Mahakala Gur gyi mgon po - Mahakala Lord of the canopy, or pavilion
  See it in the Museum
Room 1: India and Nepal
Orientation 3
Wall object 10

ABP 071

 Code: ABP 071

  Country: Tibet (central)

  Style: Nepalese School

  Date: 1350 - 1450

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 46 x 51,5

  Materials: Distemper on cotton

Mahakala Gurgyi Gompo – Panjaranata, the Lord of the canopy, or protector of the tent.

Mahakala is a protector of Buddha’s teachings (dharmapala) in Vajrayana Buddhism. As his name expresses it, Mahakala is typically black in color. Just as all colors are absorbed and dissolved into black, all concepts and forms are said to melt into Mahakala, symbolizing his all-embracing, comprehensive nature. Black can also represent the total absence of color, and again this expresses the nature of Mahakala as the ultimate or absolute reality. This principle is known in Sanskrit as "nirguna", beyond all quality and form, and both interpretations express it.
Mahakala is almost always depicted wearing a crown of five skulls, which represents the transmutation of the five afflictions (kleshas) into the five wisdoms.