Black on Black Tibetan Calligraphy

Kagyu Tiger

Mounted board, gold and silver leaf, 102 x 73 cm, 2008

The tiger takes a strong place in Tibetan iconography - particularly in its role as mascot of the Great Kagyu linage, one of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The first character ‘ka’ is the first letter of the Tibetan alphabet and translates as ‘verbal’. The second, ‘gyu’, means transmission of lineage.

On the tiger’s back are three hum characters, seed syllables of the wrathful protector Dorje Trolo who rides a tiger. Dorje Trolo is one of the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) which as a yidam practice embodies the forces of insight and compassion.

Kagyu Tiger - Tibetan Calligraphy