Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - Legden (Excellent One)

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 77564)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Nyingma, Shiche/Chöd and Buddhist
Size 215.90x162.56cm (85x64in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Royal Ontario Museum
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Bhagavan Mahakala (T. dor je nag po chen po).

The top register, Lineage Teachers, read from left to right and begins with Vajradhara Buddha. At the top center is Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal. At the far right is a female figure and most likely Machig Labdron.

Second register, meditational deities, beginning with Manjushri, Lokeshvara, Vajrapani, Hevajra, Chakrasamvara, Vajrabhairava, unidentified, Black Hayagriva, Vajra Vidarana, Sitatapatra, Chemchog Heruka, and Vajrakila.

The third register down contains wisdom protector Deities has Chaturbhuja Mahakala, Shri Devi, Panjara Mahakala, Shri Devi Dudsolma, Vyaghra Vahana Mahakala, and Shri Devi Rangjungma.

The fourth and fifth registers contains the Four Guardian Kings and below those are the ten or twelve worldly gods such as Indra, Vayu, Yama and Ishana.

The registers below contain retinue deities and attendants of Bhagavan Mahakala.

At the bottom right corner are two donor figures wearing monastic attire seated in front of a shrine. Immediately to the left of the shrine is the worldly protector Vaishravana Riding a Lion.

Jeff Watt 10-2015

(Learn more about this painting, Reading the History of a Tibetan Mahakala Painting: The Nyingma Chod Mandala of Legs Ldan Nagpo Aghora in the Royal Ontario Museum, from Sarah Aoife Richardson).

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Royal Ontario Museum: Paintings - Masterworks
Collection of Royal Ontario Museum: Paintings
Mahakala: Legden (Bhagavat, Excellent One)
Mahakala: Legden (Bhagavat) Masteworks
Padmasambhava: Early Images (Primary & Secondary)