The construction of a mandala is made of squares, circles and lines in an application that rigorously follows the prescriptions of the pandit. A mandala is inhabited by only one of the gods. For another god, a similar image is created. All the symbols necessary for the mystical teaching come into one or another of these pictures.
The center is the palace where the god resides. Its gates open the way to the seven heavens and to the Earth. The associated deities are distributed according to a principle based on a compass. The top and bottom edges include the characters from the lineage of the lama and the figure of the donor. A few inscriptions are precious for better interpreting the meaning.
On November 29 in Hong Kong, Bonhams sells a mandala 84 x 73 cm painted in distemper on cloth with inscriptions in Tibetan. This piece is dedicated to Marici, the goddess of Light. It is estimated HK $ 16M, lot 117.
Sixteen other elements of the same set are scattered between public and private collections. The colors are bright and the execution is superb. Their overall analysis converges to consider that these pieces were made in posthumous tribute to the 14th lama of a Tibetan monastery of Sakya tradition. The figure of this abbot who died in 1375 of our calendar is visible in the center of the upper frieze.