youthful figure of Mahakala sitting in Royal Ease above a double lotus plinth
is a rare image of the deity, who is more often portrayed pot bellied, standing
in an pratayalidha
(active warrior pose), and acting as the protector instead of the meditation deity
as shown in this seated position. Like Lhamo
Penden, Yamaraja and Vajrapani,
Mahakala is one of the Dharmapalas who was originally a demon, he was later tamed
by Manjushri and Avolokiteshvera, and turned into a fierce protector of the dharma.
He is considered as an archetype deity, functioning as an enlightened being with
whom the practitioner identifies. As a terrific manifestation, Mahakala has the
spiritual power to conquer addictive emotions and to dispel inner obstacles.
of all six attributes once held in his hands are now missing. There are wonderful
details in this statue of Mahakala. He is depicted with three heads and six arms,
with finely forged fingers and facial features, he is both expressive and powerful.
The motif seen above his head may had suggested the image of the primordial Buddha
Vajrahara.His body is elaborately decorated with jewels and wearing a feather
loincloth. In addition to Mahakala's spiritual presence in the statue, the aged
bronze itself exudes great mystery.