Deities

Guan Yin on a lotus.

Guan Shi Yin Avalokiteshvara’s Sacred Days Celebrating Birthday, Renunciation and Enlightenment: “Most Widely Beloved Buddhist Divinity”

Vajrasattva or any purifying practice is very powerful prior to new year to clear any negative karmas from the past year. Even if you don't do it in the prior year, Vajrasattva practice is an ideal daily practice.

Ultimate Purity as a Practice: Vajrasattva – the only practice most people need and the most powerful healing and purification method in Vajrayana Buddhism

21 Tara's according to Atisha lineage.

21 Mother Taras — the unlimited forms of compassionate activity with mantras and visualizations

Guru Rinpoche, the Lotus Born enlightened Buddha, came to Tibet to bring the Dharma in the 8th century.

Guru Rinpoche answers Lady Tsogyal: Should we practice one or many yidams? Is the master or the Yidam more important? Why is it important to practice the yidam deity?

Eight Great Bodhisattvas surrounding the Buddha, 17th century Chinese painting.

8 Great Sons of Buddha: the 8 Bodhisattvas Represent the 8 Great Qualities of Buddha; Their Mantras and Why We Need These Qualities

The very face of compassion, Metta personified in glorious Avalokiteshvara, the compassionate Buddha.

Avalokitesvara compassion practices can “enhance treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma” say some scientists and clinicians. For the rest of us, his compassion brings us closer to bliss and wisdom.

Lama Acharya Dr. Shannon Young

Female Enlightened Manifestations and Female Teachers and Lamas — Wisdom in Action; Reader Poll and Interview with Lama Shannon Young

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Tara’s Great Dharani and the Sutra of Tara Who Protects from the Eight Fears: in Tara’s Own Words

Face of a loving friend — Maitreya Buddha.

Celebrating Loving Kindness on Maitreya Day: Significance and Traditional Practices to Start the Lunar New Year Celebrating the Buddha-to-Come

Chitachakra Wish-Granting White Tara with a rainbow aura of colors representing the five activities and protective tents.

Chintachakra White Wish-Granting Wheel Tara: The All-in-One Mother of Buddhas in Vajrayana Buddhism – Her Significance, Mantra and Why Her Practice is Essential

H.E. Garchen Rinopche, a wonderful and highly accomplished teacher.

What are deities? Not other than “the qualities of the fully awakened… latent within us.” Who is Guru? “the pointer to these qualities”

Green Jambhala. Image available from Vajrayana Print on Etsy.

Green Jambhala and Wisdom Dakini: The Karma Family Activity of Prosperity, aspects of Tara and Amoghasiddhi Buddha

Vasudhara in her most popular form in Tibet, with Two arms, Golden Yellow holding a sheef of corn. She is an aspect of Tara, called Yellow Tara (11th Tara in the Nyingma 21 Taras Lineage), and she is none other than Mother Earth's Enlightened Form, who controls the ten Guardians of the World.

Stream of Gems Vasudhārā: The Buddhist Tara Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity; Mother Earth Who Witnessed Buddha’s Enlightenment

From the video on Hayagriva Buddha by Buddha Weekly, demonstrating self generation as the deity Hayagriva and consort Vajravarahi Vajrayogini.

In what way are Buddhist deities real? What do the teachers and sutras tell us about the true nature of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Monks practicing Sadhana at a retreat at Drepung Monastery Lhasa, Tibet. Sadhanas are ritualized text that help us learn, but they are also sacred Dharma texts meant to be recited word for word.

“Means of Accomplishing”: Sadhanas, the secret sauce recipe of Vajrayana Buddhism — the ingredients that make it effective, and how to embrace its elegant formulas

Shabala King Multicolored Garuda is one of the 13 Golden Dharmas of the Sakya Lineage and is found in the Kalachakra literature. He body is all the colors of symbolic activities of the Buddhas: white for pacifying (Vairocahana Buddha family), Green wings for windy activities of Amoghasiddha/ Tara's family, Red for the compassionate Lotus family of Amitabha Buddha, Blue for the spacious activity of Akshobya Buddha, and Yellow for the prosperity and auspiciousness earth activities of Amoghasiddhi's Buddha Family.

