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From Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia
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<poem> Enlightenment By Conquest Of Anger

Manjushri is represented here as Kalarupa(Tib. Choegyal), and by his side, his consort, Tsamundi, an emanation of the goddess Saraswati. This terrifying form of the Buddha of Wisdom, personifies enlightenment by the conquest of anger.

Yama Dharmaraja, also known as Kalarupa (Tib: gshin rje chos rgyal; = the Lord of Death, King of the Law), is one of the Dharma protectors of the father class of Anuttarayoga Tantra, in particular for the Vajrabhairava tantras.

Although Kalarupa is found in all the Sarma Schools the Gelugpa tradition holds Yama Dharmaraja in special regard as one of the three main Dharma protectors of the Gelugpa - along with the Six-Arm Mahakala;(Shadbhuja); and Vaishravana.

These three were the special protectors of Lama Tsongkapa.

With one face and two hands, dark blue in color, the head is that of a buffalo, three round eyes, sharp horns entwined with flame, fierce and angry.

Held upraised in the right hand is a bone stick composed of a fused spine and skull.

In the left hand is a coiled lasso.

Adorned with a crown of skulls and bone ornaments, he wears a necklace of fifty freshly severed heads.

Appearing extremely animate he stands with his right leg bent and the left extended on the back of a buffalo above a human body and lotus seat.

He is usually accompanied by his female consort Chamundi who is blue in color, with one face and two hands.

A trident is held aloft in the right hand and a skullcup in the left.

Both are adorned with wrathful attire, bone ornaments and various skins, completely surrounded by the swirling orange flames of pristine awareness.

There are three forms of Yama Dharmaraja:

Outer, Inner, and Secret.

Inner and Outer Yamaraja are blue/black, the Secret Yamaraja is red in color.See the gallery for the differences.

Kalarupa displays himself as the direct spiritual protector force for all “ugliness” arising from the true inner spiritual obstacles of;

fear, hatred, pride and jealousy.


The intense “ugliness” and fierceness of this iconography alone, serves as a teaching to remind us that all the causes and effects of anger arising from ignorance is “ugly”, distorted, even frightening.

We may think that his form is horrible and disgusting on all levels but Kalarupa is actually urging us to consider our appearance to others when we are under the afflictive emotions of fear, pride, jealousy and hatred.

From these poisons Kalarupa displays our appearance to others when we use harsh speech and actions.

However, his entire form sits on a lotus to signify that everything he does, no matter how wrathful its appearance, is done out of a deep compassion to help us out of our suffering.

He is thus also the opponent of all that is ugly and angersome: following his practice can help us to overcome the angers and desires, which cause others and ourselves to suffer.

As an emanation of Manjushri, Kalarupa’s practice ultimately helps us to destroy ignorance and develop wisdom to overcome our anger and suffering. Anyone, from any lineage who is dedicated to cut out their anger can practice Kalarupa.

However, he is often also known as the special protector of Yamantaka practitioners, where he helps to protect against demons and subdue anger that may arise during Yamantaka retreats.

In this way, having Kalarupa in your home is also very good for dispelling bad, harmful spirits and black magic.

His spiritual energy in the form of sound that helps to transform the mind (Mantra):


Kalarupa, or Dharmaraja, is an uncommon protector. He is an emanation of Manjushri.

He has a consort named Chamundi, who is an emanation of Sarasvati.

He is extremely fierce and ugly, and tames all kinds of spiritual ugliness arising from ignorance, including anger, attachment, fear, pride, jealousy.

He is holding a club, and his consort is holding a trident.

The goal of praying to a protector spirit is to completely destroy ignorance.

All kinds of negative forces, pre-eminently (if not exclusively) internal, are tamed by protectors.

We call on these forces when our practice is in danger.

This particular protector is associated with Vajrabhairava, the vajra terrifier, otherwise known as Yamantaka.