Tale of Two

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Guru Padmasambhava had five women disciples who compiled accounts of his teachings then hid them in various places for future benefit.  One of these, Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, is said to have possessed such a wonderful memory that if she were told a thing only once she remembered it forever.  She gathered what she had heard from the Guru into a book called Padma Thangyig Serteng or The Golden Rosary of the Lotus-born (Padmasambhava).  It was hidden away and subsequently, under inspiration, revealed over 500 years ago by a terton [treasure-finder.]

Chapters 5-9 contain the tale of two deities that Sir John Woodroffe sees as "the rise and fall of the Self" in which "evil for evil’s sake" is eventually transformed.

Of Former Existences

Once there was a disciple whose name translates as "Transcendent Faith" and who eventually became the bodhisattva Vajrapani (Tib. Chana Dorje) who also known as Guhyapati (Tibetan: sang wa'i dag po.) Also at that time, there was a bodhisattva of the 8th-level known as "Black Salvation"  who misinterpreted his teacher’s doctrine and, consciously identifying himself with the world-evil, falls into Hell.  

Incarnating at first in gross material forms, he at length manifested as a great Rudra, the embodiment of all wickedness.  There is a distinction between Rudra, the Vedic storm god who is Lord of Chaos (Skt. samhara-shakti, Form-loosening Energy) and the kind of being which Woodroffe designated with the spelling, "Rutra."   That one is a type of being that is essentially evil; not a devata of a celestial paradise.  It is what is known as an adh'atma --  a soul on a lower, destructive, path with "disintegrating propensities" that Chaos uses for its own ends.

These Rudras can be expressions of various kinds of Egoism.  For example, a Matam Rudra is Egoism as attached to the gross physical body.  An Akar Rudra is one that identifies with its feelings, saying "I am happy, unhappy, and so forth." A Khatram Rudra is the embodiment of Mind-Ego, as when saying of any object, "this is mine." 

Now Black Salvation became a rudra of such terrific power that in order to  save him (and so save the world) the Buddhas had to intervene.  There are four methods by which they and the Bodhisattvas subdue and save sentient beings: 

Using Peaceful gestures/methods, Grand or Attractive methods, Fascinating-thus-rendering-powerless (vasikaranam,) and the sternest method --  downright Force. [aka  enticing, capturing, binding and paralyzing.] 

Because Black Salvation incarnated as the Pride of Egoism in its most terrible form, the last two methods had to be employed.  At last, through the activity of the Glorious One, he is redeemed through his suffering and becomes the "Dark Defender of the Faith," later to become the Buddha called "Lord of Ashes" in the world called Immediately Self-produced [or, self-manifesting.]  

This is what happened according to The Golden Rosary:  Guru Padma-Vajradhara was reborn as Bhikshu Thubka Zhonnu, which means "youth who is hard to overcome."  He was a tantrika who preached the doctrine expressed by: 

He who has attained the ‘That Which Is’

Or the Uncreated In-itself-ness

Is unaffected even by the ‘four things

Just as a cloud floating in the sky

Is not stuck in it.

This is the way of Supreme Yoga.

There is no higher wisdom

Than this, in all the three worlds.

This Guru had two disciples, Kuntri who was given the ominously prophetic empowerment name of Black Salvation, and his servant Pramadeva or Transcendent Faith.  

Pramadeva understood the verse-lesson above correctly, taking it to mean: Pure Consciousness (Tib. dagpa ye-shes) is the foundation (gshihdsin) of our limited consciousness (rnam-shes) that is called in Scripture "That which is," the real, uncreated "In-Itself-ness."   This that remains unaffected or unruffled is the path of Tantra.

Passions (obscurations, Tib. kleshas) are like clouds wandering in the wide spaces of the sky.  These clouds are distinct from, and do not touch, the background of space against which they appear.  Similarly, passions do not touch but disappear from, the Void (shunyata). Whilst ascending upwards the threefold accomplishment (activity, non-activity, absolute  repose) must be persevered in; and this is the meaning of   Thubka’s doctrine.

