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    Sunday, January 31, 2010

    The Dzogchen Protectors, pt. 3

    45. Ekajati (Tibetan: ral chig ma)

    The name Ekajati literally means "one whose hair is arranged in single braid." Ekajati is most often portrayed as a ferocious goddess, her awesomeness being emphasized by the pronounced and only eye in the center of the forehead.
    Ekajati is also known as Ugra-Tara, 'ugra,' meaning wrathful in Sanskrit. She is believed to be the most powerful goddess in the Vajrayana pantheon, and merely listening to the chants of her mantra destroys all obstacles.  From her mouth, a single fang protrudes. She has only one drooping breast hanging down chest, and her hips are covered with a tiger-skin. A long necklace of severed human heads adorns her body.

    In her right hand she waves an impaled and upright human corpse. A female wolf is sometimes portrayed as her messenger. Ekajati stands in the 'pratyalidha' or warrior pose (familiar to those who have practiced Hatha Yoga).  She also functions as guardian of mantras - preventing them from being disclosed to those unworthy to use them, and ensuring that those who have been empowered to use them do so for appropriate purposes. She guards mantras in a more general sense as well by preventing them from losing their power and efficacy or from being lost altogether.

    A protector of the Dzogchen teachings who was bound under oath by Guru Padmasambhava. He is depicted riding upon a goat (snow lion?) and wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

    47. Lhamo Ngen Nema ?

    48. Yodronma

    A female deity associated with a system of mirror divination (in the west referred to as “skrying”)
    Mirror Divination is known as "Ta" in Tibetan. Ta means, "that which is coming forward very clearly." Mirror divination uses a mirror (usually made of brass, silver or glass) to reflect back to the seer images or words in response to a question. In order to be able to 'see' in the mirror, one needs to have 'special eyes' which are either inherited from one's parents, or is a natural talent carried over from one's previous lives. After many intensive retreats under the guidance of a qualified master, these natural abilities are further developed and refined.
    There are three levels of mirror divination. First, one develops the ability to see shapes, colors and images the mirror. A text must be consulted to interpret the meaning of these signs. This is the most common form of mirror divination used today. With further development, one begins to see letters, words and complete sentences on the surface of the mirror. The practitioner writes down the words verbatim, and gives this message to the questioner. Finally, there is no need for the mirror. The practitioner automatically 'knows' what the questions are and the answers arise spontaneously in his/her mind.

    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.