Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - Maning (Eunuch)

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 65131)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Nyingma
Size 55.88x35.56cm (22x14in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #C2002.26.2
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Neuter

Interpretation / Description

Eunuch Lord (Tibetan: pal ye she gyi gon po ma ning nag po. English: The Glorious Lord of Pristine Awareness, Black Eunuch): the body emanation of Mahakala and lord of all enlightened and worldly protectors of the Nyingma School.

Tibetan: Ma ning Tibetan script:

"...Glorious Lord of Pristine Awareness, Black Eunuch, with a body blue-black in colour, one face and two hands. Holding aloft in the right, pointed to the sky, a flaming lance, and in the left a poisoned heart and lasso. With three round red eyes, a curled tongue and hanging black snakes for hair. Having a crown of five dry skulls and a necklace of fifty fresh. Adorned with a garland of hearts and piles of snakes, dressed in silk cloaks, black and layered. Having a gold belt and a girdle of fresh human skin. From the three doors of a great stick of sandalwood, fastened at the waist, an army of snakes is dispersed. Decorated with varieties of colourful flowing streamers and all the frightful ornaments. Standing with the left leg extended atop a corpse seat..." (Terdag Lingpa Gyurme Dorje 1646-1714 and Minling Lochen Dharmashri 1654-1718. Tibetan source text 'dod 'jo bum bzang, Part II, page 121-123).

Tibetan Source Text Scanned pages

Guru Chowang Lineage: Kuntu Zangpo, Chemchog, Palgon, Orgyan Yab-yum, Terton Chowang, Manlungpa, Dagton, Nyenton, Sedingpa Khupon, Paljor Wangchug, Chokyi Wangpo, Karma Guru, Nyadag Trulku, Chowang Kunzang, Rigdzin Tinle Lhundrup, etc. Also see the variant lineages of Dorje Lingpa, Ratna Lingpa, Pema Lingpa and Jatson Nyingpo. (Tibetan source text page 20).

"Glorious great emanation of the body of the Great Black One, trustee of the king of the wrathful, executioner of enemies and hindrances, great deity, glorious and blazing, lord of all Dharma protectors; homage to the glorious lord, Black Eunuch." (Nyingma liturgical verse).

At the top center is the wrathful deity Hayagriva, red, with one face and two hands holding an upraised stick in the right and a lasso in the left. On the crown of his head is a small gold horse-head. Seated at the right and left are two lama figures wearing monastic robes and pandita hats.

At the bottom left is the Activity Lord, Life Daemon (Tib.: le gon sog du), with one face and two hands drawing a bow and arrow, riding atop a black horse. At the right side is a red wrathful figure holding aloft a sword with the right hand and and the left held to the heart, standing upon a zombie.

Jeff Watt 7-99

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Buddhist Protector: Mahakala Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art (RMA): Main Page
Mahakala (Nyingma)
Tradition: Nyingma, Enlightened Protectors
Mahakala: Maning (Eunuch) Main Page