Chapter

The Pilgrim’s Progress

Laxman S. Thakur

in Visualizing a Buddhist Sutra

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780195673142
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081943 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195673142.003.0003
The Pilgrim’s Progress

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This chapter considers three main interrelated questions: (i) modes and methods of visualization, (ii) text and image, and (iii) stylistic analysis. Taking into consideration the existence of seven modes of visual narration in early India, the Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra murals at Tabo’s gTsug-lag-khaṅ belong to meandering continuous narratives. Each textual detail of the forty-two surviving mural panels are then compared with the Tibetan, Sanskrit, and Chinese versions of the Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra. The examined Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra illustrations belong to an art style that can be called the ‘mṄa'ris style’. The murals preserve fascinating varieties of numerous architectural edifices-palaces and ordinary houses. Many times the artists have gone beyond the textual details and have displayed their creative genius superbly.

Keywords: visual narration; India; stylistic analysis; Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra; gTsug-lag-khaṅ; visualization; text; image

Chapter.  10245 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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