Mantra of Mahakala
The chanting of Mantra of Mahakala by Lama Karta creates a sense of sacredness normally only experienced within the meditation halls of a Tibetan monastery.
Lama Karta’s deeply resonant voice is instantly recognizable and overflows with devotion
The Mantra of Mahakala is an invocation to the deity Mahakala, also known as Dharmapala (Protector of Dharma) in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.
Mahakala is a sanskrit word often translated as Great Dark One. Black is the total absence of color and represents the true nature of ultimate reality — existence without form.
Dharmapala is typically depicted as black in color with a ferocious appearance. Despite his wrathful demeanor, the essential quality of Mahakala is awakened compassion. His blessings are said to quell difficulties and obstacles arising from anger and depression.
It follows that this chant should be used when facing difficulties and for its soothing and uplifting properties.
From 1990 until his passing in February 2013 Lama Karta was responsible for the spiritual direction of the Tibetan Institute, a mandala of Buddhist centers located in Belgium and the Netherlands. Please consider supporting the work of this organisation by making a donation.
Click here to read more about the life and contribution of Lama Karta.
Tibetan Buddhism combines the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism with Tantric and Shamanic and an ancient Tibetan religion called Bon.
There are six major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The largest and most prominent of these are Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. They are known for their rich mythology and iconography and practice of identifying tulkus, the reincarnations of deceased spiritual masters.
The best known tulku and face of Tibetan Buddhism is His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. He has lived in exile in Dharamsala, India since he fled the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959.
Tibetan deities such as Dharmapala (the deity called on Mantra of Mahakala) are best understood as archetypes representing the practitioner’s own deepest nature.
For further reading do take a look at An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by Barbara O’Brien on ThoughtCo. from June 2018.
Mantra of Mahakala is from the album Tibetan Chants by Lama Karta, released in 1996. The album is no longer listed but 2nd-hand copies can still be found.