Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Meditational Deity Triad (Gelug)

Gelug Number Sets

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Triad Description (below)
--- Akshobhyavajra Guhyasamaja
--- Vajrabhairava
--- Chakrasamvara
- Gelug Refuge Field
- Iconographic Programs
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: The Three: Guhya-Samvara-Bhairava

In the Gelug tradition it is common to find the three meditational deities, Guhyasamaja, Vajrabhairava and Chakrasamvara, in close proximity in scroll work paintings and murals. Based on the writings and students of Tsongkapa these three deities were considered important for the study of Tantric Buddhism. Each tradition and lineage of Tibetan Buddhism has focused on particular practices that were the primary meditation cycles of the founding fathers of that particular tradition. These three, abbreviated to Guhya-Samvara-Bhairava, are often the central figures in the meditational deity section of a Gelug refuge field (Field for the Accumulation of Merit). Sometimes, in the Tashi Lhunpo and Pabongka traditions, Kalachakra is placed central in the deity section, however these adaptations are relatively recent - 18th and 20th century respectively.

For each of the Vajrabhairava examples below there is a Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara figure either at the right and left sides, or in the upper portion of the composition.

Jeff Watt 7-2020

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