Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahabala (Buddhist Deity)

སྟོབས་པོ་ཆེ། ནང་ལྷ། 大力明王(佛教本尊)
(item no. 89180)
Origin Location Bhutan
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Drukpa (Kagyu) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Mahabala (Tib.: tob po che. Eng.: Great Strength).

"The world frightening Mahabala, [with] a body red in colour, one face and four hands. The two right [hands] hold a white stick and a white fly-whisk. The two left, in a bowing manner and a wrathful [gesture] together with a lasso. Having three eyes and bared fangs. Brown hair bristling upwards. Having ornaments of snake and a lower garment of tiger skin. Standing in the middle of red rays of light in a manner with the left leg extended." (Extracted from the text A Lamp Removing Obscurations by Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub. Also, see An Ocean of Methods of Accomplishment).

"Mahabala, red in colour [like] the rays of the sun, with one face and four hands. The right hold a stick and a fly-whisk. The [two] left are in a bowing manner and a wrathful gesture together with a lasso; wearing a tiger skin and standing with the left leg extended." (The 9th Je Kenpo of Bhutan, Shakya Rinchen, 1710-1759).

At the top center is Akshobhya Buddha. Descending on the (viewers) left is Vighnantaka, Hevajra Heruka, Bhutadamara Vajrapani, and Kartaridhara Mahakala.

Descending on the right are Humkara, Hevajra Sahaja Heruka, Vajra Nairatmya, and Chaturbhuja Mahakala. At the bottom center is a variant form of Bhutadamara Vajrapani.

Tibetan Painting by Hugo E. Kreijger (list of image plates).

Jeff Watt 6-2006

Secondary Images
Related Items
Publications
Contents: An Ocean of Methods of Accomplishment (Sadhanas)

Thematic Sets
Region: Bhutan: Painting & Textile Masterworks
Region: Bhutan, Deities
Tradition: Drugpa Kagyu Main Page
Exhibition: Big!
Subject: Deity Colours - Red (Powerful Activities)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 4
Collection of Jucker (Tibetan Art)
Subject: Arms of Deities (Numbers)
Region: Bhutan, Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Mahabala Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Red Wrathful Appearance
Buddhist Deity: Red Wrathful Appearance (Male)
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Bhutan
Painting Set: Sadhanamala (Drugpa Kagyu)