Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Buddhasamayoga

Wisdom/Mother Tantra | Complex Multi-Mandalas

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Variations
- Masterworks
- Confusions
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- Mandalas with Numerous Deities
- Complex Multi-Mandalas

Buddhasamayoga (Tibetan: sang gye nyam jor. English: Secret Union of the Enlightened One) arising from the tantra of the same name. The tantra belongs to the wisdom/mother category of the highest yoga tantras and is primarily associated with the Chakrasamvara cycle of tantras. In the thirty-two volume publication of the Collection of All Tantras, a compilation of the Sakya tradition, there are two versions of the Buddhasamayoga mandala described, however both versions include the same deities in name and number.

Principal Deities of the Six Mandalas:
Heruka (central mandala)
Vairochana (East)
Ratnsambhava Vajra Surya (South)
Amitabha Padmanarteshvara (West)
Amoghasiddhi Vajra Hayagriva (North 1)
Vajradhara/Vajrasattva (North 2)

In the central mandala is Heruka is blue in colour with four faces, eight arms and two legs with the consort Ishvari. They are accompanied by eight attendant figures: Gauri, Chauri, Pramoha, Vetali, Pukkashi, Chandali, Ghashmari and Dombini.

In the eastern mandala is Vairochana, white, with four faces and four arms and the consort Lochana. They are accompanied by eight attendant figures.

In the southern mandala is Ratnasambhava Vajra Surya, yellow, with four faces, four arms and the consort Mamaki. They are accompanied by eight attendant figures.

In the western mandala is Amitabha Padmanarteshvara, pink, multi-faced, fifty arms with the consort Gauri.

In the first northern mandala is Amoghasiddhi Hayagriva, green, with four faces, eight arms, four legs, with the consort Tara. They are accompanied by ten attendant figures.

In the second northern mandala is Vajradhara, white, with four faces, four arms, with the consort Samvara. They are accompanied by eight attendant figures.

In the outer mandala are four offering goddesses and four door keeper goddesses: horse-faced, boar-faced, crow-faced and dog-faced.

The early lineage mentions Vimalakirti and Kukkuraja followed by a number of variations of lineage teachers and lines entering Tibet. The lineage listed below is known as the 'Secret Lineage.'

Secret Lineage:
Vajradhara, Vajrapani, Jnana Dakini, Chodze Dharma Vajra, Drozang Nyingpo, Khache Rinchen Dorje, Teja Deva, Zangkar Lotsawa Pagpa Sherab, Nyen Tsultrim Bar, Go Rinchen Zangpo, Zhonnu Sengge, Wangchug Rinchen, Shakya Vajra, Chokyi Dragpa, Upa Sangbum, Lotsa Chogden, Bagton Shontsul, Ngaggi Wangchug, [etc.]. (Lineage folios 103-107).

Jeff Watt [updated 8-2022]