Himalayan Art Resources

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

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 878)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Nyingma
Size 69.85x54.61cm (27.50x21.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# P1999.21.1
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

"...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 text 'dod 'jo bum bzang pp. 121-123).

Tibetan Source Text Scanned pages Biographical Details

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).

Painted on a black background in the style of a 'nag thang' or 'black scroll,' colour is added as outline and fill to bring life to the figures while maintaining an ethereal fearsome and wrathful mood. Most names are written in fine gold Tibetan lettering beneath or along side each figure.

Jeff Watt 11-2000

Related Items
Publications
Publication: Dojo Bumzang - Images

Thematic Sets
Mahakala: Maning (Eunuch) Main Page
Mahakala: Maning (Masterworks)
Buddhist Protectors: Enlightened
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 8
Buddhist Protector: Mahakala Main Page
Mahakala (Nyingma)