Many tantric texts seem to be unintelligible, because of their very high psychological and mystical level and complexity. Tantra is a method, extremely complicated and hard to grasp for some, so the path may be considered dangerous. Traditional teachers will attempt to guide their students by having personal talks and so forth, while attempting to offer psychological guidance during this hazardous undertaking. One must understand that the text refers to the problems of the day, during the times of the tantra itself. The mysterious texts and archetypal deities often become a source of misunderstanding etc. For example, one might see a wrathful protector and assume it has the authorization to hurt everyone in its path.
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Many tantric texts seem to be unintelligible, because of their very high psychological and mystical level and complexity. Tantra is a method, extremely complicated and hard to grasp for some, so the path may be considered dangerous. Traditional teachers will attempt to guide their students by having personal talks and so forth, while attempting to offer psychological guidance during this hazardous undertaking. One must understand that the text refers to the problems of the day, during the times of the tantra itself.
The mysterious texts and archetypal deities often become a source of misunderstanding etc. For example, one might see a wrathful protector and assume it has the authorization to hurt everyone in its path. Unfortunately, such misunderstandings are quite frequent.
As guidance is often only scarcely provided from handbooks, the given deity's different personality is not fully developed to reveal their true individual character and total faculties. In order to avoid mental problems one requires translations that are more elaborate. It is a common fault to consider the Tibetan lama as an omnipotent person who can convey everything by his own like through his blessing, but in reality, what is required is the hard work of translation as in the Tibetan tradition.
Generally, the Sadhana is an art form of literature and actually of the "art of meditation" of the Buddhist tradition. Studying thoroughly the extreme diversity and beauty of these texts and Materials of Tibetan and Indian Buddhism becomes obvious.
It is an art form similar to the arts in Europe. Aspects like architecture are included and it is interesting to wonder if the Greek temple traditions do derive from the influence of the visualized temples of the Mandalas. Unfortunately, these texts are in the west mainly because of the exoticness of the culture and because of many unknown techniques of meditation with visual imagination hardly known to the public.
Regrettably, as they are like many aspects in Buddhism that are arranged on a subtle and supersensory level, they appear to be strange and become unintelligible to the western coarse. A major example for such an attitude is the reverence of Thangkas as a pure work of art and not as a pictorial pattern of imagination with the image of a deity designed by invitation during a meditative state.
Studies of metaphysics for the understanding of such a condition may be flawed due to a lack of texts readily available. Notwithstanding, one may now ask what purpose does the ritual have? Each archetype or each deity has a character adequate to the deposition of the practitioner.
This relationship may develop from the profession of the person. A doctor might consider meditation for healing, or the scholar will practice Manjushri the deity of learning , and so forth.
The written part of the ritual typically contains first, the ritual texts, explanations and special rituals for empowerment a kind of introductory showing of the meditation and then explanations of mystical and historical origination. Then comes the ritual. Sadly, many rituals that are translated at the moment are abbreviated, so that only learned specialists have the insights required to experience the actual presence and beauty of the practice.
This illustrates why we need to fund translations of the ritual in full, by those properly studied and who have themselves performed the practices necessary to understand them.
Those who feel the art and culture of this religio-mystical and psychological tradition is especially adored and profound, might give thought to becoming a Tibetan Mongolian Museum Society "Patron of the Arts" and offer their generous financial support, so that practitioners, scholars, translators and art experts may all collaborate with unified benefit.
Along those lines, I have thus planned the translation of several texts that I wish to introduce to the world, and ask that if your are interested in learning more, to please visit my site: Art, music, translation, poetry, by Wolfgang Keim. The texts are arranged by different levels of difficulty and length. From this body of texts, the most significant are to be chosen and translated with the background study of the historical material and the secondary literature.
Such is my modern account of the complexity and size of the tantra. It is here where the huge mass of work is further underscored by the impossibility of completion without financial sponsoring. In order to introduce the tantra, what follows, is a translation-sketch of original descriptions from the history of the tantra and it might serve to illustrate the translators' dilemma, even more clearly.
