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. 41048)
Origin Location Tibet
Lineages 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).

At the top center is Vajradhara Buddha with two teachers seated at the sides. On the viewer's left side is Brahmin Vararuchi. On the right side is a monastic figure who is likely to be Rinchen Zangpo. At the middle left is another lay teacher who is likely to be Mal Lotsawa.

At the upper left is Heruka Hevajra. Another human teacher sits below with Brahmanarupa Mahakala below that.

Descending on the right side are Krodha Vajrapani followed by Ekajati, followed by Shri Devi Dudsolma.

Along the bottom beginning on the left are Maharakta Ganapati followed by the Five 'Karma' Activity Protector deities: Kala Rakshasi (female), Kala Rakshasa (male), Putra (male), Batra (male) and Singmo (female). At the bottom right is Vaishravana Riding a Lion in the bottom right corner.

Directly in front of the lotus and corpse seat of Panjarnata is a black man. To the right of the lotus is a black woman. At the left of the lotus is a warrior. On the left side of the head of Panjarnata is a monk. On the right side is a mantradharin wearing a Tantric dance costume. Between these figures known as the 'Four Leaders and Messengers' are a black garuda, black raven, a black dog and a black wolf. The animals are called the 'Messengers.'

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.

Jeff Watt 7-2014

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Mahakala: Panjarnata, Lord of the Pavilion (Main Page)
Mahakala: Panjarnata Masterworks (Painting & Textile)
Mahakala: Panjarnata, Eight Deity