Creating the Medicine Buddha mantra in ancient Lantsa Sanskrit
According the the visualisation of the Medicine Buddha sādhanā, the dhāraṇī mantra of Medicine Buddha turns clockwise around the seed syllable hum, as illustrated above in blue.
The line of small text at the base of the above art piece translates as "The hum in the heart of the self and the front visualisations is surrounded by the mantra garland"
It is impossible of course, to illustrate the turning of the mantra in such a way as a calligraphy on a flat piece of paper, so to illustrate this, the mantra is depicted starting at the bottom of a circle of text that reads to follow anticlockwise. If the circle would be movable, fixing the gaze to read the mantra at one fixed point, the circle of text would turn clockwise.
In creating this art-piece, Tashi needed to take particular care to organise the length of the mantra to fit the full circle, much calculation and measurements in preparation was needed. Each character of the mantra and the seed syllable at the centre was traced and positioned before inking in.
Using a window makes a very effective 'light-box' when tracing the reverse of the image before applying to the artwork.
In filling with black ink.
This art piece was especially created for the Rubin Museum of Art as part of their "Bodies in Balance" exhibition of Tibetan medical art. Tashi gives a lecture/calligraphy interactive at the Rubin on the 2nd April 2014, for more details please follow the link here.