Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - 'Northern Treasure' (Jangter)

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 90348)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Nyingma and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Mahakala of the Jangter 'Northern Treasure' Tradition according to the lineage of Godemchen Ngodrub Gyaltsen (1337-1409). Another painting of the same subject, HAR #31762, was commissioned by Paljor Tsewang. (See the Mahakala Main Page).

The 'Jangter' Mahakala has three faces, six hands and four legs. The central face is blue, right white and left red. In the right hands are a wooden club, vajra sceptre and iron kila (peg). The left hands hold a skullcup and rakshasa mala [together], a hammer and the heart of an enemy [together], and a snake lasso. He wears a black cloak and the eight cemetery vestments and ornaments.

Typically Mahakala of the 'Jangter' is accompanied by the body emanation riding a tiger, speech emanation holding a 'ghandi' stick, mind emanation holding a curved knife, qualities emanation riding a lion and activities emanation [in the appearance of] black Trakshe. In addition there are the Five Classes of Goddesses together with retinue and the two - a Raven Headed and Lion Headed servant. Again there are Yama Dharmaraja, Marutse and the Seventy-five Lords of Pure Lineage.

The Seventy-five Lords of Pure Lineage:
The Ten Guardians of the Directions, (Tibetan - chog yong chu)
The Eight Great Gods, (Tib. - lha chenpo gye)
The Eight Great Nagas, (Tib. - lhu chenpo gye)
The Eight Great Planets, (Tib. - za chenpo gye)
The Four Worldly Guardians, (Tib. - jig ten kyong wa shi)
The Twenty-eight Constellations, (Tib. - gyu kar nyi shu tsa gye)
The Nine Great Bhairavas, (Tib. - jig je chenpo gu)

Textual descriptions of the figures are based on the Tibetan text 'dpal ldan mgon po bstan srung yongs rdzogs kyi 'phrin las' with the root text attributed to Godemchen Ngodrub Gyaltsen (1337-1409).

Jeff Watt 10-2013

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Robert & Lois Baylis
Mahakala: Shadbhuja, Six-armed (All Traditions) Main Page
Mahakala: Jangter (Northern Treasure)