mandala of sixty-two wisdom deities
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from Eight Celestial Abodes:
- It is recounted in the Chakrasamvara Tantra and it's commentaries (as related in MK) that the world was once ruled by Bhairava, the wrathful form of Mahadeva, who made the land of Magadha the seat of his power. It is said also that four devas and four gandharvas descended from the sky and established their dominion in the eight places known as the Eight Celestial Abodes (mkha' spyod kyi gnas brgyad). Likewise, four yakshas and four rakshasas, already on the earth, made their way to Jambudvipa, where they established themselves in the Eight Earthly Abodes (sa spyod kyi gnas brgyad, while four nagas and four asuras came to Jambudvipa from beneath the earth, to settle themselves in Eight Underground Abodes (sa 'og gi gnas brgyad). They invited Bhairava to visit their dwellings, twenty-four in all, but he, instead of coming personally, manifested in each place as a lingam to which these savage beings would make blood sacrifices.
- These demonic forces prevailed from the "golden age" until the beginning of our present "era of strife and conflict." It was then, the tantra recounts, that the Blessed One, Vajradhara, knew that the time had come to subdue these unsuitable beings. Without his mind ever wavering from objectless compassion (dmigs pa med pa'i snying rje), he arose in the formidable wrathful display of a Heruka with four heads and twelve arms. He danced, and through the power of the nondual wisdom of all the Buddhas, trampled down Mahadeva and his consort together with their retinue, liberating their minds into the absolute expanse and establishing them in great bliss.
- The Heruka then blessed each of the twenty-four abodes as a palace of Chakrasamvara and each of the twenty-four lingams as a mandala of sixty-two wisdom deities. The sixty-two are Chakrasamvara and his consort, and his retinue: the twenty-four male and twenty-four female Bodhisattvas, and the twelve goddesses.