Dharmapala Thangka CentreTibetan Antiques

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Bodhisattva Vajrapani

Vajrapāṇi [Tibetan: ཕྱག་ན་རྡོ་རྗེ། Chagna Dorje - meaning: Vajra in his hand] is one of the earliest appearing bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of Gautama Buddha and rose to symbolize the Buddha's power.

Vajrapāni is also called Chagna Dorje and extensively represented in Buddhist iconography as one of the earliest three protective deities or bodhisattvas surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolizes one of the Buddha's virtues: Manjushri manifests all the Buddhas' wisdom, Avalokiteśvara manifests all the Buddhas' immense compassion, and Vajrapāni protects Buddha and manifests all the Buddhas' power as well as the power of all five tathāgatas [Buddhahood of the rank of Buddha].

Iconographic development

Vajrapani [6]
1. Vajrapani [6]
Vajrapani [5]
2. Vajrapani [5]
Vajrapani [4]
3. Vajrapani [4]
Vajrapani [3]
4. Vajrapani [3]
Vajrapani [2]
5. Vajrapani [2]
Vajrapani [1]
6. Vajrapani [1]