Five Tathagatas

Dhyani Buddhas | Pancha Buddhas

 are believed to have taken birth after Adibuddha. There are namely,  , , , and .

The word Dhyani is originated from the root word , meaning . They are not separate figures like Gautam , or other but are derived from the Sanskrit dhyana, meaning “meditation.”

The are also called Jinas (“Victors” or “Conquerors”). They are not historical figures, like , but abstract figures that symbolizes divine energy of the or the cosmic forces.

They are also often called . The Dhyani Buddhas are the representation of the various aspect of the and are supposed to heal the and soul.

In Bodhistava, they direct the spiritual transformation. Each of the Dhyani Buddha has a connection with certain attributes and . Each one of them represents one of the five pearls of . This wisdom has the power to the five deadly poisons that are of ultimate danger to man’s spiritual progress.

Pancha Buddha Symbolism

Each of these guides over one of the directions of and one of the cosmic of ether, , , , and . They are also believed to have manifest the five , that create cosmic existence as well as a human personality. These components are:- feeling, form, , volition and consciousness.

Additionally, each Dhyani Buddha is connected with a specific colour, (hand gesture), a symbol, the symbolic animal that supports their and Bija.

Deity Delusion
Vairochana , delusion All-encompassing Wisdom
Akshobhya , -like Wisdom
Ratnasambhava pride, miserliness Wisdom of Equality
Amitabha , lust Discriminating Wisdom
jealousy, All-accomplishing Wisdom

Mental symbolism of the five Dhyani Buddhas

Deity Element Sense Medical/physical Organ
Vairochana space sight energy channels heart
Akshobhya water sound blood flow kidneys
Ratnasambhava earth smell flesh spleen
Amitabha fire taste heat liver
Amoghasiddhi air touch inner winds lungs

Physical symbolism of the five Dhyani Buddhas

Deity English name Consort Wheel-turning Buddhas
Vairochana Illuminating Krakucchanda
Akshobhya Unshakable Locana Kanakamuni
Ratnasambhava Mamaki Ratnapani Kashyapa
Amitabha Pandora
Amoghasiddhi Conqueror Vishvapani

Names and relation to other Buddhas &

Deity Color Direction Gesture(mudra) Picture
Vairochana White center

Turning the



Akshobhya Blue east Bhumisparsa


Ratnasambhava Yellow south Varada

Bestowing, giving

Amitabha Red west Dhyana


Amoghasiddhi Green north Abhaya



Imagery symbolism of the five Dhyani Buddhas

Deity Family symbol

and family

Syllable Vehicle Aggregate
Vairochana   dragon form

(Skt. rupa)

Akshobhya   HUM elephant consciousness

(Skt. vijnana)

Ratnasambhava   TRAM horse or lion sensation

(Skt. vendana)

Amitabha   HRIH peacock perception

(Skt. )

Amoghasiddhi   AH impulses

(Skt. Samskara)

More symbolism of the five Dhyani Buddhas

Five Dhyani Buddhas

“Pancha Buddhas” are popular in . Whenever you enter the houses of  people you might notice the of five Dhyani Buddhas above the entrance.

Dhyani Buddha Thangka

In , Vairochana appears to be in the middle of the , while the other four buddhas sit at the four cardinal directions. The wisdom of Vairochana is the wisdom of the of the dharma-realm meditation mudra.

Akshobhya is usually framed to the east, but he is also sometimes placed in the center. His power transforms the human failing of anger into clear mirror-like wisdom.

In union, these five Buddhas symbolize the five basic types of human personality and represent the absolutely perfected form of these personality types. Each of them represents a negative as well as the completely transformed aspect of that failing.


Path Pure Awareness
Direction Center
Mudra Preaching
Symbol Wheel
Primordial Wisdom Sphere of Reality
Element Sky
Vehicle Lion
Consort White
Aggregate Consciousness
Color White

Vairochana is the head of the Buddha family. He is generally seen as a White Buddha, but in some traditions, he is depicted Blue in color. He holds his hands in the position of Dharma ; the Teaching Mudra.

In some and explanations Vairochana is seen as a universal form of and therefore especially important in the early development and of .

As a Dhyani or wisdom Buddha, Vairocana is associated with the color white all colors of light blended together and space, as well as the skandha of form. His symbol is the .

He often is depicted with his hands in the dharmachakra mudra. When the Dhyani Buddhas are pictured together in a , Vairocana is in the center. Vairocana also is often depicted larger than other buddhas around him.

Mantra of Vairocana

Om namo bhagavate sarva durgati parisodhana rajaya tathagatayarhate samyaksambudhaya tadyatha Om sodhane sodhane sarva papam visodhana suddhe visuddhe sarva karmavarana visodhanaye

Meaning of Vairocana Mantra

May all sentient beings have and its causes, May all sentient beings are free of and its causes, May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering, May all sentient beings are in , free of bias, , and anger

Vairocana mantra of light

A late associated with Vairocana is known as the or in Japanese as kōmyō shingon, or 光明真言. It features in the Amoghapāśakalparāja-sūtra and is often written in a . Below is calligraphy by Jayarava. On the right is calligraphy by using the Chinese brush style.* Kūkai heads the mantra with vaṃ, the seed syllable of Vairocana in the Mandala.

oṃ a mo gha vai ro ca na ma hā mu dra ma ṇi pa dma jvā la pra va rtta ya hūṃ .

oṃ amogha vairocana mahāmudra maṇipadma jvāla pravarttaya hūṃ

Kukai’s version reads:

vaṃ – oṃ amogha vairocana mahāputra maṇipadma jvāla pravarttaya hūṃ

I’m unsure about the reason for the substitution of Putra for mudra.

Meaning of Vairocana mantra of light

According to Mark Unno

Praise be to the flawless, all-pervasive illumination of the great mudra (the seal of the Buddha). Turn over to me the jewel, lotus, and radiant light.

According to John Stevens

Infallible brilliance of the great mudra! Creating the radiance of the Jewel and the Lotus.

Vairocana mantra lyrics

Vairocana Thangka

Leave a Reply

About Himalayas Life

Web portal providing online services and resources for the preservation of the Himalayan culture including arts, crafts and architecture. Himalayas Life offers services to handcrafters, artisans, artists and anyone willing to promote the Himalayan culture online.

Related posts

Sravasti Abbey - US
Buddhist Society of Western Australia
Langri Tangpa Buddhist Centre
More News