of the Nature of Mind
When we think of the Buddha, we think of a serene figure, sitting in peace with an etheric smile on his or her face. However, not all buddhas and mahasiddhas, or masters, are peaceful, many of them are wrathful. Wrathful means dynamic.
If we are used to thinking that mahasiddha is someone who just remains in peace and never raises his voice, it is perhaps shocking to know that someone fully realized would use harsh words and seemingly aggressive behaviour, like overthrow tables of the moneychangers, as Jesus did, or shoot arrows to kill enemies of dharma, like a disciple of Guru Rinpoche did.
Christ Driving the Money Changers out of the Temple by Valentin de Boulogne
To think of mahasiddhas as people who keep distance to society, not acting when action is needed, is false and immature. The freer one becomes of being self-charged, the richer the expression of the nature of mind becomes. This means that someone who is liberated, lives his or her persona in full. Personality is not lost, though selfing is. The realisation of emptiness removes our sense of self, if one's training is complete. Empty nature of mind is not a state of mental blankness but the exact opposite, birth of oneself as fully aware and awake, including the range of emotions in their selfless mode. Buddhahood is abound with ornaments, in some cases soft grace and showering of lotuses, and furious flames and sharp daggers in others. A mahasiddha can not be solely peaceful or solely wrathful because the range of human emotion takes both forms.
Wrathful expression of the nature of mind is a controversial topic because the history of buddhism and spirituality in general, is full of abuse and hurt caused by teachers who were far from being fully realized, that is, mahasiddhas. The so called ”gurus” have caused harm and pain because their training has been incomplete. This is extremely regrettable for there is no sin greater than making people lose their faith towards teaching of liberation which basically is loosing faith in themselves. That people, with or without lineage, set themselves up as realized and convince their students that their reactions of anger and confusion are enlightened wrath, when all it is is display of their delusion, attachment and perverted motivations, is both appalling and wrong.
Wrathful expression can take many forms, just like it does in art. This is a difficult topic and cannot be thoroughly explained in few lines. Perhaps it is enough to say that there are wrathful buddhas and mahasiddhas, and that the scope of enlightened expression is not limited to peacefulness. Hopefully that is helpful.
”Although my view is higher than the sky,
My respect for the cause and effect of actions
is as fine as grains of flour.”
- Padmasambhava, Guru Rinpoche
May all beings be free,
- Kim Katami, 6.1.2019