Tibetan Conch Shell with Padmasambhava Hand Carved
Weight: 1.14 kg Size: 20 cm Material: Conch shell
About the Product
Iconography The khatvanga a danda with three severed heads denoting the three kayas (the three bodies of a Buddha: the dharmakaya sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya) crowned by a trishula and dressed with a sash of the Himalayan Rainbow or Five Pure Lights of the Mahabhuta is a particular divine attribute of Padmasambhava and intrinsic to his iconographic representation. His two eyes are wide open in a piercing gaze. On his body he wears a white vajra undergarment and on top of this in layers a red robe a dark blue mantrayana tunic a red monastic shawl decorated with a golden flower pattern and a maroon cloak of silk brocade. He has one face and two hands. In his right hand he holds a five-pronged vajra at his heart; and in his left which rests in the gesture of equanimity he holds a skull-cup in the centre of which is a vase of longevity filled with the nectar of deathless wisdom. Cradled in his left arm is a three-pointed khatvanga representing the consort Mandarava. On his head he wears a five-petalled lotus hat. Wrathful and smiling he blazes magnificently with the splendour of the major and minor marks. He is seated with his two feet in the royal posture.
Life Story According to tradition Padmasambhava was incarnated as an eight-year-old child appearing in a lotus blossom floating in Lake Dhanakosha in the kingdom of Oḍḍiyāna traditionally identified with the Swat Valley of South Asia in present-day Pakistan. His special nature was recognized by the childless local king of Oḍḍiyāna and was chosen to take over the kingdom but he left Oḍḍiyāna for Northern parts of India. In Rewalsar known as Tso Pema in Tibetan he secretly taught tantric teachings to Mandarava who was the local king's daughter. The king found out and tried to burn him but it is believed when the smoke cleared he was intact and in meditation. The king offered Padmasambhava his kingdom and Mandarava. He left with Mandarava and later in Maratika cave in Nepal after practicing secret tantric consort rituals Amitayus appeared and they both achieved immortal bodies in the form of the living rainbow body of the Great Transference which is completely different and much rarer than a dead body dissolving into light or the more usual rainbow body of a living yet mortal human as sometimes still achieved by Dzogchen practitioners of Padmasambhava's terma. So both Padmasambhava and Mandarava are still believed to be alive and active in Phowa Chenpo form by their followers. She and Padmasambhava's other main consort Yeshe Tsogyal who was responsible for hiding his numerous terma later in Tibet became fully enlightened. Many thangkas and paintings show Padmasambhava in between them.
His fame became known to Trisong Detsen the 38th king of the Yarlung dynasty and the first Emperor of Tibet (742Â–797) whose kingdom was beset by evil mountain deities. The king invited Padmasambhava to Tibet where he used his tantric powers to subdue the evil deities he encountered along the way eventually receiving the Emperor's wife identified with the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal as a consort. This was in accordance with the tantric principle of not eliminating negative forces but redirecting them to fuel the journey toward spiritual awakening. In Tibet he founded the first monastery in the country Samye Gompa initiated the first monks and introduced the people to the practice of Tantric Buddhism.
Padmasambhava had five major female tantric companions the so-called 'Five Wisdom Dakinis' (Wylie: Ye-shes mKha-'gro lnga) or 'Five Consorts.' In Padmasambhava's biography - they are described as the five women "who had access to the master's heart" and practiced tantric rites which are considered to have exorcised the previous demons of Tibet and converted them into protectors of the country.' They were: Mandarava of Zahor - the emanation of Vajravarahi's Body; Belwong Kalasiddhi of (North-West) India - the emanation of Vajravarahi's Quality Belmo Sakya Devi of Nepal; the emanation of Vajravarahi's Mind Yeshe Tsogyal of Tibet; the emanation of Vajravarahi's Speech and Mangala or Tashi Kyedren of "the Himalayas" - the emanation of Vajravarahi's Activity.
In Bhutan he is associated with the famous Paro Taktsang or "Tiger's Nest" monastery built on a sheer cliff wall about 500m above the floor of Paro valley. It was built around the Taktsang Senge Samdup (stag tshang seng ge bsam grub) cave where he is said to have meditated in the 8th Century. He flew there from Tibet on the back of Yeshe Tsogyal whom he transformed into a flying tigress for the purpose of the trip. Later he travelled to Bumthang district to subdue a powerful deity offended by a local king. Padmasambhava's body imprint can be found in the wall of a cave at nearby Kurje Lhakhang temple.
