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Tibetan thangka of Vajradhara

Ādibuddha (Tibetan: དང་པོའི་སངས་རྒྱས།Wylie: dang po'i sangs rgyas, THL: Dangpö Sanggyé; C. benchu fo) has two connotations witihin the Sanskrit Mahayana tradition.[1]

  1. First Buddha - Ãdi means "first", such that the ādibuddha was the first to attain Buddhahood.[2]
  2. Primordial Buddha - Ādi can also mean “primordial,” not referring to a person but to an innate wisdom that is present in all sentient beings.[2]

The 14th Dalai Lama states: "I understand the Primordial Buddha, also known as Buddha Samantabhadra, to be the ultimate reality, the realm of the Dharmakaya-- the space of emptiness--where all phenomena, pure and impure, are dissolved. This is the explanation taught by the Sutras and Tantras."[3]

The term appears in tantric literature, most prominently in the Kalachakra, where the term is interpreted as either "first buddha" or "primoridal buddha."[2]

In Tibetan Buddhism, the term ādibuddha is often used to describe Samantabhadra, Vajradhara or Kalachakra.[2][4] In East Asian Mahayana, the ādibuddha is typically considered to be Vairocana.[2]

The Guhyasamāja Tantra says of Vajradhāra, "Then Vajradhara, the Teacher, who is bowed to by all the Buddhas, best of the three diamonds, best of the great best, supreme lord of the three diamonds[.]"[4]

Alex Wayman notes that the Pradipoddyotana, a tantric commentary, states that the "three diamonds" are the three mysteries of Body, Speech, and Mind. Wayman further writes: "Tsong-kha-pa's Mchan-'grel explains the "lord of body": displays simultaneously innumerable materializations of body; "lord of speech": teaches the Dharma simultaneously to boundless sentient beings each in his own language; "lord of mind": understands all the knowable which seems impossible.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wayman, Alex (2013). The Buddhist Tantras: Light on Indo-Tibetan Esotericism. Routledge. p. 53. ISBN 1-135-02922-9. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. ādibuddha
  3. "Dalai Lama Answers Questions on Various Topics". hhdl.dharmakara.net. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wayman, Alex; The Buddhist Tantras: Light on Indo-Tibetan esotericism, page 53.


  • Grönbold, Günter (1995). Weitere Adibuddha-Texte, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens / Vienna Journal of South Asian Studies 39, 45-60

External links

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