But Black Salvation (Tharpa Nagpo) took it to mean that he did not need to make any effort to improve himself, but that he could indulge himself in the four acts of  enjoyment: by eye, nose, tongue and sex organ.  This created a rift between him and his sangha-brother, Pramadeva, and finally, with his guru, too.  He even managed to cause their persecution and banishment.  Continuing in his dissolute and self-indulgent lifestyle, he finally died after twenty or so years, and then he fell into Hell where he remained for countless ages. 

At the close of the time of Buddha Dipankara (Marmedzad, Light-maker) he was reborn several times as a huge sea monster [makara].  Just before the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, he was born as the son of a woman in Lankapuri- of-the-Rakshasas.  Since his mother consorted with a different kind of being at different times of each day -- a deva in the morning, a fire-demon at noon, and a yaksha [nature spirit] in the evening -- Black Salvation was reborn in the eighth month as the offspring of all three. 

Monstrous Spirit

Nagpo was indeed black, and horrible to look at with his three heads, each with three eyes.  He had six hands, four feet and two wings.   Immediately at his birth all the auspicious signs of the country disappeared, and the eighteen inauspicious ones appeared. Malignant epidemics attacked the whole region of Lanka-puri.  Some died, others only suffered, but all were in misery.  Lamentation, famine and sorrow beset the land. There were disease, bloodshed, mildew, hailstorms, droughts, floods and all other kinds of calamities. Even dreams were frightful, and ominous signs portending a great catastrophe oppressed everyone.  Evil spirits roamed the land.  So great were the evils that it seemed as if the merit of everyone had been exhausted all at once.

As the mother died had nine days after giving birth, and no one would care for the unfortunate child, the people decreed that the monstrous infant should be bound to the corpse and left in the cemetery.  The stretcher was left at the foot of a poisonous tree which had a boar’s den at its root, a poisonous snake coiled round the middle of its trunk, and a bird of prey sitting in its uppermost branches. [These three animals at the hub of the Wheel of Rebirth symbolize lust, anger and greed --  emotions that "kindle the fire of individuality."

That charnel ground was where the rakshasas used to leave their dead.  Elephants and tigers also went there to die; serpents infested it, and earthly dakinis and ghouls brought human bodies there.  

After the corpse-bearers had left, the infant sustained his life by sucking the breasts of his mother’s corpse. These yielded only a thin, watery fluid for seven days. Next he sucked the blood and lived a week; then he gnawed at the breast and lived the third week; then he ate the entrails and lived for a week. Then he ate the outer flesh and lived for the fifth week. Lastly he crunched the bones, sucked the marrow, licked the humors and brains and lived a week. He thus in six weeks developed full physical maturity. 

Having exhausted his stock of food he moved about; and his motion shook the cemetery building to pieces. He observed the ghouls and dakinis feasting on human corpses which he also took for food, and human blood as drink, filling the skulls with it. His clothing was dried human skin and the hides of dead elephants, the flesh of which he also ate. He also ate the flesh of tigers and wrapped his loins in their fur. He used serpents as bracelets, anklets, armlets and as necklaces and garlands. His lips were thick with frozen fat, and his body was covered with ashes from the cremation ground. He wore a garland of dead skulls on one string, freshly severed heads on another, and decomposing heads on a third. These were worn in an overlapping fashion as a triple garland.  Each cheek was adorned with a spot of blood. 

His three great heads ever wrathful, of three different colors, were fierce and horrible to look at. The middle head was dark blue and those to the right and left were white and red respectively.  His body and limbs which were gigantic in size and proportion, and were an ashy gray color. His skin was coarse and his hair as stiff as hog’s bristles. His mouth gaped showing great fangs.  His terrible eyes were fixed in a stare. Half of the dark brown hair on his head stood erect, bound with four kinds of snakes. The nails of his fingers and toes were like the talons of a great bird of prey, which seized, crushed and swallowed anything within reach --  animal or human.  He bore a trident and other weapons in his right hands, and with his left he carried skulls filled with blood to his jaws which he then emptied with great relish. 

