|1400 - 1499
|26.04cm (10.25in) high
|Rubin Museum of Art
Mahakala, Vajra Panjarnata (Tibetan: dor je gur gyi gon po, English: the Great Black One, Lord of the Vajra Pavilion [or Canopy]): from the Vajra Panjara Tantra.
Wrathful in appearance with one face and two hands he holds a curved knife and skullcup to the heart. A 'gandhi' stick rests across the forearms. From this magical emanation stick all other forms of Mahakala emanate. Hair flaming upward like orange fire, bared fangs and staring eyes, he is very fierce with all the wrathful ornaments and attire such as a crown of five dry skulls, necklace of fifty freshly severed heads, tiger skin lower garment and a long snake as a Brahmin cord. The neck is further adorned with an ornate scarf. In a squat posture on a corpse seat and lotus blossom he stands within a mass of flaming fire of pristine awareness.
Panjaranatha Mahakala is the protector of the Hevajra cycle of Tantras. The iconography and rituals are found in the 18th chapter of the Vajra Panjara (canopy, or pavilion) Tantra, an exclusive 'explanatory tantra' to Hevajra itself.
Jeff Watt 5-2003