General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Post by Vidyaraja » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:40 am

Forgive me if this has been asked previously and I just haven't seen it, but how exactly do the various Buddhas, deities, Bodhisattvas, Wisdom Kings, etc. function in Buddhism? What is their metaphysical status? Since Buddhism is concerned with a nondual Absolute or ultimate reality, how do the deities and other related figures function? I've heard they function has aspects of the enlightened mind that can be actualized through meditating on them, mantra, or other practices or that for example Manjusri represents the Buddha's wisdom, Vajrapani the Buddha's power, Avalokitesvara the Buddha's compassion, etc. but what exactly does this mean and how does it work?

For example, what exactly is Bhaisajyaguru and how can he assist in healing? How also do the theories surrounding mantra fit in with this?

Aside from direct answers, if anyone has any recommended books on these topics I'd be glad to hear them as well.

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Re: Deities

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:06 am

Read up on the Three Bodies of a Buddha as much as you can...can't think of any books offhand, if I remember a particular one i'll post it..lots and lots of books by Tibetan teachers on anything tantra related cover this kind of stuff though.

Deities are sambogakaya emanations..what that really means seems to be murkier:)
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Re: Deities

Post by dakini_boi » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:13 am

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