Mongolian/Tibetan drawing of a REFUGE TREE
Early 19th century. It has a blind stamp with Russian text.
Overall size 48 x 37 cm. Old folds and stains and has the particular smell of burnt Juniper that characterises Mongolian manuscripts.
"In Tibetan Buddhism, the Refuge Tree, (alternate English renderings: Refuge Field, Merit Field, Field of Merit: 'field' is a rendering of the Sanskrit "kshetra"), may be represented on a thangka as a mnemonic device and precursor to being fully visualized by the sadhaka during advanced Refuge Formula or evocation, the lineage of gurus and transmission of teachings is depicted in visual form as a visual mind map.
Each denomination or sect, and even each lineage or disciplic succession or parampara has a "genealogical" chart that has come to be rendered into English under a number of names, principally Refuge Tree or Refuge Field. In this Refuge Tree are represented the founders and teachers in a tree diagram or fractal arrangement that symbolizes the interconnectedness of the various groups and constituents and as it takes a branching form is iconic of a tree and growth patterning".