Empowered Masters's front cover

Empowered Masters Tibetan Wall Paintings of Mahasiddhas at Gyantse

Genre:Asian History
Language: English


Published: February 01, 2006

About the Book

Some of the most remarkable Tibetan Buddhist buildings that have endured the test of time are the temples and chapels at Gyantse in Southern Tibet. Beautiful wall murals showing the famous eighty-four mahasiddhas, tantric adepts who, after much practice and suffering, have attained perfection and are endowed with superhuman skills, can be found in the chapel of the Palkhor Tsuglagkhang on the top floor. These photos from the 15th century depict the most stunning painted mahasiddhas that still exist in Tibet, but they have never been published as a full cycle. This is partially due to the extremely difficult task of identification.

Empowered Masters: Tibetan Wall Paintings of Mahasiddhas at Gyantse describes and illustrates these important murals. Each of the colorful masters has a Tibetan script name and is portrayed effectively. The narratives of the Mahasiddhas describe unusual, existential lives that embrace the full range of human experience, in addition to providing insight into a number of tantric practices. Before leading the reader through each wall fresco in this magnificent church, this book provides background information on the Gyantse monastic complex. An accompanying description can be found on the page just across from each full-color plate of a Mahasiddha. The book also briefly examines stylistic elements, and the preface and appendices provide fascinating further information.