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Buddhist Gods Buddhist Deities

Buddhist Gods Symbols - Buddhist Symbols

The Buddhist pantheon comprises hundreds of Gods and Goddesses. They are intended to illustrate the multiple aspects of enlightenment, including its wrathful and furious sides, as well as its peaceful and beneficial aspects. In Mahayana Buddhism, gods, goddesses, and other spiritual beings play a much bigger role than in Theravada Buddhism. They symbolize the energies, forces, and entities that surround and fill human life. They also mirror the human spirit’s deeper depths, reflecting attributes that can be awakened through spiritual practice. Voluptuous tree spirits, maternal nurturers, elevated knowledge figures, benevolent healers, potent protectors, cosmic mothers of liberation, and dancing female Buddhas are all part of the pantheon. Childbirth, agriculture, fortune, longevity, art, music, knowledge, love, magic, and occult rituals are all overseen by gods, goddesses, and other spiritual beings. Some of them protect against diseases, snakebites, demons, curses, untimely death, and all other fatal dangers. There are also gods, goddesses, and other spiritual beings that aid practitioners in their quest for knowledge, mental cleansing, higher rebirth, and complete spiritual enlightenment.

Samantabhadri Buddhist Gods


Samantabhadri is a female Buddha and a Dakini from the Vajrayana Buddhist school. She is Samantabhadra’s consort and female counterpart and is revered as the ‘Primordial Buddha’ by certain Tibetan Buddhists. Samantabhadri is white, symbolizing the wisdom part of the mind, as opposed to her consort, who is sky blue, signifying limitlessness and formlessness. She, like her consort, seems ‘bare’ and unadorned, expressing the essence of thought. She is normally depicted with her partner in the Yab-yum union, but she is often depicted alone, seated in a ‘lotus pose with her hands in a meditation position in her lap. Samantabhadri represents the element of Buddhahood that has never experienced illusion or conceptual thinking.

Narodakini Buddhist Gods


Naro Dakini is a Sarvabuddhadakini, which implies she has access to all Buddhas and hence is more powerful. She revealed in an initiatory vision to the renowned Indian Teacher Mahasiddha Naropa (A.D. 956-1040), and his followers referred to her as Naro Dakini, Vajrayogini Naro Kha Chod, or Naro Sky Goer. She is supposed to be a metamorphosis or emanation of Vajrayogini and is easily distinguished by her lunging stance and Kapala. Her physical characteristics are interpreted considering long-standing Buddhist doctrines and tantric principles. Naro Dakini wields a curved knife to strike off adverse associations and a skull cup to sip the life-giving blood of knowledge. She personifies selfless wisdom while crushing on ego figures.

Usnisavijaya Buddhist Gods


Usnisavijaya, also known as Namgyalma, translates as “Victory Queen of Crowning Light.” Along with the Buddha Amitayus and White Tara, she is one of “The Three Long Life Deities”. Other deities involved with long life and healing exist, but these three are typically regarded as the major deities and form their own group. Ushnishavijaya has shattered the bounds of earthly life and opened the doors of awareness to the vastness and profundity of the universe. She represents the all-conquering force of omniscience, which brings triumph even over death, as an emblem of the highest spiritual condition.

Niguma Buddhist Gods


Niguma is one of the most important and well-known yoginis and Vajrayana instructors of 10th or 11th century India. She is the lady of Illusion and is depicted as a semi-ferocious Dakini with a third eye, silver jewelry, and a skull-headed crown. She is holding a skull cup in her left hand and Damaru in her right. She is one of the two founders of the Shangpa Kagyu Vajrayana Buddhist school and Dakini Sukhasiddhi. Niguma, like many Mahasiddhas and Mantrayana practitioners, was recognized by various names during and after her lifetime.

Mandarava Buddhist Gods


In Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana, Mandarava is revered as a female guru-deity. In an extraordinary omen, Mandarava was born to a royal couple in Zahor, Northern India. Her mother was an incarnation of the female Buddha Pandaravasini, the consort of Amitabha, and her father was an incarnation of the Buddha’s father, Suddhodana. Mandarava is regarded as wisdom, knowledge, or awareness Dakini. Some of her several names and incarnations include the yogini Mirukyi Gyenchen, “Adorned with Human Bone Ornaments,” during the time of Marpa, Risulkyi Naljorma during the time of Nyen Lotsawa, and Drubpey Gyalmo during the period of Rechungpa. It is believed that Chushingi Nyemachen, the spiritual consort Maitripa, is none other than Mandarava.

