Mahakala is the deity worshipped by both the Hindus and Buddhists. He can be seen in the entrance of every Buddhist monasteries of the Kathmandu Valley. He is said to be the protector of doctrine of Buddha Shakyamuni. There are many forms of Mahakala among them two armed, four armed, six armed and sixteen armed are being most popular one.
In Nepalese Buddhist tradition, two armed form of Mahakala carved in stones is found in large number. The two armed form is described as follows:
His body is dark blue in color. He looks wrathful bedecked with ornaments of serpents. He wears a garland of severed heads and a crown of 5 skulls symbolizing the 5 defilements. His right hand holds Kartri symbolizing that it can cut ego-clinging and attachment and his left hands holds an apala filled with blood symbolizing the subjugation of evil ones. He wears tiger skin symbolizing the purification of desire. He has three eyes symbolizing his clear comprehension of three times. He looks ferocious against the blazing fire. His mouth is smeared with blood signifying that he is active in eliminating evils.
The characteristic feature of the protector Mahakala is that he, during war, can protect those relying on him since there is limitless number of retinue of spirits and ghosts under his command who are skillful in battle. He can provide sufficient foods to the needy. Separate temples with Mahakala along can be found in large number.
It is said that Mahakala is the manifestation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. From the heart of Avalokiteshvara emerged a dark blue Hung Letter, which transforms into the instantaneous protector of wisdom. Buddha Amitabha proclaimed thus, ” Son of the family, you shall have the strength of the wrathful Yama, Lord of death. You shall have the mountain spirits, the yakshas, and the devils in the demonesses as your messenger. You shall embody the great wrathful empowerments of the body, speech, mind, qualities and activities of all the Buddhas throughout the three times.” Ever since Mahakala has remained as the doctrine protector of all the Buddha fields.