Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - Shadbhuja (Six-hands, Shangpa)

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 65777)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1600 - 1699
Lineages Buddhist
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Shadbhuja Mahakala (Tibetan: nag po chen po chag drug pa. English: the Great Black One with Six Hands), wrathful emanation of Avalokiteshvara. This is one of twelve illuminations from the manuscript text, volume two, of Gyurme Dechen.

With one face and six hands, the first pair of hands hold a curved knife and skullcup held to the heart, the second pair a human skull garland, trident and an upraised elephant skin, the lower pair hold a damaru drum and lasso. Adorned with a crown, bone and snake ornaments, he stands with the two legs straight atop the body of an elephant headed figure, above a sun disc and pink lotus seat, with the surrounded by the fires of pristine awareness.

Jeff Watt 8-2011

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Mahakala: Shadbhuja [Shangpa] Page (Six-hands)
Manuscript: Gyurme Dechen Illuminations
Subject: Red Snout-like Nose (Wrathful Deities)