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July 28, 2013 Dharma Talk - Mahakala, Commander of All Spirits and Ghosts

2013-07-28 Rainbow Temple
Today we conducted a ''Mahakala'' homa. Not many people have heard of ''Mahakala,'' even though this deity is very significant. ''Da (of Daheitian, Mahakala in Chinese)'' means Maha, and ''hei-tian,'' ''kala.'' When we chant the mantra, ''Om。Ma-ha-ka-la-ye。So-ha,'' we are chanting Mahakala's name. What about his mudra? This is Kalachakra's mudra (Grand Master demonstrates the mudra,) but Mahakala's mudra is reversed. It looks like this. In addition, he has another mudra, which interlaces fingers inward, extending and straightening the pinky and ring fingers; meaning both the earth and water fingers point up into the air. This is the other Mahakala's mudra. He has two mudras. What is the function of the mudra? If one rubs two thumbs together three times, it means that ''Om. Ma-ha-ka-la-ye'' is calling all spirits and ghosts together to follow Mahakala's order. Therefore, whoever has registered as a primary supplicant today and is troubled by spirit-related illness can chant Mahakala's mantra, form his mudra, and command ''all spirit-related illnesses to be cleared.'' All ghosts and spirits will then be dispelled! That is because Mahakala is leader of all ghosts and spirits. If one has a spirit-related illness, as long as one can reach spiritual union with Mahakala, one can get rid of the spirit-related illness. This mudra (the 2nd mudra) will call on all spirits. Do not use it unless you know what you are doing. It is always easy to invite spirits, but difficult to send them away. If you invite them without knowing how to dismiss them or put them to us, they will eat up everything in your house. Therefore, do not lightly form this mudua. When one rubs the thumbs together back and forth three times, all spirits will listen to one's order.

When Shakyamuni Buddha was underneath the Bodhi tree, he invited Mahakala to be his dharma protector. As leader of the spirits and ghosts, Mahakala protected Shakyamuni Buddha as Shakyamuni Buddha meditated and reached enlightenment. As a result, Mahakala is a great dharma protector. He can be called the dharani of the dharma protectors.

Mahakala's mantra is ''Om。Ma-ha-ka-la-ye。So-ha.'' The image of Mahakala shows that he is on the top of a white elephant. He has six arms. In fact, Mahakala also has other images of two as well as four arms. He is in charge of all spirits and ghosts. He is also in charge of all dharma protectors. Having Mahakala's mudra, his image, and his mantra, we can then put together a Mahakala's cultivation procedure. When visualizing Mahakala, we can visualize his three eyes and his two, four or six arms. There are many tales about his images. Which buddha exactly was he transformed from? Some say Mahakala was transformed from Mahavairocana Buddha or Vairocana Buddha; some say, from Shakyamuni Buddha; and some say, from Guanyin Bodhisattva. Hence, Mahakala is a very powerful dharma protector.

In Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, Mahakala is considered as a Jambhala. His image is not as ferocious. In fact, Mahakala is also a Jambhala in Tibet. He can usher in wealth and prosperity; he's in charge of all wealth. The Introduction here states that Mahakala has two, four, or six arms and is the dharma protector of the three roots of Guru, Principal Deity and Dharma Protector. Mahakala with two arms is the Karma Protector for the White Sect of Karma Kagyu. Mahakala with one face and six arms has three eyes. The three eyes all look very angry. There are flames emitting from his entire body that is either blue or black. He looks so hideous that nothing can compare with. He is covered with a white elephant skin. The elephant's head faces downward and the elephant's four legs are on his two shoulders and both legs. The upper right hand is holding the elephant's foot; and the upper left hand, a trident. Of the two middle arms, the right hand holds a khatvanga staff; and the left, a lasso. The primary two arms are holding a skull Kapala and a crescent knife. In addition to the elephant skin covering his body, he also has a green snake and necklaces on his neck. There are also white snakes around his ankles and wrists. These symbolize his ability to subjugate the dragon kings and yaksas. Additionally, he wears a tiger skin apron around his waist encircled by many human heads. Although Mahakala has six arms, he only has two legs. The right leg is bending and the left is straight. He is standing on a white elephant that is lying face up. The elephant's left hand is holding a Kapala; and the right, a kartika. This is how Mahakala's dharma-character looks. He has many different images but not necessary that all are holding the same implements.

Some say he is the emanation body of Mahavairocana; some say, of Shiva; and some say, of Guanyin Bodhisattva. Hence, he is very powerful. In Japan, he is one of the Seven Gods of Fortune. Mahakala is also a god of wealth. If someone enshrines and worships him in the kitchen, he can help to accumulate capital. If someone enshrines and worships him in a cemetery, he will be in charge of all the spirits since he is the commander of cemeteries. He has a special mudra which I introduced earlier. You form this mudra when invoking all spirits and ghosts. His power is immense. The Mahakala transformed from Guanyin Bodhisattva is white with six arms. When Shakyamuni Buddha meditating underneath the Bodhi tree, Mahakala was the dharma protector. He was also the dharma protector responsible for completing the construction of the Samye Monastery in Tibet. Under his protection, the Samye Monastery was established. He's the most important wisdom dharma protector in Tibet. If one says, ''being cursed by black magic,'' Mahakala can help destroy all the cursed talismans and hexes. He can exterminate all black magic, evil, demon, and enemy's encroachments. As a result, many people cultivate his practice in Tibet. However, Mahakala is not as well known in the East Asia. Our True Buddha School introduced Mahakala's practice before. Nevertheless, not too many people practice Mahakala as the Principal Deity.

!!Please be aware that before anyone can practice the above uncommon dharma practices, it is advised and recommended that they take refuge and the respective empowerment; alternatively one must face inherent resulting cause and effect!!
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