Tibetan: mGon dkar yid bzhin nor bu
- 'The white Protector deity - The Jewel Who Fulfills All Desires'
Tibet 16th century
Stone –possibly marble – with additions of gold detailing and pigments
H. 10.8 cm
The Nyingjei Lam Collection
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1996–2005
Rubin Museum of Art, New York 2005-2018
Rubin Museum “Casting the Divine: Sculptures of the Nyingjei Lam Collection” (03/03/12-02/11/13) # 074
L.2005.9.74 (HAR 68325)
Although belonging to the family of most powerful protector deities known as Mahākāla (‘The Great Black One’), White Mahākāla has a slightly different purpose to those other forms. White Mahākāla is primarily a protector who is also a wealth-bestowing deity. This function of bringing wealth is exemplified by the radiant jewel, the Cintāmaṇi or ‘Wish-Fulfilling Jewel’ he holds in his lower right hand in front of his chest.
According to the Tibetan Iconographic text Bod brgyud nang bstan lha tshogs chen mo (People’s Publishing House, Sining 2001, p. 962) his yellow hair is wafted upwards and he dances in a wild performance in which his garlands swirl around him. His lower garment is a tiger skin and his upper garment is an elephant skin. He is decorated with the 5 ornaments made from dried skulls and is garlanded by a necklace of fifty moist bone pieces. His colour is said to be of the radiant whiteness of a snowy