Last year, June 2011, I went to Beijing to visit a friend. As I had been to China more than once before and had seen most of the major tourist sights, I decided to visit some 1,500 year old Buddhist caves. [I have a fascination with caves which have been inhabited by people.] Most of the caves were in Gansu province much of which had been part of Tibet before the Chinese take over, so I managed to see so I managed to see five Tibetan monasteries and some Tibetan people. A lucky surprise for me, but, of course, not pleasant for the Tibetan people.
Buddhism was introduced to Tibet in the 7th century by King Songtsen’s two wives: one Chinese, and one Nepalese. Tibetan Buddhism is quite different from Thai Buddhism in its practices as it is a mixture of Tibet’s traditional Bon religion and Buddhist doctrine. The Bon religion was quite highly developed when Buddhism was introduced and at present about 10% of Tibetans practice the Bon religion. There is much more belief in the supernatural in Tibetan Buddhism than in Theravada Buddhism which in practiced in Thailand and Sri Lanka.
All Prices are in Canadian Dollars
This is an authentic painting of the White Tara [Goddess] which was purchased in a Tibetan monastery near the city of Xining. There are 2 monasteries in that area which specialize in Tanka painting. The White Tara is the goddess of compassion, healing long life, peacefulness and purity. I have a picture of the monk who sold me the painting and a picture of a young monk painting a tanka.
Size: [29 ½ x 21 ½ in. , bottom scroll -24 ½ in. ]
$250 + Shipping $35 = $285
Hand painted tankas are very expensive, but reproductions are not. This is a reproduction of the Green Tara who is one of the most popular goddesses. Like the authentic painted Tara, it is framed in the Tibetan tanka style. The Green Tara is the goddess of enlightened activity. She drives away illness, disaster and quarrels. Also, I have an authentic painting of the Green Tara purchased from the same monastery as the White Tara painting, but it isn’t framed.
Size: [34 x 22 in., bottom scroll – 25 in.]
$90 + Shipping $39 = $129
This is a reproduction of Quan Yin who is the female representation of Buddha.
Size: [34 x 22 ½ in., bottom scroll – 25 ½ in.]
$85 + Shipping $38 = $123
This is a reproduction of the White Tara, the goddess of compassion, healing and purity.
Size: [29 x 18 ½ in., bottom scroll – 24 ½ in.]
$90 + Shipping $38 = $128
Prayer wheels are very important in Tibetan religious practice. They are turned to spread blessings to all sentient beings and to create good karma for one’s next life. Very large prayer wheels are seen outside of all the Tibetan monasteries. I have many pictures of large prayer wheels and have a picture of a Tibetan man turning a small prayer wheel.
These two prayer wheels were purchased at The Labrang Monastery which is one of the largest and most famous Tibetan monasteries. It belongs to the Yellow Hat Sect which is the same sect the Dali Lama belongs to. By the way, I was quite surprised to see a number of pictures of the Dali Lama in the monasteries. The larger prayer wheel is quite inexpensive. However the smaller one is made from turquoise and more expensive metal. I purchased these prayer wheels from 2 monks at the monastery shop and have pictures of the monk wrapping the smaller up. The monk told me that prayer wheels should be turned in a counter clockwise direction. However, I read elsewhere that the followers of the Bon religion turn the wheels counter clockwise whereas the Buddhists turn them clockwise.
Size: [8 ½ x 2 ¼ in.] Larger prayer wheel
$19 + Shipping $15 = $34
Here are 2 strands of prayer beads. Both pairs of beads are somewhat lighter in colour than appear in the picture – especially the beads on the left.
Size: [length 20 in.] Brown and amber coloured beads
$65 + Shipping $17 = $82
Size: [length 21 ½ in.] Amber coloured beads
$69 + Shipping $17 = $86
Here are 2 more strands of prayer beads and a prayer bracelet. Again the beads are lighter in colour than they appear in the picture. I have a pictures of Tibetan women wearing prayer beads and a picture of a Tibetan man wearing a similar prayer bracelet. The bracelet is elasticized, and is meant to be twisted around the wrist.
Size: [length 14 in.] Smaller amber coloured beads
$55 + Shipping $15 = $70
Size: [length 24 1/2 in.] Larger dark amber coloured beads
$75 + Shipping $17 = $92
Size: [length 12 in.] Bracelet – prayer beads
$19 + Shipping $7 = $26
Here are 3 prayer bracelets. They are elasticized and fit the wrists comfortably, and quite snugly. The size in the dimensions may seem somewhat large, but include the bead tassels. Note the 3 different coloured beads in each bracelet. Another bracelet is available in pink.
Size: [8 ½ in.] yellow [2 available]
$10 + Shipping $8 = $18
Size: [8 ½ in.] black
$10 + Shipping $8 = $18
Size: [8 ½ in.] green
$10 + Shipping $8 = $18