He was a monster of ugliness who delighted in every kind of impious act. His unnatural food produced a strange luster on his face, which shone with a dull but great and terrible light.  His breath was so poisonous that those touched by it were attacked with various diseases.  His eyes, ears and arms produced the 404 different illnesses: paralysis, epilepsy, bubonic swellings, urinary ills, skin diseases, aches, rheumatism, gout, colic, cholera, leprosy, cancer, smallpox and dropsy, and various other sores and boils appeared in this world at that time.  (For evil thoughts and acts cause the spirit to sicken and as a consequence, gross diseases emerge.)

The name of this great demon was Matam Rudra.  He was the fruit of the karma of the great wickedness of his former life as Tharpa Nagpo. 

Chief of the Demons

At that time, in each of the 24 pilgrimage places, there was a powerful, destructive bhairava (terrifying) spirit.  These horrible beings of the various classes: Devas, Gandharvas, Rakshasas, Ashuras and Nagas, were proud, malignant and mighty.  They were despotic masters of men with great magical powers of illusion and transformation. They used to wander over those regions of the world dressed in the eight sepulchral garments with the six kinds of bone ornaments, and armed with various weapons, accompanied by their female consorts with whom they reveled in all kinds of obscene orgies.  And their chief occupation consisted in depriving  sentient beings of their lives. 

After a consultation, they all elected Matam Rudra as their chief.  Now all these non-human beings became his slaves.  In the midst of his horrible retinue he continued to enjoy devouring human beings alive until the race became almost destroyed and the cities emptied.  He was thus the most terrible scourge that the earth had ever seen. 

And all who died in those days fell into Hell.  But, as for Matam Rudra himself, his pride knew no bounds: he thought there was no one greater than himself and he would roar:

"Who is there greater and mightier than I? 

If there be any Lord who would excel me, Him too will I subjugate."

And since there was no one to accept the challenge, the world was oppressed in a heavy gloom. 

At that time however, Kali proclaimed,

"In the country of Lanka, the land of Rakshasas, [The Ramayana refers to it as the home of  demon-king Ravana, captor of Lord Rama's bride, Sita]

In a portion of the city called Koka-Thangmaling, 

On the peak of Malaya, the abode of Thunder, 

There dwells the Lord of Lanka, King of Rakshasas. 

He is a disciple of the Light-giving Buddha (Dipankara).

His fame far exceeds yours.

He is unconquerable in any fight by any foe.

He sleeps secure and awakes in peace."

At this announcement, the pride and ambition of the Demon were stirred. His body emitted flames great enough to have consumed all worlds at the great kalpa's  dissolution. His voice resounded with a deep thunderous roar like that of a thousand claps of thunder all at once.  With sparks of fire shooting from his mouth he summoned his minions. He filled the very heavens with them, and moving with the speed of a meteor he invaded the Rakshasa’s capital of Koka-Thangmaling.  

Encamping at the city's walls, Matam Rudra announced himself proudly, at which the entire country of Lanka trembled terribly as in an earthquake. The Rakshasas, male and female, were terrified and their king sent  spies to find out the cause of the disturbances.  When they saw the terrible creature and his company, they were terrified at the sight and returned to report the fearful news to their king. 

He sat in samadhi for awhile and divined the following:  According to the Sutra of King Gunadhara, "One who has vexed his Guru’s heart, and broken his friend and brother’s heart -- that haughty son, being released from the three Hells, will take rebirth here and will surely conquer the Lord of Lanka.  But in the end he will be conquered by many sugatas (blissful ones, Buddhas) and this event will give birth to Anuttara -vajrayana (the highest tantric method)."

Buddha Marmedzad having revealed this to him, the king wished to see whether this was the Rudra referred to in the prophesy.  So he collected his army of rakshasas and went to engage in battle with the demon force. 

Matam Rudra was very angry and said:

"I am the Great Invincible One, who is without a peer,

I am Ishvara Mahadeva (The Great God, Lord Shiva).

The four great kings of the four directions are my vassals,

The eight different tribes of spirits are my slaves,

I am the Lord of the whole world.

Who is going to withstand and confront me?

Tutra, Matra, Marutra." 

With this battle cry he overcame the forces of the rakshasas, for he had called forth the Maruts. [In Vedic times these were the 27 -- or 60 --  sons of Rudra who attended the King of Devatas, Indra.  Aggressively violent forces, they drive the clouds bringing fierce winds that can fell trees, and even topple mountains.]

