are seventy-five emanations of Mahakala, the Tibetan Lord of Time: he who ultimately
absorbs all things back into original essence. This bronze silver and gold gild
Sino-Tibetan statue is a magnificent rendering of this deity. Here he is fierce,
active and in constant movement surrounded by flames of illuminating awareness.
The deity wears a crown of five skulls. Present on every form of Mahakala, these
skulls represent the transmutation of the five negatives afflictions of human
nature into positive virtues. Thus, ignorance transforms into the wisdom of reality;
pride becomes the wisdom of equanimity; attachment becomes the wisdom of discernment;
jealousy becomes the wisdom of accomplishment and anger transforms into mirror
third eye is prominent open and staring. The expression of his face is fearsome.
At the bulge of his full belly a sword is ready to cut through obstacles and demons
on the path, representations of our ignorance. The sword is clasped by a sinuous
snake that wraps around Mahakala. In his left hand, Mahakala holds a skull filled
either with the life blood of oath-breakers and hindering spirits or nectar in
which mental agitations and illusions are swallowed to create awareness devoid
of mental obscurations. In his right hand, Mahakala holds a powerful vajra, sword
chopper of wisdom. Mahakala ecstatically dances as Vinakaya the King of Obstacles,
represented here in human form.
It is Mahakala’s special power to fully dissolve obstacles into emptiness.
The entire figure is gracefully held on a lotus and is resplendent in its high
detail. This is a dynamic statue that brings the truly powerful aspects of this
deity fully to life. (SD)