The word Mahakala is a Sanskrit word. Maha means 'Great' and Kala refers to 'Time or Death'. Mahakala means “Beyond time or Death” (Mukherjee, (1988). NY). Tibetan Buddhism calls 'Mahakala' NagpoChenpo' meaning the ' Great Black One' and also 'Ganpo' which means 'The Protector'. Mahakala (Great Black One) is a category of male Tantric Buddhist deities. The common function of Mahakala is as a protector (Dharmapala) deity and specifically the primary Wisdom Protector of Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism.
Mahakala, worshipped and admired in India since ancient times, was not only a Guardian deity but also the God of War, Wealth, and Good Fortune, and also the God of Hell. Mahakala, in Tibetan, means Umgon-po" or "nagpo chen-po," which is translated in several different ways in Chinese, among which is "protective God Big Black."