Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - Shanglon (Minister)

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 32931)
Origin Location Tibet
Lineages Nyingma, Gelug and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Hobsedug, Master of Life: one of eight attendant figures in the retinue of Mahakala Gonpo Shanglon belonging to the 'Revealed Treasure' Tradition (terma) of the Yutog Nyingtig discovered by Yutog Yontan Gonpo. (See the Shanglon Main Page, Outline Page, Yutog Nyingtig Main Page, and Yutog Nyingtig Outline Page).

"In the Northeast is the master of life Hobsedug, blue in color like hala [poison], very fearful, frightening, with one face and four hands, on the crown of the head is the head of a wild hawk. The first pair of hands hold a spear and a bag of poison. The lower pair [of hands] hold a fresh human head and a peg [purba]. [He] rides atop a nine-headed [female] bear." (page 334).

At the top center is the female meditational deity that specializes in power and over-coming, Kurukulla. She is slightly-peaceful and slightly wrathful, red in colour, with one face, four arms and two legs. The first pair of hands hold a bow and arrow made of red utpala flowers. The second pair of hands hold a hook and lasso, also made of utpala flowers. There are many different forms of Kurukulla with some being her own entity while others might be emanations of the female Buddha Tara or Shri Hevajra.

Jeff Watt 2-2014

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Subject: Yutog Nyingtig Terma Cycle
Mahakala: Shanglon Dorje Dudul Main Page
Exhibition: The Art of Tibetan Medicine
Buddhist Protector: Shanglon, Retinue Figures (Miscellaneous)