by people who live in Tibetan, and there are some practices that are unique to Tibetan Buddhism.
singing bowl