By Tony McMahon (Vessantara)
A consultant to the Deities of the Tantra is an interesting perception right into a topic that has captivated the mind's eye of many yet is still mysterious and unique to all yet a few.
Tantric deities? who're they and what do they do?
This quantity makes a speciality of the deities whose mantra recitation and colourful visualizations lie on the middle of the Tantra. We meet goddesses of knowledge, the prince of purity, the lotus-born guru Padmasambhava, and dakinis— wild-haired ladies who dance within the flames of freedom. All, the peaceable and the wrathful alike, urge the reader to wreck via to knowledge, mentioning the real nature of fact with uncompromising vigor.
Devoid of popular culture misperceptions, this advisor is a window into the occasionally mysterious international of Buddhist Tantra. Vessantara explores the main features of the Tantra during this magical fusion of the sensible and the imaginative—giving us an instantaneous perception in into the poetry and the ability of the Tantra.
A much-published and well-respected Buddhist writer, meditator, and instructor, Vessantara is a senior member of the Western Buddhist Order. He holds a specific love for Tibetan Buddhism and is famous as an efficient storyteller. this is often one among 3 volumes Buddha figures within the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
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Extra resources for A Guide to the Deities of the Tantra (Meeting the Buddhas)
Beneath the red cloak he wears the yellow robes of a monk showing that though he follows the Tantric path beyond conceptual distinctions of right and wrong, he keeps pure his ethical discipline. He has not abandoned the basics of Buddhism, but simply carried them up into a higher vision. Beneath these he wears a blue robe. Blue was the royal colour in ancient India. It became associated with the Tantra, as it incorporated much of the symbolism of royalty into its ritual. For example, we have seen that the Tantric initiation procedure in which the initiate is sprinkled with water from an initiation vase by the guru parallels the ceremony of anointing a king.
However, deeper more primitive strata of the mind are not amenable to being taught in this way. These aboriginal levels of consciousness need to be converted through the magic powers of figures like Nyima Odzer and Dorje Drolo. In summary, we can say that these differing manifestations mark Padmasambhava as the embodiment of all the resourcefulness of Buddhist teaching. They show him as the typical Tantric guru - working through logic and reasoning to convert the rational mind, but also diving deep into the psychic depths to confront, subdue, and transform the powerful and primitive - perhaps even demonic - energies that inhabit those dark realms.
He is seated serenely in full-lotus posture, wearing dazzling silks and jewels made by craftsmen in light. His right hand is held to his heart, palm upwards. Balanced perfectly upright upon it is a vajra, the diamond sceptre of the Enlightened Ones. The vajra may appear as gold or crystal. Whatever its semblance it is made of light, of Mind, of Reality itself. His left hand is at his left side, holding a vajra-bell (Sanskrit vajraghanta) a silver bell with a vajra handle. His head is crowned with a diadem of five jewels, and his body is surrounded by an aura of five-coloured light: white, yellow, red, blue, and green - symbolizing that Vajrasattva is the union of the mandala of the five Buddhas, the complete embodiment of their wisdoms.
A Guide to the Deities of the Tantra (Meeting the Buddhas) by Tony McMahon (Vessantara)