Mantra Art

July 1 - 31, 2017

from the Exhibition at the Roberson Museum,
Binghamton, NY

Art Trail Open Studio July 1 - 10 am - 3 pm

The Artist, Kurt Lichtmann, first studied Tibetan in Dharmasala, India in 1976. Much gratitude to Tibetan tutors Palden Oshoe and Namgyal Tsepak, and to Sanskrit tutor Connie Sterling. All the art is done by hand with dip pen and ink; these are originals, not prints. The artist's commission is donated in full to Tibetan temples.Om Mani Padme Hum: "Jewel in the Lotus." Tibetans say "Om Mani Peme Hung." The national mantra of Tibet, many Buddhist teachers have expounded on its many meanings. Simply, the lotus is you as you believe yourself to be. The jewel is the Infinite Spirit at your center. It is often called a mahavidya mantra, leading to spiritual illumination.

Origin: The 4th century A.D. marks the first printed occurrence of this mantra. From the Sanskrit Krandavyhastra, Buddha states, "This is the most beneficial mantra. Even I made this aspiration to all million Buddhas and subsequently received this teaching from Buddha Amitabha."  

Gayatri: The most famous mantra of the Vedas, and the daily practice of millions of Hindus. It was spontaneously composed by the sage Vishvamitra as he emerged from Samadhi. Every Hindu guru we know of has extolled the power of Gayatri. "Supreme Being, Radiant Source of Life, Divine Splendor most adorable, we meditate on Thee: Illumine us."

Mantra Yoga: Repetition of sacred phrases constitutes an entire spiritual approach. Teachers emphasize focus on the meaning, the sound, and visualizations. Adepts often state that a mantra is rooted in another plane of reality, placing the practitioner in communion with that plane and its deity.

108: Mantras are for repetition. Many cultures give 108 and 1008 mystical significance. A mala has108 beads. Hindu deities each have 108 names. Mathematics: 108 = 2x2x3x3x3.  1-0-8 is India's 9-1-1. In Japan, a bell chimes 108 times at year's end. The karate kata Goju-ryu Suparinpei translates as "108." The Ayurveda details 108 body pressure points. The Yang T'ai Ch'i form has 108 moves. Examples are numerous.

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