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Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in this world with the sole purpose of benefitting all sentient beings. Out of great compassion Lord Buddha revealed many different means/paths to enlightenment and set forth three Wheels of Law to suit varying degrees of intelligence and receptivities.

Shakyamuni Buddha himself was, it is said, in the form of Vajradhara while he was teaching tantric path to his gifted disciples. Vajradhara is depicted holding a Vajra and a bell in his left hand and his arms are kept crossed in front of him expressing complete integration of Prajna and Upaya. He is usually depicted in blue colour in vajraparyanka posture. He has a crown, an Urna and an Ushnisha as a Sambhogakaya Buddha.

Vajradhara is also depicted in father-mother (Aaju-Aji in Newari) aspect. Then he holds his usual symbols while his arms are crossed at the back of his consort. The consort is none other than Prajnaparamita in deified form. The Kargyudpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism begins with the Buddha Vajradhara. Thee individual in this tradition is allowed to visualize his root Guru as Buddha Vajradhara. Guru Tilopa is said to have received Mahamudra instruction directly from Buddha Vajradhara through visions and other extraordinary means.

In Nispannayogavali, Vajradhara is the main deity in Vajrasattvamandala. He is three faced, six-armed and reddish white in color. His right arm holds a vajra, a sword and a kapala and his left hand holds a bell, an ankush and a noose. He stands in the Ardhaparyanka posture and dances in Tandava style.

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