Bhadrapala, aka: Bhadrapāla; 2 Definition(s)

Introduction

Bhadrapala means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Vajrayāna (Tibetan Buddhism)

Bhadrapāla (भद्रपाल) is one of the sixteen bodhisattvas appearing in the Vajradhātu-mahāmaṇḍala, according to the Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī v5.38-41. The Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī (literally, ‘an explanation of the nāma-mantras’) is a commentary (ṭīkā) on the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti.

Bhadrapāla is a name of Mañjuśrī (the embodiement of non-dual knowledge) and, together with other names, forms the core essence of the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti. The Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī provides the practitioner a sādhana (‘meditative practice’) to turn these names into mantras. These mantras are chanted for the benefit of all beings, and then placed and contemplated in the Vajradhātu-mahāmaṇḍala, which is an extended version of the Vajradhātu-maṇḍala.

The Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti (lit. ‘chanting of the names of Mañjuśrī’) is a short but influential Buddhist tantra, containing the essence of the teachings of Śākyamuni (the historical Buddha). It was composed by Vilāsavajra in the 8th century and contains 3000 verses in the anuṣṭubh meter.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Bhadrapāla (भद्रपाल) is one of the Bodhisattvas accompanying the Buddha at Rājagṛha on the Gṛdhrakūṭaparvata, mentioned in a list of twenty-two in to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 13.—They were at the head of countless thousands of koṭinayuta of Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas who were all still awaiting succession and will still accede to Buddhahood. He is also known as P’o t’o p’o lo or Chan cheou.

Bhadrapāla is one of the sixteen classified as a lay (gṛhastha) Bodhisattva: Bhadrapāla, of the vaiśya caste, is an old man from Wang chö (Rājagṛha).

What are the special (viśeṣa) qualities of the Bodhisattva Bhadrapāla who is at the top of the list? If the Bodhisattva Bhadrapāla is placed first, it is not because he is the greatest or the least, but because he is an old man from Rājagṛha, the greatest of the lay Bodhisattvas (avadātavasana-bodhisattva), and because the Buddha went specifically to Rājagṛha to preach the Prajñāpāramitā. Furthermore, the Bodhisattva Bhadrapāla has immense qualities (guṇa) of every kind and, in the Pratyutpannasamādhi the Buddha praised his qualities.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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