The meaning of wrathful deities ~ Garchen Rinpoche

The transformation that occurs when the afflictive emotions are subdued with the sharp discriminating awareness is the arising of the wrathful deities. The actual nature of the afflictive emotions is primordial wisdom, thus the five poisons are the five wisdoms. Through the power of awareness the afflictive emotions collapse, and this collapsing reveals their true nature, primordial wisdom. This collapsing or transformation is the wrathful deity.

The wrathful deities are infuriated with compassion; they are not angry. They are like a mother taming a mischievous child. The mother loves the child and becomes infuriated in order to help her child. The wrathful deities arise with intense compassion, taming the very coarse afflictive emotions of sentient beings. Their compassion is even more intense than the compassion of peaceful deities.

Garchen Rinpoche

translated by Ina Bieler


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