Buddhist Pantheon

Akshobhya: Akshobhaya means imperturbable. The Schools of the ‘Vajra Vehicle' equipped Akshobhya with their emblem – the Vajra or diamond scepter of Indra, the Lord of the Indian Gods. This concept of the Vajra was borrowed from Hinduism and symbolizes diamond like perfection and indestructibility of the Buddha doctrine. He is blue in color and his element is water. The elephant is his vehicle and he sits in the earth-witness gesture (Bhumisparsha mudra). He transforms anger and hate into the wisdom of purity.

Buddha Amitayus (Buddha Amithaba): His name means ‘infinite light' and his element is fire. He symbolizes long life, merit and wisdom. He is seated in Virasana (crossed legs with turned out heels) with hands in Dhyanamudra (meditative gesture). He wears bracelets, armlets and large yoke collar with pectoral and Buddha Bhumisparsha sacred chain covering most of the torso. He is crowned with a tri-partite crown beginning at the hairline, and has a simplified usnisa (topknot) that ends in a smooth, conical flame. Amitayus is the principal Buddha for overcoming the power that death and ignorance have over human beings. He is seated on a lotus that symbolizes pure intentions of all Amitayus Buddha activities.

Bodhisattvas: The concept of Bodhisattvas, the savior figure of the Buddhist pantheon, evolved into a dominant feature of Mahayana Buddhism and was carried from India across Northern Asia in the early centuries of the first millennium. In India, the earliest portrayal of Bodhisattvas appeared at about the same time as those of the Buddha, since the Buddha was not represented in a humanoid image for the first several years after his death. Initially the Bodhisattvas were side figures flanking the larger, seated Buddha. The Bodhisattvas were generally depicted with crowns and jewelry,Medicine Buddhasuggesting princely status.

Bhaishajya Guru: Bhaishajya Raja, the ‘lord of the Medicaments' was one of important Bodhisattvas mentioned in the text of 'The lotus of the true Doctrine'. It is believed that the figure Bhaishajya Guru (Master of Medicaments) evolved from here. Bhaishajya Guru is shown in the act of offering with the right hand the fruit of elliptical shape of the myrabolan, a medicinal plant.

The palm of the Buddha's left hand holds small bowl containing medicinal plants, while a vajra rests on the surface of the huge water lily on which he sits, aligned with his eyes rapt in deep meditation. The iconography of the image relates to Buddhist guru, Sakyamuni, whose doctrine heals from psycho-somatic suffering.

Vajrasattva: Vajrasattva can be related to Vajrapani (Vajra-in-hand) a deity in Hinduism. The statue shows Vajrasattva - bodhisattva holding a vajra placed vertically on the palm of the right hand and a bell in the left. In the Medicine Buddha Buddhist school 'vajra' symbolizes 'means'

Life Story understood, as the male element required for attaining the awakening or enlightenment while the bell is interpreted as the female element that represents wisdom or emptiness.

Manjushri: Manjushri, one of the important bodhisattvas, combines the role of keeper of the wisdom and teacher of the Buddhist doctrine. He is usually represented in the act of brandishing a flaming sword in his right hand cleaving the Buddha Vajrasattva darkness of ignorance. The esoteric schools of late Buddhism elaborated various forms of him, with multiple arms and heads.

Maitreya: Maitreya is the present Bodhisattva and the Buddha of the future. He resides in his special heaven waiting for his incarnation as the last Buddha. Maitreya was incorporated in all the major Buddhist systems as a connecting link to the future. From early times he was portrayed both at the side of Shakyamuni Buddha and as an individual image of worship. He is usually shown in a human form with the usual Bodhisattva adornments, and he typically displays his two primary emblems: a stupa Manjushri in his crown and a vase of elixir of immortality in his left hand. He is usually depicted as either standing or sitting with one of his legs hanging down, ready to descend to humanity.

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