And so Yamantaka spin round with great power
The wheel of sharp weapons of good actions now.
Three times turn it round, in your wrathful-like aspect -
Your legs set apart for the two grades of truth,
With your eyes blazing open for wisdom and means.
Self-cherishing refers to the attitude which does not want suffering, sickness, problems or undesirable experiences. Since it is our enemy, we have to subdue it. Dharmarakshita requested Yamantaka for blessing to meditate on Tong-len (taking on all the sufferings and problems of all sentient beings upon this self-cherishing attitude and giving one's happiness and prosperity to all sentient beings). We work towards subduing our self-cherishing attitude by taking upon the sufferings and undesirable experience of all sentient beings upon the self-cherishing attitude, thereby destroying it. Just like defeating external enemies with weapons.
We request the meditational deity for help by making torma offerings or other offerings in order to succeed in our practice.
Dharmarakshita was an adept practitioner of Yamantaka in India. During the war (led by non-Buddhist group) to destroy Buddhism in India, Dharmarakshita made a strong request to Yamantaka to stop this war. He placed his hand on the tangka of Yamantaka. In doing so, the war was stopped and all the troops fell into the Ganges River. Today, we can see this tangka in a monastery in Tibet with the handprint on it.
The 'wrathful aspect' in the verse is towards the self-cherishing and self-grasping attitude. 'Turning around three times', the 'three times' represents: Relative Bodhicitta, Ultimate Bodhicitta and the union of both Relative and Ultimate Bodhicitta. The Relative Bodhicitta is the altruistic intention to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings, the Ultimate Bodhicitta is direct perception of emptiness. Here, Dharmarakshita is making request or supplication to Yamantaka (who has abandoned self-cherishing and self-grasping attitude) so as to bless the mindstream of Dharmarakshita and all bodhsittvas who are practicing to overcome the self-cherishing and self-grasping attitudes and to develop the Relative and Ultimate Bodhicitta.
What do you mean by 'making supplication'?
It is like requesting for help. Something like sending an application to officials, to request for help.
Can you explain the three turning symbolising the three types of Bodhicitta in greater detail?
Relative or Conventional Bodhicitta refers to the spontaneous mind to achieve Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings. Merely generating the thought to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings is not the real or actual Conventional Bodhicitta. Through developing such thought so that it can arise spontaneously without effort is the real Conventional Bodhicitta. The Ultimate Bodhicitta is the mind of the Bodhisattva that perceives emptiness directly. In order to achieve Buddhahood, the union of these two Bodhicitta is indispensable.
Yamantaka's slightly bent right leg symbolises the Relative Bodhicitta and his outstretched left leg symbolises the Ultimate Bodhicitta. His both eyes open widely symbolises method and wisdom. It is necessary for the practitioner of method and wisdom or the two Bodhicitta (method refers to Relative Bodhicitta and wisdom is Ultimate Bodhicitta), to balance the cultivation of these two types of Bodhicitta.