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Chandra Mandala


The moon god Chandra is majestically seated on his chariot drawn by seven geese. Bedecked in jewels befitting his status and depicted with a slight smile, the deity holds a pair of lotus stems with both hands, which curl around both arms to open in blosoms at either side of the head. In front of Chandra is seated his charioteer Ambara, while his consort Kanti and Shova flank him. This scene is set within a multi-coloured circuler frame at the centre of an eight–pointed mandala. The white scrolled detail of this octahedron contrasts strongly with the deep blue and red backgrounds of the rest of the mandala.Immediately surrounding the central scene are a stupa and fifteen similar forms of Chandra. The latter represent the kalas, or aspects of the waxing and waning of the moon. Those on the white ground represent the waxing moon, while the ones against the dark blue background represent the waning moon. The first register beyond this depicts the nakshatras (twenty-eight stars) and are supposed in this instance to represent the wives of moon. The next register is devided into eight sections separated by palm trees. Each section stands for a directional point with the Dikpala associated with that direction standing at centre flanked by various figures including naagrajas and other semi-devine beings. From the bottom of the cirle the Dikpalas are (from clockwise) Indra (on a elephant), Agni (on a goat), Yama (on a buffalo), Nirmitti ( on a corpse), Varuna (on a makara), Vayu (on deer), Kubera (on a horse) and Ishana (on a cow). The four corners outside the flaming rim of the mandala each have a vase from which issues scrolling vines that sprout orbs containing the eight Auspicious Symbols (parasol, pair of golden fish, conch, banner, endless knot, vase, lotus, chakra) and Buddhist figures incliding the Buddha Sakymuni, Shadaksharilokeshvara, possibly Prajnaparamita and Mahakarunalokeshvara flanked by bodhisattvas.The uppermost, horizontal register of the painting depicts the Seven Buddhas of the past flanked by a white manjushri holding a sword and, at the other end, by a possible repressntation of Padmapani. The horizontal register at the bottom has in its central panel the Pancharakchas with the Treasures of the Chakravartin interspersed between them. The vajracharya giving oblation to the fire is in the panel to the left and the donors are depicted in the panel to the right. Paintings with representations of the moon god were very popular throughout the fifteen and sixteenth centuries. It is unknown why interest waned after this period. Chandra was expected to exercise profound influence on human destiny. Therefore these paintings were commissioned for important events in one’s life, and many examples have survived to the present. It is noteworthy that while Chandra was revered by both the Hindu and Buddhist community, most surviving icons are Buddhist in context.


這唐卡參照13世紀畫作而繪。月神昌德拉莊嚴地坐在他由七隻天鵝拉著的戰車上。本尊佩戴著與珍貴的珠寶,面帶微笑,雙手持一對蓮花在頭部兩側盛開。月神的前面坐著他的車手安巴拉,而他的配偶康提和修瓦則在他的兩側。壇城外圈以八面白色、深藍色和紅色細節,與背景形成強烈對比。壇城中央是一座佛塔和十五個形態相近之月神。後排 Kalas顯示月亮盈缺的各個面向。白底代表上弦月,深藍色背景的代表殘月。另外描繪了 Nakshatras(二十八顆星星)代表著月亮的妻子。下一個輪被分為八個部分,由棕櫚樹隔開。每個部分代表一個方向點,十世界護法(Dikpala )位於中心,兩側是各種人物,包括 Naagrajas 和其他半神。從底部順時針方向開始排列:十世界護法、因陀羅(在大像上)、烈火(在山羊上)、閻羅(在水牛上)、Nirmitti(在屍體上)、Varuna(在馬卡拉上)、Vayu(鹿)、Kubera(騎馬)和 Ishana(騎牛)。壇城火焰圈外的四個角各有一個花瓶,花瓶藤蔓長出八吉祥象徵(寶傘、雙魚、海螺、旗幟、吉祥結、瓶、蓮花、法輪)和各個菩薩及佛像。包括釋迦牟尼佛、般若佛母和摩訶迦羅金剛,兩側是菩薩。這幅畫最上面描繪了過去的七尊佛,兩側是持劍的文殊菩薩,另一端是護神帕德馬帕尼。底部其中央面有Pancharakchas,它們之間散佈著Chakravartin的寶藏。供火的金剛杵在左邊,而供養者則在右邊。 在整個15和16世紀,帶有月神形象的繪畫非常流行。不知道為什麼在這段時間之後興趣減弱了。月神昌德拉神視為對人類命運有著深遠的影響,很多畫作是人們為了特別或重要的日子而繪制。值得注意的是,印度教和佛教均對月神尊祟,但大多數倖存至今的聖像均是佛教傳承。

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