Pancaraksha, aka: Pañcarakṣā, Panca-raksha; 3 Definition(s)


Pancaraksha 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.

The Sanskrit term Pañcarakṣā can be transliterated into English as Pancaraksa or Pancaraksha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Pancharaksha.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Pancaraksha in Buddhism glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Pañcarakṣā (पञ्चरक्षा) refers to the “five protectors” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 5):

  1. Pratisarā (assailer), 
  2. Sāhasrapramardanī (thousands-crusher), 
  3. Mārīcī (moonlight), 
  4. Mantrānusāriṇī (mantra-follower), 
  5. Śītavanī (cool wood).

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., pañcarakṣā). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Pañcarakṣā (पञ्चरक्षा), that is, the “collection of the five dhāraṇīs” is popular in Nepal. These five protecting spells include:

  1. mahā-pratisarā (for protection against sin, disease and evils),
  2. mahā-sahasrapramardinī (for protection against evil spirits),
  3. mahā-māyūrī or vidyārājñī (for protection against snake-poison),
  4. mahā-śītavatī (for protection against 'cruel' planets, cruel animals and poisonous insects), and
  5. mahā rakṣā mantrānusāriṇī (for protection against diseases).
Source: DLMBS: Buddhānusmṛti

Pañcarakṣā (पञ्चरक्षा, “five protections”) consists of:

  1. Mahāpratisarā,
  2. Mahāmāyūrī,
  3. Mahāsāhasrapramardanī,
  4. Mahāmantrānusāriṇī,
  5. Mahāśītavatī (in various sequences).

The earliest evidence for texts grouped together as the “five great dhāraṇīs” comes from Tibetan catalogues around 800 CE. These scriptures include spells, enumerations of benefits and ritual instructions for use.

Source: Cambridge Digital Library: Pañcarakṣā, Saptavāra

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