Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Protectors That Are Not Wrathful

Protectors That Are Not Wrathful | Protector Deities Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Protectors That Are Not Wrathful Description (below)
- Shri Lakshmi
- Pancha Raksha
- Five Personal Gods
- Tseringma Chenga
- Twelve Goddesses of Tibet (Tenma Chunyi)
- Four Guardian Kings
- Achi Chokyi Drolma
- Eleven Figurative Forms Page
- Confusions
- Others...

It is a common misconception and mistake to think that all wrathful deities in Tibetan Buddhism are protectors, or that a defining characteristic for a protector deity is wrathful appearance. This is clearly inaccurate and not the meaning or the purpose of the various moods in Tantric visualization and subsequent visual depictions.

Note that the Three Lords: Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani are not protector deities. In many non-Tibetan publications it is common to see the Three Lords mistakenly referred to as Protectors. The confusion is based on the Tibetan word 'gonpo' meaning 'lord' which is also used as a term, an epithet, for the class of Mahakala deities and others.

Jeff Watt 5-2008 [updated 9-2017]