Mahakala Bhairava with Buddhas, Ganesha, Karttikeya, Achala, and Devotees. Newar Lineage. Malla Period, Nepal. 1500s.

Newar religious practice employs a unique mix of Buddhist and Hindu elements. The five transcendental buddhas at the top of this painting and Achala (the blue-skinned Buddhist protector at the bottom center) are joined by deities more often affiliated with Hinduism. These include the elephant-headed Ganesha and dancing Karttikeya, who flank their father, Shiva, in his form as Mahakala/Bhairava. Another important feature of Newar art and practice is the depiction and participation of both men and women devotees. In the lower two registers seventeen men (in white-and-red-striped outfits) and seven women (in Malla period red skirts with white-and-blue stripes) offer flowers. Also typical of the Malla period are the shapes of Mahakala’s triangular eyebrows, his neatly trimmed moustache and beard, and his round, full eyes. -Asian Art

Those who approach
have His sustaining strength
as they strive
to reach His feet.



[He’ll] say,
"Be rid of your fear.
I know why you have come.”


-
from Tirumurukarruppadai (Guide to Lord Murugan) translated by Layne Little

To worship
is to get what one asks for,
according to one’s request…

[because]
there and there
[He’s] residing,
as everybody knows.

It whatever place
you happen to be,
there you’ll be able to see [Him].

Whenever you long
to look upon His face
and do worship,
He’ll appear there instantly.

-from Tirumurukarruppadai (Guide to Lord Murugan), translated by Layne Little

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