Buddhist Protectors, Worldly Deities

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General Divisions & Classes of Buddhist Protectors:

1. Enlightened (Wisdom) Protectors

2. Worldly Protectors:
- Four Guardian Kings (of the Directions)
- Indian Gods
- Subjugated Spirits
- Mountain Gods
- Tsen Spirits & Drala Warriors
- Miscellaneous Worldly Spirits (see a list)
- Bon Adaptations

Worldly Protectors (jigten pa'i lha)
Worldly Protectors, or Deities, is a Buddhist term used to differentiate between Enlightened (Wisdom) Protectors and Worldly (unenlightened) Protectors. The Worldly Protectors are principally the Guardian Kings of the Four Directions, along with the ten protectors of the eight directions, above and below, along with regional and mountain gods which can be continually added to the Buddhist pantheon.

The Direction Guardians, or Four Guardian Kings, or the Four Heavenly Kings, reside on the innermost ring of islands (or the lower slopes) around the four sided mythical mount Sumeru, the center of the idealized Buddhist and Hindu worlds. Vaishravana (North), Dhritarashtra (East), Virudhaka (South), Virupaksha (West).

Jeff Watt 2-2003