Tibet, Mahakala Panjarnata (2)

16th century, Tibet, Mahakala Panjarnata, stone and pigments, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

16th century, Tibet, Mahakala Panjarnata, painted stone and pigments, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

Mahakala Panjarnata (or Panjara nata, i.e. ‘Lord of the Pavilion’) is a wrathful form of Shri Devi. He crouches over a victim and holds a skull cup, a flaying knife and a flat stick (danda) against his heart. He wears a tiger skin dhoti and is adorned with bone jewellery and a skull crown. On the above sculpture, we can see Shri Devi riding her mule to his right and Ekajati (his mother) holding a vase to his left.

Same as before, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

Same as before, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Adorned as above with a skull crown, a garland of severed heads, some hoops and bone jewellery, he wears a celestial scarf that forms a circular shape behind his head. The face is painted with cold gold and the flaming hair with orange pigments.

17th century, Tibet, Mahakala Panjarnata, stone, at the British Museum in London (UK).

17th century, Tibet, Mahakala Panjarnata, stone, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Mahakala is accompanied by two small figures (possibly attendants), the panel behind him is adorned with garudas, crows, and possibly tigers.

Undated, Tibet, Mahakala Panjarnata, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

Undated, Tibet, Mahakala Panjarnata, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

On this sculpture, we can clearly see the tiger’s legs knotted at the front and the paws dangling

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