The Mahakala Buddha is the protector of Tibetan Buddhism. There are four-armed Mahakala images and six-armed images. On this thangka, Mahakala has 6 arms. The six-armed Mahakala is favored by the Gelukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. On his head, Mahakala wears a crown of five skulls. This is an example of the 5 negative afflictions of mankind that he transforms into positives. Ignorance, pride, attachment, jealousy, and anger. His six arms are symbolic of the six perfections. Generosity, morality, peace, vigor, meditation, and wisdom. Mahakala always holds a knife in his right hand and a skull in his left hand. In his next right hand he holds a drum, in the third right hand he holds a skull mala. Mahakala holds a trident in his second left hand, and a noose in his third left hand. The Mahakala Buddha is always surrounded by fire. This thangka is mounted on brocade, and it is 34 inches long and 20 inches wide with the brocade.