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Vajrapani (Skt. Vajrapāṇi; Tib. ཕྱག་ན་རྡོ་རྗེ་, Chakna Dorje, Wyl. phyag na rdo rje) — one of the eight great bodhisattvas and lords of the three families. He represents the power of the buddhas and is usually depicted as blue in colour and holding a vajra.

He is especially responsible for transmitting the tantras to the human realm, which is one explanation for his epithet 'Lord of Secrets' (Tib. གསང་བའི་བདག་པོ་, Wyl. gsang ba'i bdag po)[1]. The epithet is also glossed as indicating his role as the lord of the guhyakas, i.e. yakshas.[2]


  1. gsang ba'i bdag po generally translates the Sanskrit guhyakādhipa/guhyakādhipati. Guhyapati, although commonly used in secondary literature, appears to be unattested in Sanskrit sources. The synonymous epithet guhyendra is generally translated gsang dbang, and guhyarāṭ as gsang ba'i rgyal po.
  2. See Tribe, Anthony, Tantric Buddhist Practice in India: Vilāsavajra’s commentary on the Mañjuśrī-nāmasaṃgīti, p. 121 n74.

Further Reading

  • Jamgön Mipham, A Garland of Jewels, (trans. by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso), Woodstock: KTD Publications, 2008

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