Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Vairochana-like Buddha Appearance

Vairochana Iconography

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Buddha Number Sets
- Buddha Main Page
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Buddhas that perform the teaching gesture:
- Akshobhya (Ten Directions Buddha Set)
- Dharmakirti Sagara (Medicine Buddha Set)
- Dipamkara (Buddha of the Past)
- Maitreya Buddha (The Buddhas of the Three Times)
- Padma (Ten Directions Buddha Set)
- Ratnasambhava (Ten Directions Buddha Set)
- Shakyamuni Buddha
- Suvarnabhadra Vimala (Medicine Buddha Set)
- Vairochana Buddha (Ten Directions Buddha Set)
- Buddhas from the Three Systems of the Thirty-five Confession Buddhas
- Buddhas from the iconographic systems of the One Thousand Buddhas
- Others...

Vairochana Buddha can commonly appear in either Buddha Appearance (without ornaments) or Peaceful Deity Appearance (with ornaments). In complex Tantric forms Vairochana can take other appearances as well such as having multiple faces, arms, colours and also embracing a consort.

In Buddha Appearance Vairochana can appear indistinguishable from other buddhas. Identification is often dependent on inscriptions, context or colour - with paintings.

For example this Mongolian Buddha sculpture on the upper right side can be either from a set of the [1] Buddhas of the Three Times, a set of [2] Medicine Buddha Brothers, a set of the [3] Buddhas of the Ten Directions, a set of [4] Thirty-five Confession Buddhas, or a set of the [5] Five Symbolic Buddhas. Without a name inscription, or a placement notation, or some kind of indication, it is impossible to know exactly who this figure was intended to represent.

Jeff Watt 1-2016 [updated 3-2019]