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Six Armed Mahakala

Six Armed Mahakala
Availability: Out of stock
Specifications:
Copper Sculpture gilded with 24 Karat Gold
Artist Shri Madan Prajapati
8.0" x 6.2" x 3.0"
1.9 kg
Item Code: ZO83
Price: $425.00
Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
Viewed 6454 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
Mahakala was the personal tutelary deity for the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan. His terrifying imagery ultimately derives from the angry form of the Hindu god Shiva, known as Bhairava. In Tibetan iconography he typically has one head with three bulging eyes. His eyebrows are like small flames, and his beard is made of hook-like shapes. He can have two to six arms.

Mahakala is shown here in his six-armed form. His three eyes signify his power to comprehend the past, present, and future. His five-skulled crown is symbolic of the five poisonous delusions which plague our mortal existence. These are anger, desire, ignorance, jealousy, and pride.

His six arms hold various symbolic implements:

The first right hand holds a curved knife. In Mahakala's symbolism the curved knife cuts through the life veins of enemies such as oath-breakers and hindering spirits; and the skull cup in his primary left hand is filled with the heart-blood of these enemies. This crescent shaped chopper, corresponds in shape to the cavity of the skull cup and functions to make 'mincemeat' of the hearts, intestines, lungs, and life-veins of enemies hostile to the Dharma, which are then collected in the skull cup. A similar crescent shaped hand cleaver is used in oriental cuisine to chop meat and dice vegetables.

Just as the thunderbolt is typically paired with the bell, so do the chopper and skull cup generally accompany each other. The symbolism of the two pairs may be the same. Since the chopper is the instrument for cutting through the fog of ignorance, it represents method, the masculine principle, while the cup symbolizes wisdom, the feminine principle. In many ways, the chopper serves the same purpose as the dorje or the Phurpa and is employed in rituals of exorcism by priests and shamans.

The next right hand holds a damaru, the rattle of which signifies the primordial sound from which is said to have originated all manifested existence.

The uppermost right hand holds a rosary of skulls. The continuous counting of the rosary is a symbol of perpetual activity, which Mahakala achieves on a cosmic scale.

The two remaining left hands hold a trident and noose respectively. The noose is for lassoing those of us who have strayed from the path of the Dharma while the trident represents the Three Jewels of Buddhism, the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

Mahakala's left leg is stretched and the right is bent, while he tramples on an elephant faced entity. The elephant here is a symbol of obstacles, and thus Mahakala tramples upon all obstructions in the way of the Dharma.

This sculpture was created in the city of Patan, near Kathmandu (Nepal).

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