Dharmapala Thangka CentreIconography

Tibetan Iconography


Several series deities are found commonly in the Buddhist and Hindu pantheon. Mahakala is the one recognized as the god of protector. He is one of the eight dharmapala of the Buddhist pantheon with ornaments of snakes, canine teeth, and protruding belly and dressed with tiger skin. As the defender of law [dharma], he is given a good position at the entrance doors of Buddhist Shrines

There are 75 different kinds of manifestations. Mahakala is one of the Eight Guardians of the Law, whose duty is to protect Buddhism against its enemies. In this six-armed manifestation, he tramples on the obstacle-creating, prostrate Ganesha.

He is the wrathful deity that destroys mind chatter and brings our minds back into attentive focus.

Mahakala is one of the most popular terrific protectors in Tibetan Buddhism. He frequently appears at the inner entrance of a temple or is afforded a special shrine. His myth speaks of his having been tamed by Avalokiteshvara. He is sometimes even considered to be a fierce form of that Bodhisattva of Compassion.