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Art work inspired by the Buddhist mythic tradition

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Mahavairocana Tathagata - 2004. Acrylic on canvas. (762x610mm)

Mahavairocana is the central figure in Shingon Buddhism - the Japanese form of esoteric or tantric Buddhism. He represents, in anthropomorphic form, the fundamental principle of the universe. His body is said to consist of all forms in the universe, his voice to be all sounds, and his mind to consist of all thought. He is accompanied by several mantras and seed syallables. Across the top is the Dainichi mantra, or mantra of light Om amoghavairocana mahamudra manipadma jvala pravarttaya hum, down the left and right are two forms of the mantra most commonly associated with Mahavairocana - a va ra ha kham and a vi ra hum kham which have a complex range of associations but are strongly connected with the great elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space. Mahavairocana himself represents the 6th element that completes the set of elements which Buddhism says makes up all of the universe: ie consciousness. His name "Mahavairocana Tathagata" is flanked by two forms of his seed syallable. The plain "a" is on the left and the more elaborate "ahm" is on the right. Tathagata means something like "thus gone" and is an epithet for a Buddha.



Shakyamuni Buddha - 2004. Acrylic on canvas. (762x610mm)

Lone Buddha done in Tibetan style, but with Sanskrit calligraphy. The sides have the Shakyamuni mantra: Om muni muni mahamuni shakyamuni svaha. Along the bottom is "Shakyamuni Tathagata" and his seed syllable bhah.

Shakyamuni Buddha - 2002. Acrylic on canvas. (2000x1500mm)

I wanted to try a large scale painting and this is it. The central figure is Shakyamuni Buddha - the histroical Buddha. Flanking him are Ananda, and Sariputta, two of his senior disciples. Arrayed above him, amongst the leaves of the Bodhi tree, is the mandala of the 5 Buddhas. Below are Manjusri, White Tara, Sarasvati, and Vajrapani in his wrathful aspect.

Gifted to the Sudarshanaloka Retreat Centre.


White Tara - 2000. Acrylic on canvas (1016x762mm)

I experienced a vision of Tara in her white form and painted this to help me recall my contact with her. Tara is the quintessence of compassion and reaches out her right hand in the symbol of generosity. Her left hand holds a spray of pale blue lotuses and makes the symbol of fearlessness through invoking the Three Jewels. Above Tara floats Amitayus - the Buddha of Infinite Life. The mountains across the bottom are from my home town - Ruapehu is smoking on his right is Ngaruahoe who is also an active volcanoe. Next on the right is Tongariro who has a flat head. Tauhara is at the left and I was born in his shadow and gazed at him every day of my childhood. The seagull is a personal symbol of freedom and sprirtual attainment