Mahakala comes from the Sanskrit maha (great) and kala (death or time) which translates that he is a deity beyond time. In Tibet, he is also called the Nagpo Chenpo, or the Great Black One, and is revered as guardian and protector. He is affiliated with Hindu god Shiva. According to tradition, he dwells in the cremation grounds. In this thangka, he is depicted with two arms and two legs.