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For other uses, see Dharmapala (disambiguation).
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In Vajrayana Buddhism, a dharmapala (Wylie: chos skyong) is a type of wrathful d
eity. The name means "Dharma-defender" in Sanskrit, and the dharmapalas are also
known as the Defenders of the Law (Dharma), or the Protectors of the Law, in En
Contents [hide]
1 Description
1.1 Tibetan Buddhism
1.2 Tangmi and Shingon Buddhism
2 Related deities
3 See also
4 Notes
5 References
6 External links
In Vajrayana iconography and thangka depictions, dharmapalas are fearsome beings
, often with many heads, many hands, or many feet. Dharmapalas often have blue,
black or red skin, and a fierce expression with protruding fangs. Though dharmap
alas have a terrifying appearance and countenance, they are all bodhisattvas or
buddhas, meaning that they are embodiments of compassion that act in a wrathful
way for the benefit of sentient beings.
Tibetan Buddhism[edit]
In Tibet, principal Dharmapalas include:
Mahakala (Tib. Nagpo Chenpo)
Yama (Tib. Shinje)
Yamantaka (Tib. Shinje Shed)
Hayagriva (Tib. Tamdrin)
Vaisravana (Tib. Kubera)
Shri Devi (Tib. Palden Lhamo)
Ekaja?i (Tib. ral chig ma)
Rahula (Tib. gza)
Vajrasadhu (Tib. Dorje Legpa)
Tshangs Pa Dkarpo
Maharakta (Tib. tsog gi dag po, mar chen)
Kurukulla (Tib. rig che ma)
Takkiraja (Tib. du pai gyal po)
Prana Atma (Tib. Begtse)
In Tibet, most monasteries have a dedicated dharmapala which was originally comp
arable to a genius loci. The many forms of Mahakala, for example, are emanations
of Avalokiteshvara. Kalarupa, Yamantaka and Shri Devi (Tib. Palden Lhamo) are c
onsidered by practitioners to be emanations of the Buddha of Wisdom (Manjushri).

as well as to foster the necessary conditions for their practice. Papiya. .The main functions of a dharmapala are said to be to avert the inner and outer o bstacles that prevent spiritual practitioners from attaining spiritual realizati ons. notably Mahakala (Daikoku). the lokapalas and k?etrapalas.[2] Guan Yu and Hachiman are also known as defenders. Some other dharmapalas. Related deities[edit] In Tibetan Buddhism. a descendent of Tangmi ("Tang Dynasty Esoterica" i n ancient China). the dharmapala Yamantaka (Daiitoku) is classified as a Wisdom King.[1] Tangmi and Shingon Buddhism[edit] In Japanese Shingon Buddhism. belong to the fourth h ierarchy of deities (tenbu). there are two other classes of defender.