Chinese Arts and Crafts
Stone carvings exist in great numbers in Tibet, and they can be found almost everywhere. They include Buddhist stone statues in the monasteries, reliefs of Buddhist deities on mountain cliffs, the mani (prayer stone) piles with the "Six- Syllable True Teaching" engraved on them, large stone slabs bearing engraved Buddhist texts, and stone lions guarding the entrances to gardens. Some of these carvings are cultural relics and works of art which date far back in history.
The stone Buddhist images in monasteries and temples are either reliefs or carved in the round and some of the reliefs have the inside hollowed out. These Buddhist stone carvings usually show single images; those with twin images on them are rare. Most of the Buddhist images carved on the mountain cliffs and the Six-Syllable True Teaching engravings are found along the roads leading to holy places, mountains or lakes. They line these routes, appearing individually or in groups. Some of themare painted in colour, or given coloured out lines. When pilgrims see them at a distance, they will start praying and counting the beads of their rosaries, as they walk up to them. Then they will perform prostration ritual. By doing so, the pilgrims, as if with the help of the deities, will instantly feel relieved of their fatigue, and be given new strength to continue with their journeys.
Tibetan stone carving is characterized by the simplicity of its art. However, it also suggests a sense of power. Works of early times are bold in style, while those of modern times are more elaborate.
138. The Kalacakra Vajra. Stone, 12cm tall. In the Sagya Monastery.186页
139. The Kalacakra Vajra. Stone, 10cm tall. In the Sagya Monastery. 187页
140. The Bhairava Vajra. Stone, 20cm tall. In the Sagya Monastery. 188页
141. The Bhairava Vajra. Stone, 19cm tall. In the Sagya Monastery. 189页
142. These stupas seem to stand out from the stone slab on which they are carved. About 50cm in height. In the Xalu Monastery. 190页
143. Buddha images carved on a stone slab. About 40cm in height. In the Samye Monastery.191页
144. Carving on a mountain cliff. Such carvings of deities are usually found on the routes to holy places and they appear in individual or group images. This one is a group image carving. The yak horns are offered by Buddhist followers and bear the inscription "om, ma, ni, pod, me, hum", each of the syllables representing a Buddhist text. 192页
145. Buddha images carved on themountain- side behind the Drepung Monastery.193页
146. Stone carvings on the mountainside bchind the Sera Monastery. The image of Byams-chen chos-rje, founder of the monastery. appears at the top with those of Esoteric Dharmapalas and Bhairava Vajras belou him. 194页
147. Stone carvings of Esoteric Buddhas on the King of Medicine Hill in Lhasa. 196页
148. Two carved Buddha images, about 2 metres in height. 197页
149. Mountain-cliff Buddha carvings near Lhasa representing (from left) Mafijusri, Avalokitesvara, Vajradhara and Hayagriva. Two metres in height. 198页
150. This dharmapala, with his hair standing on its end and his eyes showing extreme wrath, is going to break through the mountains. His head measures about 30cm in height. 199页
151. Carved images of Buddhist deities in a cave. The one in the front represents the Laksmi Sri, a deity highly revered by Esoteric Buddhism. 200页