On the other hand, the mention of Maha-Kali evokes inner trepidation, fear and a sense of danger. What is this energy that is so strong, terrible and at the same time attractive for many practitioners?
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Description of "Forbidden Fruit" in Russian
At the beginning of the development of the plot of the multi-part Turkish melodrama "Yasak Elma", viewers will meet two sisters Yildiz and Zeynep, who are not just close relatives, but also true friends, albeit with different characters. Yildiz's new acquaintance is Ender Argun, a well-known personality in show business. The girl receives a tempting offer from her. For a generous reward, she wants Yildiz to fall in love with her husband, after which Ender could divorce him and get good money.
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The concept of Mahakala
Mahakala is a divine being who guards and protects the dharma, that is, the teachings of the Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, such protectors are called dharmapalas. In addition, in some directions he is considered a yidam - an enlightened one who has his own practices, meditation exercises, mantras, iconography, and statues.
Tanka with Mahakala
Mahakala is revered in the Vajrayana tradition. The main mission of this deity is to remove obstacles, overcome difficulties, help people striving for Awakening.
His name means "Great Black" or "Great Time" depending on the accuracy of the translation. But in different countries, Mahakala has different names:
- in Tibet - Nagpo Chenpo,
- in Mongolia - Mahgal,
- in Japan - Daikoku.
Whatever they call him, he has a huge number of hypostases, but in most cases he is depicted as an angry deity. There is an explanation for this: in the tantra texts, there are 8 types of beings with special powers. Among them are the so-called "mahakals" who create problems for people, and in order to resist them, Mahakala was forced to take a similar appearance.
There are some representatives of Tibetan Buddhism who are very afraid of Mahakala, considering him a demonic being. On certain days they perform special rituals -puja -in his honor, and all the rest of the time they keep his image locked in a special altar.
There are several versions of how Mahakala appeared in the philosophy of Buddhism. Some believe that he was originally a demonic deity, but later switched to the good side, recognized the three jewels and took refuge in Buddha, dharma and sangha, and then completely became the protector of the Teaching. Another version says that he came from tantra, widespread in India, as the opposite essence of Shiva - Bhairava, which means "Compounding terror".
Still others consider Mahakala to be an evil emanation of Avalokiteshvara. The legend of this is a continuation of the story of how Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, had 11 heads. For 7 years he succumbed to sadness, and then decided to find an evil face.
Avalokiteshvara - Buddha of Compassion
Then his heart formed the sacred syllable "hum", which later turned into Mahakala. After this event, the earth shook six times. Buddha Amitabha and other Dhyani Buddhas realized that the new deity is so strong that it is capable of realizing the dreams and aspirations of a person if he lives an honest and righteous life.
After the appearance of these myths, the image of Mahakala gradually penetrated into the Vajrayana as a being who protects the dharma, in an evil guise. He gained special love among adherents of the Sakya school, where he found reflection in many forms, the most important of which is Dorje Gur. However, in other traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, the protector carried a lot of weight.
A new round of popularity began at the end of the 10th century, when the influence of Buddhism in Tibet began to increase again.A century later, the Mahakala Tantra appeared here, which was translated from Sanskrit by Rinchen Sangpo. Later, the great Tsongkhapa began to continue this practice, and the 5 forms of Mahakala became the main guardians of the Gelug tradition.
The Mahakala form with six arms is among the guardians of Tibet.
Later, Mahakala became known to some Chinese people during the Song era. And with the arrival of the Mongol dynasty in China, he did gain immense popularity. For example, he was the personal protector of the 13th century ruler Kublai Khan.
Forms and their meaning
Despite his angry image, Mahakala has a compassionate and compassionate nature. Its highest goal is striving for Awakening, and its private one, helping all practitioners, is overcoming obstacles on the way to it, increasing strength, accumulating knowledge, and spiritual development.
In Tibet, he is respectfully called the "Great Black Guardian". Mahakala can have a variety of forms: with a different number of hands, different colors, and in each case, a particular deity will have a special meaning. His 72 emanations are called, but there is an opinion that their number exceeds a thousand.
Let's talk about its most important forms:
- With 2 hands - Mahakala Bernagchen, the embodiment of the bodhisattva Vajrapani. Literally means black cloak. Recognized as the most powerful defender. It is especially common in the direction of the Karma Kagyu and serves the Karmapa. The 8th Karmapa once compiled the text "Bernagchen's Call", the constant reading of which will help to achieve courage and protect oneself from evil. In the Mongolian direction, a subspecies of Bernagchen, Panjara Mahakal, is very revered, who, among other things, is considered the patron saint of houses.
- 4-handed - Gonpo Chakjila, an emanation of Manjushri
- With 6 hands, Jnana Mahakala, the embodiment of Avalokitesvara, easily defeats enemies.
- White - Goncar, helps to calm and increase active energy, bestows wealth, strength, intelligence, spiritual qualities. In many ways, it became popular due to the spiritual activities of Tsongkhapa, who created the special rituals of Mahakala. Gonkar is considered the guardian of the Mongolian people.
- Gold or yellow - enhances energy and doubles efforts on the path of Enlightenment.
- Red - gives inspiration.
- Blue / Black - guards and removes obstacles.
Mahakala is often depicted in iconography, on thangkas, sculptures, figurines, drawings. The specific appearance depends on the form of the deity, but in general it has a number of common features.
Most often, he appears in a blue or black body, with a bulging belly, with an angry expression on his face. Its attributes and decorations are of great importance: a loincloth made of tiger skin, a garland on which human heads and bones are strung.
The tiara, which is crowned with 5 skulls, personifies 5 defilements, which the deity managed to turn into 5 true wisdoms. Animals and birds from the wild are a symbol of determination and willingness to overcome obstacles. Two snakes intertwined the body and grappled below the waist - this indicates that Mahakala was able to pacify the anger that snakes symbolize in himself.
Depending on the number of hands, Mahakala holds certain objects: a deity with two hands squeezes a skull cup and a sword or trident, with four - a sword, khatwangu, kapala, with six - also a rosary, a damaru drum, a knife, with sixteen - a trident, an elephant's paw , bell, vajra, human head, seashell, rods, damaru. Also, the latter has 8 faces and 4 legs.
Often the protector of the dharma, especially his white form, holds with his feet the deity Vinayaka with the head of an elephant - this is a demon that obstructs. He is often confused with Ganesha from the pantheon of Hinduism, which, on the contrary, is the embodiment of wisdom and wealth.
The two-handed Bernagchen is usually depicted riding the sun, sitting on a lotus throne.A third of the entire body is occupied by the head, the hair is like a flame and reared, and on the face you can distinguish 4 healthy fangs and a red beard. He himself is engulfed in the flame of wisdom.
The deity also has a female incarnation - Mahakali. The wife is the goddess Sridevi, whose other hypostasis is considered to be the wrathful Palden Lhamo. Sridevi, along with her husband, are often portrayed in the yab-yum union.
Today's article introduced us to Mahakala, an important deity in the pantheon of the Vajrayana tradition. He is the protector of the dharma, yidam and is able to appear in different forms: with two, four, six or sixteen hands, different colors. Each hypostasis has its own strengths, but the main purpose of the deity is to lead the adherents of the Buddha's teachings to Enlightenment.
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