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Vajrapani

Bodhisattva Vajrapani is the embodiment of power of Lord Buddha’s compassion. Vajrapani is always depicted in wrathful aspect.

Vajrapani with the Vajra symbol is the spiritual son of the Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya who is the progenitor of the Vajra family. His spiritual mother is Mamaki. Vajrapani is also known as god of rain. It is said that when the Nagas (serpent) appeared before Buddha to listen to his teachings. Vajrapani was charged by Tathagata to guard them from the attacks of their mortal enemies, the Garudas. To deceive and combat the Garudas, Vajrapani assumed a form with head, wings and claws like the Garuda themselves. Hence, Vajrapani as the protector of Nagas is looked upon as the Rain God. So, Northern Buddhists appeal when rain is needed or is too abundant. One can also find Vajrapani in Garuda form among the various forms of Vajrapani. Vajrapani when represented either stands or sits and carries usually a lotus on which is placed the family symbol of Vajra. Sometime, he holds the Vajra against the chest in one of his hands.

Vajrapani’s body is blue in color and his hair having yellow ochre. Vajrapani wears a tiger skin around his threatening Vitarka Mudra. His body seems to be massive and in a pose of warrior. Under his feet he controls two live snakes. Vajrapani wears all sorts of bodhisattva ornaments and also a garland of snakes. Vajrapani has a wide and wild roaring mouth rimmed with lacquered red lips. His eyebrows are like flame and moustache and beard being curled. Vajrapani is often depicted with Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri representing Buddha’s power of compassion (Vajrapani) the great compassion (Avalokiteshvara) and the great wisdom (Manjushri).

Vajrapani’s wrathfulness, snake ornament and his pose as warrior al serve to convey the force and vitality of the enlightened energy as it combats ignorance, greed fear and other delusions. Vajrapani is said to be the compassion Bodhisattva of Buddha Shakyamuni. While Buddha was residing at Gridhkuta hill, the site where Lord Buddha delivered Prajnaparamita doctrines, his jealous cousin Devadutta attempted to assassinate him. Vajrapani sent a huge boulder rolling down the hill, but just as it was about to hit Buddha, Vajrapani appeared and split the boulder into pieces so that it could fall harmlessly near Buddha. Another story is this that a Brahman called Ambattha was abusing Buddha with many vile and impure words. He saw Vajrapani appeared on the sky with his wrathful aspect. Terrified with Vajrapani, Brahman Ambattha confessed his evil deeds his evil deeds in front of Buddha Shakyamuni.

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