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Temple Five Directions Buddhas

As you climb up onto the roof from one of the four corner staircases, you will come upon one of the 4 small pavilions, which houses one of the Five Buddhas of the Cardinal Points. When you look towards the center of the roof level, you will see a large, tall Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda housing the large Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel, in the center. You will also notice the other pavilions with their respective Buddhas of the Cardinal Points. The open orchid garden in between is filled with numerous Dendrobium Buddha Tooth orchid plants and other orchid plants as well as local trees and shrubs.
Five Directions Buddhas in BTRTM
There is a Pagoda in the center and a Pavilion in each of the four corners of the top floor, in which the Five Jinas (Conquerors), or Five Great Buddhas of Wisdom, or Five Buddhas of the Cardinal Points are enshrined and worshipped. They are:

Vairocana Buddha (Resplendent Buddha) of the Center Realm (shown on left);

Aksobhya Buddha (Immovable Buddha) of the Eastern Realm of Fragrance;
Ratnaketu (Ratnasambhava) Buddha (Jewel Born Buddha or Buddha of Treasured Appearance) of the Southern Realm of Happiness;
Amitabha Buddha (or Buddha of Limitless Life) of the Western Realm of Tranquillity and Bliss;
Amoghasiddhi Buddha (Infallible Buddha or Buddha of Subtle Hearing), of the Northern Realm of the Lotus.
The five wisdom merits are the Dharmahdatu-prakriti-jnana or the ability to show the Truth, Adarshana-jnana or the ability to see the original nature of all living beings, Samata-jnana or the way to adopt an indifferent attitude, Pratyaveksana-jnana or the ability to see the special character of all living beings, and Krityanushthana-jnana or ability of all complete meritorious.
About Five Dhyani Buddhas
The Five Dhyani Buddhas (Chinese: 金刚界五智如来), Five Direction Buddhas, Five Buddhas of the Cardinal Points (Chinese: 五方佛), Five Wisdom Tathāgatas (Chinese: 五智如来; pinyin: Wǔzhì Rúlái), the Five Great Buddhas, Five Jinas (Sanskrit for “conqueror” or “victor”), and the Five Transcendent Buddhas, are representations of the five qualities of the Buddha. The term “dhyani-buddha” is first recorded in English by the British Resident in Nepal, Brian Hodgson, in the early 19th century, and is unattested in any surviving traditional primary sources.

These five Buddhas are a common subject of Vajrayana mandalas. These five Buddhas are the primary object of worship and meditation in Shingon Buddhism, a school of Vajarayana Buddhism founded in Japan by Kūkai.

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Development of BTRTM Five Directions Buddhas
These statues were handcrafted by Mr Huang Yusuo from Putian, China and handpainted by Shanghai You Shan Guan Decorate Design Co Ltd.
Bibliography:

  1. Lokesh Chandra, Dictionary of Buddhist Iconography, International Academy of Indian Culture and Aditya Prakashan, 1999, Vol 4, pages 1128 – 1129
  2. Louis Frederic, Buddhism, Flammarion Iconographic Guides, 1995, ISBN 2-08013-558-9, page 124 – 146
  3. Meher McArthur, Reading Buddhist Art, An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs & Symbols, Thames & Hudson,2002, pages 34 – 35
  4. Charles F Chicarelli, Buddhist Art, An Illustrated Introduction, Silkworm Books, 2004, ISBN 974-9575-54-7, pages 262 -263
  5. Lokesh Chandra, Fredrick W. Bunce, The Tibetan Iconography of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and other Dieties, D. K. Printworld, 2002, ISBN 81-246-0178-X, pages 162 – 171

Websites:

  1. Five Dhyani Buddhas – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Vairocana – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Symbolism of the five Dhyani Buddhas
  4. Godai Nyorai – The Five Tathagata, Especially Important to Shingon Sect of Esoteric Buddhism in Japan
  5. The Five Buddha Families – Shambhala
  6. Buddha-Family Traits (Buddha Families) and Aspects of Experience
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