Regarding this, after having added the main bare father guardian of the ras chen  tradition to the main bare mother deities of the dus mkhyen  tradition into one ritual the meditaion as four staggered wheels  was composed by lord sky-. Although mtshur phu's  'jam dbyangs pa  prohibited it the secret biography of lord sky-conduct says: It was taught that the great accomplished ones of India and Tibet, the empowerments' and winds'  instructions of sutras' and tantras' instructions and all personal deities were requested during real experience dream  and as it is unsure if he has produced it himself lord mthong ba don ldan  being a follower of sky-conduct has composed a sleepy guardian ritual.
Regarding this mi bskyod zhabs  ordered: "as there are some of my adherents that regarding the food wanted can't cope with studying write this one ritual guide condensing the guardian to a smaller form" and based on the order lord dkon mchog 'bangs  after having composed this present printed edition of three classes  he recorded it as a print.
This is the black-mantra  -text elucidating gaps, missing or unclear parts for the clearly arranged visualisation steps of the fulfilling and restoring ritual of the glorious brothers-sisters-guardian of primordial knowledge with a black cloak . Nowadays in his lordship's hands  in an early not translated tantra of the guardian in the Indian text there are even many of such accomplishing methods  and after having been entrusted to the great master of the glorious heruka  the padma-arisen  the tantra arisal of accomplishment  and the small twenty one tantras  etc.
From a powerful lineage being endowed with a fruition not deluded about the two types of accomplishment revealed from the expanse of visions of some naturally realised heroes and yoginis having held the ways of mantra here in Tibet, also the text and instruction of the three actions of recitation accomplishment  of this guardian appear to be taught whichever fitting. Accomplishment methods like these, because being the tantras present here in Tibet and because being the ones which were not taught anywhere in the Indian texts, for these exactly "treasures" is very much correct and so forth as bzlog blo gros rgyal mthsan has also explained like that well.
I have seen some being later renown as learned explaining this wrongly. The bare father surrounded by the guardians of the ten directions  , this, is known as the tradition of 'gro dgon ras chen. It is asserted that this mal jo lo 'tsa' is identical with zangs dkar lo tsa', and also my reverend  asserts him to be mal glo gros grags.
This, the guardian to be meditated as oneself, is the tradition that is to be accomplished like the primordial knowledge.
In this way after just mentioning names the scripture has to be entered . Furthermore in case the self generation is done by dgyes rdor  phag mo  rgyal ba rgya mtsho  the tantra guardian with the copper knife  the entourage of the guardian is to be aroused in front: it is accomplished like the guardians of law  that means it is accomplished as the worldly guardian  and if after one has meditated the self generation as legs ldan  together with the protecting circle one has to visualise in front the supreme son the black one with a cloak.
This has then been accomplished as the action guardian  and if oneself and in front both have to be accomplished as father-mother kissing countenances then this has been accomplished as primordial knowledge guardian .
From these the fastest blessing, strength and great power is right the last tradition. The 5. The si tu pa above. The Risks and Dangers of Translating Tantra in the Modern World Many tantric texts seem to be unintelligible, because of their very high psychological and mystical level and complexity.
In midst a black dust whirl-wind sphere, a turbulent maelstrom human blood ocean, in the centre collected of molten metal a magnet fort, high and very wide unbearable to look at, with door-pedestals pillar-beams roof-laths, of wrong view killed bodies with flesh and blood as floors, strongly shining out clear rainbow-light, draped human hide canopies skulls,. A text about the Mahakala tantra and its variations in general and especially about "the mother and guardian kissing countenances" or in other words "the glorious brothers-sisters-guardian of primordial knowledge with black cloak" in the west often known as: Mahakala Dorje Bercan yab yum. A text for the connoisseur, the interested in Dharma and its development in the west , the insider or scientist , but it may also give an impression to the not so learned ones, not easy to grasp though as the whole tantra! The research comprising now more than 55 texts of the Kagyu and Nyingma schools , mainly Tibetan and some English secondary literature , a huge mass of texts from the bstan 'gyur thus probably of Indian origin this including two Sanskrit texts, one with 11 manuscript versions in Newari script and one smaller similar one. More than Photographs have been collected but the iconography is still incomplete.
Subject: Fifty Chapter Mahakala Tantra
Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry— Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. Two weeks ago we explored Meditational Deities , and this week we will move the discussion onward to Protector Deities.