It is believed that Thangka was first drawn as an inscription for a code of conduct suggested by the creator of Buddhist philosophy, Gautama Buddha. Buddhist practitioners believe that Thangkas are energetically charged and can bring positive changes to their owner. All over Asia, Thangkas are used as a spiritual medium to attract wealth and abundance, as well as a protective tool against any unwanted energies.
An outstanding difference between traditional Tibetan art and other contemporary art forms is the motivation. A Thangka’s creation is a skilful meditative practice and the intention that goes into its creation is essential. Artists will not paint on a day they feel their mind is not calm and pure. This helps in enhancing the positive mindset that goes into the painting. Devoid of ego, many Thangka artists will not sign their paintings, firmly believing their ego should not be present on sacred images.
The paint used to make a premium quality Thangka is derived from precious & semi-precious natural minerals, crystals and plant materials, such as pearl, coral, lapiz lazuli, cinnabar, sulfur, azurite, malachite etc. These natural substances are well known for their healing properties & power, and can help enhance the positive flow of energy within a space.
Thangkas often use sacred geometry to create perfect geometrical shapes and aesthetic looks, which can help create a sacred space at home. There are a lot of philosophies and studies about the flow and movement of energy within a space and how to guide it to offer the best benefits to the person. Among them, there is Feng Shui which is an ancient Chinese science of harmony and prosperous living. It suggests that one of the best ways to eliminate negative and enhance positive energies around us is to keep the right piece of art.
Other philosophies, such as Indian Vastu Shastra and Japanese Wabi Sabi, agree on this and suggest that the right painting can help bring harmony to peoples’ lives through improving the space where they spend the majority of their time.
Whatever your beliefs are, a beautifully made Thangka can be an impressive decorative addition to any house!