Thangkas depict the life and teachings of the Buddha. Buddhist monks embrace austerity, discipline and a life dedicated to learning the teachings of the Buddha. Thangkas are spiritual expressions and it is believed that the subject of each Thangka, reflects the aspirations of the person who acquires or commissions it.
These are made on plain fabric using natural colours although the more affluent have options in fine silk with elaborate borders. Each is a work of dedication, fine craftsmanship, skill and spiritual expression.
The connotations are always sacred and reveal a higher truth that mankind aspires to learn about in its quest for meaning. The Mandala, a diagrammatic representation, remains a widely recognized work. They are believed to bringing prosperity, longevity and grace.
The painter of these Thangkas is Surya Lama. He was born in 1961, in Lhasa, Tibet and in his teens became a monk at the Lamayuru Monastery in Ladakh, India. He dedicated himself to training on becoming a Thangka painter for 3 years prior to choosing proxity to the Buddhist spiritual Head, the Dalai Lama, in McLeodganj. This is His Highness the Dalai Lama’s home. Here, he spent 5 years to study the craft further at the Norbalingka Institute for Tibetan arts.