Mahakala Buddhist Buddhism Deity Bhutan Thangka Card
Mahākāla is a Dharmapala ("protector of dharma") in Vajrayana Buddhism, and a deity in Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, particularly in the Vajrayana school. He is depicted in a number of variations, each with distinctly different qualities and aspects. He is also regarded as the emanation of different beings in different cases, namely Avalokiteshvara or Chakrasamvara. Mahākāla is typically black in color. Just as all colors are absorbed and dissolved into black, all names and forms are said to melt into those of Mahakala, symbolizing his all-embracing, comprehensive nature. Black can also represent the total absence of color, and again in this case it signifies the nature of Mahakala as ultimate or absolute reality. This principle is known in Sanskrit as "nirguna", beyond all quality and form, and it is typified by both interpretations. Mahākāla is almost always depicted with a crown of five skulls, which represent the transmutation of the five kleshas (negative afflictions) into the five wisdoms. Here, Mahakala is depicted on the thongdrol unrolled at the Paro, Bhutan tsechu.