|Date Range||1500 - 1599|
|Collection||Shelley & Donald Rubin|
Yama Dharmaraja (Tibetan: shin je cho gyal. English: the Lord of Death, King of the Law): protector of the Vajrabhairava (Yamantaka) cycle of tantras.
Tibetan: Shin je cho gyal
Wrathful in appearance he has the head of a buffalo, three round eyes, sharp horns entwined with flame, fierce and angry. Held upraised in the right hand is a bone stick composed of a fused spine and skull. The left hand performs a wrathful gesture. Adorned with a crown of skulls and bone ornaments, he wears a necklace of fifty freshly severed heads. Appearing extremely animate he stands with his right leg bent and the left extended.
Yama Dharmaraja (also known as Kalarupa) is a wisdom deity protector of the father class of Anuttarayoga Tantra specifically employed by those engaged in the practices of the Vajrabhairava (Yamantaka) tantras and is found in all the Sarma Schools. The Gelugpa tradition holds Yama Dharmaraja in a special regard as one of the three main Dharma protectors of the School along with the Shadbhuja Mahakala (one face, six hands) and Vaishravana. These three were the special protectors of Lama Tsongkapa. Although similar in appearance and name Yama Dharmaraja is not the same individual as Yama the 'Lord of Death' depicted as the central figure in Buddhist depictions of the hell realms.
Indian Lineage: Vajradhara, Shri Vajrabhairava, Jnana Dakini, Lalitavajra, Vajrasana, Amoghavajra, Jnana Sambhava Bepa, Padmavajra, Dipamkara Shrijnana, (the Nepali) Bharo Chag Dum, (the Tibetan) Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drag, etc.
Jeff Watt 5-2003