In homage to the Six-Armed Mahākāla
The concise ritual of Torma of the Six-armed Lord was created by Jétsün Târanâtha.
Gönpo Chadroupa, the Six-armed Mahâkâla, is the protector of the Dharma, dharmapâla, in particular in the Shangpa Kagyü and Gelug lineage. They represent the work of Chenrezi, the Buddha of compassion, manifested in a dynamic and powerful form to dispel illusions and remove all obstacles.
Symbolically this enlightened intelligence is represented in the aspect, sometimes terrifying, of the protector : black, his head adorned with five skulls symbolising the transmutation of the five poisons of the mind – pride, anger, desire, jealousy, mental opacity – into the five wisdoms of the Buddha. His six arms are the achievement of the six perfections or pâramitâ : giving, discipline, patience, effort, meditation and higher understanding. The presence of Chadrupa, with his energy and strength, has the power to submit, to reduce our confusion. His work relies much on the need to avoid aggressiveness, it is enlightened kindness manifested in order to counter aggression and the aggressiveness of the ego, of the conventional mindset. Chadrupa has the power to protect insofar as we enter into his presence, as we put ourselves under his protection. In the ritual, this gesture is represented by the offering of a torma.
The torma is the ritual cake. “Tor” means to give, to abandon, and “Ma” conveys the idea of softness and compassion. The offering of Torma is the act of letting oneself go in love, in fundamental trust. This is what expresses symbolically the offering of torma to the dharmapâlas, these energies that come from the experience of openness, of clarity, of sensitivity and which act to protect the dharma, by protecting authentic experience.