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. 65788)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Sakya and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:W25327

Interpretation / Description

Panjarnata Mahakala (Tibetan: gur gyi gon po. English: the Great Black One, Lord of the Pavilion).

With one face and two hands he holds a curved knife and skullcup to the heart with a 'gandhi' stick resting across the forearms. From this magical emanation stick all other forms of Mahakala emanate. His hair flames up like fire as he glares with round eyes and a gaping mouth. Very fierce with all the customary wrathful ornaments and attire such as the necklace of fifty freshly severed heads, tiger skin lower garment and a long snake as a Brahmin cord he also wears an ornate white scarf around the neck. In a squat posture he stands atop a corpse above a sun disc surrounded by a mass of flaming fire of pristine awareness. Emanating above, from the circle of fire are garudas, wolves, black dogs, crows and a black woman. These five types of beings are the messengers of Mahakala. Panjaranata Mahakala is the protector for the Hevajra cycle of Tantras. The iconography and rituals are found in the 18th chapter of the Vajra Panjara Tantra (canopy, or pavilion), an exclusive 'explanatory tantra' to the Hevajra Tantra itself.

Lineage: 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 10-2007

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: No inscriptions

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