Yidam is a type of deity associated with tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism said to be manifestations of Buddhahood or enlightened mind. To me, a Yidam can be anything you choose to focus your mind’s attention on during your Sadhanā (personal meditation practice) where a yogi identifies their own form, attributes and mind with those of a yidam for the purpose of transformation. This transformation is about transcending from the mundane way of life meaning leaving the daily worries and anxieties behind and a thing of past and being attuned to a higher dimensional energy that identifies with the divine sense of recognizing one’s own awakened nature.
Welcome back to my notes on Yidam practice. Let us break down the definition of Yidam, ‘Yi’ means mind and ‘Dam’ means commitment. Yidam is commonly seen as a meditational deity practice but is more of a complete systemic practice towards reorganizing oneself towards illumination (liberation of self from the limited confines of the contents of the mind). A Yidam can be a manifestation of a Buddha- some of the common Yidams are Hayagriva, Vajrakilaya (Dorje Phurba), Samputa, Guhyasamaja, Yamantaka, Hevajra, Kurukulla, Cakrasamvara, Vajrayogini, and Kalachakra.
How does one connect with a Yidam?
The life alteration connection with a Yidam happens in a couple of different ways, the first way is through having your Guru assign you a Yidam when the time is right. If you do not have a guru, nothing is lost! Your Yidam is still waiting to connect with you. The way to connect with your chosen diety is through setting intention of making that connection through regular and consistent meditation practice. Connecting to a deity that you strongly bond to to help you stay on your Dharma. This system is about taking complete refuge your Yidam to consistently align your mind with the qualities of the Yidam to free your mind and yourself and move towards enlightenment. You can choose your Yidam based on your focus on personal spiritual development. The question you ask yourself is, ‘what do I want to put intentional focus on to improve within myself?’ Each Yidam has it’s role and when connecting to a Yidam you are orienting yourself toward improvement in the area that the Yidam is known for.
This is a systemic practice of experiencing reality through the lens of transformation.
Find your Yidam.
Take refuge in your Yidam through meditation practice and single minded focus.
Let your Yidam lead you to spiritual metamorphosis and enlightenment.
What is Advaita Vedanta?
Advaita Vedanta as a school of thought has its sacred origins from the emerges from of of the most ancient wisdom texts of humanity, collectively known as the Vedas. There are four texts in the Vedas, which are individually known as Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Veda. Vedanta (Ved- knowledge Anta- On the edge “cutting edge knowledge) portion of the Vedas, and is also known as Upanishad.
The study of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy and texts entails the study of a non-material divine Self, an ultimate universal reality, which transcends realities of a relative order (body, mind, world) and yet is, at the same time, imminent and ever-present in the phenomenal universe as its common underlying reality of all that is ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’. The universe and all its multiplicity are ultimately expressions or appearances of one essential reality known as Brahman, which means that which is ever expanding, infinite and unbounded; in fact, the same one Self (Brahman), illumines the sun, the moon, and the stars. The essence of Brahman cannot be modified or destroyed…it is all pervading and all infusing reality that permeates all that was, is and ultimately what will be.
Thus, Advaita Vedanta conveys an Ultimate Reality (Brahman) that transcends all existence and non-existence; a Reality that is beyond description, cause and effect, independent and eternal. It leaps beyond the anthropomorphic versions of God from religions, and declares Brahman as that spiritual reality which transcends all empirically detectable classifications, limits, confines, boundaries and dualities. For that matter, Brahman is not a “He” or a “She” at all, but rather transcends description or definition, as all descriptions and definitions are ultimately limitations of the unlimited.
The human Self, technically known as Atman, is therefore none other than Brahman, and transcends birth and death, age and disease. Even when we die, our Self will live on and begin new adventures and quests. Learning valuable lessons under-scored by Karma
Advaita Vedanta focuses on the subtle, psycho-spiritual, moral–ethical (dharma), and even mystical-existential dimension of our life, which is, after all, our deepest truth, and influences our day-to-day joy and sorrow, success and failure. To understand this dimension and begin to recognize the presence of this invisible Self alongside our day-to-day mind-based self, is the purpose and goal of spiritual studies.
This study is important when the mundane essentials and necessities in life are. not enough to bring that quality of, Sath, Chith, Ananda into one’s inner being. Advaita Vedanta will help you improve the quality of your mind from the holder of inert thoughts and impulses to housing thoughts that align with divinity itself.