Yidam in Tibet Buddhism
Have you ever heard about Yidam — Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapalas in Tibet Buddhism — the central honored one who always blesses you?
Maybe, you have heard about Tibet Buddhism so far. However, how about Yidam?
In fact, Yidam is the central honored one of each person. We all have our own central honored Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, or Dharmapalas. In other words, Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapalas. According to Tibet Buddhism, they always bless you. And, your duty in the cultivating journey is to find your Yidam. In other words, Yidam practice is really one of the greatest cultivating methods of Tibet Buddhism.
So far, this is a really prominent cultivating method of Tibet Buddhism. In this manner of practice, the Buddhism cultivators find the Holy name of the central honored one in innumerable Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapalas. Then, they start practicing the typical method of cultivation of the chosen central honored one. By this way, the Buddhism cultivators will be blessed by the chosen honored Buddhas, Bodhisattva, or Dharmapalas. No sooner no later, they will be able to liberate from sufferings and attain enlightenment.
Let’s take a step further to this ancient Tibet Buddhism’s cultivating method.
Why We Should Find Our Yidam in Tibet Buddhism?
According to Tibet Buddhism, we are all blessed by at least one Buddha, Bodhisattva, or Dharmapala.
Therefore, your mission in the Dharma pathway is to find who your Yidam in the numerable Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dharmapalas is.
For more details, your Yidam looks like your godmother on the journey of cultivation. Your Yidam blesses you, guides you. More importantly, Yidam shows you the ways to attain enlightenment. In your daily lives, your Yidam also helps you to live a better mindful living. Hence, your responsibility is really simple — finding who your Yidam is, who the central one in your life is.
In fact, Buddhism doctrines believe that it is such a good dependent origination for human beings to know Buddhas, Dharma, and Sangha. Besides that, it is also a great chance for the cultivators to realize the holy names of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapalas that bless themselves.
In sum, it is the prerequisite for Buddhism cultivators to know the holy name of the central honored Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapalas. Then, after choosing the central honored one, the cultivators practice their Dharma-pathway.
In conclusion, Yidam is the Tibet Buddhism’s method of choosing the most appropriate central honored Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, or Dharmapalas for Buddhism cultivators.
How to find your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism ?
In fact, there are several ways to find the central honored one in Tibet Buddhism for your life. Thus, you are free to choose the way that you feel the most appropriate
1. Finding your Yidam by Your Chinese Animal Zodiacs
Maybe, the easiest way is based on your date of birth in the Chinese Lunar calendar.
First of all, filling into the required information. Then, you will know your Chinese animal zodiac in the Lunar calendar.
Rat — Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is the thousand-hands Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
Ox Zodiac- Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Akasagarbha Bodhisattva.
Tiger Zodiac- Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Akasagarbha Bodhisattva
Rabbit Zodiac — Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Manjusri Bodhisattva
Dragon Zodiac- Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Samantabhadra Bodhisattva
Snake Zodiac- Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Samantabhadra Bodhisattva
Horse Zodiac- Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Mahastamaprapta Bodhisattva
Sheep Zodiac- Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Vairocana/Mahavairocana
Monkey Zodiac — Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Vairocana/Mahavairocana
Rooster Zodiac- Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Acala
Dog Zodiac — Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Amida Buddha
Pig Zodiac — Your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is Amida Buddha
2. Finding Your Yidam by The Month of Birth in The Chinese Lunar Calendar
The second way to find your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is relying on the month of birth in the Chinese Lunar calendar.
And, hereby the Yidam and the month in lunar calendar, respectively.
Akasagarbha Bodhisattva — First month
Manjusri Bodhisattva — Second month
Samantabhadra Bodhisattva — Third month
Samantabhadra Bodhisattva — Forth month
Mahastamaprapta Bodhisattva — Fifth month
Vairocana — Sixth month
Vairocana — Seventh month
Acala -Eighth month
Amida Buddha — Ninth month
Amida Buddha — Tenth month
Thousand-hands Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva — Eleventh month
Akasagarbha Bodhisattva — Twelveth month
3. Finding Your Yidam by The Date of Birth in The Chinese Lunar Calendar
The third way to find your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is relying on the date of birth in the Chinse Lunar calendar.
Hereby the Yidam and the date of birth in the lunar calendar, respectively.
