Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - Shadbhuja (Six-hands, Shangpa)

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 30526)
Origin Location Tibet
Lineages Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Jnana Nata Shadbhuja Vajra Mahakala (Tib. ye she gon po dor je nag po chen po chag drug pa. Eng. the Six-armed Great Black One): the principal protector of the Shangpa Kagyu Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

"The Lord of Pristine Awareness has six hands and a body dark blue in colour. The first two hold a curved knife and skullcup, the middle two a human skull mala and trident, the lowest two a damaru drum and lasso. Adorned with a tiger skin, garland of heads, bones and snakes, and small bells on the hands and feet. Standing in a manner with the two legs together pressing down on Ganapati. With three eyes, bared fangs, eyebrows, beard and hair flowing upward with Akshobhya as a crown. Anointed with a sindhura drop on the forehead. Supported behind by a sandalwood tree, dwelling in the middle of a blazing mass of fire." (Jonang Taranatha, 1575-1634).

Lineage: Vajradhara, Jnana Dakini, Shri Shavaripa, Lord Maitripa, Mahasiddha Rahulagupta, Khedrup Khyungpo Naljor (founder of the Shangpa Kagyu School, 11th century), Nyamme Rinchen Tsondru, Bonton Kyergangpa (famous terton of the Hayagriva 'Secret Accomplishment' cycle of practice), etc.

Jeff Watt 3-2013

Front of Painting
Wylie Transliteration of Inscription: rjes gnang bar che kun bsel.

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection: Private 32
Painting Set: Shadbhuja Mahakala (Shangpa, Black Ground)
Collection of WGA