Artshala: All you need to know about Buddha Thangka Paintings

In this constantly evolving contemporary world, a serene and relaxed life seems like a luxury, yet the eternally peaceful face of Gautam Buddha is one of the symbols we most connect to while seeking serenity. Buddha paintings radiate wealth, tranquillity, and a determination to strive for a better life.

Lord Buddha's teachings are embedded in the essential precepts of Buddhism. Buddha, the “Enlightened One”, stressed the renunciation of material things in life. Today, Buddha art is presented in various abstract shapes to meet people's demands, but the original paintings of Lord Buddha remain recognized as the Thangka art.


  • What are Buddha Thangka Paintings?

Buddha Thangka Paintings are some of the original Buddhist paintings, some of them in Aurangabad's famed Ajanta Cave. A Thangka art is a Buddhist artwork used for many reasons. They are used as teaching aids - teachers, that are also called lamas, carried these scrolls to preach the life and teachings of Buddha. They essentially represented major events in his life, Buddha as a deity in different forms and Buddhist concepts in diverse ways.

The representation of historical events in Buddha's paintings became an essential tool for teaching Buddhism to students. Buddha art is considered a representation of spiritual reality. Buddha paintings are also linked to meditation and are often utilized for religious events. Thangka art used in monasteries is also frequently commissioned and is seen as a way of creating spiritual merit. with the increasing popularity of Buddha painting, it is now possible to access it in varied forms and media.


  • How are they made?

A Buddha Thangka painting is traditionally geometrical; the forms and motifs are methodical and produced on grids. They are frameless and created on cotton or silk appliqué with organic colours. When not on exhibit, they are folded up like Chinese scroll paintings and stored carefully. Although Thangka art is typically modest in size, some are produced larger than life in order to be placed on monastery walls.

These artworks often portray a central figure that is the major god, as well as several minor figures that are related to the portrayal of a certain event. The painting's border is adorned with a brocade of different colours representing various things: red represents the colour of the lamas, yellow represents Buddha, and blue represents eternity.


  • Buddha Paintings and Feng Shui

Contemporary Buddha paintings are a typical mash-up of traditional Thangka paintings and abstract Buddha paintings. While abstract Buddha art complements modern interiors and gives a sense of tranquillity and peace, the traditional Buddha Thangka paintings include Mandalas, which are frequently employed as a method for tantric meditation and visually reflect the complete meditation process.

Buddha paintings, whether traditional Thangka art or not, are intimately connected to Feng Shui and Vaastu Shastra. Placing a Buddha painting in your house or office is thought to bring wealth, good fortune, and a sense of serenity to everyone. It promotes the flow of Chi, which is regarded as life's force. Hence, a Buddha painting is always held in high regard.



  • The depictions of Lord Buddha

Traditional Buddha Thangka paintings also portray Lord Buddha in different forms; like Vairocana, which is a celestial form of the Buddha. In other Buddha paintings, he is depicted as the perfect Buddha of meditation and is seen holding in his hand, a ‘teaching circle’. Or he himself is shown preaching - delivering his sermons and teachings to his disciples and pointing them towards the true nature of the universe known as the dharma.

One of the interesting Thangka art depicts the feminine counterpart of Buddha. Tara is a female Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism who is renowned as the mother of freedom. The presence of the deity Tara is seen to be auspicious in the workplace and aids in achieving success. She is worshipped as a meditation deity in order to develop and maintain characteristics like compassion, love, kindness, and nothingness. White and Green Tara are two of the most revered forms - the Green Tara is often shown with an extended right hand which is a gesture of generosity and her extended right leg depicts readiness to take swift action.


Lord Buddha takes many forms, but the ultimate aim he preaches is to discover inner peace as a human being and to live the greatest life possible with compassion and love. Our Buddha art collection is an attempt to create a world in which art and good fortune coexist.