Then the rakshasa king with all his army submitted to the Rudra, saying "I repent for having tried to withstand you in hopes of upholding Buddha-dharma and spreading it far and wide.  Now I submit to you and become your loyal subject.  I will not rebel against you." 

When he had thus overcome the rakshasas, Rudra assumed the title of Matamka,  chief over all rakshasas.  His pride was inflated and he again proclaimed, "Who is there greater than I'?"

Then again Kali cleverly excited his ambition and pride even more by saying:

"The chief of the armies of ashuras (lhamin, anti-gods or titans) named 'Mahakaru' is mightier than you."  Then he invaded the realms of the ashuras with his demon horde and all the ashuras became afflicted with various terrible maladies and were powerless to resist him.  Rudra caught hold of the ashura king by the leg and whirling him three times around his head, flung him into Jambudvipa (Rose-apple world which is our world) where he fell at a place called Ge-ne-gynad (Site of Eight Merits.) 

Then those ashuras who had not been killed, the eight planets (Skt. grahas) and the twenty-eight constellations (nakshatras) and all the other heavenly bodies sought refuge in every direction but could get no shelter anywhere so they went back and surrendered to Matam Rudra. 

Then the ashuras guided Rudra and his forces to a palace named the Round-as- a-Skull where they established their capital.  At its very centre, Rudra hoisted his victory banner.  They all set their dreadful weapons by the sides of the entrance, and surrounded the place with numerous followers with magical powers.  

Having demonstrated his own great magical powers, he took the King of Mountains, Meru, upon the tip of his finger and whirling it round his head, he proclaimed once again, "Rutra, Matra, Marutra !  Is there anyone in this universe greater than me?  In all three lokas (realms) there is none greater than I am.  And if there be any, him also will I subdue." 

To these boastful words Kali answered,

"In the 33rd realm of the gods, the happy region of the Tushita Heavens,

Sitting amidst the golden assembly of disciples,

Is the holy savior of all beings, regent of the devas [Maitreya, Dampa-Togkar.]

Having been anointed, he is venerated and praised by all the Deva-kings.

He summons them by playing heavenly music on various instruments  

Accompanied by a celestial chorus.

He is greater than yourself."

On her so saying, the archdemon blazed forth in a fury of pride and wrath, and set out to conquer Tushita.  Now the bodhisattva Jampa-Tobkar (who is coming as Buddha to teach in the human world) was a regent seated on a throne of precious metal in the midst of thousands of devatas both male and female, and was preaching the dharma to them.  Rudra seized the regent from his throne, and threw him down into this world-system.  All the gods and goddesses gathered together, exclaiming, "Alas, what a fate.  O, the sinful wretch!"  seven times over.  

Thereupon, Rudra fiercely said: 

"Put on two cloths [in contempt for priestly robes] and sit down on your seats every one of you! 

How could I ever be conquered by you? I am the mighty destroyer and subjugator of all. 

When the celestial regent of the Tushita Heavens (Dampa-Togkar) was just about to pass away from there, he uttered this prophesy to his disciples, who were around him:

"Listen unto me, my disciples: 

This apostate disciple, Tharpa-Nagpo, 

Who does not believe in the Buddha’s Doctrine --  

He is destined to pervert the devas and ashuras, 

And bend them to his yoke. 

He hates the perfect Buddha, and he will work much evil in this  world-system 

There are two who can deprive him of his terrible power --  

Thubka-Zhonnu and Dad-Phags (Pramadeva, Arya Shraddha called Transcendent Faith) 

They will succeed in making him taste the fruits of his evil deeds in this very life.

He will not be subdued by peaceful, nor by any generous means. 

He will only be conquered by the methods of fascination and sternness.

Thubka and his good disciple Transcendent Faith who had by then become Buddha Vajrasattva and Bodhisattva Vajrapani, were selected for this purpose.  Now they assumed the forms of the deities Hayagriva and Vajravarahi

"Who of the Noble Sangha will doubt

That Hayagriva and Vajravarahi will give him their bodies? 