Kumari Devi Buddhist Gods

Kumari Devi

The practice of worshiping a selected virgin as an embodiment of the divine feminine force or Shakti is known as Kumari, Kumari Devi, or the Living Goddess. The goddess Taleju or Durga is said to inhabit the young woman. The term “Kumari” means “princess” in Sanskrit. A prepubescent girl chosen from the Shakya caste of the Nepalese Newari Buddhist society is known as a Kumari. Some of the country’s Hindus also venerate and worship the Kumari. The Royal Kumari of Kathmandu, who lives in the Kumari Ghar, a palace in the city’s heart, is the best-known in all of Nepal, despite some cities having many. Kumari goes through an extremely strict hiring procedure and a very complex tantric ceremony is performed to choose her.

Nairatmya Buddhist Gods


The name Nairatmya translates as “She Who Has Realized Selflessness,” or “Lady of Emptiness,” which refers to a female Buddha. Buddhism asserts it is an illusion for us to believe that we are autonomous, distinct selves. Because, in reality, there is a tremendous web of communion that binds everything that exists to us. This insight is personified in Nairatmya. Her skin is a deep shade of blue that reflects the boundless breadth of her consciousness. She moves around the cosmos unhindered, much like the element of space, because she has transcended ego-centered life. Her eyes sparkle with the insight of one who comprehends the depths and complexities of life. She lifts the curved sword she wields, the “Kartika,” toward the sky, ready to sever any unfavorable mental states that may manifest. She disintegrates illusions in her skullcup (kapala), restoring them to their fundamental nature as shimmering rainbows of energy in space.

Achi Chokyi Drolma Buddhist Gods

Achi Chokyi Drolma

Achi Chokyi Drolma Is a historical manifestation of Vajravarahi and the great-grandmother of Kyobpa Jikten Sumgon, the founder of Drikung Kagyu. She adopted Nyingma teachings during her lifetime and is claimed to have ridden her horse into the sky at the twilight of her life. She is a potent wisdom protector who shields and protects all devoted Dharma practitioners who place their faith in her. She is well known for her ability to bestow wealth. She is an emanation of Vajra Yogini, the embodiment of all the Buddha’s wisdom and compassion. She is the spiritual mother of the Buddhas, manifesting in the shape of the Dakinis of the Five Buddha families, out of compassion.

Chinnamunda Buddhist Gods


Buddhist deity Chinnamunda is the goddess of paradoxes, and she represents both the life-giver and the life-taker sides of the Devi. Depending on the context, she is viewed as both a representation of sexual vitality and a sign of sexual restraint. She stands for life, immortality, recreation, death, temporality, and destruction. Chinnamunda shares traits and iconography with the Hindu goddess Chhinnamasta and she represents spiritual self-realization and Kundalini energy awakening. Mekhala or Elder Mischievous Girl (“The Elder Severed-Headed Sister,”) and Kanakhala or Younger Mischievous Girl (“The Younger Severed-Headed Sister.”), the two sisters who are among the eighty-four Mahasiddhas (“great adepts”) of Vajrayana Buddhism are frequently shown accompanying Chinnamunda.

Yeshe Tsogyal Buddhist Gods

Yeshe Tsogyal

Yeshe Tsogyal, sometimes referred to as the Great Bliss Queen in the Nyingma Buddhist tradition, is a semi-mythical female deity or figure of enlightenment. She is well known as the spiritual Yab-Yum consort of the legendary Indian tantric master Padmasambhava (“the Lotus-Born One”). As well as being a manifestation of the Bodhisattva Tara, Yeshe Tsogyal is also regarded as an emanation of Samantabhadri, Prajnaparamita, and Vajrayogini. She is said to have been born similarly to the Buddha, with her mother giving birth with no discomfort, and is said to be a reincarnation of the Buddha’s mother, Maya Devi. Her emanations include the few female Tertons (one who unearths hidden texts or terma including Sera Khandro in the early 20th century and Jomo Menmo in the thirteenth, as well as Mingyur Paldrön, the daughter and heir of the renowned Terton Terdak Lingpa, who founded the Mindroling Monastery outside of Lhasa in the seventeenth century.

