The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Manjushri is represented here as Kalarupa(Tib. Choegyal), and by his side, his consort, Tsamundi, an emanation of the goddess Saraswati. This terrifying form of the Buddha of Wisdom, personifies enlightenment by the conquest of anger.
Yama Dharmaraja, also known as Kalarupa (Tib: gshin rje chos rgyal; = the Lord of Death, King of the Law), is one of the Dharma protectors of the father class of Anuttarayoga Tantra, in particular for the Vajrabhairava tantras.
Although Kalarupa is found in all the Sarma Schools the Gelugpa tradition holds Yama Dharmaraja in special regard as one of the three main Dharma protectors of the Gelugpa - along with the Six-Arm Mahakala;(Shadbhuja); and Vaishravana.
Held upraised in the right hand is a bone stick composed of a fused spine and skull.
In the left hand is a coiled lasso.
There are three forms of Yama Dharmaraja:
Outer, Inner, and Secret.
The intense “ugliness” and fierceness of this iconography alone, serves as a teaching to remind us that all the causes and effects of anger arising from ignorance is “ugly”, distorted, even frightening.
We may think that his form is horrible and disgusting on all levels but Kalarupa is actually urging us to consider our appearance to others when we are under the afflictive emotions of fear, pride, jealousy and hatred.
As an emanation of Manjushri, Kalarupa’s practice ultimately helps us to destroy ignorance and develop wisdom to overcome our anger and suffering. Anyone, from any lineage who is dedicated to cut out their anger can practice Kalarupa.
OM KALARUPA HUNG PHET
All kinds of negative forces, pre-eminently (if not exclusively) internal, are tamed by protectors.
We call on these forces when our practice is in danger.