Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Vajrapani, Mind (Sarvadurgati Tantra)

Sarvavid, Parishodhana Tantra | Vajrapani Main Page

Vajrapani Chitta Mandala (Tibetan: chag na dor je tug kyi kyil khor, English: the Mandala of the Mind, Vajra-sceptre Holder) from the Sarvadurgati Parishodhana Tantra and primarily practiced in the Sakya and Sakya branch schools of Bulug, Bodong, Jonang, Ngor, Tsar and Dzongpa.

Sanskrit: Vajrapani Tibetan: chag na dor je

At the center of the complex circle is Vajrapani, peaceful, white in colour, with one face and two hands. The right hand holds to the heart an upright gold vajra and the left a bell turned up at the hip. Adorned with a crown of gold, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and the like, he wears green and red garments of silk. With the legs in vajra posture, he sits atop a multi-coloured lotus, surrounded by a green nimbus and areola.

Four buddhas surround the central figure. In the eastern direction, below, against a blue background is Akshobhya. At the left on a yellow background, south, is Ratnasambhava. At the top on a red background, west, is Amitabha. At the right on a green background, north, is Amoghasiddhi. Each has one face and two hands adorned with the ornaments and vestments of a youthful sambhogakaya buddha. The right hands perform the mudras (gesture) of generosity and the left held to the heart in the mudra of blessing; seated in vajra posture. In the intermediate directions are the 4 offering goddesses, white Dhupa, yellow Pushpa, red Dipa and green Gandha.

Surrounding all of that are the five coloured walls of the mandala palace with the 'T' shaped structures representing the doors, topped with 4 steps, red, blue, green and yellow. The 4 female Door Guardians sit at the entrances, white Vajrankushi, yellow Vajrapashi, red Vajrasphota and green Vajraghanta. The tips of a giant double vajra extend out from each door representing a vajra ground below the palace. An inner ring of gold vajras and an outer ring of pristine awareness fire in five colours surround the entire mandala.

This form of Mind-Vajrapani is commonly mistaken for Vajrasattva. There are twelve common mandalas in the Sarvadurgati cycle of practice. The most important mandala is focused on Vairochana. Four of the twelve remaining mandalas depict a white Vajrapani as the central figure.

3. Mind-Vajrapani with 4 deities (below)
7. Vajrapani & the 4 Direction Kings
8. Vajrapani & the 8 Dikpala
10. Vajrapani & the 8 Great Nagas

Vajrapani in peaceful appearance is most often confused with the deities Indra, Vajradhara, Vajrasattva and Vajravidarana.

Jeff Watt [updated 11-2019]