Mahakala is the main protector of a very precious lineage, and itself represent the guru, the yidam and the protector. The particular reason is that the supreme guru ―the Gyalwa Karmapa―, and the supreme protector ―Mahakala―, are both manifestation of the great Avalokiteshvara. In that way, Avalokiteshvara, Mahakala and the Gyalwa Karmapa are one and the same.

As Avalokiteshvara is the emanation of compassion, of a Buddha who manifests in the form of a bodhisattva to liberate all sentient beings from suffering of samsara, one can see the source of Mahakala. Mahakala is the manifestation of that motivation, which is called the father of all Buddhas. The father of all Buddhas is compassion, limitless Bodhiçitta. It is the source of enlightenment of all sentient beings, and all Buddhas.

Since Mahakala is the manifestation of compassion, he’s everywhere. The essence of Mahakala is everywhere, in everything. Externally, there is a pure land of Mahakala, but its significance goes deeper. Actually, Mahakala is in the heart of every Buddha, of every bodhisattva, and of every being too. The Buddha nature of each one is the embodiment of compassion, and that is the Mahakala. That’s where Mahakala resides.

The wrathful form of Mahakala manifest out of the space of Dharma. The space of Dharma is represented by the color black. The black color of Mahakala, the black color of Karmapa’s crown, the black color of the black pill (which is spontaneously manifested in that crown), all have a relationship with the space of Dharma, because true space has no color, and that is something like black. It is limitless and unchangeable.

14cMahakala is not just an angry manifestation, but he is the manifestation of compassion for the sake of liberating sentient beings who are suffering in samsara, manifesting in a most wrathful and burning manifestation, like fire. Fire does not consume something quietly or gently. It just burns it up. That is the nature of Mahakala’s manifestation.

Although manifest in the form of wrathful, in true essence, there is no change. So it is not a dualistic sort of manifestation. It is spontaneous but not in the sense of acting out of impulse. It is like space. When you move from here to another part of space, space is not doing anything, but is always there at all the times. Mahakala’s Buddha activity is like that. It is all-pervading. It is primordial. It is always there. It just happens under the right conditions and potential.

So he is manifesting from that source. A wisdom protector manifesting from the heart of the most wrathful vajra, the most powerful aspect of compassion, the most direct aspect of compassion, the vajra compassion. A wisdom protector that would never do something that would make the defilements increase or make the karma heavier. If someone have an enemy, and wants to pray for Mahakala to show him a lesson, Mahakala will definitely do something, but the lesson will be show to the person who implores. That is how it works the wisdom protector’s activity of Mahakala.