Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wrathful Deity

Decided to enlist the help of my own personal Wrathful Deity (portrayed above), a concept I recently encountered at the Rubin Museum of (Himalayan) Art. His job is to protect me from myself.

More about Wrathful Deities from the website Religion Facts

"An enigmatic aspect of Tibetan Buddhist iconography is the presence of ferocious, terrifying forms known as the wrathful deities. Though these hideous, hair-raising images seem contradictory to Buddhist ideals, they are not personifications of evil or demonic forces.

Rather, the wrathful deities are benevolent gods who symbolize the tremendous effort it takes to vanquish evil, the violence that is a fundamental reality of the cosmos and the human mind and protect the faithful by instilling terror in evil spirits.
Mahakala statue

In Sanskrit, the wrathful deities are known as dharmapalas, which means "defender of the dharma." In Tibetan, they are drag-gshed, meaning "cruel, wrathful hangman."

....Images of the wrathful deities are kept in the homes and temples of Tibetan Buddhists to protect them against evil influences and remind them to destroy passion and evil in themselves. In general Buddhist practice, sculptures and thangkas are intended as temporary dwellings for the spiritual beings into which Buddhism projects its analysis of the nature of the world. They are thus not just aesthetic objects but actual dwellings for the energies projected into them with the aid of mantras. The power of those energies Mahakala thangka can then be directed towards the Buddhist goal. The wrathful deities, though benevolent, are represented in visual arts as hideous and ferocious in order to instill terror in evil spirits which threaten the dharma.""

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Be very afraid. Or yourself.