Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Amoghapasha Religious Context

Amoghapasha Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Religious Context
- Amoghapasha Outline Page
- Amoghapasha: Blue Annals
- Secondary Figures
- Related Deities
- Study Guide
- Amoghapasha/Khasarpanna Relationship
- Avalokiteshvara Main Page
- Confusions
- Others....

Amoghapasha or Avalokiteshvara? It begs the question, why are some of these mandalas called the Five-deity Amoghapasha if the central deity is Avalokiteshvara? It all comes down to naming conventions in Buddhism. The very idea of a compassionate deity called Amoghapasha comes out of a number of Indian Sanskrit texts that all have the word-name Amoghapasha in the title. In these texts both Avalokiteshvara and Amoghapasha are described along with different appearances and functions for each. In consequence, the principal name for all of these forms of the two deities, regardless of which one of the two is at the center of the mandala, are called Amoghapasha - mandala, meditation, or ritual.

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Jeff Watt 2008 [updated 4-2011, 4-2017, 12-2019]

Bibliography:

Sadhanamala, Vajravali, Mitra Gyatsa, Bari Gyatsa, Drub Tab Gyatso, Rinjung Gyatsa, and others.

Remaking Buddhism for Medieval Nepal. The fifteenth century reformation of Newar Buddhism. Will Tuladhar-Douglas. Routlage, 2006.