The Bon religion descends from the ancient beliefs of Tibet before the arrival of Buddhism in the eighth century. The early Bon religion was primarily a royal cult. The interaction between Bon and Buddhism in Tibet led to changes in both religions. Some Bon deities were integrated into the Buddhist pantheon and Bon priests adopted monastic practices.
The deity Kunzang Akhor is the meditational form of Shenlha Okar. He is generally recognized by the Tibetan letter 'A' placed on the chest at the level of the heart. 'A' is the final letter of the Tibetan alphabet, inherent in all the consonants, and is the phonetic symbol of Primeval or Absolute Reality. There are numerous traditions of ritual cycles and meditation practices for Kunzang Akhor. While in Tibetan Buddhism it is common to have a painting created in memorium, in the Bon Religion it is more common and considered of greater merit to commission a sculpture, especially that of Kunzang Akhor.
The present example ranks among the most important and largest Bon sculptures of its type, any published examples being of much smaller size and less elaborate execution. The earrings on the flared earlobes follow Indian Pala prototypes as further developed in the Khasa Malla style of Western Nepal with its particular emphasis on the treatment of jewelry. The strong modeling of the upper body, hands and feet is very powerfully executed, and features unusual details such as the finger rings.