Saturday, April 14, 2018

Yamantaka: Endless Emanation, Endless Liberation essay intro

O Manjushri! Your being is non-dual, exclusive and all-pervading.
By acting equally toward all, you are the Father of all Conquerors;
as the Dharmadhatu you are the Mother of all Conquerors;
as a Wisdom Being, you are the Child of all Conquerors.
I prostrate myself to you, O Manjushri, who is complete in glory.
Although in Dharmakaya neither love nor hate is found,
through the enactment of your compassion the presence
of a King of Fury is revealed to subdue all evils in the triple world.
I prostrate myself to Bhairava Yamantaka, the Terrifying Opponent of the Lord of Death.

//a spectre of black and unending radiance of glorious splendour - Trepaneringsritualen, The Black Egg//

….as the legend goes, Yama was the first human to die. After being directed to meditate for 50 years in
order to awaken to his enlightened nature, the ascetic found a remote cave in Tibet and began his
practice. 49 years and 11 months and 29 days later, a group of cattle thieves entered the cave and
began to butcher the water buffalo they had stolen. Noticing the yogi in the cave, they beheaded him
as well lest he be able to identify the men to the authorities. Frustrated and enraged at dying so close
to the completion of his objective, his corpse rose and attached the water buffalo’s head to his body
and killed the men and drank their blood, becoming the Judge of the Nine Hells, Yama Lord of Death.
Yama, unsatisfied by such momentary retribution as is possible in a world before death and the
Buddha’s teachings of Nirvana and disembarking from the wheel of rebirth had disseminated, went
on a murderous rampage in the surrounding country, killing indiscriminately and threatening all of
Tibet. In desperation, followers of the Buddha-dharma appealed to the Great Bodhisattva, Manjushri, for
help. Approaching the abode of Yama at the mouth of hell, Manjushri confronted the buffalo-headed god
who called out to Manjushri a challenge: “What sorcery could this frail being possibly bring to bear against
the Lord of the Underworld?” In reply, Manjushri disappeared. Believing the scene to be at a close,
Yama retired to his throne. As Yama sat, the skies darkened. Manjushri, combatting Death with its mirror
image multiplied , had assumed a colossal buffalo-headed form with 48 arms, 16 legs, 13 faces, blazing
with the Wisdom Fire. This entity fell from the sky, flattening a different building of Yama’s palace with
each of its 16 feet, and crushing Yama on his throne under its erect penis,
//throne submerged in funeral birth - Moss, The Coral of Chaos//
The Vajrabhairava, Ultimate Adamantine Terrifier.
Yamantaka, Destroyer of Death.

Symmetry and Extremity
The Sanskrit noun dharma, derived from the root dhá¹› (to keep or maintain), means "what is established or firm", and is used interchangeably with “truth” or "law". Symmetry is defined by physicists and mathematicians as having two key elements: //(1) The possibility of a physical change, and (2) immunity to that change, which is also known as invariance.// This essay will be an attempt to communicate the extremity of Yamantaka yogatantra, and interpret the myth/teachings through the paired lenses of the ars memoriae “memory palace” system for developing the memory and Yohan John’s assertion that both science and religion are on a quest for ultimate symmetry. Alongside revealing how the thangka and the mandala are two different projections of this symmetry that both develop an imagistic system for memorization and navigation of an architecture of ethics, John’s assertion will background our demonstration that Yamantaka practice is a phenomenological hypersymmetry par excellence - one of the most extreme ritual/religious symmetries extant. This realization aligned pairwise with Avalokitesvara/Mahakala (detailed in AJ’s essay in this volume) and groupwise with the 8 Tibetan protector deities in their charnel grounds, arrayed around the mandalic palace amplifies and mutates the arborescent cognition of Buddhistic systems into a symmetry-generating metasystem - into a labyrintheology capable of indexing a convergent path from any conceivable point, with Yamantaka particularly being a system for realisation of the dharma within the most “degenerate” substrate.

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