A thangka is a Tibetan painting that is traditionally used as a support for one’s meditation practice. The imagery depicted in Tibetan paintings provides a guide for the elaborate visualisations that one does in Tibetan Buddhist practice. In Tibetan homes and monasteries, thangkas are considered sacred objects and are often placed above shrines.
Vajrapani is regarded as the personification of power and the guardian of the tantric teachings of the Buddha. In time out of mind he was assigned the task of vanquishing a demon known as Nagpo Tsalak and was blessed with a name that literally means “Conqueror of the Four Quarters.” At that time, he also swore to uphold the teachings of the thousand buddhas for this entire eon. He is said to have many pure lands, accessible to the few who know the paths by which to enter them. The realm where he is personally said to dwell is called Chang Lo Chen in Tibetan, or Adákavati in Sanskrit.
His dark blue hue indicates that he never ceases to be absorbed in the blissful Truth Body or Dharmakaya. Although he appears as a wrathful deity, in fact his wrath is merely to protect the dharma from those who would destroy it. The vajra he holds in his right hand represents the knowledge that is the essence of the teachings of the Buddha. He is often depicted in a triad with Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri known as Rigsum Gonpo, symbolizing the qualities necessary for enlightenment – compassion, wisdom and power.
Each thangka is created using traditional methods and strictly adhering to the proportions of deities as they are laid down in Buddhist scripture.