As the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, Nepal is a haven of Buddhist cultural and religious heritage. Our photo series ‘Deities of Nepal’ in Instagram was an attempt to highlight only a small part of it. We have compiled the pictures in this blog post in the hopes that we can spread more awareness about these beautiful Buddhist statues. We would like to thank Tsering G. Handicrafts for providing these statues. The store is located in Bouda, Phulbari. Contact info: 985116847, 9818233378
Vajrapani is one of the earliest-appearing bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of Gautam Buddha. Vajrapani is depicted as one of the three protective deities surrounding Buddha. Each of them symbolize one of the Buddha’s virtues: Manjushri manifests all of the Buddha’s wisdom, Avalokitesvara manifests all of the Buddha’s compassion and Vajrapani manifests all of the Buddha’s powers.
Vajrapani is pictured dancing wildly within a halo of flames, which represent transformation. Vajrapani looks wrathful, but as a representation of the enlightened mind, he’s completely free from hatred. He holds a “Pakh” (rope) on his right hand and on his left hands, he holds a vajra (thunderbolt) in his right hand, which emphasizes the power to cut through the darkness of delusion.
Mantra: oṃ vajrapāṇi hūṃ phaṭ
Popularly known as Guru Rinpoche, Guru Padmasambhava is widely regarded as 'second Buddha' across Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Himalayan states of India. Padmasambhava is also considered to be the founder of Tantric Buddhism or Nyingma tradition in Tibet. Padmasambhava is a sage who excelled in the “Sunyata gyan” and described and wrote it so that everyone could understand.(Pragya Paramita : soulless. Whatever is present on earth is impermanence. Everything will come to an end.) mostly in Lhasa. He is said to have meditated in Daaman: Rishikesh Wor Mahadev.
Usually, Padmasambhava's body is depicted in golden color. He wears many different robes symbolizing his enlightened experiences and attainments. His crown includes a vulture's feather to represent the realization of highest views.
Mantra: Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum
Green Tara is a female Bodhisattva(metaphors for Buddhist virtues) and known as the "mother of liberation". She represents the virtue of success in work and activity. Green Tara has the power of Amoghsiddhi, one of the 5 precedent buddhas. She is said to remove 8 types of fears.
Green Tara appears as a young beautiful maiden. She wears a crown adorned with five Buddha images. She sits on a lotus throne in half lotus posture. Her left-hand shows the gesture of refuge vows and right-hand shows varada mudra(hand gesture symbolizing dispensing of boons).
Mantra: Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha
Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara or Six-Syllabled Avalokiteshvara is widely popular in Vajrayana Buddhism and also Hinduism. He is the creator of the six-syllabled mantra- 'Om Mane Padme Hum' which has become a popular household mantra.
Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara has a smiling expression and symbolizes compassion. He has four hands; the first two are pressed together at heart and the lower two hold a crystal rosary and a white lotus. He is adorned with jeweled ornaments and wears an upper garment of an antelope skin.
Mantra: Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ
Vajrasattva is regarded as Adi-Buddha(half-Buddha). Vajrasattva is the founder of Vajrayana Buddhism. Pancha Buddha is said to be Vajrasattva because the 5 colors Red Blue Green Yellow and White merge to form White color and Vajrasattva is in white while Vajrasattva is said to be Pancha Buddha itself. Vajrasattva is generally invoked during confession practice for purifying defilements. His hundred syllable mantra is very efficient during confession practices.
On his right hand he holds a “five-pronged golden Vajra” and on his left, he holds a “ Ghanta: a silver bell”.
Mantra: oṃ vajrasattva samayam anupālaya vajrasattva tvenopatiṣṭha dṛḍho me bhava sutoṣyo me bhava supoṣyo me bhava anurakto me bhava sarva siddhiṃ me prayaccha sarva karma su ca me cittaṃ śreyaḥ kuru hūṃ ha ha ha ha hoḥ bhagavan sarva tathāgatavajra mā me muñca vajrī bhava mahā samaya sattva aḥ (hūṃ phaṭ)
White tara is famous as the 'Wish-fulfilling Wheel' or Chintachakra. She is a female bodhisattva described in Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. She is associated with compassion, long life, healing and serenity. She counteracts illness and thereby helps bring about a long life.
White tara is similar to Green tara with some distinct features. White tara has five eyes on her body; the third eye on her forehead and an eye on her right and left palms.
Mantra: Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Mama Ayuḥ Punya Jñānā Puṣtiṃ Kuru Svāhā
Manjushri is a bodhisattva associated with prajna(transcendental wisdom) in Mahayana Buddhism. Manjushri is famous as the creator of Kathmandu valley. It is believed that Manjushri saw a lotus flower in the center of a lake which was originally Kathmandu valley. He cut a gorge at Chovar to allow the lake to drain and thus Kathmandu valley was formed.
Manjushri is depicted as a male bodhisattva wielding a flaming sword in his right hand which represents the realization of transcendent wisdom cutting down ignorance and duality.
Mantra: Oṃ arapacana dhīḥ
Yellow Jambhala is one of the forms of Jambhala who is known as 'God of Wealth'. Yellow Jambhala is considered the most popular and powerful of the Wealth Gods.
Yellow Jambhala sits in the vajra position. His left-hand holds a mongoose named Nehulay which spews forth precious jewels from its mouth while his right-hand holds a precious pagoda which pours out various treasures.
Mantra: Om Zambala Zalendhraye Soha
In Vajrayana Buddhism, Yamantaka is a wrathful, buffalo-headed meditational deity. 'Yama' means god of death while 'antaka' means making an end. So, Yamantaka means 'Destroyer of Death' or 'Conqueror of Death'.
This is the full statue of Yamantaka and has nine heads, the central one being that of a buffalo. Each face has three large round eyes, bared fangs and frightful expression. He has thirty-four hands and sixteen legs.
Amitabha Buddha is a celestial buddha described in the scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism. He represents purified form of desire. His name means ‘infinite radiance’. Amitabha Buddha made a vow to established an adorned land of unlimited bliss to ferry over those who recite his name. Any being who recites those vows, has faith, and practices diligently will be received by him.
Amitabha is dressed as a monk, with his hands in the mudra(hand gesture) of dhyana(meditation). During Buddhist meditation, one usually arranges his hands in the dhyana mudra.
Mantra: Oṃ Amideva Hrīḥ
One of five forms of Jambhala, Black Jambhala is also known as Kubera, Hindu God of Wealth. He benefits the poor and those in solitary retreat with a virtuous mind. He symbolizes subduing of human's ego and eliminating of human greed.
He holds a gems pot in his right hand and his left-hand holds an animal named Nehulay(mongoose). When worshipping his statue, you should pour water on his belly and not his head to receive blessings.
Mantra: Om Jambhala Jalendraye Bashu Dharini Svaha