Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Eight Wrathful Ones of the Gelug School

Eight Wrathful Ones | Gelug Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types
- Eight Wrathful Ones Description (below)
- Vajrabhairava & Protectors Composition
- Gelug Number Sets
- Ten Wrathful Ones
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Eight Wrathful Ones:
1. Vajrabhairava (ishtadevata)
2. Hayagriva (ishtadevata)
3. Shadbhuja Mahakala (Wisdom Protector)
4. Shri Devi Magzor Gyalmo (Wisdom Protector)
5. Begtse Chen (Wisdom Protector)
6. Yama Dharmaraja (Wisdom Protector)
7. Vaishravana Riding a Lion (Worldly Protector)
8. Shangpa (Worldly Protector)

In the past these Eight Wrathful Ones have often been mistakenly confused and conflated with Protector Deities (Dharmapala). They are however not a group of protectors but rather a group of wrathful deities special for the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. The title - Eight Wrathful Ones - is a unique Gelug tradition designation and not shared by other traditions. The list contains two meditational deities (ishtadevata), four wisdom protector deities and two worldly deities. There are several different lists of the Eight Wrathful Ones. The list above is one of the more commonly known.

Jeff Watt 2-2006 [updated 9-2019]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).