Padmasambhava also hid a number of religious treasures (termas) in lakes caves fields and forests of the Himalayan region to be found and interpreted by future tertÃ¶ns or spiritual treasure-finders. According to Tibetan tradition the Bardo Thodol (commonly referred to as the Tibetan Book of the Dead) was among these hidden treasures subsequently discovered by a Tibetan terton Karma Lingpa.
Tantric cycles related to Padmasambhava are not just practiced by the Nyingma they even gave rise to a new offshoot of BÃ¶n which emerged in the 14th century called the New BÃ¶n. Prominent figures of the Sarma (new translation) schools such as the Karmapas and Sakya lineage heads have practiced these cycles and taught them. Some of the greatest tertons revealing teachings related to Padmasambhava have been from the Kagyu or Sakya lineages. The hidden lake temple of the Dalai Lamas behind the Potala called Lukhang is dedicated to Dzogchen teachings and has murals depicting the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava. Padmasambhava established Vajrayana Buddhism and the highest forms of Dzogchen (Mengagde) in Tibet and transformed the entire nation.
On Padmasambhava's consort practice with Princess Sakya Devi from Nepal it is said: "In a state of intense bliss Padmasambhava and Sakyadevi realized the infinite reality of the Primordial Buddha Mind the All-Beneficent Lord (Samantabhadra) whose absolute love is the unimpeded dynamo of existence. Experiencing the succession of the four stages of ecstasy their mutual state of consciousness increased from height to height. And thus meditating on Supreme Vajrasattva Heruka as the translucent image of compassionate wrathful (energized) activity they together acquired the mahamudra of Divinity and attained complete Great Enlightenmen
Mantra of Padmasambhava
Oṃ Āḥ Hūṃ Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hūṃ (Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum)
Sankha: Brief Introduction
An offering vessel; a symbol of Vishnu. In Hindu tradition the conch shell seems to have been extensively used in wars by ancient Indian. The white conch shell whose humming sound proclaims the glory of the saints. It is especially given as a symbol to the gods as the sound vibrated through a shell penetrates far and wide.CONCH SHELL: IconographicThe conch shell this has been used as the original from the past ancient times in ancient history of Nepal and India these horns are used to commence is any rituals or worn. Popularly known as Shanka is a musical instrument blow by the lord Krishna to declare the start of the war of Mahabharata. in all the epic stories of Hinduism shankha has been described being carried by all the heroes of the past.
In Vajrayana Buddhism.This has been recognised as the symbol of fearlessness and proclaimed the truth of dharma. This is the one of the eight symbols of good fortune this stands for the popularity and fame of Buddhist teaching which spread in all direction like the sound of the Conch Trumpet.
In addition to Buddha's throat the conch also appears as an auspicious mark on the soles palms limbs breast or forehead of a divinely endowed being.
The fourfold caste division is also applied as follows:
The smooth white conch represents the Brahmin caste (priests) The red conch the kshatriyas (warriors) The yellow conch the vaishyas (merchants) The grey conch the shudras (labourers) Additionally there is a fundamental classification of conch shells occurring in nature: those that turn to the left and those which turn to the right. Shells which spiral to the right in a clockwise direction are a rarity and are considered especially sacred. The right-spiralling movement of such a conch is believed to echo the celestial motion of the sun moon planets and stars across the heavens. The hair whorls on Buddha's head spiral to the right as do his fine body hairs the long curl between his eyebrows (urna) and also the conch-like swirl of his navel. The Left Turning Conch The Right Turning ConchIt is one of the main emblems of Vishnu and his conch bears the name of Panchajanya meaning 'having control over the five classes of beings.'
Arjuna's (hero of the Mahabharata) mighty conch was known as Devadatta whose triumphant blast brought terror to the enemy. As a proclaiming battle horn the conch is akin to the bugle. It is an emblem of power authority and sovereignty whose blast is believed to banish evil spirits avert natural disasters and scare away poisonous creatures.
Today in its greatly tamed avatar the conch is used in Tibetan Buddhism to call together religious assemblies. During the actual practise of rituals it is used both as a musical instrument and as a container for holy water.
Ancient Indian belief classifies the conch into male and female varieties. The thicker-shelled bulbous one is thought to be the male (purusha) and the thin-shelled slender conch to be the female (shankhini).
Buddhist monk blowing conch shell at Mindrolling Monastery