Dharmapala, aka: Dharma-pala, Dharmapāla; 7 Definition(s)
Dharmapala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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.
(Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)
In Vajrayana Buddhism, a dharmapala is a type of wrathful deity. In Tibet, principal Dharmapalas include:
- Mahakala (Tib. Nagpo Chenpo)
- Yama (Tib. Shinje)
- Yamantaka (Tib. Shinje Shed)
- Hayagriva (Tib. Tamdrin)
- Vaisravana (Tib. Kubera)
- Shri Devi (Tib. Palden Lhamo)
- Prana Atma (Tib. Begtse)
The name means “Dharma defender” in Sanskrit, and the dharmapalas are also known as the Defenders of the Law (Dharma), or the Protectors of the Law, in English.
In Vajrayana iconography and thangka depictions, dharmapalas are fearsome beings, often with many heads, many hands, or many feet. Dharmapalas often have blue, black or red skin, and a fierce expression with protruding fangs. Though dharmapalas have a terrifying appearance and countenance, they are all bodhisattvas or buddhas, meaning that they are embodiments of compassion that act in a wrathful way for the benefit of sentient beings.(Source): WikiPedia: Tibetan Buddhism
In Vajrayana Buddhism, a dharmapāla (Wylie: chos skyong) is a type of wrathful deity. The name means "Dharma-defender" in Sanskrit, and the dharmapālas are also known as the Defenders of the Law (Dharma), or the Protectors of the Law, in English.
In Vajrayana iconography and Thangka depictions, dharmapālas are fearsome beings, often with many heads, many hands, or many feet. Dharmapālas often have blue, black or red skin, and a fierce expression with protruding fangs. Though dharmapālas have a terrifying appearance and countenance, they are all Bodhisattvas or Buddhas, meaning that they are embodiments of Compassion that act in a wrathful way for the benefit of Sentient beings.(Source): China Buddhism Encyclopedia: Tibetan Buddhism
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.
General definition (in Buddhism)
1) Dharmapala (670-580 BCE) was born in a family of bards in the South. He was the disciple of Dharmadasa. He became the head of Nalanda. He was the teacher of Dharmakirti.
2) King Dharmapala (110-160 CE) and Vikramashila Vihara.—Dharmapala conquered Kamarupa in the east to Jalandhara in the west. He became the ruler of entire Uttarapatha. Haribhadra was his preceptor of Buddhism. Dharmapala built Sri Vikramasila Vihara. Buddhist scholars like Kalyanagupta, Sundaravyuha, Sagaramegha, Prabhakara, Purnavardhana, Buddhajnana, Buddhaguhya and Buddhasanti were the contemporaries of Dharmapala. Padmakaraguhya, Dharmakaradatta and Simhamukha flourished in Kashmir at the same time.(Source): academia.edu: The Chronological History of Buddhism
India history and geogprahy
Dharmapala (7th century BCE).—Though Buddhism was introduced in Tibet during the time of Samantabhadra (16th century BCE) but Acharya Vetalakshema [Garab Dorje] (1321-1221 BCE) was the first teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. It appears that early Tibetan Buddhists followed Indian Buddhist scholars like Dharmapala.(Source): academia.edu: The Chronological History of Tibetan Buddhism
Dharmapāla (धर्मपाल) of Laramā is the name of one of the teachers of Dhīreśvarācārya (1851-1919 C.E.): a poet of modern Assam who composed Vṛttamañjarī. Dhīreśvarācārya learnt the systems of grammar at the age of 12 from Rāmadevopādhyā of Nagarakuchi. Then he migrated to Laramā village at the age of 17 to learn from Dharmapāla. Then he became the disciple of Vāsudevopādhyāya of Guvākuchi and Mm. Śrīsiddhanātha Vidyāvāgīśa of Coochbehar.(Source): Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature (history)
The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.
Languages of India and abroad
Dharmapāla (धर्मपाल).—'protector of the law', said metaphorically of (daṇḍa) 'punishment or chastisement', or 'sword'.
Derivable forms: dharmapālaḥ (धर्मपालः).
Dharmapāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms dharma and pāla (पाल).(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
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Search found 10 books and stories containing Dharmapala, Dharma-pala or Dharmapāla. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The gods of northern Buddhism (by Alice Getty)
Anāgārika Dharmapāla (by Bhikkhu Sangharakshita)
The Mahavastu (great story) (by J. J. Jones)
Buddhist records of the Western world (Xuanzang) (by Samuel Beal)
Chapter 5 - Country of Kiao-shang-mi (Kaushambi) < [Book V - Six Countries]
Chapter 14 - Country of T’o-na-kie-tse-kia (Dhanakataka) < [Book X - Seventeen Countries]
Chapter 16 - Country of Ta-lo-pi-ch’a (Dravida) < [Book X - Seventeen Countries]
A Short history of Lanka (by Humphry William Codrington)
Buddhist Monastic Discipline (by Jotiya Dhirasekera)