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Giclee Print by Robert Beer
This thangka depicts the assembly of the forty-two 'peaceful' (zhi) and fifty-eight 'wrathful' (khro) deities that constitute the Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities of the Zhitro (Tib. zhi-khro) or Bardo Mandala. These deities are precisely described in the well-known text of the Bardo Thodol or 'Tibetan Book of the Dead', as they sequentially arise from the heart, throat and crown chakras during the forty-nine day period of the 'intermediate state' (bardo) that is said to occur between death and rebirth. Contemporary thangkas of the Bardo or shitro Mandala of Peaceful and Wrathful deities are relatively rare, but this beautiful thangka and is completely accurate in its detail and iconography. -Robert Beer