|Date Range||1700 - 1799|
|Lineages||Drukpa (Kagyu) and Buddhist|
|Material||Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line, Black Background on Cotton|
|Collection||Rubin Museum of Art|
|Catalogue #||acc.# F1996.14.1|
Summary: This form of Mahakala can be either a protector deity (dharmapala) or a meditational deity (ishtadevata).
Chaturbhuja Vajra Nata Mahakala (Tibetan: gon po chag shi pa, dor je nag po chen po. English: The Great Black Vajra Lord with Four Hands) embracing the consort. From the Tradition of Arya Nagarjuna. (Based on some stylistic elements it is possible that this painting originates from Bhutan and not from Tibet).
At the top center is the primordial Buddha Vajradhara. At the left are Vajrapani, Ga Lotsawa and Padma Karpo (Pema Karpo). At the right are Nagarjuna, Tsangpa Gyare and Kunzang Jalu.
With one face and four hands, blue-black in colour, Mahakala glares ferociously with three large round eyes, bared fangs and orange hair flowing upward. The first pair of hands hold a fresh heart and the left a skullcup - held to the heart embracing the consort. The second right hand holds upraised a sword and in the left a katvanga staff with a trident point. Ferocious in appearance the consort holds a skullcup in the left hand. Both are adorned with a tiara of skulls, bone and jewel ornaments, garlands of heads and green silk scarves. The Lord wears a tiger skin as a lower garment and the consort a girdle of finely strung bone ornaments. In a relaxed posture they are seated above a multi-coloured lotus, sun and red corpse seat surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness interspersed with the emanations of black dogs, birds and garudas.
Jeff Watt 9-2000