Ekajati Buddhist Gods


In Vajrayana Buddhist mythology, Ekajati is one of the fiercest and most powerful protectors. She is the protector of secret mantras and the most important guardian of the Vajrayana teachings, particularly the Inner Tantras. Ekajati aids the practitioner in interpreting symbolic Dakini codes as the mantra’s guardian and appropriately determines the ideal conditions and times for disclosing tantric teachings. She reminds the practitioner of the significance and confidentiality of the texts and mantras under her care because she fully understands them. Ekajati is also known as “Blue Tara”, “Black Tara”, “Vajra Tara” or “Ugra Tara”.

Sarasvati Buddhist Gods


In Tantric Buddhism, Sarasvati is a meditational deity appearing as a goddess of words, poetry, and knowledge. Her colors are red or white and she can take many forms. She is a goddess of knowledge and wisdom in her white avatar and a powerful deity in her red avatar. She is often shown as Manjushri’s consort. In the Vajrabhairava and Yamari cycle of divine beings, Sarasvati has several vengeful manifestations that are unrelated to wisdom, creativity, or rhetoric.

Mahamayuri Buddhist Gods


Mahamayuri, also known as the “Queen of the secret sciences” and the “Godmother of Buddha,” is also one of Buddhism’s five guardian goddesses. She is revered for her legendary ability to shield followers from both physical and spiritual poisoning. The Mahamayuri offers mystical cures for poisons, snakebites, and other afflictions. According to legend, she was inspired by a Hindu goddess of the same name. She is frequently shown with four arms and riding on top of a peacock. The objects she is holding can vary depending on the tradition, but typical items include a citron, a bael fruit, a lotus flower, and a peacock tail feather. She is sitting in the half (vajrasana) pose, using the moon as a backrest, and is dressed in serene ornaments and attire.

Cunda Buddhist Gods


Before being assimilated into Buddhism, Cunda or Cundi was thought of as a vengeful manifestation of the Hindu goddess Durga, or Parvati, the wife of the god Siva. Also known as the Mother of the Seventy Million Buddha, Cundi or Cunda is the sentient’s protector, and she possesses unfathomable wealth and knowledge. She is a strong sorceress who has been praying for millennia. Cundi is usually portrayed seated on a lotus with 18 arms. Each arm is holding an Upaya, a sacred Buddhist object with a special significance. The 18 arms symbolize the 18 ways to transform into a Buddha.

Sita Tara Buddhist Gods

Sita Tara

Sita Tara, a Bodhisattva of activity and compassion, is associated with practices for prolonging life and overcoming severe hardships. She is revered by Vajrayana Buddhists for cultivating the traits of compassion (karu), loving-kindness (mett), and emptiness (shunyata). Sita Tara is pictured sitting cross-legged on top of a blue lotus (Utpala) moon seat in a yogic posture. She is recognisable by her seven eyes—three of which are on her forehead and the other four on the palms of her hands. These eyes represent her sensitive attentiveness, keen insight, and genuine compassion. Sita Tara is also known as Arya Tara, Shayama Tara, Jetsun Döolma, Tara Bosatsu, and Duluo Psa.

Krodikali Buddhist Gods


Krodikali, or Troma Nagmo, also known as the Black Wrathful Lady, is the Great Mother of Compassion and a manifestation of Vajravarahi. She represents wisdom in a feminine form and her worship is one of the greatest level beliefs in Vajrayana associated with Chod Practice. She dances upon a corpse, a sun disk, and a lotus while carrying a curved knife with a Vajra handle in her spread right hand and a skull cup filled with blood in her lowered left hand. She is covered in a shawl made of human skin, a loincloth made of tiger skin, a garland made of fifty severed heads, and an elephant hide draped over her back. A trident-crowned Khatvanga is resting in the bend of her left arm. The angry and squealing head of a sow protrudes from the crown of her head, where her yellow hair flows upward over her five-skull crown.

