Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - (unidentified)

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 90552)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Nyingma
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Mahakala (Tibetan: nag po chen po. English: the Great Black One) from the Nyingma Tradition.

Dark blue in colour with one face and two hands he holds upraised in the right a kila dagger (Tib.: purba). The left hand at the heart holds a white skullcup. Attired in various flowing robes, standing atop two prone figures and a multi-coloured lotus he is surrounded by orange and red flames of pristine awareness. Three attendant figures stand below.

At the top center is the bodhisattva Shadaksari Avalokiteshvara with the Buddha Shakyamuni at the left and Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava on the right. Two lamas wearing monastic robes and orange pandita hats sit slightly below.

Jeff Watt 5-2000

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