Vajrapani, also known in Tibetan as "Cyana Dorje," is the manifestation of the Buddha's inexhaustible power. Vajrapani is seen as a non-Buddhist by many newcomers to Buddhism. He is a Bodhisattva who represents the enlightened mind's energy and wields a vajra (thunderbolt) in his right hand.
The energy of the enlightened mind, and the energy that breaks through delusion, is represented as Vajrapani (Holder of the Thunderbolt). He dances wildly within a halo of flames, symbolizing Awakening's transformational power. In his right hand, he holds a vajra (thunderbolt), emphasizing the ability to cut through the darkness of delusion.
Vajrapani is one of three Bodhisattvas known as the Three Family Protectors, together with Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri. The Vajra (thunderbolt) family, which comprises Akshobya (the Vajra family's lord) and Yamantaka, is the Buddha family of which Vajrapani is the protector.
Vajrapani is depicted standing in this thangka. He is a deep blue color with tiger hide wrapped around his waist, which symbolizes boldness. He wields a vajra in his right hand and a bell in his left, and his hands are in the menacing mudra. He wears a snake garland, which represents fury but is transformed by the force of his enormous compassion. He wears a crown of five skulls and has a third eye of wisdom in the center of his forehead, indicating his mastery of Buddha's five wisdoms.
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