On rare occasions Yama Dharmaraja, protector of the buddhist faith, has a human head or a yaksha head, as on this remarkable stone stele. In his inner form he is always alone, has a blue-black body, stands with one leg bent (usually the left one) and the other straight, holds a flaying knife away from him in his right hand and a skull cup before his heart in the other.
Often confused with Sahaja Vajrabhairava, the outer form of Yama Dharmaraja (also with a buffalo head and ithyphallic) stands on a prostrate male buffalo crushing a female victim, with both arms stretched. In all his forms, this dharmapala wears a three-skull or five-skull crown, a chain with a dharma wheel plate, bone ornaments, and may have a garland of severed heads round his neck.
In his outer form, with his consort and twin sister, he brandishes a skull-tipped mace or a club in his right hand and holds a lasso in the other, Yami holds a skull cup and a trident. On this relatively early example (most Himalayan sculptures of this deity are late Chinese-style works) he has a human face with three eyes, and the female victim is under their feet on the buffalo’s back.