Laxman S. Thakur

in Visualizing a Buddhist Sutra

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780195673142
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081943 | DOI:

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This chapter addresses the cultural background of Tabo. The juxtaposition of visual and the scriptural data at Tabo appears to be unique in a number of ways. The Gaṇḍavyūha murals belong to continuirende darslellungsweise (continuous narration). As an essential component to narrative mural were added two types of inscriptions: redactional sutra text and short-label inscriptions. The short inscriptions were of seminal importance for laymen and laywomen who did not understand the abstract theories on the stages of sanctification, interpenetration, and causation but were generally attracted by the career of the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas. The visual experience of the literate Buddhists and monks was that narrative murals and inscriptional panels were actively involved in the entire spiritual process. Both the murals and the inscriptions are part of the same narrative media, sometime working simultaneously, or sometime independently, according to the capacity of the viewer.

Keywords: narrative murals; inscriptional panels; Tabo; Buddhas; Bodhisattvas

Chapter.  3248 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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