And who will not trust in the wisdom of the Jinas [Conquerors or Buddhas], to conquer him by upward-piercing, 

[Upward-piercing (khatar yar-phig) is the method continues steadily upward without delay and without deviation -- that is, the Vajrayana.  "In one body"  means that liberation can be achieved in a single life-time. Not one single original atom of Rudra's body will remain as Egoism is transformed.

From this one will come the precious nectar that is acquired merit. 

From that one will manifest the transformation of poison into elixir.

This demon will have to be ground down -- wiped out to the last atom, in this one body. 

Divine Horse-headed [Hayagriva] is the one who will dispel this  threatening misfortune, 

Dad-phags (Pramadeva/Transcendent Faith) is at present Vajrapani. 

And Thubka-Zhonnu is at present Vajrasattva. 

The divine prophesies of the Buddha are to be interpreted: 

‘They will exterminate their opponents. 

For myself I go to take birth in Mayadevi’s womb. 

I will practice samadhi at the foot of the Bodhi Tree. 

I will not hold those beliefs in doubt. 

For it has been said that Buddha-dharma will triumph 

And will remain long in Jambudvipa 

By means of the mysterious practice of liberation by means of communion." 

(This is said to refer to Jordol (sByor sGrol) in all its meanings -- true communion of male and female which destroys to its uttermost root egoistic attachment; thabs (Skt. upaya) and shesrabs (prajña) method's communion with wisdom whose innermost significance is the non-dual awareness (gNyismed-yeshes) dispelling ignorance and cutting at the root of all samsaric existence by the destruction of all rudras.)

"The Matam Rudra which clings to the body as ‘I’ will be dispelled, 

All forms of worldly happiness and pain, the Egoism of Speech (Akar Rudra) will be destroyed. 

The saying ‘this is mine’ of anything, the mental ‘I’ (Khatram Rudra) is freed. 

The true nature and distinguishing attributes of a Rudra 
Which is manifest outwardly, exists inwardly, and lies hidden secretly, 

In short all fifty-eight Rudras, with their hosts will be destroyed completely." 

(This refers to the introduction and egoisms of body, feeling and mind. The  Glorious One will eradicate the physical and all other Rudras, the monster of the self in all its forms, gross, subtle and causal.) 

"The world though deprived of happiness will rejoice again. 

The world will be filled with the Precious Dharma of the Three Jewels. 

The Dharma has not declined, nor has it passed away." 

After uttering these prophecies, he passed away and took re-birth in the womb of Queen Maya Devi.  Then Rudra, having subjugated all the Devas of the thirty-third and the Tushita Heavens, appointed the two demons, Mara and Devadatta, his two chief officers, to suppress Indra and Brahma.  The archdemon, Rudra himself, took up his abode in the Malaya Mountain, in the place called the Human skull-like Mansion.  There he fed upon devas and human beings, both male and female. Drums, bells, cymbals and every kind of stringed and other musical instruments were played to him in a perpetual concert with songs and dances.  And every kind of entertainment which the devas used to enjoy, he enjoyed perpetually.  

Then dharmakaya Buddha Samanatabhadra (Choky Kuntu Zangpo) and his attendants from the Wogmin (Akanishta) Heavens, from other Heavens, sambhogakaya Vajradhara with his attendants; and nirmanakaya Vajrapani with his attendants all assembled.  In short, from the various heavens of the ten directions came the different Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.  They all held a consultation and came to this resolution:

"Unless the power of the Buddhas is exerted to subjugate the Rudra, the Faith of Buddhas will cease to spread and will degenerate. That body which has committed such violent outrages on every other being, must be made to suffer the agonies of being hurt by weapons wielded by avengers.  If he is not made to feel the consequences of his deeds, the Jinas who have proclaimed the Truth will be falsified.  He is not to be destroyed but to be subdued." 

