Vajrapani Art Gallery

Brief Introduction about Vajrapani

Vajrapa i is one of the earliest bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of the Buddha, and rose to symbolize the Buddha's power.

Vajrapani was used extensively in Buddhist iconography as one of the three protective deities surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolizes one of the Buddha's virtues: Manjusri (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' wisdom), Avalokitesvara (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' compassion) and Vajrapani (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' power).

Furthermore, Vajrapani is one of the earliest Dharmapalas and one of the rare Buddhist deities to be worshiped in the original Zen Buddhism of the Shaolin Temple, Tibetan Buddhism, and even Pure Land Buddhism (where he is known as Mahasthamaprapta). Manifestations of Vajrapani can also be found in many Buddhist temples in Japan as Dharma protectors called Nio.

Iconography of Vajrapani

Vajrapani is pictured dancing wildly within a halo of flames, which represent transformation.
He holds a vajra (thunderbolt) in his right hand, which emphasizes the power to cut through the darkness of delusion. Vajrapani looks wrathful, but as a representation of the enlightened mind, he's completely free from hatred.


Vajrapani Mantra

Om Vajrapani Hum

The Mantra of Vajrapani is simply his name, which means "wielder of the thunderbolt", framed between the mystical syllables Om and Hum.

This mantra helps us to gain access to the irrepressible energy that Vajrapani symbolizes.

A familiarity with Vajrapani does, of course, help here, although the sound of the mantra is itself rather energetic.