Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

5.38 Panjaranatha

Mahakala Panjaranatha - Lord of the Pavillion

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Grinning wildly and fiery eyed, this monumental image of the Great Black One stands heavily on the body of a corps. He holds before him a huge vajra chopper and a large white skull bowl full of the blood and guts of demons turned into her elixir. He carries across the crooks of his elbows an ornamented wooden gandi gong, used in Buddhist monasteries to call the monks to assemblies, symbolizing his vow to protect Nalanda monastic university and by extension all Buddhist monasteries.

In his immediate environment he is surrounded by hags, jackals, a flock of crows, birds, and other animals of prey. Parts of bodies floating in the sky contributed to the frenzied action within a kind of smoky, twilight world. The ornaments worn so elegancy on his chubby black body and gigantic head include jewel-encrusted gold crown, scarf, necklace, earrings, and anklets, accompanied by an equally elaborate set of delicately detailed armbands, legbands, bracelets and a netlike skirt, all carved of human bone.

Garlands of severed heads and snakes and the chalk-white five-skull crown complement the bone ornaments and his glowing eyeballs and gleaming teeth. Each of this specifically symbolizes the conquest of a particular type of obstruction of enlightenment.

Mahakalala takes a terrific form and conquers the most horrible realms of existence. As a fierce manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Mahakala helps beings overcome all negative elements, especially spiritual ones, personified and symbolized by the panoply of fearsome creatures over which he becomes lord. He wears his grisly ornaments to show his indefatigable determination to redeem even the horrible.

This particular form of Mahakala, easily recognized by the wooden gong he carries across his arms, is a favourite protector deity of the Sakya order. Around the upper border are several Indian Mahasiddhas and Tibetan Lamas of the Sakya order, including Sachen Kunga Nyingpo and Sakya Pandita on the upper right. At the four corners of the halo and pedestal are other forms of Mahakala, including Brahmanarupa with a thighbone trumpet. Along the bottom, from left to right, are five members of Mahakala┬┤s retinue interspersed with smaller figures representing various classes of people.

Source: Wisdom and Compassion - The Sacred Art of Tibet -
by Marylin M. Rhie and Robert A.F. Thurman
No. 176 - Page 223

Measurements: 22.4 x 28.3" | 57 x 72 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Black Background
Material: Natural Stone Colors