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Five buddha families (Skt. pañcakula; Wyl. rigs lnga, Tib. rik nga) —

  1. buddha family (Skt. tathāgatakula; Wyl. de bzhin gshegs pa'i rigs)
  2. vajra family (Skt. vajrakula; Wyl. rdo rje'i rigs)
  3. ratna or jewel family (Skt. ratnakula)
  4. padma or lotus family (Skt. padmakula; Wyl. pad ma'i rigs)
  5. karma or action family (Skt. karmakula)

Diagram of the Five Buddha Families<ref>Version based on the Nyingma, inner tantras</ref>
family buddha vajra ratna padma karma
direction centre east south west north
colour blue white yellow red green
family symbol eight-spoked wheel vajra jewel lotus double vajra or sword
masculine buddha<ref>each family is associated with one of the buddhas of the five families</ref> Vairochana<ref>in the Sarma tantras, Akshobhya is often at the centre of the mandala, instead of Vairochana</ref> Vajrasattva-Akshobhya<ref>in the Sarma tantras, Vairochana is often in the eastern direction, instead of Akshobhya</ref> Ratnasambhava Amitabha Amoghasiddhi
wisdom<ref>each buddha is associated to one of the five wisdoms</ref> wisdom of dharmadhatu mirror-like wisdom wisdom of equality wisdom of discernment all-accomplishing wisdom
poison<ref>each wisdom is a transmutation of one of the five poisons</ref> delusion or ignorance anger pride desire jealousy
skhanda<ref>each buddha is associated to one of the five skandhas</ref> form consciousness feeling perception formations
feminine buddha<ref>in union with each of the five buddhas</ref> Dhatvishvari Buddhalochana or Mamaki Mamaki or Lochana Pandaravasini Samayatara
element<ref>each female buddha represents the purity of one of the five elements</ref> space water earth fire air



Further Reading

    • Journey Without Goal: The Tantric Wisdom of the Buddha, The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Four (Boston & London: Shambhala, 2003), Ch. 9 'The Five Buddha Families'.
    • The Lion’s Roar: An Introduction to Tantra, The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Four (Boston & London: Shambhala, 2003), Part Two, Ch. 7 'The Five Buddha Families and Mahamudra'.
five_buddha_families.txt · Last modified: 2023/08/20 19:53 by

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