The Wrathful Protector Mahakala in a Six-Armed Form: Folio from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom)
Not on view
These manuscript paintings do not illustrate the adjacent doctrinal text but instead bring auspiciousness and act to protect the collected body of Buddhist writings. As Avalokiteshvara’s ferocious manifestation, Mahakala (The Great Black One) rids the world of corruption and protects the monastic community as well as the Buddha’s teachings (the dharma). In this early depiction, he crosses his arms to symbolize a vajra, wields a sword, and holds his right hand in a gesture of boon giving (varada mudra).
On view from March 27–September 19, 2021
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.