Four-Armed Mahakala is particularly associated with protecting the lineage of the Surmang group of monasteries of which Chögyam Trungpa was the Supreme Abbot.
Four-Armed Mahakala is closely associated with Chakrasamvara, one of the principal male deities or yidams of the Kagyü lineage to which Chögyam Trungpa belonged. In The Myth of Freedom, published in 1976 by Shambhala Publications, he writes about this protector in a chapter entitled Working with Negativity, "The whole structure of the image is based on energy and complete compassion devoid of idiot compassion. . . . The mahakala is traditionally surrounded by flames, representing the unceasing energy of anger without hatred, the energy of compassion. The skull crown symbolizes the negativity or emotions that are not destroyed or abandoned or condemned for being bad. Rather, they are used by the mahakala for his ornaments and crown." (p. 80)
Printed on uncoated archival-quality paper.
Image copyright Diana J. Mukpo. Please do not reproduce this image.