Dipankara — First day
Dipankara Second — Second day
PrabhUtaratna — Third day
Maitreya Bodhisattva — Fifth day
Dipankara — Sixth day
Nandikesvara — Seventh-day
Medicine Buddha — Eighth day
Jnanajina Buddha — Ninth day
Dipankara Buddha — Tenth day
Nandikesvara — Eleventh day
Amoghasiddhi Buddha — Twelfth day
Akasagarbha Bodhisattva — Thirteenth day
Samantabhadra Bodhisattva — Fourteenth day
Amida Buddha — Fifteenth day
Cundi Bodhisattva — Sixteenth day
Nagarjuna — Seventeenth day
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva — Eighteenth day
Surya-Prabha Bodhisattva — Nineteenth day
Candra-Prabha Bodhisattva — Twentieth day
Aksayamati Bodhisattva — Twenty-first day
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva — Twenty-second day
Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva — Twenty-third day
Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva — Twenty-fourth day
Manjusri Bodhisattva — Twenty-fifth day
Medicine Bodhisattva — Twenty-sixth day
Vairocana Buddha — Twenty-seventh day
Vairocana Buddha — Twenty-eighth day
Medicine Bodhisattva — Twenty-ninth day
Shakyamuni Buddha — Thirtieth day
4. Let a Great Guru Help You
The fourth way to find your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is to have one Great Guru in Buddhism to help you.
Basically, one Great Guru will know the Yidam whom a cultivator has a good dependent origination with. In general, this Guru can also base on the cultivator’s personality or aspiration in order to find the most appropriate Yidam. Or, thank for Guru’s power, he can determine the Yidam that a cultivator had chosen in the previous lives.
5. Basing on The Aspiration of a Cultivator
The fifth way to find your Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is to depend on the aspiration of a cultivator.
For examples, if a cultivator is a doctor and dream of curing the diseases of the human, he can make the decision to follow the Yidam Medicine Buddha.
In fact, there are four popular purposes of cultivation in Tibet Buddhism.
The first cultivating method aims at deleting the external bad things, and the sins. If the cultivators practice this method, they will be able to delete Greed, Hatred, Illusion. Then, the second cultivating method is to improve Dharma. In other words, the practices can develop great merit, lengthen the life-span, increase intellectual development for each cultivator and others.
Next, the third cultivating method is to honoring Dharma. In this method, the cultivators show respect to Dharma and they will be blessed by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dharmapalas as well as respect from other people. If the cultivators had not planted the good seed of karmas in the previous lives, they would have faced many difficulties in the present life. Thus, the method of honoring Dharma is a great suggestion for them to overcome adversities.
Finally, the last cultivating method is to delete the bad karmas. For examples, if you had made hatred with someone else, you should practice this method for deleting the bad karmas between you and this one. Each cultivating method has its own goal and the Yidams will help you make success while practicing each method.
Deleting the external bad things: Shakyamuni Buddha, Thousand-hands Avalokitesvara, Acala.
Improving Dharma: Ratnasambhava Buddha, Ksitigarbha, Vaisravana.
Honoring Dharma: Amida Buddha, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva,
Deleting the bad karmas and bad mood: Acala, Trailokya-Vijaya, Amrita Kundali, Yamantaka, Vajrayana. They are Five Great Deities in Tibet Buddhism.
6. Drawing Lots to Find Your Yidam
The sixth way to find Yidam in Tibet Buddhism is to draw lots. First of all, a cultivator desires the Great Guru to help him to find the central honored one. Next, the Great Guru will use a wood stick to draw lots. Then, the result of the divination will be the basis for the Great Guru to show the answer for this cultivator.
7. Sowing The Flower into The Mandala
The seventh way to find Yidam is to sow the flower into the Mandala.
In order to do this, the cultivators stand in front of the Vajradhatu Mandala, Garbhadhatu Mandala. Next, the cultivators have to be covered their eyes and holding a flower. Then, the cultivators sow this flower into the Mandala. And, the Great Guru will base on the position of this flower on the Mandala to find Yidam for this one.
No matter whoever your Yidam is, you should not think that your Yidam is in lower or higher level in the world of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapalas. If you think that, it means you do not respect your own Yidam. Clearly, it is not a good thing while practicing this cultivating method.
8. Let Your Heart Tell You Who Your Yidam Is
If these above ways make you hard to follow, you should listen to the voice of your heart. For examples, let you try looking at a Thangka. If you feel strongly connected to one Buddha, or Bodhisattva, or Dharmapala, let you choose this honored one to be your Yidam.
Understanding about the world of Yidam — Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapala Sometimes, you might feel confused while discovering the world of Yidam — Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapalas. Maybe, you ask yourself: “Who is who in innumerable Yidam of Tibet Buddhism?”
Of course, we will show further information about each Buddha, Bodhisattva, and Dharmapala in related content. In this article, we show you general information about them.
The World of the Buddhas
The world of the Buddhas has a great huge of Buddhas. Literally, “Buddhas” means “ the enlightened ones.” In Buddhism, the Buddhas are most well-known for the great — great compassion and great-great wisdom.
