The Appearance of the Wrathful Deities

Vajrakilaya

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo offered during a Phowa retreat:

So, you are training; you are preparing. You know what to expect. You know that you will go into a state that is unfamiliar to you, with senses that act differently than your senses act now, although they will be similar in some ways. You know that you will have many choices. You know you will see things that are uncomfortable for you and unfamiliar; you will see things that are more familiar. You are beginning to understand that there are things that you should look for and things you should go toward, but mostly, you have heard the most precious piece of information. You will hear it again and again and again. And that is that these things that you see in the bardo are not to be feared. They are displays and emanations of your own mind. No matter what they look like, no matter what you see, no matter how unfamiliar you are. From the very brightest lights to the very most confused and deluding negative lights…  The lights that emanate from the hell realm are things that are an expression of some particular aspect of your own nature—whether it is your nature in a state of defilement, or the samsaric elements of your nature, or whether it is your nature in this most pure form, which is your ultimate primordial Buddha nature. Everything that you see in the bardo will be you. There is nothing to run from; it is childish and stupid to run. You cannot run away from yourself; it will pursue you. As you will see in the bardo, there are cycles of coming back and trying to choose again, coming back and trying to choose again. You’ll see that as we move on. So let’s move on.

Now we have come to the part of the bardo where the peaceful Buddhas have finished appearing. In order for you to be continuing in the bardo now, this means that the peaceful Buddhas have appeared. You have seen your nature in all its different elements and displays;. You have seen the displays of the qualities of your nature, but you did not recognize them, and you did not follow them. Fortunately, you also saw the displays that are sort of vibrational showings or displays, and also ways to enter the different six realms of cyclic existence, and so far you have not entered those either, for whatever reason.

It is hard to say what the reasons are. It can be that habitually you are a person of extreme caution and are unwilling to do anything without a great deal of examining. Of course that won’t work, because if you have not been trained, you are examining bardo with the same, if not more, delusion than the delusion that you have in life, when you could not examine enough to be able to get yourself out of samsara anyway. So that kind of examination will not serve you. It is this training and devotion to one’s spiritual mentor that will save you. That is what actually works. But somehow you’ve managed not to go into rebirth at this time. You are still in the bardo. Now at this time, the wrathful deities appear.

When the wrathful deities appear, they do so singularly and they do so en masse. They appear to you in different ways—it’s a very dynamic kind of presentation. It is also with the peaceful Buddhas, but with the wrathful Buddhas it is even more so. The reason why is that the wrathful Buddhas—you’ve seen pictures of them, or the next time you go into the Prayer Room you should look at some of the wrathful Buddhas and you will see—they are downright spooky looking. And you ask yourself, “Whoa, what, are they like Guido and Raoul, the hit men from New York?” What is it? When the good guys can’t talk you into it, the bad guys beat you into it? You must wonder what the wrathful deities are. The wrathful deities actually are symbolic and are meant to display the aspect of enlightened compassion and method that is forceful, dominating, expanding, progressing, purifying. These are all very active words, aren’t they? They’re very dynamic and active words. There are, of course, displays and expressions of one’s Buddha nature that appear as absolute stillness and absolute emptiness, and very peaceful kind of display. Of course, that is the wisdom aspect of one’s own nature. But what is the method aspect of one’s own nature? If wisdom and method are non-dual and completely inseparable, as they are, looking at them from the purely awakened state, then it must also be, just as much, if stillness is your nature, then movement is your nature. They are the same and indistinguishable. If emptiness is your nature, then fullness is your nature, because in truth, in the awakened state, emptiness and fullness cannot be distinguished. They are not only inseparable, they are not distinguishable. It is only we that separate emptiness from fullness and peacefulness from aggression or activity.

So, as in the case of Vajrakilaya, which many of you here practice, Vajrakilaya is the very wrathful display of Vajrasattva. Vajrasattva. Who could be more peaceful than that deity who is meant to purify all of our samsaric afflictions, who has the capacity to purify all of our “sins,” all of our afflictions, all of our ego clingings, our hatred, our greed, and our ignorance? Who is more forgiving and more peaceful than that? And yet the wrathful display of Vajrasattva is Vajrakilaya. Does that mean that Vajrasattva has PMS and on a monthly basis emerges as Vajrakilaya in a real bad mood? Do you think that’s what it is? No, that’s not what it is; of course it’s not. It is the same nature. It is the same. Vajrakilaya is completely indistinguishable from Vajrasattva. They are the same in their function.  They are the same in their capacity.  They are the same in their enlightenment. But they are different in the display of method. That is all.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

Astrology for 12/31/2014

12/31/2014 Wednesday by Norma

If you’re still shopping today, be careful: you’ll make mistakes and buy things you regret later. Someone pushes harder than others are willing to tolerate. If you’re looking for sales or donations, ask quietly, then step back. Arm twisting generates a shocking comeback; a potential supporter jumps ship or worse. Depend on love and goodwill to attain your goals today, do not use aggressive tactics. Charles Mingus said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” The simple fact today is that people give to or purchase what they love, nothing more. You absolutely must behave well in public, you are being observed by an intolerant entity. Attitudes have hardened, and things that flew under the radar in the past are now banned. What’s good today? Supportive conversations and communications with people who love each other, dressing up for every activity (including staying home), and happiness. This is the best possible day to contact those you care for and express your affection. What are you waiting for?

