“Trample him, dance on the head of this treacherous demon of selfish concern” ~ Dharmarakshita calls on Yamantaka in The Wheel of Sharp Weapons.
Yamantaka is the ferocious spectacle of Lord Manjushri, the supreme embodiment of Buddha’s wisdom.
As a fully enlightened Buddha, he works to destroy our ignorance and dualistic conventions, the cause of all our suffering.
He arises with the form of a blue black body with 9 ferocious faces out of which the main one is a bull’s head, 34 strong hands holding various sharp implements and 16 legs to carry the short and stout body.
To behold Yamantaka is a frightful experience as his ferocious compassion is beyond any wrathful Buddhas, demons and spirits put together. He is the ultimate destroyer of the Lord of Death.
He displays this with two hands in the gesture (mudra) of threatening downwards at all sentient beings in samsara who harm and another upwards daringly at even the Buddhas and Dharma Protectors who do not assist. He does this out of great concern for the protection of those who take refuge in him.
Contrary to initial impression, he is not out to harm anybody in any way but direct this energy at our negative emotions and ego-grasping ways. He is blue black in colour representing his true nature of emptiness and he wields it like a weapon towards the destruction of the self-cherishing ego.
Yamantaka’s profound practice is amongst the highest tantras (Maha-anuttara) available from Buddhism. To focus on his practice is a profound and quick method towards achieving attainments and ultimately enlightenment in a single lifetime.
It is also the only practice available in Buddhism to purify extreme negative karma of the five heinous crimes that would have normally guaranteed extreme retribution in hell.
Yamantaka’s practice is only available for those who are initiated but those who do not have his practice can still have his image and make offerings for great protection, the blessings of a Buddha and to create a connection or cause towards receiving his practice in the future and achieving attainments through his practice.
Due to his nature, he is extremely effective in protection against the most wrathful and powerful spirits, black magic and curses.