Friday, November 10, 2006
Vajrasattva for wt.
Vajrasattva (Vajra Hero, Tib. dorje sempa) "Dorsem" is the buddha of purification. As the "action" or karma protector, he also manifests the energies of all Buddhas.
Vajrasattva manifests in two forms: solitary and in union with consort. As in all depictions of deities with consort, the male represents compassion, the female represents wisdom. In Buddhist tradition, this union, known as yabyum indicates the unity of wisdom and compassion (or wisdom and method).
My "history" with Vajrasattva seems to be a tale of how a deity picked me rather than vice versa.
Now, just to make things a little more confusing, here's an image of a vajra, the hand implement used in Tibetan ritual.
I borrowed this image, believe it or not, from a Dutch website.
The vajra is also a thunderbolt. I guess you could say it represents (among other things) the cataclysmic flash which is the direct realization of emptiness.
Wikipedia says, "The vajra destroys all kinds of ignorance, and itself is indestructible. In tantric rituals the Vajra symbolizes the male principle which represents method in the right hand and the Bell symbolizes the female principle, which is held in the left. Their interaction leads to enlightenment. Also the Dorje or Vajra represents the "Upaya" or method Tibetans name Vajra as "Dorje". Made to be worn as a pendant, it reminds the wearer, and the viewer, of the supreme indestructibility of knowledge."
(Actually, the "made to be worn as a pendant" comment doesn't quite make sense. Unless it's a pendant, which most of the time it's not. It's an actual implement which fits in the palm of your hand.)
More: in Tibetan instructions, vajra is also the term which refers to the penis. The vagina is called the lotus, a felicitous expression if there ever was one.