Four-armed Mahakala by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
The Four-armed Mahakala is one of the three images that comprise the ‘Protectors Triptych’ or the Three ‘Masks’ series. In The Myth of Freedom, published in 1976 by Shambhala Publications, Chögyam Trungpa 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)
The Four-Armed Mahakala is particularly associated with protecting the lineage of the Surmang group of monasteries of which Chögyam Trungpa was the Supreme Abbot. It is also closely allied with Chakrasamvara, one of the principal male deities or yidams of the Kagyü lineage to which Chögyam Trungpa belonged.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1940-1987) is recognized for playing a pivotal role in the transmission of genuine Buddhadharma to the West. One of the first Tibetan Buddhist teachers to come to America, he established Shambhala International. He is the author of bestselling books on the Buddhist teachings. He was a poet, painter, and calligrapher who coined the term “dharma art,” and whose teachings on dharma art describe a profound connection between meditative mind and the creative process.
Learn more about Trungpa Rinpoche at:
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