Shabala King Garuda — Multicolored King of Air, Chi, Prana — Cheng, Enlightened Lord of the Five Activities of the Buddha

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Vajrayogini, enlightened wisdom queen, leads us to bliss, clear light and emptiness, despite modern obstacles

A beautiful devotional practice is to paint your own statues. This beautiful "thanka painted" statue of Chittamani Tara started out as an unpainted bronze. Buddha Weekly's volunteer art director Kam Yu, as a devotional practice to Tara, beautifully painted and decorated a Chittamni Tara statue after filling with mantras and blessings. This is one of the most beautiful practices of devotion. He painted the flowers blue, and jewelry in gold foil. The body is matte varnished while the silk clothing with elaborate designs painted on, are glossy. As a final touch he added Turquoise and coral gems.

“Mind Jewel” Green Tara – a Highest Yoga Tantra practice of Chittamani Tara (Cittamani), Mother of all the Buddhas

The great Lotus Born, Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava, the second Buddha.

Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche’s condensed “all teachings into one — which is concise and easy to practice”at the time of death: as requested by Lady Tsogyal

Marici, Enemy of all Maras, Goddess of the Dawn. This statue is painted as a Dharma practice, by Buddha Weekly's Creative Director.

Great enemy of the maras: Marici — “Ray of Light” Bodhisattva Goddess — protective Bodhisattva for “turbulent times”; aspect of glorious Mother Tara: includes Dharani mantra

The many faces of Wisdom and Compassion: Top right ferocious Yamantaka (two arms), top centre Yamantaka with nine heads — Manjushri's head on top — top right a rarer tantric form, centre bottom Orange Manjushri with Wisdom Sword, bottom right centre Peaceful Black Manjushri, bottom Right Wrathful black Manjushri and bottom left, the syllable Hum on a Lotus.

The eleven aspects of Manjushri — kind, wrathful, protective, teaching and “beastly” — white, yellow, black; father, mother, spiritual child

Kukkuripa Mahasiddha and his dog, who was in fact a Dakini. Painting by Ben Christian Jampay Dorje.

Kukkuripa’s Dog and the Sacred Animals in Buddhism — Power Animals of Enlightened Deities and their meaning

Heruka Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini, the Highest Yoga Tantra meditational deities. Artwork by Laura Santi

Heruka and Dakini’s Special Months: Honoring the Blissful Wisdom Mother in the 11th Month and the Compassionate Hero in the 12th

Stories of Black Mahakala and the Dalai Lamas feature miraculous crows.

Mahakala: Miracles of Great Black and the Dalai Lama — three Men in Black, the Mahakala brothers, the Dalai Lama, and a crow

Kshitigarbha, the Earth Store Bodhisattva, saving millions of beings over countless years.

Four heroic incarnations of Ksitigarbha, the “Earth Store” Bodhisattva — unfailing, never-tiring compassion

Close up detail of Vajrayogini Narokacho looking up at the Buddhas.

What are the ten benefits of Vajrayogini practice? Why is her practice recommended in our busy, terrifying times?

Amitayus, the Buddha of Long Life, an emanation of Amitabha Buddha.

Long Life Prayer to Amitayus, Padmasambhava, Vajrakumara and White Tara: Chokgyur Lingpa (1829–1870). Translated from the Tibetan by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

Ushnisha Vijaya close up of the three faces.

Long-Life Buddha Uṣṇīṣavijayā — Victorious Crown Ushnisha Vijaya and Her Dharani create the conditions for longevity, good health and auspiciousness

Peaceful Black Manjushri is seated with a slightly "stern" face. Some people feel more comfortable visualizing Peaceful Black Manjushri, especially if they've been traumatized. Wrathful visualization can feel more powerful — reinforced by the symbolism of activity and fierceness.

The Disease Specialist: Black Manjushri Practice Has a Reputation for Successfully Helping Victims of the Most Dangerous Diseases

Stunning master crafted and painted statue of Yamantaka by Nepal's Best Statues.

Destroyer of Death Yamantaka: Buffalo-headed Vajrabhairava, supremely wrathful Yidam manifestation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom

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Shabkar’s Song of Practice: the entire path, from refuge to generation to completion in one song by one of the great sages of Tibet

Two aspects of Compassion: Amitabha and his wrathful heruka emanations Hayagriva.

Compassion, Wisdom and Power as Buddha, Bodhisattva, Heruka and Dakini — the most important aspects of practice as Enlightened beings

Vajrakilaya close up feature image.

