Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - Panjarnata (Lord of the Pavilion)

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 13414)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Sakya, Ngor (Sakya) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

TBRC: W25327

Interpretation / Description

Panjarnata, Vajra Mahakala (Tibetan: dor je nag po chen po, gur gyi gon po. English: the Great Vajra Black One, Lord of the Pavilion), special protector of the Hevajra cycle of teachings and principal protector of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism. This form of Mahakala arises from the 18th chapter of the Vajrapanjara exclusive explanatory tantra. The Vajrapanajara Tantra is exclusive to the Hevajra Root Tantra whereas a tantra such as the Samputa is an explanatory tantra shared between the Hevajra and Chakrasamvara (and Yogini) root literature.

"...the great Vajra Mahakala, blazing, with one face, two hands, in the right a curved knife and the left a skullcup filled with blood, held above and below the heart. Held across the middle of the two arms is the 'Gandhi of Emanation.' With three eyes, bared fangs, yellow hair flowing upward, a crown of five dry human skulls and a necklace of fifty wet, blood dripping; adorned with six bone ornaments and snakes; having a lower garment of tiger skin; flowing with pendants and streamers of various silks; in a posture dwarfish and thick, standing above a corpse. To the right is a black crow, left a black dog, behind a wolf, in front a black man, above a garuda, emanations of messengers issue forth, with Akshobhya as a crown, standing in the middle of blazing fire of pristine awareness." (Konchog Lhundrub, 1497-1557).

Brahmarupa Mahakala (Tibetan: gon po dram ze, English: the Great Black One in the Form of a Brahmin): the outer form of Chaturmukha Mahakala, the special protector of the Guhyasamaja Tantra and the 2nd main protector of the Sakya School. Four small naked attendant goddesses dance around the corpse, sun disc and lotus seat.

At the top center is Vajradhara. Directly below is Heruka Hevajra with one face and two hands, standing in a dancing posture. At the left is Brahmin Vararuchi, on the right Arya Nagarjuna. Again on the left side are: Sachen, Dagchen, Doringpa riding a lion, Ngagwang Kunga Lodro and Namka Legpa Lhundrub. On the right side are: Kunga Zangpo, Tsarchen, Morchen, Nesar Dorje Chang, and Sanggye Gyatso.

Lineage of Teachers: Vajradhara, Vajrapanjara Dakini, Brahmin Vararuchi, Pandita Deva Vajra, Shraddha Karavarma, Lochen Rinchen Zangpo, Drag Tengpa Yontan Tsultrim, Mal Lotsawa Lodro Drag, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158), etc.

Descending on the left side are Bhutadamara Vajrapani, Kala Rakshasa, Kala Rakshasi, Putra, Bhatra, Singmo, Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo, and 'Outer' Yama Dharmaraja.

Descending on the right side are Ekajati, Shri Devi Dudsolma with four attendants in similar appearance, Shri Shmashana Adhipati, and Begtse Chen with his two attendants below.

[Jeff Watt added 1-2017]

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