"The Great and Black One", the most fierce Tibetan guardian divinity, generally found painted by doorways in all the gompas.
This is the wrathful form of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. He protects from dangers and bad influences that might hinder a monk's approach to enlightenment. Mahakala is seen as the protector of the Dalai Lamas.
(Tib.: nag po chen po, Eng.: Great Black One) - a meditation deity of the non-dual anuttarayoga classification from the tradition of the Indian pandita Vararuchi. Mahakala is also a category of wisdom Dharma protector within the Vajrayana path. [See Panjarnata and Chaturmukha