Illuminated Iconographic Tibetan Calligraphy

Sacred Mantra

Chinese ink and Japanese mineral paint on heavy watercolour paper, 73 x 56 cm, 2010

The central column transcending vertically from the open lotus and moon disk represents stainless purity and is the Mani Mantra of lovingkindness: ‘oṃ ma ṇi pad me hūṃ’. This is depicted in a rare form of Phags-pa script style that originated in 12th century China.

The background of swirling water pattern represents the ocean of Saṃsāra. Flanking the mantra on either side is a prayer to engender ‘pure perception’ in the Tibetan Dru-tsa script using indigo ink. The prayer, translated by Katia Holmes for this piece, reads:

‘Integrating everything into the spiritual path:
Each and every being in this universe is Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of compassion,
Every sound heard hums the melody of the six sacred syllables,
This very place is truly the Pure Land of Great Bliss,
Devoid of any actual reality, like a magic show, like a dream.
It is as though we had already been reborn there.
As we cultivate “pure perception” with great joy, all veils are cleared.’

This calligraphy was created for the The International Exhibition of Calligraphy 2010, hosted by the Contemporary Calligraphy Museum of Moscow in the Russian city of Velikly Novgorod.

Click here for more details on the exhibition and a detailed explanation of this calligraphy.

Sacred Mantra - Tibetan Calligraphy