elaborate censer would have been carried and swung back and forth during ritual
gatherings, with the smoke issuing from around the ferocious heads of the mahakalas
that surround the object, alternating with climbing lizards that look out from
the rim, representing the qualities of the five poisonous reptiles which have
the power to counteract evil influences; they are often found on the side of certain
castings used as charms against evil spirits. Foliate pendants hang between the
mahakala heads, and the top of the censer is ornamented with foliate shapes in
a basketry pattern that extends to the lid and to the outside of the base.