Deities

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

Ksitigarbha is a bodhisattva revered by millions across East Asia — honoured by the Buddha Himself due to his "untiring limitless compassion" — and his vows to help all sentient beings. He is also popularly known as Lord ...

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.

Avalokitesvara is the metaphorical rock star of the Bodhisattvas. "Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, is one of the most important and popular Buddhist deities," writes Karen Andres in Tibetan Contemplative Traditions. [1] "Avalokitesvara is the personification of compassion... ...

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

Kurukulla could be thought of as the "Diva" pop star of the Dakinis. She is like a beautiful, modern celebrity endorsing a worthy cause; she projects this divine and Enlightened beauty to attract us to the Dharma. She ...

The Sutra of Tara Who Protects from the Eight Fears: in Tara’s Own Words

Tara's vast popularity in Mahayana Buddhism — as both Bodhisattva and Buddha — is easy to understand. Not only is she a "Mother" — a mother deity and the "Mother of All Buddhas" — but she also protects ...

Angry Wisdom: Yamantaka, the Destroyer of Death; Vajrabhairava, the wrathful Highest Yoga Tantra Yidam manifestation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom

"When the tantric wrathful deity is understood and related to skillfully, it has the necessary qualities to be a catalyst of transformation. One deity that embodies the power to transform the destructive, agressive aspect of the Shadow is ...

Manjushri as Father, Mother, Child — and Doctor: the eleven aspects of Manjushri — kind, wrathful, protective, teaching and “beastly”

Manjushri is the “master of the Seven Buddhas” and the “mother of the Buddhas” — and also the “child” of the Buddhas — according to Ajatasatruraja Sutra: “Manjushri is the father and mother of the Bodhissatvas, and their ...

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”

Does removing the magic from Buddhist practice seem less — magical? Sometimes, with a secular approach to Buddhism, we strip away some of the flair, the near euphoric joy of the Buddha's Dharma. That "bliss" can be an ...

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

Suryagupta, one of the great Eighty-four Mahasiddas (7th/8th century), had countless visions of glorious Mother Tara. She so cherished the great master — also known as Ravigupta or “Nyi ma be pa” in Tibetan — that she first ...

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

"As Tara did, we develop the potential of our minds to attain full Enlightenment through meditation. Meditation is a process of focusing our mind on a virtuous object." — From Tara in the Palm of Your Hand [1] ...

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

Sadhanas in Vajrayana are (metaphorically) the recipes to successful Buddhist realizations. As with a chef in the kitchen, you don’t have to use the recipe — but it ensures a good result. The spectacular result, as with fine ...

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

"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as ...

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

One of the often-overlooked aspects of the story of Buddha’s Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree is the dual significance of the “Bhumi Sparsha” — the Earth Witness Mudra. By touching the Earth, to be a witness of His ...