1740: Thangka Depicting Vajrabhairava


Thangka Depicting Vajrabhairava (1740)

This thangka, a type of Tibetan painting that uses ground mineral pigment on cotton or silk, shows Yamantaka Vajrabhairava, a deity in the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. He is shown with nine heads (the largest that of a buffalo), thirty-four arms, and sixteen legs. He embraces his consort Vajravetali and tramples underfoot a menagerie of animals, birds, humans and minor deities. Above the circle of flame that surrounds them sits the primordial Buddha Vajradhara in union with his consort Vajrayogini; they in turn are flanked by lamas, bodhisattvas, and monks. An inscription on the reverse reads as follows:

Due to the wisdom of all the Buddhas who achieved the best compassion, this wrathful image of Vajrabhairava, lord of the past, present and future, is made by compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings. In the three worlds of the past, present and future, may the fierce Vajrabhairava qualm all frightening forces. May this conqueror, the hero who overwhelms Yama, lord of death, speak to all sentient beings. By the compassion of the Buddha, there is the great brilliance of this one who conquers and makes the red blood flow from the heart of all the demons.

On this day which is the time of desiring to make the mandala ritual, may the ferocious brilliance of the wrathful one show all the power of his fierce nature. At the top of his head, there is the Buddha who is the lord, then there are surrounding heads of the protectors of the word of the Buddha, and marvels [of the Buddha’s teachings] thus [this appearance] frightens the demons completely. By the glorious means and manifestations [of this mandala and the thangka portrait of Vajrabhairava], may it be particularly noble and auspicious. This Vajrabhairava has his body dancing above the many corpses, manifesting his vision and his attention to all the phenomenal world.

May the capable Namkha Lodro Zangpo, who is the master of the mandala, completely achieve the full blessing of the strength, the intelligence and uphold the mantra [of Vajrabhairava]. By the meditative visions of Vajrabhairava, may it be a source of earnest desire for doing good and achieving the full moment of this power over enemies. Here in the land of the snowy mountains, where the Vajrayana teachings are firmly understood and practiced, in this unrivalled place of solitary meditation, may there be the liberation [from all suffering] by this best of all religious paths. May this state persist without any obstructions during all the lifetime.

The wisdom of Dharma is the way for all sentient beings. May all sentient beings reach the unparallelled level of Vajrabhairava without delay. May the above wishes come to fruition, at the great Shri Danyakatakuri College of Jamgon Lama Tsongkapa, according to the teaching of his mantra and sutra. May the consciousness of the faithful Wangchuk Gelek, also known as Gyatso, be in the presence of Bhairava. This commission (of the thangkha) has been called for to assure reincarnation during this time of the reign of the 30th throne holder of the seat of Gonlung Jampa Ling, who is the pristine third reincarnation of the great Palden Gyatso, Ngawang Geleg Gyatso. [Dated] in the Year of the Iron Monkey, and in the common year of 1740, at the seat of Gonlung Jampa Ling. (source)

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1939: A Cat Standing on Its Hind Legs

Louis Wain - A cat standing on its hind legs, formed by patterns supposed to be in the -Early Greek- style (1925-1939).

Louis Wain: A cat standing on its hind legs, formed by patterns supposed to be in the “Early Greek” style (1925-1939).

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1923: Plum Tree

Theodore Earl Butler - Prunier en Automne, Jardin de Theodore Earl Butler, Giverny (1923)

Theodore Earl Butler: Autumn Plum Tree in the Artists’ Garden, Giverny, 1923

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1973: Heavy Smog

chester higgins - epa photo - the george washington bridge in heavy smog. view toward the new jersey side of the hudson river (may 1973)

Chester Higgins: Environmental Protection Agency photo – “The George Washington Bridge in heavy smog. View toward the New Jersey side of the Hudson River” (May 1973)

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1986: Lower Manhattan

yvonne jacquette - a glimpse of lower manhattan (night) (1986)

Yvonne Jacquette: A Glimpse of Lower Manhattan (Night) (1986)

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1859: Morning Over New York

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College

Charles Herbert Moore: Morning Over New York (c. 1859)

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1966: I Am Your Greatest Fan

yousuf karsh - mlk (1962)   nichelle nichols - nasa photo (1977)

I grew up in musical theater. To me, the highlight and the epitome of my life as a singer and actor and a dancer/choreographer was to star on Broadway. And as my popularity grew once [Star Trek] was on the air, I was beginning to get all kinds of offers. And I decided I was going to leave, go to New York and make my way on the Broadway stage. And a funny thing happened.

I went in to tell Gene Roddenberry that I was leaving after the first season, and he was very upset about it. And he said, take the weekend and think about what I am trying to achieve here in this show. You’re an integral part and very important to it. And so I said, yes, I would. And that – on Saturday night, I went to an NAACP fundraiser, I believe it was, in Beverly Hills. And one of the promoters came over to me and said, Ms. Nichols, there’s someone who would like to meet you. He says he is your greatest fan.

And I’m thinking a Trekker, you know. And I turn, and before I could get up, I looked across the way and there was the face of Dr. Martin Luther King smiling at me and walking toward me. And he started laughing. By the time he reached me, he said, yes, Ms. Nichols, I am your greatest fan. I am that Trekkie.

And I was speechless. He complimented me on the manner in which I’d created the character. I thanked him, and I think I said something like, Dr. King, I wish I could be out there marching with you. He said, no, no, no. No, you don’t understand. We don’t need you on the – to march. You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for. So, I said to him, thank you so much. And I’m going to miss my co-stars.

And his face got very, very serious. And he said, what are you talking about? And I said, well, I told Gene just yesterday that I’m going to leave the show after the first year because I’ve been offered – and he stopped me and said: You cannot do that. And I was stunned. He said, don’t you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen. He says, do you understand that this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch. I was speechless.

Nichelle Nichols (Lieutenant Uhura) (source)

Yousuf Karsh: Martin Luther King, Jr. (1962)
NASA photo of Nichols taken March 24, 1977; “From the late 1970’s until the late 1980’s, NASA employed Nichelle Nichols to recruit new astronaut candidates. Many of her new recruits were women or members of racial and ethnic minorities, including Guion Bluford (the first African-American astronaut), Sally Ride (the first female American astronaut), Judith Resnik (one of the original set of female astronauts, who perished during the launch of the Challenger on January 28, 1986), and Ronald McNair (the second African-American astronaut, and another victim of the Challenger accident).” (source)

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