Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Five Dakinis

Dakini: Meditational Deities

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Sources/Origins
- Five Dakinis:
--- Buddha Dakini (white)
--- Vajra Dakini (blue)
--- Padma Dakini (red)
--- Ratna Dakini (yellow)
--- Karma Dakini (green)
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

- The Five Dakinis
- Dakini: Meaning, Topics & Types
- Popular Dakinis in Art

Meditational Deities:
- Five Dakinis (Machig Labdron)
- Five Dakinis (Kedrub Kyungpo Naljor)
- Simhamukha Five Deity (Bari Lotsawa)
- Vajravarahi Five Deity
- Vajravarahi/Krodha Kali Five Deity (Padampa Sanggye)
- White Mahakala & Five Dakinis (Kedrub Kyungpo Naljor)
- Others...

The Five Dakini as a distinct meditational unit appears to be primarily associated with the Pacification and Severance of Padampa Sanggye and Machig Labdron. The Five Dakini as a meditational practice are also found in the teachings of Kedrub Kyungpo Naljor, founder of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition.

Additional deities of Vajrayana Buddhism that are grouped as five are the Pancha Raksha generally classified as goddesses. Parnashavari in a Five Deity configuration are also referred to as goddesses. The Five Long Life Sisters with Tseringma as the leader are mountain goddesses.

The Bon religion has a similar system called the Five Khandroma. See the lower composition of a Drenpa Namkha painting for a depiction of the five grouped together.

Jeff Watt [updated 10-2021]