Five Dhyani Buddhas; 2 Definition(s)
Five Dhyani Buddhas 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.
Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)
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.
- Vairocana (principal deity/ meditator).
- Amoghasiddhi (north).
- Aksobhya (east).
- Ratnasambhava (south).
- Amitabha (west).
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.
Source: WikiPedia: 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)
Five Dhyani Buddhas:—A technical term in Buddhism corresponding to the Sanskrit pañcabuddha defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 3):
- Shining Buddha (Vairocana),
- Immovable Buddha (Akṣobhya),
- Jewel-Born Buddha (Ratnasambhava),
- Endless-Light Buddha (Amitābha),
- Unfailing Buddha (Amoghasiddhi),
The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., pañcabuddha, ‘five dhyani Buddhas’). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
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Search found 4 books and stories containing Five Dhyani Buddhas. 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)
The Dawn of the Dhamma (by Sucitto Bhikkhu)
The Way of the White Clouds (by Anāgarika Lāma Govinda)
A Dictionary Of Chinese Buddhist Terms (by William Edward Soothill)