Simhamukha Buddhist Gods


Simhamukha is perhaps the most supremely wrathful wisdom Dakini (female spirit or demon in Hinduism and Buddhism) who is capable of fixing all negative vibes, curses, barriers, or malicious intent. She is usually portrayed as a dark blue or maroon-colored lion-faced female and is related to the direction East. Simhamukha is a manifestation of the Buddha’s enlightened awareness, and despite her wrathful look and her magical tricks, her nature is compassion. She is one of the many forms of Padmasambhava in the Nyingma ‘Treasure’ tradition, specifically as a ‘secret’ form of Guru Rinpoche within the system of outer, inner, and secret manifestations.

Vajrayogini Buddhist Gods


Hindus and Buddhists equally worship Vajrayogini as a deity of knowledge and wisdom. Also known as Ugra Tara, the goddess Vajrayogini is thought to be one of the wisest and most powerful deities, capable of bestowing the blessing of superior enlightenment on anyone she thinks deserves it. According to scholar Miranda Shaw, Vajrayoginī is “inarguably the supreme deity of the Tantric pantheon. No male Buddha, including her heavenly consort, Heruka Cakrasaṃvara, approaches her in metaphysical or practical import”. She is an Anuttarayoga Tantra Ishta Devata (meditation goddess), and her rituals include means for averting ordinary death, intermediate state (bardo), and rebirth (samsara) by altering them into paths to enlightenment, as well as means for transforming all ordinary daily experiences into higher spiritual paths.

Marici Buddhist Gods


Marici is the Buddhist goddess of the dawn who represents awakening, triumph over evil, and victory in the face of adversity. She symbolizes light overcoming darkness, which is the metaphor for spiritual development and meditation. There are a variety of forms she appears in. She is usually yellow or red, with one, three, or more faces and six to twelve arms, riding in a chariot drawn by seven hogs or horses, removing all barriers to contentment and well-being. She occasionally rides a white horse through the sky, driving back the night with the orb of the sun in her extended right hand. Her mood can range from peaceful to wrathful.

Janguli Buddhist Gods


Janguli is a Buddhist deity, revered by shamanic tribes of Northern India, who defends against poison and snakes. Janguli is a Sanskrit word that means “subjugator of snakes.” She is also referred to as Dugselma, or “remover of poison”. The goddess is skilled with all venoms and employs them not for evil but for good. Her strength stems from the idea that she knows about the elixir of life, which has the potential to be both poisonous and medicinal. Like other Mahayana goddesses, she can manifest as Tara’s emanation or as a separate deity.

Parnashavari Buddhist Gods


Parnashavari or “Tribal Woman Clothed in Leaves” is an important deity in Buddhism who offers effective protection against outbreaks of epidemics. Her leaf clothing shows her intimate connection to nature, from which she receives her healing skills. Her leaf skirt blends seamlessly with the environment and provides a ready supply of her cures and is embellished with fruit, flowers, and feathers. She has a white serpent around her neck and also wears hair ribbons with small snakes. Parnashavari is armed with a simple ax (parasu) with a long handle and a short blade to harvest fruits, herbs, and medicinal plants.

Palden Lhamo Buddhist Gods

Palden Lhamo

Palden Lhamo, also recognized as Shridevi, is the wrathful deity regarded to be Tibet’s primary protector. She is the dark emanation of Vajra Sarasvati (an emanation of Tara). Her principal duty is as a protector (Dharmapala), notably as the primary female Wisdom Protector of Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism. Palden Lhamo is the only female of the traditional ‘Eight Guardians of the Law’. She is dark blue with one face and triple eyes, a sun at her navel, and a moon at her head, and she wears a peacock umbrella over her head. Palden Lhamo’s ultimate nature is that of a supporter and guardian of the compassionate path.

Kurukulla Buddhist Gods


Kurukulla is a red-clad goddess with four arms, with a bow and arrow made of flowers in one pair of hands and a hook and noose made of flowers in the other. She performs a Dakini dance and smashes the asura Rahu (the one who devours the sun). Kurukulla is also known as the Red Tara or Tarodbhava Kurukulla, which translates as “the Kurukulla who arises from Tara.” Kurukulla is sixteen years old, according to the writings, since sixteen is the optimum number for perfection, four times four. Because of her magical role of enchantment and seduction, her face is lovely, and her figure is voluptuous and alluring, as well as red.

