Art collected by Dalai Lamas exhibited in US

IANS, March 22, 2005

New York, USA -- Some of the finest works of art from India, Nepal, Tibet and Mongolia collected by the successive Dalai Lamas are being displayed here for the first time, reports UPI.

More than 100 works of art have been exhibited in California and Houston, before being moved here. The exhibition will be on till May 8.

The unprecedented exhibition of art has resulted from a tie up between the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in California and three cultural institutions in Tibet's capital Lhasa -- the palace collection, the Tibet Museum that opened in 1999, and the Norbulingka Summer Palace collection.

The Dalai Lama had to leave the art collections of Tibet behind when he fled the country in 1959 after its occupation by China. He now lives in India.

A number of Buddhist texts meticulously inscribed and brilliantly illustrated on palm leaves are included, along with musical instruments such as conch-shell trumpets mounted in gilded silver flanges decorated with dragons in high relief.

The exhibition also has art works produced in the imperial workshops of the Chinese emperors, especially during the reign of the Ming Emperor Yung-lo (1403-24).

There are also art works from the Xixia Kingdom in eastern China that was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1227.

Yung-lo and other Chinese emperors sent lavish gifts to the Dalai Lamas who held sway over Tibet as religious and temporal rulers for six centuries.

Perhaps the most lavish of Yung-lo's gifts is a gilded copper mandala, a religious knickknack of rare beauty in the form of a lotus with articulated petals that originated in Indian art of the Pala dynasty.

When the petals are opened they reveal a deity associated with death known as the Vajra Terror. He is a formidable sight with nine heads in the form of a buffalo's head, 34 arms and 16 legs. When the petals are folded up they are held together by an elaborate crown. It is as much a work of engineering as a work of art.

An example of Xixia art is a 13th-century wall hanging known as a tangka, arguably the finest of many gorgeous tangkas in the show and so exquisitely woven in silk that it might be taken for a painting.

It portrays a fierce blue-skinned demon-slaying deity Achala (The Immovable One) brandishing a sword in a powerful composition that represents one of the highest achievements of Buddhist art.

Some beautiful textiles are used in framing the deity's image, including one that has a floral pattern of Persian origin, another example of cultural cross-pollination.

The exhibit is arranged thematically, beginning with objects used in Tantric Buddhism including painted, woven and appliquéd tangkas, sculpture and ritual objects.

Other sections deal with the cultural history of Tibet, including portraits of kings, heroes and revered teachers, and the luxury goods enjoyed by the Tibetan nobility, whose right to wear conspicuous finery was protected by sumptuary laws.

There is a gilt copper crown from Nepal in the form of a pleated cap set with semi-precious stones and sceptres wrought of metals and jades.

The oldest object in the exhibit is a 7th-century gilded Nepalese statuette of Buddha Shakyamuni wearing a transparent robe.

The most recently made object is an early 20th-century gilded statuette of the deity Chakrasamvara and his consort in sacred erotic union known as "The Circle of Bliss."
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: