Articles by alphabetic order
 Ā Ī Ñ Ś Ū Ö Ō
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0


From Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In Vajrayana Buddhism, the Adi-Buddha, or Adibuddha (Tibetan: Dang-po'i sangs-rgyas), is the "Primordial Buddha."

The term refers to a self-emanating, self-originating Buddha, present before anything else existed.

Samantabhadra, Vairocana and Vajradhara are the best known names for Adi-Buddha, though there are others.

Adi-Buddha is usually depicted as dark blue.

The concept of Adi-Buddha is the closest to monotheism of any form of Buddhism.

Even then, Adi-Buddha is recognized as the center of an extended array of peaceful and wrathful deities, which are considered reflections of it.

All famous sages and Bodhisattvas are said to be reflections of Adi-Buddha, and many are identified as the "personality" of it.

Adi-Buddha is better compared to the abstracted forces of Brahman, Ayn Sof or Arche rather than a personal creator God in the mold of Ishvara.

Also, Adi-Buddha is not said to be the creator, but the originator of all things.

Adi-Buddha is a deity in an emanationist sense.

Adi-Buddha is a representation of the interdependence of phenomena, being an entity that can be regarded as a creator in a relative sense.

Though phenomena can be symbolically represented in the primordial nature of Adi-Buddha and have in it their collective source, the universe is not regarded as being linearly created, being in a continuous, eternal co-relation with the deity.

It also represents the non-duality between the noumenom (the individual's mind), and the phenomena (the cosmos), which are also seen as interrelated

Names of Adi-Buddha

Though all Buddhist figures are said to be emanations of the Adi-Buddha, certain Bodhisattvas are revered as its actual personality.

This personality is often referred to as Dharmakaya, or "Buddha-body of reality."

The term Samantabhadra in Sanskrit means thus:

Sam(equipoise/equanimity/equaled/balance of polarization/equality of Dual and Non-Dual views as supplementary and complementary/Non-Duo)+Anta(end)+Bhadra(disciplined/structured/civilized/virtuous/righteous/conscientious/moral)= The Spirit of Truth that is righteous.

Samantabhadra is Adibuddha in the sense of Spirit of Truth.

In Mahayana He is regarded as a Bodhisattva (Enlightened Personality) where as in Vajrayana.

He is accepted as Adibuddha (Primordial Consciousness Beyond Perception).

This marks the historical advent of Buddhist meditation or Yoga developed through the time from Mahayana to Tantrayana to Vajrayana where a Bodhisattva concept has developed, through deeper discovery of The Truth in its essential nature, into a Buddha realization.

Credit of this goes to Padmasambhava.



The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, who, according to the Avatamsaka Sutra made ten great vows, is revered as Adi-Buddha in the Nyingma school of Vajrayana, along with his consort Samantabhadri.

The two are usually depicted together in Tantric union. Samantabhadra is dark blue, while Samantabhadri is white.

They appear together as Adi-Buddha in the Bardo Thodol (Tibetan Book of the Dead), at the center of the assembly of peaceful deities.

Their wrathful forms are Mahotta Heruka and Krodheshvari.

There is some confusion over whether or not the Adi-Buddha Samantabhadra and the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra are in fact the same.

Both appear as separate figures in the Bardo Thodol.


Vajradhara (Dorje Chang) is regarded as Adi-Buddha in the Gelug and Kagyu schools.

Vajradhara is also considered the Tantric form of Sakyamuni, the Great Sage of Humans.

He also is depicted as dark blue in color. His esoteric doctrines were said to have been handed down to Marpa Lotsawa. Vairocana

In Mahayana Buddhism, Vairocana is interpreted as the Bliss Body of Shakyamuni, and appears as such in the Avatamsaka Sutra.

However, in the Vajrayana text the Mahavairocana Tantra, Vairocana is depicted as the Adi-Buddha.

