The 12 representative Zodiac Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

The 12 representative Zodiac Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

What is the connection between Chinese zodiacs and the eight zodiac guardians?

Eight zodiac guardians are linked with each of the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs. Each guardian acts as a protector  for those born in that animal year.

The zodiac guardian bestows good fortune on individuals and enables them to accomplish breakthrough achievements in their profession, business, investment, health, and relationships with those who practice good deeds.

The eight zodiac guardians and their associated zodiac signs are as follows:

The 12 representative Zodiac Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

The 12 representative Zodiac  Bodhisattva Guardians 


The Mahāsaṃnipāta Sutra is one of the collections of Mahayana Buddhist sutras. It is also known as "the Sutra of the Great Assembly" in the West.

According to scripture, the origin of the twelve zodiac signs is the incarnation of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. They protect and teach all living things by guarding the four cardinal directions and the core center.  And each zodiac has a specific guardian that protects the wearer. 

 

Representing Zodiac’s Bodhisattvas 


Zodiac

Representing Bodhisattvas

Seed Syllable

Pronounced as

Mouse


 Avalokiteśvara


/Hriːh/ (Ha-Ra-Ee-Mm)

Avalokitesvara is a bodhisattva who embodies all Buddhas' compassion. Given the meaning of "one who always looks upon all beings (with compassion) and offers redemption to the world's living beings. Avalokitesvara enlightened beings who are destined to become Buddha but delay his enlightenment in order to save humanity. 


Ox

Tiger

 

Ākāśagarbha


/Trāḥ/

(Te-Rah)

 

Akasagarbha is reckoned as one of the eight great bodhisattvas. His name translates as "boundless space treasury" or "void store" since his wisdom is considered to be as limitless as space itself. He is a never-ending storehouse of wisdom and merit. His samadhi resembles the sea. His pure precepts are like mountains. His wisdom is as vast as space. His efforts are as fleeting as the wind. His tolerance is as hard as a diamond. His wisdom is like the Ganges sands. He is the proper guide for humans, as well as a safe haven for both preta-s and animals. As a result, he is entitled to ultimate offerings from all beings.


Rabbit


Mañjuśrī


/Maṃ/

(Mom)

In Mahayana Buddhism, Manjusri is a bodhisattva who resembles wisdom. His name translates to "Gentle Glory" .The scripture that he has in his left hand is a Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom. Manjuri is portrayed as a male bodhisattva with a flaming sword in his right hand, signifying the realization of transcendent wisdom that eliminates ignorance and duality. 


Dragon

Snake


Samantabhadra


/Aṃ/

(A-M)

The Samantabhadra bodhisattva is a Mahayana Buddhist bodhisattva who embodies kindness or happiness. And his name means "All Good" or "Universal Worthy". He began with the practice of meditation and repentance. He is commonly portrayed together with the Buddha Shakyamuni and the Bodhisattva Manjushri. He is frequently shown as a three-headed elephant or a single-headed elephant with six tusks.


Horse


 Mahāsthāmaprāpta


/Saḥ/

(Sa)

Mahasthamaprapta is a bodhisattva mahasattva who symbolizes the power of wisdom. His name literally translates to "arrival of great strength." Mahasthamaprapta is one of the oldest and most powerful bodhisattvas, particularly in the Pure Land school, where he plays a key role in the Longer Sukhavativyuha Sutra. Often, he is shown as part of a trio with Amitabha and Avalokitesvara (Guanyin).

Mahāsthāmaprāpta attained enlightenment through the practice of chanting. In the context of the Pure Land, chanting often refers to the repetition of Amitabha's name, or constant pure mindfulness of AmitbhaAmitābha, in order to achieve samādhi.

The moon represents Mahāsthāmaprāpta in the Amitayurdhyana Sutra, whereas the sun represents Avalokitesvara.


Goat

Monkey


Vairocana


/Aːh/

(A)


Vairocana Buddha is regarded as a cosmic Buddha, also referred to as Mahāvairocana, personifying the dharmakaya and the enlightenment of wisdom. He is one of the five Dhyani Buddhas. Vairocana, who is a Primordial Buddha, sits in the center.

In ancient Sanskrit, the name "Vairocana" means "embodiment of light" or "luminous." He represents the transformation of ignorance into wisdom, and the Mantra of Light.


Rooster


Acalanātha


/Hāṃ/

(Hum)

The Mahayana deity Acalanātha, whose name means "immovable protector," Acala was incorporated into Vajrayana Buddhism as a servant of the Buddha. A powerful deity who protects the practitioners by burning away all impediments (antarāya) and defilements (kleśa), thus aiding them towards enlightenment. After Vairocana' s vow to save all beings, Acalanātha follows him to remove obstacles for the ones to enlightenment. Indeed, the tantra tells the ritualist to recite Acala's mantras or think of him/herself as Acala in order to get rid of problems.


Dog

Pig


Amitābha


/Hriːh/

(Ha-Ra-Ee-Mm)

The Historical Buddha, or "Awakened One," is Siddhartha Gautama, a prince who lived around 2,500 years ago. His enlightenment set him free from the cycle of reincarnation, and his teachings became the basis of Buddhism. Amitabha means "infinite light" in Sanskrit. Amitabha is also known as Amitayus ("Infinite Life"). He is represented in his paradise, Sukhavati, the Western Pure Land, one of the five Cosmic Buddhas of Esoteric Buddhism. The faith grew at an incredible speed.

 

 


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