Having thus agreed, all the Buddhas began to seek with their omniscient
eyes the one destined to conquer this Rudra. They saw that Thubka-Zhonnu who had attained the state of Buddha Vajrasattva and Dadphags who had become Vajrapani were the ones, and that the time was ripe.  So both of them came with their respective retinue and were blessed and endowed with power by all the Buddhas who gave these instructions:

 "Assume the forms and sexes of Chenrezi and Dolma (Avalokita and Tara) and subdue the enemy by assuming the shapes of the deities Horse-mane and Sow’s head (Hayagriva and Vajravarahi)."

When Vajrasattva and Vajrapani, the Buddha and Bodhisattva of the Vajrayana become Hayagriva and Vajravarahi in heruka form, blazing in the nine kinds of physical magnificence and splendor, they proceeded to the abode of the Rudra at Malaya Mountain. 

On the four sides of the Mountain were four gates and each was guarded by a demoness, bearing respectively a Mare’s, Sow’s, Lion’s and a Dog’s head.  These the Glorious One had conquered, and united with in a spirit of non-attachment so that from their unions were born the (1) White Horse-faced (2) Black Sow-faced, (3) Red Lion-faced and (4) the Green Dog-faced daughters.  

Proceeding further, they met another cordon of sentries also female, with the heads of a (1) Lioness, (2) Tigress, (3) Fox, (4) Wolf, (5) Vulture, (6) Stork, (kanka is likely the carrion-eating or "adjutant" stork, (7) Raven, and (8) Owl. 

With these too, the Glorious One united in a spirit of non-attachment, and blessed the act.  Of this union also, were born female offspring that each took after their mother in shape (matter) and their father in mind.  Thus were the eight demi-goddesses born: Lion-head, Tiger-head and so on.  Divine in mind, they possess prescience and wisdom, although they retain their monstrous features.

Again proceeding further inward, he encountered the daughters of the rudras and of rakshasas named respectively Nyobyed-ma or Maddener, Tagbyed-ma or Frightener, Dri-medma or Pure, Kem-pama or Dissicator, Phor-thogma or Cup-bearer and Zhyong-thogma the Bowl- bearer.

The Glorious One united with these in the same manner, and from them were born the eight matrikas of the eight sthanas (Mothers of the Sacred Places) known as Gaurima and the others. These also possessed the divine wisdom of their father and the terrific features of their mothers.

There are 24 sthanas or places of pilgrimage and eight great cemeteries making 32 sites in all.  In each of the cemeteries there is a powerful goddess (Tib. mamo) or in Sanskrit, matrika.  Their names are, according to the Zhi-Khro, Gaurima, Tsaurima, Chandali, Vetali, Gasmari, Shonama, Pramo, Pushkasi who are respectively, white, yellow, yellowish-white, black, dark green, dark blue, red, reddish-yellow, and are situated in the East, South, N.W., North, S.W., N.E., West, and S.E. -- the  "nerve- leaves of the conch-shell mansion" that is, the brain.  It is they who may place the consciousness or spirit that is in the bardo on the way of clear light (Tib. odsel).

Then going right into the innermost abode, he found that Rudra had gone out in search of food.  Adopting the disguise of the rudra, the Glorious One united with his consort, rakshasi-queen Krodheshvari (Lady of Wrath) in the same spirit as before, and blessed the act.  With Krodheshvari, he had a son, Lord Vajraheruka, Chakrasamvara, the lord with three faces and six hands, terrific to behold.  Then the Glorious One as Hayagriva, with his divine consort, Vajravarahi, each expressed their triumph by neighing and grunting three times. 

Hearing that Rudra was struck with mortal fear, but coming to the spot he said:

"What do you say, little son of Hayagriva and Vajravarahi?

All inhabitants of the realm of devas and ashuras

Proclaim my virtues and sing my praises -- 

I cannot be conquered.  Rest yourselves in peace,

Regard me with humility, and bow down to me.

Even the regent of the devas in his odd garb ,

In ages past, failed to conquer me."

Saying this, he raised his hands and came to lay them on the young one’s head.  At this, Hayagriva immediately entered the rudra's body from below by the secret path (Skt. guhya) and impaling him right the way through, showed his horse-head out the top of the head of the rudra. The oily fat of its body made the horse head look green. The mane dyed with blood became red and the eye-brows splashed with its bile became yellow.  The forehead splashed with brains became white.  And so the Glorious One, having assumed the shape and costume of the rudra, took on a terrible majesty. 

