Mahakala

Thangka; 19th century; size 125 x 77 cm.; loan from Josette Schulmann
Mahakala, literarily »Great Black One«, is interpreted as »large wrathful guardian«. Surrounded by his power in the form of a wreath of fire, he wears a five-skulled crown as token for the five wisdoms of Buddha, a chain of human skulls as a symbol for the principal of emptiness, and a garland of looted skulls as a symbol for the principal of form. As »divine personification of knowledge«, he has a third eye on his forehead.