Yamantaka is the wrathful manifestation of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom embodying the wisdom and knowledge aspect of all buddhas of the ten directions and three times.
Through his enlightened activity, he conquers Yama, the Lord of Death, in overcoming ignorance and dualistic appearances. He is also known as a powerful dharma protector. The wrathful practice of Yamantaka offers a fast method to overcome and dispel obstacles, repel unfavorable circumstances, and protect oneself and others from falling under their sway.
This practice also has great power in bringing about peace in times when the minds of beings are pervaded by ignorance and aggression.
“What is the main reason we practice Yamantaka?
It is contained in the phrase, “Let the destructiveness of sorcerers, their gods and protectors descend upon themselves,” which we find in the retreat text.
What this means is that when you have loving kindness, compassion and Bodhicitta, any harm directed at you will fall back on itself. This is the root of the matter.
Why does this happen? Because here your mind is clean and pure. When you are meditating on loving-kindness and compassion for all, then you have no ego-clinging. Without ego-clinging, nothing can harm you.
So through Yamantaka, we meditate on compassion for all sentient beings and nothing – curses, sorcery or whatever – can harm us. If you understand this, then you understand all there is to know about Yamantaka retreat practice.”
–Garchen Rinpoche –