Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Yamantaka Main Page

Yamantaka Main Page | Meditational Deity

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Yamantaka Description (below)
- Ten Wrathful Ones
- Manjushri Attendant
- The Four: Yamantaka, Padmantaka, Prajnantaka, Vighnantaka
- Glossary: Yama, Yamari & Yamantaka
- Confusions: Yama, Yamari, Yama Dharmaraja, Vajrabhairava, Bhairava
- Masterworks
- Others...

- Yama, Yamantaka, Yamari & Vajrabhairava
- Yamari Cycle of Tantras

Yamantaka is a Tantric Buddhist deity most commonly found as a secondary figure in a mandala configuration or as an attendant deity to Manjushri. As an attendant he is typically wrathful in appearance, blue in colour, with one face and two hands. Manjushri has several wrathful meditational forms such as Vajrabhairava, Krishna and Rakta Yamari. Vajrabhairava is often colloquially referred to as Yamantaka. In that tradition, Yama Dharmaraja, another form of Manjushri, acts as a wrathful protector deity.

Included in the group of the Ten Wrathful Ones of the outer protection circle of a wrathful mandala are Yamantaka, Padmantaka, Prajnantaka and Vighnantaka. The names of all four deities end with ‘taka.’ Both Yamantaka and Vighnantaka can be found as independent deities with their own traditions of meditation and ritual practice.

Death is the principal metaphor for this meditational deity. Several numerous indigenous Tibetan forms of the deity having arisen from the Nyingma Tradition. These forms have slight but noticable variations in appearance which distinguish them from the Indian versions.

In the Tibetan tradition of Tantric Buddhism it is common to find confusion between the two Sanskrit words 'yamari' and 'yamantaka.' In Tibetan they are 'shin je she' and 'shin je tar che.'

Jeff Watt 1-2019