Below is Deepak Chopra's foreword to the book, "Buddhas of the Celestial Gallery"
Two thousand five hundred years ago, the charismatic young prince who later became known as the Buddha, the Awakened One, left his home and inheritance to go forth into the world in search of a solution to the human predicament. His iconic journey changed the world forever, and many of his spiritual insights are being verified today in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and quantum physics. This volume, a collaboration between the celebrated Himalayan artist Romio Shrestha and Buddhist scholar Ian Baker, reveals the dazzling trajectory of Siddhartha Gautama’s life and teachings and the power of art to awaken us to realities that fervently require our collective attention.
The Buddha’s enlightenment exposed the limitations of religious beliefs founded on external sources of salvation. In place of dogma and exclusionary faith, the Buddha revealed a path of compassionate action and inner transformation by which all beings could be brought to nirvana, a state of pure consciousness, transcendent of the ego and free of suffering. The paintings in this celestial gallery all point to this universal, awakened state of being. Each Buddha image is thus a doorway into a new way of being human. Gautama Buddha urged each individual to see beyond the limiting illusion of a separate self and to act, based on that realization, to liberate the world from the ignorance, greed, and aggression that fuel human suffering. No spiritual message has ever been so radical or so urgent.
The Buddha taught a path to human well-being that encompasses ethics and morality as well as meditative insight. Just as he showed the self to be a fleeting phenomenon without any enduring reality, he revealed the world as a process that could be transformed through collective action. The words and images in this celestial gallery are invitations into the expanded vision of human possibility envisioned by the Buddha as illustrated by the master painters of Nepal and Tibet. They urge us to shift our awareness to embody our own infinite nature and, in so doing, to become all that we can possibly be. As the Buddha stated, we are all potential Buddhas. This sumptuous volume is a guidebook into that ever-present reality.
Click through to see photos from the book