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Buddhist art, magazines & books

Product Image "Protectors Tryptich" - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

"Protectors Tryptich" - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche


Presented here in a single print, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's renderings of three protectors: Vajrasadhu, Ekajati, and the Four-Armed Mahakala.

Vajrasadhu is a lokapala, a class of worldly protector, often charged with guarding specific places. They are often dressed in armour, as Vajrasadhu is in this rendition of him. He lives in a castle made of a black crystaline rock. 

Ekajati is considered to be an emanation of Samantabhadri, the female primordial buddha, and she also manifests as Vajrayogini, a pre-eminent female deity or yidam. The iconography of Ekajati is itself unusual, in that she has a single eye on her forehead and a single fang in the middle of her mouth, shown in this painting projecting down below the rest of her teeth.

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.