Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Five Buddhas (Mandala)

Five Buddhas Main Page

In the mandala examples below each is complete within the circle. The addition of a top and bottom register and various figures in the four corners are added by the artist, donor or common convention of the time. Outside of the circle the choice of figures to include is up to the artist or the request of the donor. In the 14th through 16th centuries it was common to add, in the outer composition, the other Five Buddhas related to the central figure of the mandala. This was an artistic convention, not an iconographic rule.

- The Five Buddhas
- The Five Buddhas & Mandalas

The examples below are primarily Chakrasamvara, Hevajra and Guhyasamaja. At the corners of the composition outside of the large mandala circle are figures identical in appearance to the central deity of each mandala. They differ only in colour and hand attributes. The five deities together represent the Five Buddhas as identified by the colour.

The Combined Families Hevajra has all Five Buddhas in the appearance of Hevajra included in the mandala circle and differentiated only by square inner palaces within the larger square palace. For the example of Panjara Mahakala note the Five Buddha Hevajra deities in the top register, differentiated by colour, beginning at the left with Akshobhya Hevajra (blue), Vairochana Hevajra (white), Ratnasambhava Hevajra (yellow), Amitabha Hevajra (red), and Amoghasiddhi Hevajra (green).

Jeff Watt 3-2021