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Prajnas of Five Buddhs

The earliest Tantra dealing with the Prajnas of Five Tathagatas is the Guhyasamaja. According to Benoytosh Bhattacharya this Tantra dates back as old as the third century A.D. Another treatise which deals with these Buddha Prajnas is Panchakara of Advayavajra (11th century A.D.). A recent study of Prof. Mallar Ghosh has thrown a great light on the historical development of the usage of these deities. Modern scholars often use the term Buddha Shakti for these five deities which are; Lochana, Mamaki, Pandara, Tara and Vajradhatveshvary. But the use of the term Shakti does not conform with the Buddhist conception. The term Shakti, which is used to symbolize energy, action or power, is associated only with some forms of Hindu deities. In Buddhist Tantras these deities symbolize the essence or Prajnarupa or Svabhava of five Buddhas. It is strange to note that not a single Sadhana is devoted to these live Prajnas. They appear only in Yab Yum position and they are not given any active function.

The images of these deities are very rare. However a fine specimen of these five Prajnas can be found in the Swayambhu Chaitya with the exception of Vajradhatveshvary.

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