Pancha Raksha

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The Pancha Raksha (Skt. Pañcarakṣā; Tib. གཟུངས་ཆེན་གྲྭ་ལྔ།, Wyl. gzungs chen grwa lnga) or 'Five Protectors', is a term used to describe both the scriptures and the deities of the “five protectress goddesses” popular in the Mahayana-Vajrayana tradition.[1]

These five deities each have specific functions and are directed towards accomplishing worldly welfare and happiness, preventing and surviving natural disasters, curing snakebite, overcoming fear and averting pestilence and epidemics.

The Five Pancha Raksha are:

  • Maha Pratisara
  • Maha Sahasrapramardini
  • Mahamayuri
  • Sitavati
  • Mantramanudharani

There are many forms for each of these five female deities, with multiple heads and arms, and many different traditions of practice. The Pancha Raksha deities are most popular in Nepal but can be found throughout the Himalayas and Central Asia as well as in China, Korea and Japan.[2]

References

  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.
  2. Himalayan Art

External Links