original: mineral paints, gouache and 22 carat gold on linen 2011
White Mahakala is a god of prosperity. He is a fierce form of Avalokitesvara, the god of compassion. Here, he leans forward earnestly, offering you jewels and wealth in whatever form you wish. At the same time he is looking around you to fiercely ward of anyone or anything that might obstruct your ability to accept the wealth he offers. A red dakini, symbolizing the vitality of the energy of life, dances at his side – she resides in his heart and mesmerizes the wealth to him and those who call upon him. Below Mahakala are offerings to him. In the center, things that give pleasure to the senses, for instance silk for the sense of touch, jewels, fruits etcetera, and some of the “auspicious substances”: things that bring good fortune – the mirror, which represents the offering goddess of light, and the conch, which contains perfume as an offering for the sense of smell. To the left is what is called the inner offering – our sense organs themselves, and to the right is an offering of amrita – the nectar of bliss. Above is Padma Sambhava to the left, the saint who brought Buddhism to Tibet, and to the right is a later-in-time manifestation of him, Padampa Senge. These figures have been placed in the painting as requested by one of my teachers, Wangdu Lama, as being appropriate for the woman who commissioned the painting.
“From the sandalwood grove deathgrounds, like a swirling mass of white clouds of autumn, O white protector, supreme teaching guardian, playful emanation of Padmapani, please come here pouring rains of jewels!”
-a standard invocation, taken from the text “Worlds of Transformation”