Initiation Card with Monk

Initiation Card with Monk
Place Made:
c. 1600
Pigment and gold on paper 
5-1/2 x 4-1/4 in. (14.0 x 10.8 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Pratap and Chitra Pal 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Museum 
Not on View

Initiation cards or tsakali are miniature paintings used in Tibetan Buddhist rituals to consecrate a temple or to give an initiation. Tsakali cards typically come in large sets numbering as many as 100. This card no doubt came from such a set.

Cards of esteemed teachers or Lamas and ceremonial objects such as this bell could be used in a number of ritual situations such as the transmission of teachings, substitutes for ceremonial items and facilitating visualizations.

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