- Guardians of the directions
The Guardians of the Directions (Sanskrit: दिक्पाल, Dikpāla) are the deities who rule the specific directions of space according to Hinduism and Vajrayāna Buddhism—especially Kālacakra. As a group of eight deities, they are called Aṣṭa-Dikpāla (अष्ट-दिक्पाल), literally meaning guardians of eight directions. They are often augmented with two extra deities for the ten directions (the two extra directions being zenith and nadir), when they are known as the Daśa-dikpāla. In Hinduism it is traditional to represent their images on the walls and ceilings of Hindu temples. In ancient Java the nine guardian gods of directions is called Dewata Nawa Sanga (Nine guardian devata), the diagram of these guardian gods of directions is featured in Surya Majapahit, the emblem of Majapahit empire.
Names and attributes
The names of the Dikpālas vary slightly, but generally include the following:
Name Direction Mantra Weapon Consort Graha (Planet) Guardian Matrika Kubera North Oṃ Shaṃ Kuberāya Namaḥ Gadā (mace) Kuberajāyā Budha (Mercury) Kumari Yama South Oṃ Maṃ Yamāya Namaḥ Daṇḍa(staff) Yami Maṅgala (Mars) Varahi Indra East Oṃ Laṃ Indrāya Namaḥ Vajra (thunderbolt) Śacī Sūrya (Sun) Aindri Varuṇa West Oṃ Vaṃ Varuṇāya Namaḥ Pāśa (noose) Nalani Śani (Saturn) Varuni Īśāna Northeast Oṃ Haṃ Īśānāya Namaḥ Triśūla (trident) Parvati Brihaspati (Jupiter) Māheśvarī Agni Southeast Oṃ Raṃ Agnaye Namaḥ Śakti(Spear) Svāhā Śukra (Venus) Meshavahini Vāyu Northwest Oṃ Yaṃ Vayuve Namaḥ Aṅkuśa (goad) Bharati Chandra (Moon) Mrigavahini Nirṛti (sometimes Rakṣasa) Southwest Oṃ Kṣaṃ Rakṣasāya Namaḥ Khaḍga (sword) Khaḍgī Rāhu (North Lunar Node) Khadagadharini Viṣṇu Nadir Oṃ Klim Vishnave Namaḥ Chakra (discus) Lakṣmī Lagna Vaishnavi Brahmā Zenith Oṃ Hriṃ Brahmaṇe Namaḥ Padma (lotus) Sarasvatī Ketu (South Lunar Node) Brahmani
Directions in Hindu tradition
Directions in Hindu tradition are called as Diśa, Disha or Dik. There are four primary directions and a total of 10 directions.
English Sanskrit East Pūrva, Prāchi, Prāk West Paścima, Pratīchi, Apara North Uttara, Udīchi South Dakshina, Avāchi North-East Īśānya South-East Āgneya North-West Vāyavya South-West Nairṛti Zenith Ūrdhva Nadir Adho
Images of the Lokapālas are usually placed in pairs at the entrance to tombs. As Guardians they can call upon the spirits of the next world to help them protect the tomb if necessary.
- The Gods of the Directions in Ancient India. Origin and Early Development in Art and Literature (until c. 1000 A.D.), Berlin: Dietrich Reimer 2001 (ISBN 3-496-02713-4) by Corinna Wessels-Mevissen
Hindu deities and texts Gods Goddesses Texts
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