A Powerful Protector Finds Its Home
|Ani Pema Chodron with the Mahakala painting.|
On February 8, Gampo Acharya Pema Chodron presided over a ceremony to install Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s original painting of the Four-Armed Mahakala on the protector shrine in Gampo Abbey’s main shrine room. According to the Nalanda Translation Committee, the Four Armed Mahakala is said to be a dharmapala (protector) predicted by the Buddha, and he is a particular protector of the madhyamaka teachings and of the Chakrasamvara tantra. He was also a special protector of Surmang, and his symbolism is based on vajra anger and compassion. The Vidyadhara painted this in the early 60s, and it isn’t known if he created it in India or during his time in England at Oxford University. For many years he kept this protector close, and he had it hanging on the wall of his residence in Boulder—the Kalapa Court. The Shambhala Archives has now entrusted care of this powerful image to the Abbey.
Written by Alice Haspray with information from the Nalanda Translation Committee
Photos by Maria Losurdo