Sunday, May 23, 2010

Diamond Sutra

a derivative work made from 2 files from Wikipedia Commons

वज्रच्छेदिका प्रज्ञापारमिता सूत्र
Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

From Wikipedia-
The Buddhist text known around the world as the Diamond Sūtra is a short Mahayana sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom (S. prajna-paramita) genre, which teaches the practice of the avoidance of abiding in extremes of mental attachment. A copy of the Diamond Sutra, found among the Dunhuang manuscripts in the early 20th century, is, in the words of the British Library, "the earliest complete survival of a dated printed book."

Because the Diamond Sūtra can be read in 40-50 minutes, it is often memorized and chanted in Buddhist monasteries. This sūtra has retained significant popularity in the Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition for over a millennium. A list of vivid metaphors for impermanence appears in a popular four-line verse at the end of the sūtra:

All conditioned phenomena

Are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, or shadows;

Like drops of dew, or flashes of lightning;

Thusly should they be contemplated.

Click here for an English translation of the Diamond Sutra

The Chinese Diamond Sutra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world, printed in the 9th year of Xiantong Era of theTang Dynasty, or 868 CE. Diamond Sutra: Frontispiece, Diamond Sutra from Cave 17, Dunhuang, ink on paper British Library Or.8210/ P.2 This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or fewer.

Buddha footprint
1st century CE, Gandhara; historical display at Zenyōmitsu-ji (善養密寺), a Buddhist Temple located in the Setagaya ward of Tokyo, Japan. --The bottom symbol is the Triratna or "Three Jewels,", - the top symbol is a dharmachakra. - - This file has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its author, PHG at the English Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: PHG grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

The Three Jewels, also called the Three Treasures, the Three Refuges, or the Triple Gem (triratna)), are the three things that Buddhists take refuge in, and look toward for guidance, in the process known as taking refuge.
The Three Jewels are:
• Buddha
Sanskrit, Pali: The Enlightened or Awakened One - Depending on one's interpretation, can mean the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni) or the Buddha nature—the ideal or highest spiritual potential that exists within all beings;
• Dharma
Sanskrit: The Teaching; Pali: Dhamma - The teachings of the Buddha.
• Sangha
Sanskrit, Pali: The Community - The community of those who have attained enlightenment, who may help a practicing Buddhist to do the same. Also used more broadly to refer to the community of practicing Buddhists.


Click here for or more on the Dharmachakra symbol and Dharma.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vajrapani 100514


Derivative work made with two files from Wikipedia Commons -

From Wikipedia:

Vajrapāṇi (from Sanskrit vajra, "thunderbolt" or "diamond" and pāṇi, lit. "in the hand") 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).

On the popular level, Vajrapani, Holder of the Thunderbolt Scepter (symbolizing the power of compassion), is the Bodhisattva who represents the power of all the Buddhas, just as Avalokitesvara represents their great compassion, Manjushri their wisdom, and Tara their miraculous deeds. For the yogi, Vajrapani is a means of accomplishing fierce determination and symbolizes unrelenting effectiveness in the conquest of negativity. His taut posture is the active warrior pose (pratayalidha), based on an archer's stance but resembling the en garde position in Western fencing. His outstretched right hand brandishes a vajra and his left hand deftly holds a lasso - with which he binds demons. He wears a skull crown with his hair standing on end. His expression is wrathful and he has a third eye. Around his neck is a serpent necklace and his loin cloth is made up of the skin of a tiger, whose head can be seen on his right knee.

According to the Pancavimsatisahasrika and Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita any Bodhisattva on the path to Buddhahood is eligible for Vajrapani's protection, making them invincible to any attacks "by either men or ghosts".[4]

Vajrapāṇi is the patron saint of the Shaolin monastery.

In Japan, Vajrapani is known as Shukongōshin (執金剛神, "Diamond rod-wielding God"), and has been the inspiration for the Niō (仁王, lit. Benevolent kings), the wrath-filled and muscular guardian god of the Buddha, standing today at the entrance of many Buddhist temples under the appearance of frightening wrestler-like statues.

Click for more on Vajrapāṇi at Wikipedia

art posted by VanemTao with no further attribution), and Vajrapani statue in American Museum of Natural History, New York

Sunday, May 9, 2010

tara 8790 (more)

photo of a statue, tweaked with photoshop

from Wikpedia (Tara_(Buddhism)):


Within Tibetan Buddhism Tara is regarded as a Boddhisattva of compassion and action. She is the female aspect of Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig) and in some origin stories she comes from his tears

Tara or Ārya Tārā, also known as Jetsun Dolma (Tibetan language:rje btsun sgrol ma) in Tibetan Buddhism, is a female Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism who appears as a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism. She is known as the "mother of liberation", and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. In Japan she is known as Tarani Bosatsu, and little-known as Tuoluo in Chinese Buddhism.

Whether the Tārā figure originated as a Buddhist or Hindu Goddess is unclear and remains a source of dispute among scholars. Mallar Ghosh believes her to have originated as a form of the goddess Durga in the Hindu Puranas. Today, she is worshipped both in Buddhism and in Shaktism as one of the ten Mahavidyas.

(Tara is) As (ed.)- a tantric meditation deity {whose practice is} {used by} practitioners of the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism to develop certain inner qualities and understand outer, inner and secret teachings about compassion and emptiness. Tara is actually the generic name for a set of Buddhas or bodhisattvas of similar aspect. These may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same quality, as bodhisattvas are often considered metaphoric for Buddhist virtues.

see also

more buddhist art

buddha 100407

tara (110921)

Vajrapani 100514

Diamond Sutra

Dharma Wheel & About Dharma

buddha cave

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• whats more: more about Buddhism & Zen

• Wikipedia: more about Tara