Esoteric Buddhist statue, tantric
Dharmapala and protector Yi dam. Mahakala with 6 arms.
The bronze used is called purple bronze. It is a high-quality bronze, holding its characteristic color to a high copper content.
Tibetan statuette made by specialized Tibetan craftsmen.
Dimensions: 23.5 cm high, 18cm wide by 8cm deep.
The bottom unscrews to put offerings and prayers inside during the blessing like all traditional Buddhist statuettes.
Called the "Great Black", Mahakala is peculiar to Tibet and is called Mong-po, and was accepted as a tutelary deity of Mongolia in the seventeenth century under the name of Yeke Gara, under Tibetan influence.
His Chinese name, Dahei Wang or Dahei Tian (大黒天) is only the transcription of the Sanskrit name maha (great- Da in Chinese), Kala (black- Hei) adding Wang meaning king. Dahei Wang 大黑王 The Great Black King, or Dahei Tian Great Black Sky.
Mahakala has never been worshipped in China itself.
In Japan, mainly in the Shingon school, where his image would seem to come from Mongolia, and answering the name of Daikokuten (大黒天, Great Black Sky) or simply Daikoku (Great Black), he does not have the same symbolism and was venerated from the seventeenth century as one of the 7 deities of happiness with Ebisu, Benzai Ten, Bishamon ten, Fukurokuju, Jurôjin and Hotei, heterogeneous group formed by deities belonging to both Buddhism and Chinese Taoism artificially created in the seventeenth century by the monk Tenkai who died in 1643 (Name postume Jigen Daishi)
In Tibet Mahakala is both a Dharmapala and a protective god (Yi dam).
The Dharmapala are the protectors of the Dharma, guardians of the teachings.
This name designates the deities assuming the task of protecting practitioners and teachings in vajrayana and dzogchen.
Very numerous and divided into several classes, these protectors constitute an impressive set of deities either male or female. Some having a peaceful appearance, most showing a corrucée appearance, thus showing their powers and dedication to the protection of secret teachings and ensuring to dispel obstacles on the spiritual path.
Two great classes of protectors are distinguished: The protectors of wisdom or supra worldly including the mahakala group and the worldly protectors.
The Mahakala group has 75 all curved forms of which 6 are the most important.
6-armed Mahakala (mGon-po phyag-drug-pa): Protector of the Mongols, emanation of Avalokitesvara, important protector of the Shangpa Kagyü sect whose practice was initiated in Tibet by Khyoungpo Neldjor, and later introduced to the Gelugpa.
He is depicted standing on Ganesh, brandishing with his right hands a mala composed of skulls and a damaru, in those on the left a trident, a lasso, the last two hands in front of him holding on the right a curved blade (kartika) and on the left a skull cup (kapala).
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