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Hayagriva in Yab-Yum form 1

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The six-armed Mahakala is one of eight dharmapalas, a ‘Protector Deity’ and a ‘Wisdom Protector’ in Himalayan Buddhism. The meaning of his name, “Great Black One”, is embodied in the black pigment used to depict his skin. The pitch black dharma stands in aggression, with raised eyebrows, bulging eyeballs and a wide mouth flaring his teeth.

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Hahnemühle PhotoRag Bright White matte 310gsm paper

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Erect in front of an aureole of flame, the six-armed Mahakala is one of eight dharmapalas, a ‘Protector Deity’ and a ‘Wisdom Protector’ in Himalayan Buddhism. The meaning of his name, “Great Black One”, is embodied in the black pigment used to depict his skin. The pitch black dharma stands in aggression, with raised eyebrows, bulging eyeballs and a wide mouth flaring his teeth. Human skulls strung from his neck as an ornament, while his arms, wrists and ankles are adorned by yellow snakes. The black deity raises a mala (string of prayer beads) made of skulls and a pointed trident above his head, with his primary hands holding a red skull cup and a golden chopper in front of his chest.

There are many forms of Mahakala described in the Buddhist text, they could be holding different ritual objects, varying in their number of heads, arms, even in skin colour. A feature that stays unchanged among all depictions is that Mahakala’s aggression is justified as a means against the negativities on the route to enlightenment. Spiritual practitioners of Buddhism believe that the dharmapala helps them to avert inner and outer obstacles.

This incredible work is by an unknown artist. It is an 18th century Thangka painting from Tibet or Mongolia named ‘Hayagriva in Yab-Yum form’.

Hayagriva is a Tantric Buddhist meditational deity that can be found in all four of the standard classifications: Kriya, Charya, Yoga and Anuttarayoga. He is associated with the Padma Buddha Family where the Buddha is Amitabha, the Lord is Avalokiteshvara and chief wrathful deity is Hayagriva. According to some traditions Hayagriva is an independent entity while in others he is the wrathful emanation of Amitabha or Avalokiteshvara.

In Hayagriva’s most basic form he is typically red in colour, with one face and two hands, peaceful or wrathful in appearance. The most important iconographic characteristic is a horse head, typically green in colour, placed above the central wrathful face. The horse image can be single or as many as three horse heads per wrathful face of Hayagriva.

The representation of yab-yum, which translates as ‘father-mother’ in the Tibetan language, is common in Tibetan Buddhist iconography.

 

Production times

  • 1-20 editions. Up to 3 weeks
  • More than 20 editions. Up to 6 weeks

Paper:

  • Hahnemühle PhotoRag Bright White matte 310gsm paper

Erect in front of an aureole of flame, the six-armed Mahakala is one of eight dharmapalas, a ‘Protector Deity’ and a ‘Wisdom Protector’ in Himalayan Buddhism. The meaning of his name, “Great Black One”, is embodied in the black pigment used to depict his skin. The pitch black dharma stands in aggression, with raised eyebrows, bulging eyeballs and a wide mouth flaring his teeth. Human skulls strung from his neck as an ornament, while his arms, wrists and ankles are adorned by yellow snakes. The black deity raises a mala (string of prayer beads) made of skulls and a pointed trident above his head, with his primary hands holding a red skull cup and a golden chopper in front of his chest.

There are many forms of Mahakala described in the Buddhist text, they could be holding different ritual objects, varying in their number of heads, arms, even in skin colour. A feature that stays unchanged among all depictions is that Mahakala’s aggression is justified as a means against the negativities on the route to enlightenment. Spiritual practitioners of Buddhism believe that the dharmapala helps them to avert inner and outer obstacles.

This incredible work is by an unknown artist. It is an 18th century Thangka painting from Tibet or Mongolia named ‘Hayagriva in Yab-Yum form’.

Hayagriva is a Tantric Buddhist meditational deity that can be found in all four of the standard classifications: Kriya, Charya, Yoga and Anuttarayoga. He is associated with the Padma Buddha Family where the Buddha is Amitabha, the Lord is Avalokiteshvara and chief wrathful deity is Hayagriva. According to some traditions Hayagriva is an independent entity while in others he is the wrathful emanation of Amitabha or Avalokiteshvara.

In Hayagriva’s most basic form he is typically red in colour, with one face and two hands, peaceful or wrathful in appearance. The most important iconographic characteristic is a horse head, typically green in colour, placed above the central wrathful face. The horse image can be single or as many as three horse heads per wrathful face of Hayagriva.

The representation of yab-yum, which translates as ‘father-mother’ in the Tibetan language, is common in Tibetan Buddhist iconography.

 

Production times

  • 1-20 editions. Up to 3 weeks
  • More than 20 editions. Up to 6 weeks

Paper:

  • Hahnemühle PhotoRag Bright White matte 310gsm paper
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