Guanyin Buddhist Gods


Guanyin is the goddess of mercy and the physical manifestation of compassion. She is the East Asian embodiment of Avalokiteshvara and is also known as Padmapani, which means ” One who holds a lotus in his/her palm,” in Sanskrit. Guanyin is an all-seeing, all-hearing entity who helps her worshipers when they are in a state of doubt, despair, or terror. She defends the needy and hungry, saves the unfortunate from danger, and provides comfort and assistance wherever it is required. Because of her universal appeal, she became one of Buddhism’s most famous and beloved personalities.

Khadi Ravani Tara Buddhist Gods

Khadi Ravani Tara

Khadi Ravani Tara, also known as Green Tara, is a youthful and vibrant deity whose green color denotes protection, vitality, and strength in Buddhism. She is known as the “22nd Tara”. She sits in a royal-ease stance on a white moon disc and a multicolored lotus, her left foot raised and her extended right foot resting on a little lotus pedestal. Her right hand rests on her knee joint in the Varada-mudra, representing that she gives emancipation to all beings. She holds her left hand in front of her heart in the gesture of offering sanctuary or protection, representing that she shields all creatures from the ‘Eight major fears,’ which are: fear of thieves (false beliefs); serpents (jealousy); fire (rage); lions (arrogance); elephants (ignorance); drowning (attachment); demons (doubt); and imprisonment (gluttony).

Sitatapatra Buddhist Gods


Sitatapatra, also known as “the indestructible goddess with the white parasol,” is a complex Vajrayana goddess who represents the power of active compassion. She possesses a thousand eyes that watch over living beings, as well as a thousand arms that protect and help them. Her parasol represents her capacity to defend sentient people against natural disasters and illnesses. She is also seen as a wrathful side of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara. Despite her wrathful protecting abilities, she is represented in a tranquil form with elements of exquisite femininity.

Vasudhara Buddhist Gods


Vasudhara is a significant and well-known feminine deity in Buddhist culture. She is shown as an attractive woman in Buddhist art with a rich headdress and jewelry. Similar to Laxmi Devi in Hinduism, she is revered as the bestower of wealth and prosperity. Vasudhara followers are supposed to acquire seven types of success through their practice: riches, quality, children, long life, happiness, praise, and knowledge. Vasudhara Vrata, which takes place once a year to honor this goddess for two days, is a popular celebration among Buddhists.

Prajnaparamita Devi Buddhist Gods

Prajnaparamita Devi

Prajnaparamita Devi, the Mother of all Buddhas, is a well-known Buddhist deity and the most important of all goddesses. The word Prajnaparamita means “Perfection of Wisdom” in Sanskrit. Prajnaparamita Devi represents the feminine aspect of the Buddha. Buddhists believe that the great Buddha, along with all others, meditated on Prajnaparamita Devi. She is the Adi Shakti, or Divine Feminine, who appears in all the Holy Scriptures. In Tibet, she is known as Yum Chenmo, or the ‘Great Mother,’ and is a central figure in the Chod Dharma system developed by one of the most famous Yoginis, Machik Labdron.

Hariti Buddhist Gods


Hariti is referred to as a Buddhist goddess for protecting children, uncomplicated childbirth, happy parenting, husband-wife harmony, love, well-being, and family security. In Japan, she is also known as Kishimojin and is sometimes associated with the Hindu deity Kali. She is revered as a protective deity in both Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, but in various folk traditions, she is a female demon of misfortune and sadness. The iconography of Hariti is comparable to that of the Greek goddess Tyche which may have been conveyed to East Asia through the influence of Greco-Buddhism.

Maya Devi Buddhist Gods

Maya Devi

Maya Devi or Adimata Mahamaya is worshipped as a goddess by Buddhists and Hindus. She is the mother of Buddha and the sister of Mahapajpati Gotami, the first Buddhist nun appointed by the Buddha. According to Buddhist tradition, Maya died seven days later after Buddha’s birth and was resurrected in the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods (Tavatimsa Heaven), a pattern that is said to be followed in the births of all Buddhas. Maya is a Sanskrit word that means illusion or enchantment. Mayadevi is also known as Mahamaya.

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