In the world of Yidams, you will have the chances to know the most popular Buddhas.
Let get used to the Three Buddhas of times — the past, the present, and the future. First of all, Dipankara Buddha is the representative of the Buddhas of the past. Second, Shakyamuni Buddha is the Buddha of the present. Third, the Maitreya Buddha is the Buddha of the future.
It is also necessary to know the Three Buddhas of spaces. Shakyamuni Buddha is the Buddha of the center of the world, whereby Medicine Buddha is in the Eastern, and Amida Buddha stays in the Western Pure Land.
Besides that, you should know the Five Buddhas of five directions. First, Akshobya Buddha is in the East. Next, Ratnasambhava Buddha is in the South. Then, Amida Buddha is in the West. After that, Amogasiddhi Buddha is in the North. Finally, Vairocana Buddha is in the middle of the world.
Moreover, we all should know the Three incarnations of Buddhas. They are Vairocana Buddha, Locana Buddha, and Shakyamuni Buddha.
Of course, these above Holy names are just several Yidams in the world of Tibet Buddhism.
The world of the Bodhisattvas
Bodhisattvas are the enlightened sentient beings. According to the Buddhism scriptures, Bodhisattvas had been practicing the Boddhisattva-pathway. Typically, they had made Great Vows to save all sentient beings before becoming the Buddhas.
In the world of Bodhisattvas, there are eight Great Bodhisattvas that we so far have heard about. They are Manjusri Bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Maitreya Bodhisattva, Akasagarbha Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Vajragarbha Bodhisattva, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, and Sarvanirvarana-Viskambhin Bodhisattva.
The world of the Dharmapalas
Dharma-pala is the Holy Monks who protect Dharma, Buddhas, Gods & devils. Generally, Dharmapalas are in the incarnation of wrathful deities.
In fact, Acala, Trailokya-Vijaya, Amrita Kundali, Yamantaka, Vajrayana — they are the Five Great Wrathful Deities in Tibet Buddhism.
Some Things to Remember When You Find and Chose Your Yidam
First of all, finding your Yidam in the Dharma-pathway is a spiritual practice. When you have already found your Yidam, it means you have good dependent origination with your Yidam. Besides that, let you listen to the voice of your heart. So as to do it, you should choose the Yidam whom you feel closely connected with. When you see the Thangkas or a picture of the Buddha, Bodhisattva, or Dharmapala, if you feel interested in or strongly love this picture, you can choose your Yidam by yourself.
If you have known your Yidam in the previous lives, this is really your chosen Yidam. Or simply, you find it easy to practice one Yidam’s cultivating method, let you follow this Yidam.
You must not compare your Yidam to other Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, or Dharmapalas.
===In fact, all of Yidam is the incarnation of Buddhas===.
Because of the various types of sentient beings, there are innumerable Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapalas, too. And, each the central honored one has their own method of cultivation. Hence, the practice of finding your Yidam also means choosing the most appropriate method for cultivator in Dharma-pathway.
Thus, once you chose your own Yidam, you must honor the chosen Yida. Moreover, you have to practice the cultivating method of your Yidam hard so as to achieve good results. Besides that, other Yidam’s practices are the support for your central honored one’s method.
Practicing contemplation of Buddha, Bodhisattva, and Dharmapala in Tibet Buddhism Nowadays, Buddhism cultivators can easily find the subtle Tibetan artform — Thangka, describing the great honored ones in Tibet Buddhism. By contemplating on the image of the chosen central Buddha, Bodhisattva, Dharmapala, it will take Buddhists a step closer on the Dharma pathway.
After finding your Yidam, the next step is to practicing honoring Yidam and cultivating your Yidam’s method. Because each Yidam has own method, incarnation, it requires the cultivators to know Yidam well before practicing. That is the reason why we will discuss each Yidam and their method of cultivating in the related content.
We are all blessed by our own Yidam. We should honor our Yidam and follow their cultivating method throughout our life.
So, if you are a Buddhist, you will find it is such dependent origination for you to know your Yidam.
However, if you are not a Buddhist now, you should also be thankful for the life that you have been always blessed by one Yidam.
Although our Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharmapalas are different in the Holy names, they are all the incarnations of the Buddha.
Because of the great Vow of saving all sentient beings in all planes of existence, Buddha has to be in the various wonderful beings. Therefore, you must not think Buddhas are at a higher level than Bodhisattvas. Likewise, never think that Bodhisattvas are more powerful than Dharmapalas.
Finally, you have known your Yidam is always ready to help you in the Dharma pathway. Thus, the next step is to follow your Yidam. For further information, let read the related content about how to honor Yidam and cultivate Yidam’s practice.