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 visualizations that one does in Tibetan Buddhist practice. In Tibetan homes and monasteries, thangkas are considered sacred objects and are often placed above shrines.
Maitreya, the "future Buddha" in Buddhist eschatology, is a Bodhisattva that many Buddhists believe will eventually appear on earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. As such, he will be the spiritual successor of the historic Śākyamuni Buddha. Unlike his antecedent, however, Maitreya is understood in a more millennial light, as he is predicted to be a “world-ruler,” uniting those over whom he has dominion.
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