Tuesday, 14 December 2010

We are what we think.

The Dhammapada is a collection of over 400 verses given by Buddha over 2560 years ago, these teachings of the Buddha are just as vibrant and relevant today as then. They have contributed as many famous quotes that inspire and express the basic Buddhist principles, which are cherished by Buddhists of all traditions.
The Dhammapada was one of the first Buddhist texts to be translated into English as early as 1830, yet it was only translated into Tibetan from its original Pali text in later years.

Perhaps the most widely know quote is "we are what we think", this derives from the very first twin verses of the Dhammapada. There are many translation variations of these verses, below is the translation of Gendun Chopel which can be found in a fine Tibetan English publication of the Dhammapada by Dharma Publishing: ISBN: 0-913546-98-4

A detail from an illuminated calligraphy called "Like a Shadow" showing an artists impression of the monk Caksupala, whom the twin verses where spoken to. Here the Tibetan robed monk, with his shadow, holds the heading character of the first verse. © Tashi Mannox 2010.

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. If the mind is clear, what ever we do or say the mind will bring happiness that will follow you like your shadow.
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. If the mind is polluted, what ever we do or say leads to suffering which will follow you as a cart trails a horse.”

"Like a Shadow" 76x57 cm © Tashi Mannox 2009, Chinese ink and acrylic paint illuminate a background of a wash of Earl Grey tea stain.

Above and below the complete two verses shown in the classical Tibetan Tsugring script, below in the Tsugtung script, these script names describe the styles as long script and short script.

An example of the Tibetan Tsugtung script style, the vowel signs that sit above and below the main body of text are highlighted in blue. © Tashi Mannox 2009.

The text of the final verse is shown tumbling off the back of a cart pulled by a fleeing horse, the analogy of this is the artists impression of the last verse: "suffering which will follow you as a cart trails a horse".

༄། དུས་ཀྱི་ཉེན་ཏེ་རྒྱལ་པོ་འགྲོ་གྱུར་ན། ལོངས་སྤྱོད་མཛའ་དང་བཤེས་རྣམས་རྗེས་མི་འབྲང། སྐྱེས་བུ་དག་ནི་གང་ནས་གར་འགྲོ་ཡང། ལས་ནི་གྲིབ་མ་བཞིན་དུ་རྗེས་སུ་འབྲང།

When his time has come, even a king has to die, And neither his friends nor his wealth can follow him. So for us—wherever we stay, wherever we go—Karma follows us like a shadow.
Sūtra of Instructions to the King


High quality Limited edition prints are available of "like a Shadow" in two sizes: Larger @ 67x50 cm and smaller Half size @ 50x36.4 cm

The reproductions are premium-quality giclée printed, on mould-made papers (the finest and oldest paper-making technique) of 310-315 g/m². The papers; Velin and Aquarelle 100% rag, are of museum conservation standard, ensures stability and UV colorfast ink longevity of more than 120 years.

Each image is carefully colour matched and in sharpness to the original artwork. The prints are hand signed and stamped with one of the artists’ personal seals.

If you wish for a print please contact Tashi to place your order, stating the name of the art piece, the size and address to where you wish the print to be posted.

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