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Principal Subjects & Related Topics:
- Definition (below)
- Lokeshvara (Amitabha)
- Types & Forms of Guhyasamaja (textual)
- Unusual or Unidentified Iconography
- Related Deities
- Related Teachers
Mandala Types According to Number of Deities:
- Nine Deity Mandala
- Thirteen Deity Mandala
- Nineteen Deity Mandala
- Twenty-five Deity Mandala
- Thirty-two Deity Mandala
- Thirty-four Deity Mandala
Guhyasamaja (Secret Assembly) is a Buddhist meditational deity that arises from the Guhyasamaja root text Sarva Tathagata Kaya Vag Chitta Rahasya Guhyasamaja Nama Maha Kalpa Raja Tantra (4th-5th century C.E.). There are three principal forms of the deity; Akshobhyavajra (Unshakable Vajra), Manjuvajra (Melodious Speech Vajra) and Lokeshvara (Lord of the World). The Manjuvajra form arises from a separate text, Shri Vajra Hridaya Lamkara Tantra-nama, related to the root tantra. The first two forms, Akshobhya and Manjuvajra, come down primarily through the three lineages of Acharya Abhayakaragupta, Nyen Lotsawa and Marpa Lotsawa. The red Lokeshvara form was popularized by Atisha Dipamkara. View a 3-dimensional paper model of the Guhyasamaja mandala. Some glosses on the Guhyasamaja by Giuseppe Tucci from Melanges Chinois et Bouddhiques, Vol.3. 1934-35, P.339-353.
Akshobhyavajra Guhyasamaja Description: "...with a body blue in colour like sapphire, issuing forth rays of blazing light. The main face is blue with a mixed expression of fierceness and desire. The canine teeth are pointed and clenched, frowning and having three eyes. The right face is white in a peaceful manner, left face is red in a desirous manner. All three faces are adorned with very beautiful eyebrows. Each of the six hands are adorned with precious rings. The first two hands hold a nine pointed vajra and a bell embracing the consort [who is in] the same [appearance] as the [Father]. The right second [hand] holds a white wheel with eight spokes. The third [hand] holds a red lotus with eight petals. The left second [hand] holds a green jewel with nine facets. The third [hand] holds a sword, bright blue and blazing with rays of light. Seated with the legs in vajra posture, adorned with the thirty-two major and eighty minor marks, the hair, in braids, is tied on the crown of the head. The jewel on the crown of the head greatly blazes with soothing rays of light [like] the sun and moon. Adorned with eight [different types] of precious ornaments: a crown, earrings, choker, necklace, armlets, bracelets, long necklace and belt. The ears are made more beautiful with blue utpalas and ribbons; wearing various [heavenly] garments bright like Indra's bow [rainbow]." (Jamgon Amezhab, 1597-1659).
Some forms of Guhyasamaja have only two eyes per face. Other traditions describe three eyes per face.
Jeff Watt [updated 12-2013, 5-2017]