This is a sacred depiction of a Shakyamuni Buddha Mandala Thangka Painting. Therefore, it serves as an important element in Tibetan Buddhist practice rituals. This sacred diagram depicts Shakyamuni Buddha in the center of the square surrounded by the Eighteen Arhats. There are two standing Arhats on each side of him and 16 surround him siting on the pink lotus petals. Additionally, on the outside of the square the four guardian kings guard the four cardinal directions.
This sacred land inside the circle is pure and kept separate from the vicissitudes of samsara. As a result, devotees can only enter the diagram through spiritual realization. In the midst of the Buddha land Shakyamuni sits in full lotus pose expressing Bhumisparsha mudra. Therefore, his right hand is stretched over his right leg and it is lightly touching the ground. As such, Shakyamuni calls the earth goddess to witness his vanquishment of the demon Mara. Therefore, we can assume this Shakyamuni Buddha Mandala Thangka painting depicts the origin of Buddhism in our time.
Additionally, Shakyamuni Buddha holds the meditational alms bowl in the palm of his left hand. Inside the bowl are the three nectars for personal salvation. These three nectars annihilate the three poisons – hatred, greed and ignorance.