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Vajrabhairava and consort Vajravateli.
“When the tantric wrathful deity is understood and related to skillfully, it has the necessary qualities to be a catalyst of transformation. One deity that embodies the power to transform the destructive, agressive aspect of the Shadow is Yamantaka. Vajrabhairava, as he is also called is practiced to overcome emotional and karmic obstacles, in particular the violence of anger and hatred.” — The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra, Rob Preece
No deity is more misunderstood than the buffalo-headed deity Vajrabhairava [Vajra meaning “Indestructible” and Bhairava translating as “Terrifier”], yet this is one of the main higher yoga Yidam practices of the Gelug tradition and practiced extensively by other traditions. [See “Different forms of Yamantaka” section below.]
Shakyamuni as Vajrabhairava, Foe-Destroyer
Shakyamuni Buddha meditated under the Bodhi Tree, ultimately attaining enlightenment. He wrestled with temptations, demons, and vile cravings. Mindfully watching these cravings or thoughts as an observer can help the meditator, ultimately, conquer obstacles. In some Tantra accounts, he manifests himself as Vajrabhairava, the Vajra Terrifier, defeating the four Maras and yamaYama (death) — symbolizing the same process from a Vajrayana point-of-view.
There are Tantras describing the manifestation of Buddha as Vajrahairava, the Foe-Destroyer. Foe Destroyer means the opponent of the Maras (representing temptations, attachments, and fear of death.) In some Tantra accounts, it is written that Shakyamuni himself — as he sat under the Bodhi tree enduring the attack of demonic Mara the tempter and Yama (death) — manifested as Vajrabhairava to “terrify and subdue” Mara / Yama. (Yama and Mara are often confounded.) Yamantaka means “death opponent” or opponent of death.
In Sutra, Shakyamuni faced the hoards and temptations of Mara, subduing them mentally, transforming them, and ultimately attaining Enlightenment. In Tantra, this mental process transforms into visualized or manifested forms. Shakyamuni manifested mentally as the Vajra Terrifier (Vajrabhairava) — not only conquering the four
By: Lee Kane
Title: Angry Wisdom: Yamantaka, the Destroyer of Death; Vajrabhairava, the wrathful Highest Yoga Tantra Heruka manifestation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom
Sourced From: buddhaweekly.com/yamantaka-destroyer-death-vajrabhairava-wrathful-dharamapala-heruka-manifestation-manjushri-buddha-wisdom/
Published Date: Sun, 28 Jun 2020 06:57:00 +0000