Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Five Buddhas Main Page (Directions, Tantric, Symbolic)

Five Buddhas Main Page | Buddha Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Five Buddhas Explanation (below)
- Five Buddhas & Tantric Mandala Retinue Set
- Five Buddhas & Repeated Figures Painting Set
- Five Buddhas Solitary
- Five Buddhas & Consorts
- Five Buddhas with Nirmanakaya Ornaments
- Five Buddhas with Sambhogakaya Ornaments
- Five Buddhas Single Composition (Painting)
- Buddha Number Sets
- Tantric Buddhas Outline Page
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

The Five Buddhas:
1. Vairochana, white
2. Amitabha, red
3. Akshobhya, blue
4. Ratnasambhava, yellow
5. Amoghasiddhi, green

Sets of Five Buddhas:
- Early Set (Indian?)
- Early Set (Pritzker)
- Early Set (Rochelle)
- Shalu Monastery Murals
- Palace Sculpture 1
- Potala Palace Sculpture 2
- Palace Sculpture 3
- Others...

The different sets of paintings, murals and sculpture depicting the Five Symbolic Tantric Buddhas primarily derive from the Charya and Yoga Tantra literature and ritual texts. As the Five Buddhas are arranged in a circular mandala they are known as the Direction Buddhas. As a group originating in the Vajrayana literature, they are know as the Tantric Buddhas, or the Five Buddha Families with Vajrasattva as the sixth family. By function and actual meaning they are known as the Five Symbolic Buddhas.

The first of the four classifications of Tantra, Kriya, has only three Buddha Families: Shakyamuni, Amitabha and Akshobhya. (See the Tantra Classification Main Page).

Jeff Watt 6-2016 [updated 5-2017]

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