The Mahavairocana Tantra is the basis for Shingon Buddhism, the oldest esoteric school of Buddhist thought in Japan, where Vairocana is called Dainchi Nyorai (大日如來).

Other Adi-Buddhas



Ati Yoga

Ati Yoga (or Primordial Yoga), which is another name for the Tibetan tradition of Dzogchen, employs an Adi-Buddha sadhana, or practice.

"Ati" and "Adi" are different orthographic representations of phonemes of the language of Uddiyana which equate to 'primordial' according to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu.

In Hinduism

In Vaishnavism, the term Adi-Buddha applies to the original form of Shakyamuni as an avatar of Vishnu.

Shakyamuni is included as one of the ten avatars

See also: Sugata Buddha </poem>



kun tu bzang po - 1) Samantabhadra, the Ever-Excellent, all good, the Adibuddha; primordial buddha, Samantabhadra; all good; Samantabhadra (n. of a Bodhisattva). all-positive; Samantabhadra Adi-Buddha (primordial Buddha of the {rnying ma pa} sect). primordial buddha. Samantabhadra, (the Primordial Buddha); Samantabhadra. 2 the bodhisattva, one of the eight close spiritual sons of Buddha Shakyamuni; 3) Samantabhadra-nama-sadhana) one of the {chos bcu bzhi}. fourteen treatises on the Guhyasamaja commentaries by {sangs rgyas ye shes} [RY]

kun tu bzang po - samantabhadra, adi-buddha for rnying ma pa, sometimes a Bodhisattva, universal goodness, bon word for longs sku, good to all and everywhere and at all times, the first dhyani bodhisattva, the kamuga-sain of the mongols, primordial buddha, Primordial Buddha, always excellent, the primordial buddha, the primordial state of the individual beyond dualism and defects linked to time and circumstances, ever-perfect, the ultimate good, ever-perfect, always good, All-Beautiful One, good in all circumstances, always good [JV]

thog ma'i sangs rgyas - the Primordial Buddha, Adibuddha [RY]

dang po'i sangs rgyas - primeval buddha, Adibuddha, primordially awakened one [RY]

gdod ma'i mgon po - Original Protector; primordial lord / protector; primordial lordliness; Adinatha, (Syn. the Primordial Buddha, Adibuddha), adinatha Samantabhadra. Primordial Lord / Protector. Synonym for Buddha Samantabhadra [RY]

mchog gi dang po'i sangs rgyas - adibuddha [JV]

dus kyi 'khor lo'i - mtshan adibuddha (a particular one) [JV]

rdo rje chos - dharmavajra (aspect of rdo rje 'chang), adibuddha for bka' brgyud pa [JV]

rdo rje 'chang - vajradhara, adibuddha for dge lugs pa, (symbolical term for the indivisible unity of the pre-reflective nonthematic and the reflective-thematic in experience, established through byin gyis rlabs of Samantabhadra, transition from absolute to relative (he wears ornaments), he taught phyag na rdo rje, yum is shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa), primordial chos sku arrayed in longs sku ornaments, blue, arms crossed with bell and vajra), indestructible comprehension, dhyani bodhisattva, sage [JV]

rdo rje las - karmavajra (aspect of rdo rje 'chang), adibuddha for bka' brgyud pa [JV]

rdo rje sems dpa' - vajrasattva, vajra being, vajra master, adibuddha for bka' rgyud pa, SA sku rdo rje rnal 'byor, ye shes rdo rje rnal 'byor, gsung rdo rje rnal 'byor, (state of commitment to what is indestructible), eternal & unchangeable being, one of snga 'gyur lnga, commitment to that which is indestructible [JV]

rnam par snang mdzad - vairocana, dhyani buddha, center, yum is Vajradhatvisvani, adibuddha for rnying ma, sangs rgyas spyan ma, chos dbyings, sangs rgyas, sku, gzugs, gti mug, sa, eyes, white, vairocana, moon, Illuminator, to manifest totally in form [JV]