Author Topic: Lamrim Protectors  (Read 6627 times)

Big Uncle

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Lamrim Protectors
« on: June 30, 2011, 05:37:37 PM »
Hey guys,

Did you guys know that there are 3 Lamrim Protectors?

In Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche says on Page 148 :-

"Below your own gurus are three multicolored lotus flowers. On the central flower stands [Six-armed] Mahakala upon a sun disc. He is in his right Kurukullejnana form. He is lord of the Dharma of the great scope. To his right stands Vaishravana, on the lotus flower and moon disc. He is lord of the Dharma of the medium scope. To Mahakala's left stands Kamayama (Kalarupa) on a sun-disc and lotus flower. He is lord of the Dharma of the small scope.

The reasons for taking them as the lords of the Dharma of the three scopes are these. The Kurukullejnana form of Mahakala is really Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of the compassion of all the victorious ones arising in the form of a protector deity. The point being made here is that one will sooner develop love and compassion while following the great scope if one relies on this protector.  In the medium scope, one must practice mainly the three high trainings - with the greatest emphasis on the training of ethics. The maharaja Vaishravana promised before Buddha to principally guard the vinaya part of the three baskets, as well as the high training of ethics from among the three trainings. If one relies on this particular Dharma protector, one will develop these parts of the path in one's mental stream. Dharmaraja Yama represents the impermanence of all rebirths; he also classifies people according  to the laws of cause and effect and according to what sins or virtues people have done. If one relies on this Dharma protector, one will easily develop realization into the small scope - that is, into impermanence, cause and effect, and so on." 


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Re: Lamrim Protectors
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2011, 12:55:37 AM »
Mahakala is great no doubt.
A positive force.
We have a mask of his over a door threshold in the house.


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Re: Lamrim Protectors
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 08:24:23 PM »
His Holiness also mentioned this in his talk previously during an explanation of the Offering to the Spiritual Master at the main temple in Dharamsala to a large gathering of Tibetan and Western disciples in 1986.

"..Concerning the Gelugpa protectors, there are protectors of the people of the three scopes, Mahakala, Vaishravana and Kalarupa.

In the centre of the row is six armed Mahakala, the wrathful aspect of Avalokiteshvara, who protects practitioners of highest scope.

Vaishravana is appropriate for those who observe pure morality. There is special reason for this, for although all protectors must be good for such people, Vaishravana is particularly pleased by purity. As those of middling scope are primarily concerned with ethical purity, Vaishravana is the appropriate protector for them.

Those of lowest scope are primarily concerned with observing the law of cause and effect. As Dharmaraja is the witness of wholesome and unwholesome actions he is their protector. As has been said "Damchen (Dharmaraja) treasures the judgement of wholesome and unwholesome actions more than his life."

So, in the Gelugpa tradition it is said that one should practise according to the presentation of the persons of the three scopes.

The most important protectors are Mahakala and Dharmaraja of which Dharmaraja is exclusive to the Gelugpa. It is he who is the Guru Manjushri, Yidam Manjushri and the Dharma- protector Manjushri. Among the external, internal and secret practices of Dharmaraja, the most important is the inner practice. Although Je Rinpoche also did the secret practice, the inner practice is the most important.

These three being fundamentally important there is no need of a protector other than these for the Gelugpas. Amongst Mahakala, Dharmaraja and Vaishravana, Mahakala and Dharmaraja are the most important, and of them Damchen Choegyal (Pledge-holding Dharmaraja) is the most important.

Unfortunately, after the above teaching, His Holiness also said the below:

I used to say by way of a joke, "Gelugpas will only need to look look for a new protector on the day that offerings and requests for prayers come because Damchen Choegyal is dead." Until then Gelugpas do not need another Dharma-protector. This statement carries some weight.

It won't do any good to rely on a new deity or any others while customarily accepting a Dharma protector who Je Rinpoche bound by oath and who was also specifically bound by Je Sherab Seng-ge.

This is something to be examined, not merely accepted because it appears to be good. Nevertheless, some highly realised lamas do rely on various Dharma protectors according to their personal preference. This reflects their own inconceivable practice, but this is none of our business, is it?


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Re: Lamrim Protectors
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 04:28:22 AM »
I have come to learn that the protector of the Middle Scope of the Lamrim is Namtose.

Is Vaishravana and Namtose the same?


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Re: Lamrim Protectors
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 07:35:15 AM »
I have come to learn that the protector of the Middle Scope of the Lamrim is Namtose.

Is Vaishravana and Namtose the same?

yes they are the same. Namtose is the Tibetan name for Vaishravana. He tends to favor those who hold their vows and is a worldly protector and is one of the 4 heavenly kings. He is the king of the north.

Vaishravana – The Lord of Wealth

Vaishravana, the Lord of Wealth, is the Buddhist counterpart of Kubera, the Brahmanical god of wealth and like him he presides over the domain of riches. As a Lokapala or Guardian King, Vaishravana looks after the Northern region and the Mount Sumeru, the centre of the universe. His abode is Alaka in the Himalayas, abounding in wealth and magnificence, where he is attended upon by Yakshas and Kinnaras. Vaishravana is also the king of Yakshas.

The body of Vaishravana is golden yellow in color and he has a stern expression. His right hand holds a banner of victory, while the left arm holds a mongoose, an animal associated with good fortune. The mongoose is shown vomiting jewels symbolizing the boon of this Lord of wealth. Vaishravana in addition is also the Guardian deity of the north direction. Thus his image is often placed on the outer walls of monasteries and temples along with the guardians of the other three directions. This is believed to be a safeguard against harmful influences which violate the sanctity of the sanctum inside.

In the present form he is shown seated on a roaring red lion, placed on a lotus base. His is a golden yellow complexion. Vaishravana has two hands, the right hand in holding a lemon and the left one a jewel–spitting mongoose, establishing him as the deity of wealth. A jewel offering has been shown in front of him. Vaishravana is wearing a five-pronged crown, symbolic of the Five Transcendental Buddhas. His hair is upswept in a knot with a jewel on it. His open eyes, frowning eyebrows, upturned lips, moustache and a beard are all painted. He wears a long and flowing scarf. The scarf rounds behind the head in the shape of a Prabhamandala (halo). The ornaments of the deity include necklaces, armlets and bracelets. Vaishravana has a snake around his body. In spite of adornment he is bare to the waist, and his legs are covered by a dhoti (skirt).

In Tibet, he has been one of the primary protectors of the Gelugpa Sect since the fourteenth century. There is a special ceremony in Tibet for imploring Vaishravana for riches, which is called Yanyung, and he plays an important part in the Tantras, in sorcery and exorcism. Vaishravana has two main aspects that of a warrior protector and that of deity of wealth. Here he has been shown as the deity of wealth. In southern Buddhism, particularly in the Indian sub-continent, Vaishravana is known as Jambhala, because he also carries a Jambhara (lemon) in one of his hands. Though he holds different attributes and forms e.g., a sword, a banner, lemon and flat vessel etc., his most common attribute or insignia is a mongoose (Nakula), often vomiting jewels and in all descriptions he is said to be fat and pot-bellied in appearance. His female counter part is Vasundhara, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.