Himalayan Art Resources

Mahakala: Panjarnata (Arya Tradition)

Mahakala: Panjarnata (Forms & Types)

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Source Texts (below)
- W/o Katvanga Staff (Ngog Tradition): 4805, 40551, 77064
- W/ Katvanga Staff: Solitary
- W/ Katvanga & Consort: 40550
- Tundikhel Mahakala
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: A Powerful Painting of Mahakala

It is not immediately clear from which text the Arya Tradition Mahakala originates. Most likely it is a product of the 50 Chapter Mahakala Tantra where a one face, two arm, form of the deity is taught.

The form of Mahakala of the Arya Nagarjuna tradition has very distinct characteristics such as the straight legs as opposed to the squatting position of the standard Panjarnata figure. There is no 'ghandi' staff in a horizontal position across the forearms. Sometimes there is a katvanga staff held vertically and resting against the left shoulder. The two hands hold a curved knife and skullcup. He stands atop a prone figure. (See The Life Story of Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag by Lobpon Sonam Tsemo for the founding of the 'Tibetan Field' now known as Tundikhel, Kathmandu, Nepal).

Jeff Watt 3-2019 [updated 12-2023]

Toh 440. The Tantra of Mahākāla. ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོའི་རྒྱུད། · nag po chen po'i rgyud. mahākālatantra. 82 pages.

Toh 667. The Tantra of Mahākāla. ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པའི་རྒྱུད། · nag po chen pa'i rgyud. mahākālatantra. 6 pages.

Toh 668/1085. The Incantation of Mahākāla. མགོན་པོ་ནག་པོའི་གཟུངས། · mgon po nag po'i gzungs. mahākāladhāraṇī. 2 pages.

Toh 669/1086. The Incantation of Mahākāla, Deliverance from All Epidemic Fevers. ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོའི་གཟུངས་རིམས་ནད. 1 page.