Mahākāla is a deity common to Hinduism and Tantric Buddhism. In Buddhism, Mahākāla is regarded as the sacred Dharmapāla ("Protector of the Dharma"), while in Hinduism, Mahākāla is a fierce manifestation of the Hindu god Shiva and the consort of the goddess Mahākālī; he most prominently appears in the Kalikula sect of Shaktism. Mahākāla also appears as a protector deity in Vajrayana, Chinese Esoteric, and Tibetan Buddhism (see Citipati), and also in the Chàn and Shingon traditions. He is known as Dàhēitiān and Daaih'hāktīn (大黑天) in Mandarin and Cantonese, Daeheukcheon (대흑천) in Korean, Đại Hắc Thiên in Vietnamese, and Daikokuten (大黒天) in Japanese.
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