dharmapāla (T. chos skyong ཆོས་སྐྱོང་; C. fahu) is translated as 'dharma protector," "protector of the dharma," etc. In the Mahayana and tantric traditions, the dharmapāla are divinities whose role is to protect the teachings and practitioners. The history of many Buddhist nations often involves the conversion of local deities into dharma protectors.
According to the Tibetan tradition, many local deities in Tibet were subjugated and bound under oath by great practitioners such as Guru Padmasambhava.
- Ladrang Kalsang, The Guardian Deities of Tibet (India: Wisdom Books, 2007)
- Nebesky-Wojkowitz, Rene de. Oracles and Demons of Tibet: The Cult and Iconography of the Tibetan Protective Deities. New edition. Kathmandu, Nepal: Books Faith, 1996.
- Dharma Protectors