- Art History
- Religious Context
Vajrapani, Bodhisattva (Tibetan: chag na dor je. English: the Vajra Holder): one of the eight heart-sons of the Buddha Shakyamuni according to Mahayana Buddhism.
Tibetan: Sangdag Chagna Dorje (g.sang bdag phyag na rdo rje)
In the Sutra tradition of Mahayana Buddhism the bodhisattva Vajrapani is regarded as one of the Eight Heart-sons of Shakyamuni Buddha and portrayed in a peaceful appearance. In the tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism, Vajrapani is more typically shown in a wrathful form and known as Guhyapati - 'the Lord of Secrets.' He is the said to be the main recipient, holder, and protector of all the Tantra texts, literature, and teachings received from the Buddha Shakyamuni (in the appearance of Vajradhara Buddha). Vajrapani figures have two main types: non-iconic appearance (Sutra based) and iconic appearance (Tantra based).