Article Info

published: 1/5/05
updated: 7/25/13

The Five Dhyani Buddhas (Great Buddhas of Wisdom)




The Five Dhyani Buddhas

The Five Dhyani Buddhas, or Great Buddhas of Wisdom, are a central feature of Tibetan Buddhist belief and art. They are often found in Tibetan mandalas and thangkas. Each Buddha is believed to be capable of overcoming a particular evil with a particular good, and each has a complete system of iconographic symbolism.

 

Vairocana

Akshobhya

Ratnasambhava

Amitabha

Amogasiddha

Name

Buddha Supreme and Eternal; The Radiant One

Immovable or Unshakable Buddha

Source of Precious Things or Jewel-Born One

Buddha of Infinite Light

Almighty Conquerer or Lord of Karma

Direction

Center

East

South

West

North

Color

white

blue

yellow

red

green

Mudra

dharmachakra (wheel-turning)

bhumisparsa (witness)

varada (charity)

dhyana

abhaya (fearlessness)

Vija (Syllable)

Om

Hum

Trah

Hrih

Ah

Symbol

wheel

thunderbolt

jewel (ratna) or Three Jewels (triratna)

lotus

double thunderbolt

Embodies

sovereignty

steadfastness

compassion

light

dauntlessness





Type of wisdom

integration of the wisdom of all the Buddhas

mirrorlike

wisdom of equality

discriminating

all-accomplishing

Cosmic element (skandha)

rupa (form)

vijnana (consciousness)

vendana (sensation)

sanjna (name or perception)

samsakara (volition)

Earthly element

ether

water

earth

fire

air

Antidote to

ignorance and delusion

anger and hatred

desire and pride

malignity

envy and jealousy

Sense

sight

sound

smell

taste

touch

Vehicle

lion

elephant

horse

peacock (because of eyes on its plumes)

garuda (half-man, half-bird)

Spiritual son

Manjushree

Vajrapani

Ratnapani

Avalokiteshvara

Vajrapani

Consort

White Tara

Locana

Mamaki

Pandara

Green Tara

Paradise

 

Abhirati, the Land of Exceeding Great Delight

 

Sukhavati, Western Paradise, or Pure Land

 

Other info

Integration or origin of other Dhyani Buddhas