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. 85714)
Origin Location Tibet
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc. #M.77.19.11
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

TBRC: W25327

Interpretation / Description

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 are thought to 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.

Panjarnata Mahakala is the special 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 the Hevajra itself. This form of Mahakala can also be found in the 25 Chapter and 50 Chapter Mahakala Tantras.

Jeff Watt 5-2003

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Mahakala: Panjarnata Masterworks (Painting & Textile)
Buddhist Protector: Mahakala Main Page
Tradition: Sakya, Enlightened Protectors
Mahakala: Panjarnata, Lord of the Pavilion (Main Page)
Mahakala: Panjarnata, Eight Deity
Collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art