Vajrakilaya: put a peg in it ! — Cutting the three poisons with the sharpest weapon: destroying ignorance, greed, and hostility with profound Vajrakumara

Statue of Guanyin.

Sacred outlook – seeing beyond ordinary perception in modern culture and American Buddhism

Parnashavari appears in the forest. This is a visualize scene in Buddha Weekly's Parnashavari Mantra visualization video. Reader Adrian had two visualized experiences after watching this video and meditating on the mantra.

Parnashavari Meditation Experiences — and meeting Hayagriva (What I experienced meditating with Buddha Weekly videos)

The fearsome power of great Vajrapani, who is always ready to "beat down" the obstacles to our practice.

Vajrapani, the “Hand of Buddha” defeats the poisons : pride, anger, hate and jealousy

Scene from The Matrix. "There is no spoon."

Deity Yoga: Science or Superstition? Vajrayana Deity Meditation Proves Invaluable in Preventing Cognitive Disorders. In What Other Ways is Vajrayana Buddhist Deity Practice More Science than Religion?

Black Mahakala is the most iconic of the wrathful Enlightened Deities. He is a ferocious emanation of the Buddha of Compassion Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig.

Wrathful Deities: The First Responders in Meditation; the Psychology of Fearsome Enlightened Buddhas

Practicing generosity creates positive karma. Here, a kind lay-Buddhist gives alms to three monks who, like the Buddha, eat only before noon and only from food given to them. Merit for good deeds is an intuitive concept in karma.

Wealth Deities: Generating Karma for Prosperity by Practicing Generosity. How to Reconcile Renunciation with Wealth Practices in Buddhism.

12-armed Ganesha or Ganapati, also known as Maha Rakta Ganapati, remover of obstacles.

Why is Maha Rakta Ganapati recommended by some Buddhist Teachers as the remover of obstacles, the protector of prosperity?

Detail of a painting of Tara 1, Heroic Red Tara, by V.V. Sapar of the first Tara in the Surya Gupta sytem. In the background is the Lotus Face of Avalokiteshvara. (Full image below in the feature.)

Mother Tara’s many-armed protective embrace: 21 Taras according to Surya Gupta — with 8 videos and mantras and stunning art

The face of the glorious Buddha Tara in her Green Chittamani form by Ben Christian (Jampay Dorje)

Meeting Green Tara Face-to-Face: How to Visualize the Deity by Artist and Teacher Jampay Dorje

Many Faces of Avaolikiteshvara's compassion

Chenrezig: the many faces of Avalokiteshvara’s compassion — sometimes we need a father or mother, sometimes a friend, sometimes a warrior

Hayagriva Sandrup closeup with three green horse heads and three faces red centre, green right and white left with six arms, supreme Heruka of the Amitabha Family.

What’s so special about Hayagriva? In difficult times the wrathful Heruka emanation of Amitabha is an important Buddhist practice

Green Tara's kind face. Tara is known as Tara the Rescuer.

Mama Buddha Tara: Compassionate Action; Stories of Green Tara the Rescuer — How She Can Help You

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White Tara long life practice video with special 5-colors protection light guided visualization from Venerable Zasep Rinpoche

Visualizing the Medicine Buddha Mantra and rays of healing Lapis Lazuli light emanating from the Buddha, and absorbed into the patient (or self) assists in healing.

The First Doctor: Medicine Buddha Bhaisajyaguru Lapis Lazuli Light — Empowering You to Heal; the Buddha of Healing and Medicine and Doctors

Lovely statue of the great sage Lama Je Tsong Khapa.

Lama Tsongkhapa: A Short, Powerful Practice Helps Bring Compassion, Wisdom, Good Fortune, and Healing

A cropped section of a stunning thangka of Chittimani Tara, the Highest Yoga Tantra aspect of Green Tara, by Jampay Dorje (Ben Christian). See this feature interview with this amazing artist in Buddha Weekly>>

Longing for Tara — “Hook me with your great love and kindness to liberate me…”

Jason Espada recites In Praise of Tara in this meditative recited video with meditational images of Tara.

Video: In Praise of Tara, written and recited by Jason Espada — Praising the Mother of All the Buddhas

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Kurukulla: the “Diva” Dakini of enlightened magic; the enchantress transforms seduction into ‘the cause of wisdom’

Buddha taught that the unanswerable metaphysical questions were unimoportant to the practice of Buddhism. Clinging to notions of time, soul, eternal life and so on create attachments rather than help us overcome them.

