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Yamantaka/Vajrabhairava Buddhist Tantric Practice Support

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Yamantaka/Vajrabhairava Buddhist Tantric Practice Support
Vajrabhairava / Yamantaka - An Introduction PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 12 June 2004 03:54

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In Vajrayana Buddhism, Vajrabhairava, also known as Yamantaka, is (1) a wrathful, buffalo-headed meditational deity (Tib: yi-dam) of the Highest Yoga Tantra class and/or (2) a dharma protector. Vajrabhairava is one of the principal three meditational deities of the Gelug school (Tib: gsang bde 'jigs gsum; the others are Chakrasamvara and Guhyasamaja). He is also one of the main yidams in the Sakya school where he comes in a variety of appearances (with different mandalas). In both schools Vajrabhairava is seen as the wrathful manifestation of Manjushri, the buddha of wisdom. In the other schools of Tibetan Buddhsim Yamantaka seems to be mostly revered as a protector. The (mostly secret and arcane) practices there involve different activities for various purposes. There are also some Yamantaka terma revelations in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools. From amongst the many lineages of practice to enter Tibet the main transmissions of Vajrabhairava were those of the two translators Ra Lotsawa and Mal Lotsawa. Although practiced early on in Tibet by the Sakya and Kagyu Traditions, it was Tsongkapa, founder of the Gelug Tradition, who instituted Vajrabhairava as the principal Gelugpa meditation practice.



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In Sanskrit "Vajrabhairava" stands for 'Adamantine Terrifier'. Regardless which manifestation of Vajrabhairava you are looking at it he is always depicted as fear-inducing, scary, and intimidating. Not only is he terrifying to look at but - according to the Vajrabhairava Tantra - he also has conquered all evil spirits, including the Lord of Death, Yama. That's why he is also called "Yamantaka", the Slayer of Death. Depending on which manifestation of Yamantaka the Tibetans call him either gSin-rje-gsed or in the buffalo-faced aspect of Vajrabhairava rdo-rje 'jigs-byed. It seems that the term "Yamantaka" (and "Yamari") is used in a more general way than "Vajrabhairava" which is restricted to the buffalo-headed yidam of the Gelug and Sakya schools (see Lokesh Chandra). Sometimes the protector Kalarupa is called "Yamaraja" and comes as Outer, Inner, and Secret Yama- or Dharmaraja. In the Gelug school Yama- or Dharmaraja is part of the Vajrabhairava practice.

Multiple Forms of Vajrabhairava / Yamantaka

Yamantaka Tree.jpg

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The Ngor Mandala collection of the Sakya tradition alone lists eight different forms/lineages of the blue/black buffalo-faced Vajrabhairava (which include the two Gelug ones) and four of red Rakta- or blue Krishna-Yamari (all without the buffalo head). All the former are yidams (=meditational deities) whereas Yamaraja (sometimes also called Dharamaraja) is a Dharma protector. Inner and Outer Yamaraja are blue/black, the Secret Yamaraja is red in color; Outer and Secret have buffalo heads, the Secret Yamaraja does not. There is also an emanation of Yamantaka (called Yamantaka orYamantakrt) in the Ten Wrathful Ones / Uncommon Protection Wheel in the Vajrabhairava and Guhyasamaja practices. Other emanations of Yamantaka appear as residents in the various mandalas (13-, 17-, 21-, and 49-Deity). They all embody the wrathful aspect of peaceful Manjushri; Yamnataka's consort, Vajravetali the wrathful nature of Saraswati.

Now Available: New Translation of Yamantaka Commentaries PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 April 2011 18:53

It is a pleasure for us to announce that our friend David Gonsalez ( has finished translating two important commentaries on the Yamantaka/Vajrabhairava practice that are now available from Snow Lion later in 2011.

Yamantaka CommentariesThe Roar of Thunder:
A Commentary to the Practice of Yamantaka and a collection of associated ritual practices
Translated by David Gonsalez
Available now from Snow Lion Publications 

The Roar of Thunder is a collection of texts related to the practice of Vajrabhairava Yamantaka. The first text in this collection is a commentary to the Thirteen Deity Vajrabhairava practice composed by Ngulchu Dharmabhara. This text is truly phenomenal and gives rich and inspiring instruction by combining both the Ensa and Segyu lineage of instructions in a straightforward yet incredibly profound presentation. The second is a commentary to the Solitary Hero practice and was composed by the Fifth Ling Rinpoche, Losang Lungtog Tenzin Trinlay while he was in a three year Yamantaka retreat. This text is a treasure trove of oral instructions that have not been written down elsewhere and is written for yogis of Yamantaka therefore its presentation is very down to earth and direct.

New Yamantaka Practice Texts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 April 2011 18:49

DLP-Logo0wLetter150In anticipation of David Gonsalez's forthcoming translation of two essential Yamantaka commentaries (see article) Dechen Ling Press has published a number of practice texts that are available for immediate download. Check out the new Yamantaka section of DLP's online store.

The following new texts are available:

  • The Extensive Sadhana of Solitary Hero Yamantaka
  • Yamantaka Middling Sadhana
  • Yamantaka Short Self-Generation Sadhana
  • Yamantaka Concise Self-Initiation Sadhana
  • Yamantaka Lama Chopa Sadhana
  • Yamantaka Lama Chopa Self Initiation
Comentarios y sadanas en español PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jhampa Shaneman   
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 11:13

SpanishNos enorgullece informarles que la mayor parte de la sadana, textos, material y comentarios de Jhampa Shaneman estarán disponibles en español muy pronto.

El comentario acerca de "Yamantaka, el Héroe Solitario" esta icon disponible (429 kB) para ser descargado por los miembros registrados (429Kb).

Muy pronto todas las sadanas y rituales estarán disponibles en español.

Sección español.



David Gonsalez

Please see an important update about our dear Dharma friend David Gonsalez and his work at

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