At the same time, Vajravarahi, his consort, did the same to the rudra’s consort, Krodheshvari, piercing and impaling her.  She forced her sow’s head right up through the crown of that of the demoness until it towered above it.  The Sow’s head turned black from having been steeped in the fat of the rakshasi. 

Then the two divine beings embraced each other, and in this form engendered [another] male child, a krodhabhairava (wrathful-terrifier.)  Having done this, Hayagriva neighed shrilly six times, and Vajravarahi grunted deeply five times. 

Rudra's Defeat

Then all the hosts of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas assembled as thickly as birds of prey settling on carrion  filling all space.  They were of the peaceful, the wrathful, the half-peaceful and the half-wrathful orders, in inconceivably large numbers.  They began to surround the rudra Tharpa-Nagpo, who being unable to bear the pain of being stretched asunder, cried in agony: 

"Oh, I am defeated! The Horse and the Sow have defeated Rudra. 

The Buddhas have defeated the Demons. 

Religion has conquered Ir-religion, 

The Sangha has defeated the Tirthikas. 

Indra has defeated the Ashuras, 

The Ashuras have defeated the Moon [and planets}

The Garuda [symbolic of Space] has defeated the Ocean 

Fire defeats fuel [Wood], Wind scatters Clouds 

Diamond [Vajra] pierces metals 

Oh! it was I who said that last night’s dream portended evil. 

Oh! slay me quick, if you are going to slay me." 

As he said this, his bowels loosened involuntarily and the excrement fell into the ocean and so was purified, and there at once sprang up a precious sandalwood tree [believed to preserve] which was a Wish-granting tree.  This tree took root in the nether world of the nagas, spread its foliage in the realm  of the ashuras, and bore its fruit in the realm of the gods.  And the fruits were named amrita (elixir of immortality). 

Then the two principals [actors] Hayagriva and Vajravarahi acted out joyful plays called Happy Cause, Happy Path, and Happy Result, in nine glorious variations. (Skt. lila -- divine loveplay that results in illumination that dispels egoism. )

Just as a victor who has slain his enemy in a battle is awarded the armor and accoutrements of his slain opponent, and puts them on as a sign of triumph, so the Glorious One having conquered Rudra, assumed the eight accessories of his foe including the wings which made him look bright and magnificent [like a prince.]  And these elements [such as three heads, the eight sepulchral ornaments, and the eight glorious costumes and wings] the Glorious One consecrated so that deities could use them.  Having done all this, both Hayagriva and Vajravarahi returned to the realm of pure being (Skt. dharmadhatu). 

Then Pal Chagna-dorje (Shri Vajrapani) multiplied himself into countless avataras [activity-forms] and these again multiplied into myriads of avatars, all of the terrible and wrathful type.  

The Rudra also showed supernatural powers, for he transformed himself into a nine-headed monster huge as Mount Meru, with eighteen hands  -- he was after all, a bodhisattva of the eighth degree who had fallen back.  So it was that even the Buddhas found it difficult to subdue him, not to mention the gods and humans! 

Then Vajrapani manifested still greater divine powers of every imaginable description, and all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas established their abodes on the greatly enlarged and distended body of the Rudra.  Unable to bear the agony of this pressure, he roared with pain, 

"Come quick to the rescue, O my followers, who inhabit the ten directions 

To the right and left of the Skull-like Mansion, 

And those who live in the gardens and the orchards. 

Yakshas, rakshasas, and pretas [ghosts] numbering in the millions, advance to the rescue at once. 

O ye followers and adherents of Rudra who dwell in the twenty-four places and countries 

Numbering millions and tens of million, who swore allegiance to me 

And promised to serve me faithfully --  and all ye from illimitable space in every direction, 

Fill the heavens and the earth with your innumerable hosts 

And all in one body, strike [the enemy] with the weapons in your hands, sounding the battle cry Om-rulu-rulu."

But though he uttered these commands, there was none to obey him.  

