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. 99163)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Sakya
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Black Background on Cotton
Collection Publication: Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist Painted Scrolls
Catalogue # 157
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.

Fiercely wrathful, black in colour with one face, large round eyes, flaming yellow hair and two hands he holds a curved knife in the right and a skullcup in the left - both held to the heart. Resting across the forearms is a 'gandhi' stick from which all other forms of Mahakala emanate. Adorned with a crown of five dry skulls, bone ornaments and a necklace of fifty freshly severed heads he wears a lower garment of tiger skin. Atop a corpse, circular disc of the sun and multi-coloured lotus he stands surrounded by the flames of pristine awareness.

Panjaranatha Mahakala arises from the Panjara (Pavilion, or canopy) Tantra for which he is the protector and guardian. This Tantra belongs to the Hevajra Cycle of Tantras and classified as Non-dual Anuttarayoga. The method of painting is 'nag thang,' black scroll - gold outline on a black background with a lack of superfluous ornamentation and landscape.

Jeff Watt 6-98

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Buddhist Protector: Mahakala Main Page
Mahakala: Panjarnata, Lord of the Pavilion (Main Page)