Himalayan Art Resources

Mahakala: Kartaridhara (Knife Holder) Page

Kartaridhara Mahakala | Mahakala Main Page

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Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Kartaridhara Mahakala Description (below)
- Kadam Tradition
- Sakya Tradition
- Solitary
- With Retinue
- 'Copper Knife' (See Panjarnata Mahakala)
- Mandalas
- Nartang Gyatsa
- Masterworks
- Confusions: Vajrapani, Vighnantaka
- Others...

Kartaridhara is wrathful in appearance, dark in colour, with one face and two hands. He holds upraised in the right a curved knife (kartari). In the left he holds a skullcup to the heart. Kartaridhara can be found in the Nartang Gyatsa publication. There are several traditions of practice. The famous is that of Jowo Atisha.

According to the Panjarnata system of Mahakala there are two forms of the deity that have the same appearance as Kartaridhara. The first form is 'Copper Knife' Mahakala associated with the Eight Deity practices of Panjarnata Mahakala. The second is associated with the Seventeen Deity Panjarnata Mandala.

Jeff Watt [updated 8-2017]