"The Five Buddha Families: Symbols and Philosophy
2525 W Pikes Peak Ave, Suite B
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Vajra Vidya of Colorado Springs has invited the Himalayan School of Art founder, Chelsea Beach, to lecture on topics related to iconography and philosophy. The first lecture is on the topic of the Five Buddha Families.
The Five Buddhas occupy a great space within Vajrayana Buddhism (tantric Buddhism from the Himalayan region). They are the seed from which all of the divine figures in Vajrayana Art bloom.
The Five Buddhas are inherent in virtually every tantric work of art, whether or not they are present in figurative form. By studying each Buddha and their symbolic representations we are effectively studying the foundations of Buddhist philosophy and are then able to read Buddhist Art as if it were a text.
The Five Buddhas are conceptual Buddhas that correspond to five negative aspects of mind and five wisdoms. The five wisdoms are viewed as five aspects that concertedly form the enlightened mind. Each Buddha is the head of a family. All subsequent figures in Vajrayana Buddhism can be categorized into these five families and thereby the concept fundamental to a particular family.
Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners use visualization practices to gain insight and wisdom. This lecture is very useful to enhance practitioners understanding of the gargantuan collection of texts, practices and images by beginning at the root.