|Date Range||1600 - 1699|
|Lineages||Gelug and Buddhist|
|Material||Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton|
Shadbhuja Mahakala (Tibetan: pal nyur dze ye she kyi gon po chag drug pa. English: the Swift Acting Lord of Pristine Awareness with Six Hands). The wrathful manifestation of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara after having taken on the form of Mahakala - the principal protector of the Shangpa Kagyu and Gelugpa Schools. Five attendant deities surround the central figure.
Fearsome and wrathful, blue-black in colour with one face and six hands, held in the first pair is a curved knife and skullcup to the heart. In the second pair is a human skull garland and trident - holding upraised the legs of an elephant skin garment. Held in the lower pair is a damaru (drum) and lasso. Adorned with all the wrathful ornaments and vestments he stands on the prone form of the elephant headed god Ganesh, above a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus, surrounded by the orange flames of pristine awareness.
Jeff Watt [added 3-2020]