Everyone surrendered to Bhagavan (Skt. for Lord) Vajra Heruka.  Thus all the subordinates of Rudra, the thirty-two Dakinis, the seven Matrikas, and the four Sisters (Tib. Sring bzhi) the eight Furies (Barmas or flaming ones), the eight Genii (spirits or attendants on the Devatas) and the sixty-four Messengers all came over to the side of Heruka, and the Divine Offspring (Krodhabhairava) took upon himself the duty of serving the food of the deities. 

(This is the great deity usually invoked when any purification and religious contrition has to be performed or done.  By this it is seen that his undertaking to serve the food of the deities means to purify and absolve the sins of rudra.) 

Vajrapani, producing ten other divine beings of the terrific type (Krodhabhairava,) gave a p'hurba (three-sided peg or dagger) to each and commanded them to go and destroy Rudra and his party.  So Hayagriva came again, and neighed three times; hearing that, Rudra's entire company was seized with panic and all were subdued.  Then Black Salvation (Tharpa-Nagpo) and his followers were rendered powerless and helpless, humbled and quite submissive.  They surrendered their homes, personal ornaments, and their lives, uttering these words of entreaty: 

"Obeisance to thee, O, field of the Buddhas’ influence; 

Obeisance, O you who cause karma to bear fruit. 

I and all of us having sown previous evil karma 

Are now reaping its fruits which all indeed can see. 

Our future depends on what we do now; 

Karma follows us as inexorably as a body's shadow. 

Everyone must taste the fruit of what they have done. 

Even if we repent and are sorry for what we have done 

There is no help, as karma cannot be avoided. 

So we, destined by karma to drink the bitter cup right to its last drop, 

Offer up our bodies to serve as the cushion of your footstool. 

Please accept them as such." 

Having said that, they prostrated themselves which is why every deity is depicted having a rudra beneath his or her feet. Then the vassal chiefs of the Rudra submitted their prayers: 

"We have no claim to sit in the middle, 

Be pleased to place us at the extremities of the mandalas. 

We have no right to demand of the best of the banquets. 

We pray to be favored with the leavings, the dregs of food and drink. 

From now on we are your subjects, and will never disobey your commands. 

We will obey you in whatever you are pleased to command. 

As a loving mother is attracted towards her son, 

So we too, shall be surely drawn near those who remind us of this oath of allegiance." 

Thus they all swore the oath of allegiance. Then the holder of mysteries, the Glorious One Vajrapani, pierced the heart of prostrate Rudra with the phurba, absolving him.  All his karmic debts and flaws (Tib. klesha) were immediately absolved. 

Then he was empowered, vows were laid on him, the water consecrated him. His body, speech and mind were blessed and dedicated to divine service, and the dorje was laid on his head, throat and heart.  From that moment on, he was empowered to be the dharma protector, the guardian named the Good Dark One, and his secret name conferred at that initiation was Mahakala.  That is how he came to be included in the assembly of vajrayana deities. 

Finally, it was revealed to him that he would become a Buddha by the name of Thalwai-Wangpo (Lord of Ashes) in the world called Kodpa-lhundrup (self-produced, or made-all-at-once,) 

Then Rudra’s corpse was thrown on Jambudvipa, where it fell on its back.  The head fell on Sinhala (Shri Lanka /Ceylon), the right arm and hand upon the Thogar (?) country and the left hand on Leh (Ladakh). The right leg fell on Nepal, and the left on Kashmir. The entrails fell over Zahor.  The heart fell on Urgyen (Udayana), and the lingam on Magadha. These form the eight chief countries. 

Thus originated the eight matrikas of the sthanas headed by Gaurima and others: the eight natural stupas headed by Potala; the eight siddhis or powers which fascinate; the eight enchantress-guardians; the eight great trees, the eight great realm-protectors (shing-kyong), the eight lakes, the eight great nagas, the eight clouds, and the eight great dikpalas (cyogs-kyong, Protectors of the Directions) as well as the eight great cemeteries. 

~ edited from Sir John Woodroffe's Shakta and Shakti (1929) which is based on translation by Kazi Dawa-samdup and explanation by Nyingma lama Ugyen Tanzin. 


pron.: om benzra kila kilaya sarwa beganin, ba hum peh.



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