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 12/30/2014

12/30/2014 Tuesday by Norma

Harmonious relationships between men and women prevail today, and children are on their best behavior! Try to go somewhere as a family, if possible, and everyone will be happy and cooperative. A perceptive woman or child diagnoses a problem perfectly and offers a workable solution. Listen to the quietest person in the group, the one who whispers “Let’s do that!” You’ll have a ball. It’s a good time to buy, sell and engage in commerce and financial transactions. An exceptional ability to assess value is here: buy something and you will congratulate yourself in years to come on your smart purchase. William James said, “Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” You are planning for the future with your current activities. Competing factions vie for attention: a group or friend urges you to do one thing, and a fun activity beckons from a different direction. You can’t do both, so take turns. Give each its due. The problem is that one is more fun than the other, but if you ignore the lesser, it will cause you big trouble. What’s good today? Shopping! Investments! Deep conversations with people who understand mysterious secrets, and happiness.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 12/29/2014

12/29/2014 Monday by Norma

A feisty energy succeeds in encouraging others but lacks the class to impress the old guard. A raspberry cheer makes everyone laugh, except the boss. Watch yourself today: determine who you you want to impress and behave accordingly. Women make excellent companions, if you’re feeling tired, they will perk you up and improve your spirits. Men toe the line, providing less fun. The more rules that are imposed, the more people want to break free. George Bernard Shaw said, “Be good enough to remember that your morals are only your habits; and do not call other people immoral because they have other habits.” Message to parents: let the kids run around as much as they want and life will go go easier on you! What’s good today? Group activity, spending time with friends, anything involving a parade, festival or dressing up, and happiness!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts
vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently.
Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some
with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many
departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 12/28/2014

12/28/2014. Sunday. by Norma

A serious conversation is offers support and a stabilizing energy early in the day. Offer comfort to a sad or grieving person. A burst of energy is exciting- use it to exercise, work or engage in vigorous activity. Be aware that an inflammatory mood lurks just below the surface, and anything can spark a conflagration. Fires and explosions are possible. If you are out and about and something flares up, run! Dear Abby said, “People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.” This is an excellent time to go back to school, to set a new long term goal, and to plan for the future. In five years you’ll thank yourself for being so far sighted. Think big! What’s good today? Men making magic, healing people and solving problems. Happiness for its own sake, and group activity.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 12/27/2014

12/27/2014 Saturday by Norma

A communication from a loving person makes your day! Kind words and sensitive interactions are a godsend for people who are working hard to keep everything going in the face of divisive forces. Speak up, and offer a good dose of encouragement. Surprisingly effective medical advances are possible, and good news is in the background, quietly slipping into the picture. Marcus Aurelius said, “Time is like a river; as soon as something comes into sight, it is swept past, and something else takes its place, and that too will be swept away.” Smile at people with inflexible attitudes and do not answer. What’s good today? Creativity, artistic pursuits, medical treatments and happy relationships!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 12/26/2014

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12/26/2014 Friday by Norma

A sensitive person with a compassionate outlook plays a crucial role in today’s events. A unifying force appears: you, perhaps? Someone understands the situation, and things change in miraculous ways. A magician appears, waves a wand, and happiness ensues. Remember that others actually want things to work out, and proceed with that thought in mind. Give people a break! Rudyard Kipling said ” I always prefer to believe the best of everybody-it saves so much trouble.” What’s good today? Wise speech, sensitive people, effective medical cures, water and the movies!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 12/25/2014

12/25/2014 Thursday by Norma

A continuing standoff between factions provokes surprising outbreaks of maverick behavior. The power and goodwill lies with the “old guard,” who will come out on top in the long run. Upsetting incidents are divisive, not unifying. Avoid stating an opinion about current events. Theodore Roosevelt said. “Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.” What’s good today? Men are creative and sympathetic, deep thinking goes to the root of causes and a joyous spirit is everywhere. Have fun today, count your blessings and avoid political discussions.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts
vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently.
Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some
with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many
departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 12/24/2014

12/24/2014 Wednesday by Norma

Meeting with friends is fun, and group associations are inspiring. Nevertheless you must listen,
patiently and longer than you dreamed possible, to what others have to say. If someone makes a four hour speech, stay awake! The urge to explain the situation, in depth, strikes everyone. Take turns talking. Take notes, there may be a quiz later. You’ll want to duck out, but you’ll be in trouble if you do! Warren Buffett said, “I want to explain my mistakes. This means I do only the things I completely understand.” And here is the problem. People need to understand what is happening, and this takes time. Once the chatter ceases, a man has an inspired idea that is relaxing and fun. Ear problems are possible today, have yours checked if you keep asking people to repeat themselves. What’s good today? Visits with relatives, friends, parties, festivities, and talking!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 12/23/2014

12/23/2014 Tuesday by Norma

Big change today! A shift away from focus on debt and death occurs, and the new center of attention involves foreign matters, philosophy and politics. Travel becomes tricky, so expect delays and frustrations if you are in transit. A hardening of values occurs, and new laws or regulations are formulated. Your gaze moves from downward to upward, from below to above. What is up there, anyway? Take a look! The news becomes important, pay attention! Symbolism is an issue today: what do you
represent, what matters to you? Be as respectful of other people’s beliefs as you are of your own. Federico Fellini said, “A season of change does not necessarily mean the collapse of civilization.” Things have changed, and your job is to adjust and move in the new direction. What’s good? You no longer have to worry about financial matters in the way you did before. A burden has been lifted, a ship that sank has resurfaced, and it’s time to move on. Where to? You decide!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!