Himalayan Art Resources

Glossary: Health, Healing & Longevity Deities

Health, Healing & Longevity Page

List of Deities:

- Amaravajra Devi is a long-life deity related to the Chakrasamvara cycle of tantras.

- Amitayus Buddha means the 'enlightened one of immeasurable life' and is the first of the principal three long-life deities of Tantric Buddhism.

- Bhurkumkuta is a healing deity for certain types of illness but not for contagion or epidemic.

- Garuda is commonly employed to ward off or to cure serpent (naga) illnesses.

- Janguli is commonly used to prevent or heal venemous snake bites.

- Mahakala, White Panjarnata is a long life deity employed when necessary by practitioners of the Panjarnata form of Mahakala.

- Mahakala, Shyama Shadbhuja is the green form of Six-armed Mahakala and is employed as a life extension deity.

- Manasa is an Indian village goddess similar to the Buddhist Janguli.

- Manju Nagaraksha is a wrathful form of Manjushri used to cure virulent and powerful naga illnesses.

- Manjushri, Black is used for a variety of physical and mental illnesses.

- Medicine Buddha from the Bhaishajyaguru Sutra and belonging to the tradition of Mahayana Buddhism is recommended for all forms of illness and disease.

- Nageshvara Buddha is found in the Thirty-five Confession Buddhas sutra and practice individually for the cure of naga illnesses.

- Padma Shavari (Dragtro) a wrathful form of Padmasambhava discovered as 'Revealed Treasure' by Dorje Lingpa is a practice used to heal oneself and others.

- Padmasambhava as Medicine Buddha in this form takes on many of the characteristics of the Medicine Buddha.

- Parnashavari is an ancient tribal deity used for the prevention of contagious diseases.

- Simhamukha has a number of practices related to healing and life extension.

- Simhanada Lokeshvara, a form of Avalokiteshvara, can be used for any number of diseases and sickness with naga illnesses and leprosy at the fore along with eye disease and blindness.

- Tara, White is one of the principal three long-life deities of Tantric Buddhism.

- Three Combined Wrathful Ones which include Vajrapani, Hayagriva and Garuda, is used for the control of epilepsy.

- Ushnishavijaya is one of the principal three long-life deities of Tantric Buddhism.

- Vajradaka is a wrathful deity that is employed for purposes of purification.

- Vajrasattva is a peaceful deity that is employed for purposes of purification. There are additional practices for various types of sickness and disease.

- Vajravidarana has both peaceful and wrathful forms and is employed for purposes of purification.

- Others...

The names above are the deities most commonly associated with preventing or curing sickness and disease, contagion and untimely death. Prolonging or extending lifespan can have a number of different factors associated with it such as cleansing, purification, confession, or removing obstacles.

Many of the different traditions of Mahakala have a version for long-life such as White Panjarnata and Green Shadbhuja Mahakala. Likewise for many or most of the Anuttarayoga meditational deities such as Hevajra, Chakrasamvara, Vajrakila and others, they all have special teachings and practices for healing and long life. Some of the special teachings are for the formulation of ingested medicines, rasayana, breathing practices or special visualization techniques.

Jeff Watt, 2-2020

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