Shakyamuni Buddha depicting Bhumisparsha mudra is the centerpiece of this Shakyamuni Tibetan Thangka Painting. Additionally, floating above him are 2 more Shakyamuni Buddha depictions displaying the Abhaya and also Dharmachakra mudra. These three mudras are integral to Buddhist teachings and they are also attributed exclusively to Shakyamuni Buddha.
The Bhumisparsha mudra is also known as the “earth touching” mudra. Shakyamuni Buddha used this mudra to call the earth goddess to witness his vanquishment of the demon Mara (defilements). As a result, after 6 years of complete dedication he had developed the “middle path” to enlightenment.
After he had become a perfected being, he taught the Dharma to all sentient life. Indeed, Shakyamuni Buddha is the Buddha of our era and the founder of Buddhism. Therefore, this Shakyamuni Tibetan Thangka painting is a depiction of the founding father of Buddhism in our era.
The most important aspect of the Dharma path is the practice of meditation. The left hand of Shakyamuni Buddha is using the Dhyana mudra also known as the “meditation mudra”. Additionally, other important symbolic features of our Shakyamuni Tibetan Thangka painting are evident here. These features include the right turning hair coils, third eye of wisdom, ushnisha topknot and also the meditational bowl in the palm of the left hand.
The meditation bowl is most important of these symbols because it holds the three nectars needed for personal salvation. These three nectars annihilate the three poisons of delusion, hatred and ill will.