ARTEFACTS

  • Үл хөдлөгч / Мижид / Ülü ködelküi / Aγšubi / Aγšuwabhi
  • Ül xödlögč / Miǰid
  • Mi bskyod pa
  • Aksobhya
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  • Tsha tsha (votive offering)
  • 18th-19th century
  • Clay
  • Height: 4 cm / Width: not filled / Depth: not filled
  • Collection: Hans Leder, Inv. Nr.: 63428
  • Weltmuseum Wien
  • © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM
  •  
The tsha tsha mostly take the form of a small statue, modeled in semi-relief, often within a frame or they take the form of a stupa (mchood-rten). The tsha tsha may represent one of the Buddhist divinities and contain one of the many formula that are believed to sum up the Buddhist doctrine. Usually a tsha tsha (M. tsagts burkhan) is made out of a mixture of clay and water, to which grains or the ashes of some famous lama or other illustrious person are frequently added. These special substances and consecrations impart beneficent efficacy. The paste is formed using a mould. The mould can be used to reproduce the same image inexpensively in large numbers. Transportation of such small objects was no problem. It may be for these two reasons that many identical images are to be found in Leder's collection in Vienna. The tsha tsha probably originated in India where early examples have been found at different places of pilgrimage. Such tsha tsha may have been taken by pilgrims back to their homes as souvenirs of the holy places they had visited. This may have been the way tsha tsha were imported into Tibet and further, as well as with the spread of Buddhism to Mongolia. Tsha tsha are found deposited in varying numbers in the temples and stupas, mostly in special places. They were left as the »hearts« (traditional expression of the Mahayana) of the returning pilgrims. Small tsha tsha may be used worn in amulet boxes, framed ones may be part of house altars. This tsha tsha depicts Akshobhya, Buddha of the East within the group of the Five Transcendent Buddhas. His specific ability is to transform delusion into the clear light of wisdom. Akshobhya is sitting on a lotus-throne holding a vajra in his left and his right hand in earth-touching position.
© M.-K. Lang
/ Mongolia / 18.-19. Jh. / Weltmuseum Wien / © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM