Like many blogs, social media have weakened this one. But, even for the Buddhist, things are so annoyingly ephemeral there. Haven’t you had the experience where you see something interesting on Facebook, and 12 minutes later you want to look at it again and it is lost in the blizzard of *stuff*? So that’s why I have come back to the blog for this.
Karma Pakshi has been an important practice for me since the late 70s, and is my main practice these days. Recently I was looking around for a better picture – the one I had, which I bought from Samye Ling “back then”, had become very faded. I looked around on the net to find a nice one, and one that I particularly liked was published by Palpung Changchub Dargyeling in South Wales. Iconographically, it appears to be very good, with correct details that you don’t always see. But there was one bizarre strangeness about it, and one thing that I felt wasn’t quite right. Firstly, the “chojung” on or in which he sits, usually represented as two crossed triangles, is red on the inside and white on the outside (a fairly standard colouring), and this is shown iconographically by a red triangle with a white rim. The artist, however, had got carried away by his or her paintbox, and painted the edge a vivid blue. Without going into detail, this is not something you can arbitrarily change. The smaller point is that Mahakala’s knife, which is made of copper, was also painted in a blueish colour more suggestive of steel.
For my own purposes I made a copy and worked on it digitally to turn the blue edge white and the blade of the knife a brownish colour. The people at the centre have given me permission to publish it here, in case anybody else would like to use it.
Isn’t it nice?