Taima Mandala

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Taima Mandala, Kamakura period, 14th century, Japan

The Taima Mandala (當麻曼荼羅,綴織当麻曼荼羅図) is a mandala in Japanese Pure Land Buddhism. The original copy of the mandala is still housed in the Taima-dera temple in Nara, Japan, and was woven c. 763. The mandala is appointed as a national treasure of Japan on April 27, 1961. Many copies have been made since, and the original work has degraded considerably. According to popular legend, Chūjō-hime witnessed the creation of the mandala, crafted from fibers of lotus stems by two nuns who were thought to be Amida Buddha and Kannon Bodhisattva. The imagery of the Mandala is based mostly on the Sutra of the Contemplation of Amitayus 観無量寿経, and has been the subject of several doctrinal commentaries in Japanese Buddhism.

The central image is the Pure Land itself, while the left, right, and lower borders are lined with images from the Contemplation Sutra. The left shows, first, the discovery of the Sutra on Vulture Peak at the top, and then illustrates the introduction of the Sutra, from the bottom upward: Prince Ajasatru's temptation, the imprisonment of his father and then his mother, and Queen Vaidehi's prayers answered by Shakyamuni Buddha. Shakyamuni transmits the knowledge of the Pure Land to his disciple in the last panel, second from the top.

The right side illustrates the Thirteen Contemplations, from the top down, and the bottom frames illustrate the nine levels of birth.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]