Mahakala "Caturbhuja"
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Wall object 3

ABP 012

 Code: ABP 012

  Country: Tibet

  Style:

  Date: 1600 - 1700

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 47 x 69

  Materials: Gouache on cotton

Mahakala Chaturbhuja

Mahakala (Gonpo Phyag) is a Dharmapala (protector of dharma) in Vajrayana Buddhism. 
Mahakala is typically black in color. Just as all colors are absorbed and dissolved into black, here it shows the nature of Mahakala as ultimate or absolute reality. This principle is known in Sanskrit as nirguna: beyond all quality and form.
The four-armed Mahakala stands in the middle of a fiery aura. His attributes are the flaming sword with which he destroys all obstacles; a black fruit representing the destruction of negative karma; a blood-filled scull-cup (kapala) and a trident (trishula). 
Mahakala is crowned with skulls, representing the five Buddha wisdoms. A chain of fifty freshly cut human heads forms his belt. Around his hips he wears a tiger skin as a tantric emblem. 
 
In the middle of the upper register, the Mahakala Yidam aspect is depicted. It is the dark two-armed Chakrasamvara holding his consort Vajrayogini tightly embraced. He is accompanied by renowned teachers: Tewo Tschö gi Gyatso, followed by Nyagala Panchen to the left, and to the right Dschatröl Tschog Lanamo with Nyeljor gi Wangchuk Lha Wangtags Lanamo.

Below in the centre stands a scull-cup filled with the tantric offerings of the five sense organs.

To their left appear: the yellow Jambhala (original form of all Jambhalas) with the wish-fulfilling fruit and the jewel-spitting mongoose, and the black Jambhala, naked and standing upright. He embodies the wrathful aspect, his attributes are skull bowl and mongoose.

To the right of the offerings the white Jambhala rides on a green-blue water dragon. His dharma practice is peaceful, his attributes are the trident and jewel staff.

Finally the six-armed and three-faced red Jambhala is depicted.