Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Protector: Yama Dharmaraja Main Page

Yama Dharmaraja Masterworks

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- Religious Context

Yama Dharmaraja is a Tantric Buddhist - wisdom deity - protector of the Method Class (father) of Anuttaryoga Tantra specifically used by those engaged in the practices of the Vajrabhairava Tantra. Both Vajrabhairava and Yamadharmaraja are wrathful emanations of Manjushri - a bodhisattva in Mahayana literature but a tantric deity in Vajrayana Buddhism.

This practice is found in all of the Sarma Schools (Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug, etc.) however the Gelugpa Tradition hold Yama Dharmaraja in a special regard as one of their three main religious protectors along with the Shadbhuja form of Mahakala and Vaishravana Riding a Lion.

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Jeff Watt 4-2000 [updated 2-2010, 3-2019, 12-2019, 1-2020]

(For more on this subject see the publication Demonic Divine by Rob Linrothe and Jeff Watt, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2004).