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    Sunday, January 31, 2010

    The Dzogchen Protectors, pt. 2

    43. Gonpo Maning (Tib. “The Wise Eunuch”)


    This manifestation of Mahakala is one of the eight guardian deities of the Nyingmapas. He holds a fresh and throbbing human heart in his left hand, and also a garland strung with the same organs. The term maning used in Mahakala's name here means “genderless” or “without genitals”. It has also been translated as “hermaphrodite” or “eunuch”.

    In the Mahakala Tantra he is described as the form by which the sufferings of sentient beings are removed. Images of this deity are placed in the entrances to many monasteries with Mahakala on the left as one enters and Ganesha on the right.

    Like all manifestations of Mahakala He is adorned with a crown of five skulls: This crown represents the transmutation of the five negative afflictions of human nature into positive virtues. Thus:

    Ignorance transforms into the wisdom of reality.

    Pride becomes the wisdom of sameness.

    Attachment becomes the wisdom of discernment.

    Jealousy becomes the wisdom of accomplishment.

    Anger becomes mirror like wisdom

    44. Rahula (Tib. barba chen po, “The Great Flaming One”)



    Rahula (not to confused with mortal son of Shakyamuni with the same name) is depicted as dark blue with a raven head as one of his nine. He has a face in his belly the mouth of which swallows up the moon or sun during eclipses. He is a wrathful deity and one of the eight highest protector deities and who rules over a class of gza demons.

    In Jyotish (Vedic) astrology two "planets" called Rahu and Ketu are thought to play a role in eclipses. In Western astrology, these are referred to as the north and south nodes of the moon. In fact, these are not "planets" but mark the intersection of the apparent path of the Moon through the elliptic of the Sun. These nodes are also referred to as the Dragon's Head (the North Node) and the Dragon’s Tail (the south node) . The northern node corresponds to Rahu.

    Rahu represents an individual’s karmic objectives in this lifetime. It points the way towards soul growth and evolution. The sign holding the Dragon's Head reveals the flavor of an individual’s karma in this lifetime, while its house placement shows the area of life in which the person needs to develop, or become conscious of the particular karmic influences operating in the present lifetime.

    Jyotish astrology considers both nodes to be markedly unfortunate, due to their karmic, instinctive and unconscious nature, with Rahu being the worse. After all, in the pursuit of liberation, "good" karma is just as binding as "bad" karma—and more seductive.


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