Tibetan Illuminated Manuscript of Mahasiddhas
The 84 Mahasiddhas represent all those who have, within a single lifetime, attained direct realization of the Buddha’s teachings. They all lived between 750 and 1150 CE and their historical influence throughout the Indian subcontinent and the Himalayas was vast and they reached mythic proportions.
According to scholar Stéphane Arguillère, “The title page says: ‘ritual of peaceful, vast, powerful and wrathful burnt offerings (homa) to the Arch-Secret Hayagrīva.’ If this is all really one manuscript, the illustrations should be the (maybe more or less imaginary) successive Indian and maybe original Tibetan masters of the Tamdrin Yangsang (Arch-Secret Hayagrīva) lineage. But I am unfamiliar with this tradition: though originally Nyingma (which I know better), it seems to be practiced nowadays only by Gelugpas (in the tradition of the Sera monastery). On the last page there is a date and a place of composition here but it would require research to decipher it, as it is in a sexagenary cycle and you have to find elements of contexts that help you to decide which cycle you are in.”
An eclectic assemblage of objects coving a wide range of human history.