Guardian of the Faith
Protector of the teachings and remover of obstacles to the teaching, strong and unwavering, massive and grounded – no one can get past Vajrapani. He stands here in warrior pose, clasping a vajra, symbol of the energy channels of the body, with his other hand raised in the threatening gesture. He represents the power of all the Buddhas of past, present and future. A statue of Vajrapani is placed at the entrance to monasteries and temples to ward of those that would harm the teachings or the sangha, or temple. Vajrapani is sometimes situated next to the Buddha with Avalokitesvara on the opposite side. Here he is the central figure.
Hayagriva is a yidam, or personal protector deity, the fierce form of Avalokitesvara and represents fierce compassion. The Bird-man above, Garuda, is the eagle of wisdom; he too is here acting as guardian and protector, enemy of the snake race, the nagas lords and ladies of the underworld.
© Laura Santi