Thursday, July 19, 2012

The 100 Peaceful And Wrathful Deities (文武百尊)

The 100 peaceful and wrathful deities belonged to the teaching of Mayajala Tantra and Tibetan Book Of The Dead. Strictly speaking there are more than 100 deities, but suffice at this stage just to accept the number as 100.

It is very difficult to understand the complete teaching of Tibetan Buddhism as there are so many deities. My bro ask me how to start with understanding the Ningmapa teaching, so I tell him the below:

The Ningmapa teachings are subdivided into two main categories: the oral transmission and the terma or the “hidden treasures”.

The oral tradition is originated from India and brought to Tibet and translated from Sanskrit to Tibetan by around 100 translators. The resultant of this work is the collection works of 64 Ningmapa Tantras. It is then being subdivided into 3 main divisions:

1.      The heart essence of the completion stage

2.      The heart essence of the generation stage of Vajrasattva

3.      The 17 tantras of the Great Perfaction

Contain within the Vajrasattva Tantra is the discussion of The 8 Shri Heruka. There are a total of 720 deities in the practice of Shri Heruka. These 720 deities are then simplified to 100 deities according to the oral tradition. Guru Padmasambhava compiled these teachings and hid them in the caves.

The 100 deities refer to 42 peaceful deities and 58 wrathful deities. These 100 deities are combined into the 5 Tathagatas (Buddha of 5 directions) and finally the 5 Buddhas are resolved into one Vajrasattva.

According to oral teaching, when we are alive, the 100 deities are concealed within our body. But when we are experiencing the process of dying, the 100 deities will appear consecutively during the bardo stage (intermediate). The famous “Tibetan Book Of The Dead” refers to this stage.

If we can recognize these 100 deities; we will be liberated as simple as that.

The 100 syllable mantra of Vajrasattva represents 100 deities. Hence it is suffice just to practice Vajarasattva tantra alone.

The mantra of 42 peaceful deities:


The mantra of 58 wrathful deities:


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