8. Shakyamuni Buddha Other Deities
Style: All-Color (tson-thang)

Siddhartha Gautama is the historical Buddha and the initiator of Buddhism. He was born in 563 B.C. as a prince in the Sakya clan and given the name Śa-kya-muni after his birthplace. The historical Buddha is manifested with 32 major and 80 minor signs of divinity as per the ancient texts. The five significant physical signs of his journey towards enlightenment are: extended earlobes since being a prince; webbed fingers; the ushnisa or a protrusion on the top of his head epitomizing his spiritual power; an urna or curl of hair amidst the eyes, symbolizing the third eye; and a chakra or wheel on each foot and palm. He is often depicted in Padmasana or the seated lotus posture with monastic robes wrapped around one or both shoulders. Here he is shown in the earth- witnessing posture or bhumisparshmudra, where he is touching the earth with his right hand as a testimony of his enlightenment and his left hand holds a begging bowl.

This thangka is part of a set created for the “Shantideva: A Guide for the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life” collection in Tucson, Arizona. The deities at the top are Green Tara, His Holiness Dalia Lama, and Manjurshri. Bottom left is Sariputta, one of the two main disciples of the Buddha. Bottom right is Prince Siddharta Guatama in his palace.