Is there room for the supernatural in Western Buddhism? Four sutra views of magic and metaphysical and why a supernatural perspective helps “see beyond ordinary perception”

In the Surya Gupta tradition of 21 Taras, each Tara manifests with different appearances.

Part 3: 21 Taras of Mahasidda Suryagupta: after curing him of leprosy, Tara taught him Her Twenty-One forms

Detail of one of the 21 Taras according to the Surya Gupta tradition, where each Tara manifests with different iconography.

Part 2, Surya Gupta 21 Taras: meditating on virtuous body of Tara; distinct embodiments of Tara’s Compassion and Wisdom

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The bridge between science and Buddhism, atoms and no atoms, theism and athiesm; Yidam deity meditation and the Cognitive Science of Tantra

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Mother Earth: witness of Lord Buddha’s merits: Vasudhara, Phra Mae Thorani, Prithvi, Bhumi — the witness of all our merits

Giant statue of Padmasambhava

Tantra Helps “Stop Ordinary Perception”, and is the Fast Path to Enlightenment. But How Do Modern Buddhists Relate to Deities?

Kuan Yin Pusa, Goddess of Mercy, also known as Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva of Compassion.

Guan Shi Yin and the ten great protections of the Goddess of Mercy Kuanyin: Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva of Compassion

Home retreat may be an ideal practice during times of social isolation.

How a Home Retreat Helps Busy People Manage Time and Save Money; How to Do It, and Why it is Necessary

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Long life practice: White Heruka and Red Vajrayogini: Annutarayoga meditational deity prolongs life

Lapis Lazuli Medicine Buddha is an aspect of Shakyamuni Buddha that is famous for healing meditations.

Video Medicine Buddha Retreat, part 1: open self-healing weekend with visualization, mantras and teachings with H.E. Zasep Rinpoche

Amitabha chanting at a night festival in Ho Chi Minh City.

Profound simplicity of “Amituofo”: why Nianfo or Nembutsu is a deep, complete practice with innumerable benefits and cannot be dismissed as faith-based: w. full Amitabha Sutra

In Medicine Buddha practice we imagine healing light from the Lapis Lazuli Light Medicine Buddha entering our body, healing us. How does this imaginative visualization help us? Is this the real healing energy of Medicine Buddha, or our own mind triggered by the visualization? Or both? Ultimately, it is both, and ultimately, it doesn't matter.

Twelve syllables of Medicine Buddha’s name represent his twelve great vows: Bhaisajya-guru-vidurya-prabha-raja — recite his Holy name as a mantra

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha is Green Tara's mantra. Green Tara is the rescuer, the mother of all the Buddhas and of all beings — Wisdom is mother — and she is known for her quick action on behalf of those who call her name for help.

Video: chanting Green Tara by Yoko Dharma; from our guided meditation series, Green Tara images and mantra to empower your practice

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Green Tara guided meditation video, guided by H.E. Zasep Rinpoche with beautiful Tara images and animations; finishing with magnificent Tara mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche teaching at a Tara weekend using the commentary book, Tara in the Palm of Your Hand, as a reference.

Tara Book excerpt and teaching: Who is Tara and how can She help us? An introduction to Tara, Karma, Shunyata, Dependent Arising, and Buddha Nature by Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

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Purifying Negative Karma Advice Video: How to Purify Obstructions and Defilements with Vajrasattva Practice and Other Buddhist Meditations, Answered by Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

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The Lightning Path of Buddhism: The Power of Yidams

When we visualize Buddhas and deities in Tibetan Buddhism we see them as "the nature of light and energy".

Medicine Buddha Sutra: video audio recitation of full Sutta — listening or reciting is a very empowering healing practice

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Part 3: Zasep Tulku Rinpoche discusses how to find a teacher; why its important to meditate on death; how to start with Deity Yoga; how wrathful Deities can be misunderstood; and the role of internet in Dharma teachings.

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Limitless Tara, Beyond the Green: Buddha, Bodhisattva, Savior, Mother of all the Buddhas, Goddess of Many Colors, Consort of Buddhas, Wisdom Mother, Action Hero…

Giant statue of Padmasambhava

Seven Line Prayer to Padmasambhava

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