A black ground thangka of Panjaranatha Mahakala
Tibet, circa 1800
Distemper on cloth; holding a curved knife and skullcup to the heart with a gandhi stick resting across the forearms, with a very fierce expression and all the customary wrathful ornaments and attire such as the necklace of fifty freshly severed heads, tiger skin lower garment and a long snake as a Brahmin cord, he stands atop a corpse above a dark sun disc surrounded by a mass of flaming fire with three garudas above and a black dog.
At the top of the composition is Buddha Vajradhara (2) and at middle left side is Ekajati (3) and right Shri Devi Dudsolma with four arms and riding a donkey (4), in the lower portion are the Five Karma Activity deities: Kala Rakshasa (5), Putra (6), Kal Rakshasi (7), Bhatra (8) and Singmo (6) and four other small figures depicted in the lower composition. Additionally there is a warrior (A), a dark woman (B) a mantradharin (ngagpa) (C) and a Buddhist monk (bhikshu) (D). These four figures of the outer retinue each represent a thousand figures for each of the four types: a 1000 warriors, a 1000 black women, a 1000 mantradharins, and a 1000 bhikshus.
With an Umay cursive Tibetan inscription verso:
This painting of Panjara and retinue is offered by the teacher Kunga Gyatso to the monastic house Ewam Zilnon [with the wish] to completely eliminate the wrong views of those practitioners of the Buddha's teachings and to swiftly pacify all of the outer and inner obstacles.
Image: 21 7/8 x 16 in. (55.5 x 40.6 cm); With silks: 39 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (99.7 x 64.8 cm)