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Five Dhyani Buddhas, aka: Five Meditating Buddhas, Five Jinas, Five Great Buddhas, Five Wisdom Buddhas; 3 Definition(s)

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3 Definition(s) from various sources:

In Vajrayana Buddhism, the Five Dhyani Buddhas (Vairocana, Aksobhya, Amitabha, Ratnasambhava, Amoghasiddhi) are representations of the five qualities of the Buddha. These five Buddhas are a common subject of Vajrayana mandalas.

The Five Wisdom Buddhas are a later development, based on the Yogacara elaboration of concepts concerning the jnana of Buddhas, of the Trikaya (Skt. Tri is "three", kaya is "body") theory, which posits three "bodies" of the Buddha.

The Wisdom Buddhas are all aspects of the dharmakaya or "reality body", which embodies the principle of enlightenment. Initially two Buddhas appeared which represented wisdom and compassion - they were, respectively, Aksobhya and Amitabha. A further distinction embodied the aspects of power, or activity, and the aspect of beauty, or spiritual riches. In the Sutra of Golden Light (an early Mahayana Sutra) the figures are named Dundubishvara, and Ratnaketu, but over time their names changed to become Amoghasiddhi, and Ratnasambhava. The central figure came to be called Vairocana.

  1. Vairocana (principal deity/ meditator).
  2. Amoghasiddhi (north).
  3. Aksobhya (east).
  4. Ratnasambhava (south).
  5. Amitabha (west).

Added: 29.Mar.2009 | WikiPedia: Buddhism
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Each of the five Buddhas first identifies a specific human failing and then helps us in transforming it into a positive attribute, bringing about the spiritual evolution required for enlightenment. How they inspire us to achieve this transition through their traditional iconography is discussed below. The five Dhyani Buddhas are: 1). Vairochana 2). Akshobhya 3). Ratnasambhava 4). Amitabha 5). Amoghasiddhi
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(Meditation Buddhas or Buddhas of Wisdom). Term coined by B.H. Hodgson in the 19th century to describe the figures who appear in the Mandala of the Five Jinas ("eminent ones"). It is not a term used in any Buddhist literature, but has become a common term in the West. See chart: Five Dhyani Buddhas.
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