Female Buddha Mantras

Pandaravasini Female Buddha

Five Female Buddha Mantras and Stories

The female buddhas are generally less well known than their male counterparts. However, the masculine buddhas all have feminine consorts with their own characteristics and mantras. When taken together, the masculine and feminine forms are a balanced whole.

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Female Buddhas and Their Counterparts

The female buddhas are generally less well known than their male counterparts. However, the masculine buddhas all have female Buddha consorts with their own characteristics and mantras. When taken together, the masculine and feminine forms are a balanced whole.

Role of Deities in Buddhism
Buddhist deities are viewed as aspects of one God rather than separate beings. They are used to help the seeker visualize, concentrate on and internalize a specific aspect of God. In addition to the female Buddhas, the mother of Siddhartha Gautama is also revered, much like the Virgin Mary or Mother Mary in Catholicism.

Five Female Dhyani Buddhas
This article includes the five female buddhas associated with the Five Dhyani buddhas: Pandavarasini (counterpart of Amitabha), Locana (counterpart of Akshobhya), Mamaki (counterpart of Ratnasanbhava), Tara (counterpart of Amoghasiddhi) and Akasadhatesvari (counterpart of Vairocana). 

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Female Buddha Pandaravasini: Queen of the Lotus

Pandaravasini is the consort of Amitabha, one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas. The five Dhyani Buddhas are said to have existed since the beginning of time. They represent or symbolize divine principles or forces. They are self-born. The word dhyani is derived from the Sanskrit dhyana meaning “meditation.” The Dhyani Buddhas are also called Jinas, meaning Victors or Conquerors.

Symbols of the Female Buddha Pandaravasini
Pandaravasini’s name means the White Robed One. This suggests that she is vested with purity. She is also associated with the color light red. Pandaravasini holds her hands together at her breast in the anjali mudra, and is clasping the stems of two lotuses. On the lotus at her left shoulder rests a vajra bell. On the lotus at her right shoulder rests a vase of immortality.

Mantra for a Female Buddha: Pandaravasini
Pandaravasini’s mantra is “Om Padmadevi Pushpadevi Pam Svaha.”  Padma means a lotus flower and devi means a goddess or queen. Pushpa also means a flower. This mantra honors Pandaravasini as the goddess of the lotus and of flowers. 

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Characteristics of Pandavarasini

Color: Red
Element: Fire
Symbol: Lotus
Direction: West

Mudra: Devotion
Seed Syllable: PAM
Overcomes: Craving
Function: Attracting

Wisdom: Discrimination
Consort: Amitabha
Animal: Phoenix
Name: White-Robed One

NOTE: My resource for the female Buddha characteristics in this article and a treasure trove for more information is the book The Five Female Buddhas by Vessantra (Tony McMahon). Vessantra is also the author of Female Deities in Buddhism.

Female Buddha Locana: Mirror-Like Wisdom

Locana (sometimes spelled Lochana) is a female Buddha who is the feminine counterpart of Akshobya, one of the five Dhyani Buddhas. Her name means “The One with the Eye,” or the “Clear Visioned One.” She is associated with pure awareness, she represents the pure, simple, direct awareness of things as they are. Lochana is associated with a pale blue color.

Vajra Thunderbolt Locana Female Buddha Symbol
Vajra Thunderbolt of Locana

Mantra for a Female Buddha: Lochana
Locana’s mantra is “Om Vajra Locana Lom Svaha.” Lochana’s left hand is in the dhyani mudra and holds a vajra-bell. Her right hand is in the bhumisparsa mudra and holds a five-pointed vajra. Vajra means a thunderbolt or mystical weapon. Lom is the seed syllable for Locana. Seed syllables are the fundamental essence of a being or vibration. Learn more in the article One Word Mantras.

Characteristics of Locana

Color: Blue
Element: Water
Symbol: Vajra
Direction: East

Mudra: Supreme Giving
Seed Syllable: LOM
Overcomes: Hatred
Function: Destroying

Wisdom: Mirror-like
Consort: Akshobhya
Animal: Polar Bear
Name: Clear Vision One

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Female Buddha Mamaki: Mine-Maker

Mamaki is the female Buddha who is the consort of Ratnasambhava, one of the Five Dyhani Buddhas. Ratne means jewel. Suratne means a good or virtuous jewel. Mung (or mam) is the seed syllable of Mamaki. Her name means “mine-maker,” or “she who makes everything her own.” Mamaki’s color is yellow. Her right hand is in the varada mudra. Her left hand holds a lotus which rests on a vajra bell.

Mantra for a Female Buddha: Mamaki
Lyrics for this mantra to Mamaki:

Mamaki, Mamaki, Buddha Mama (2x)
Om Ratne Suratne Mung Svaha (2x)
Buddha Mama Mamaki Buddha Mama (2x) Lyrics: 

Mantra for Mamaki

Characteristics of the Female Buddha Mamaki

Color: Yellow
Element: Water
Symbol: Jewel
Direction: South

Mudra: Earth-Touching
Seed Syllable: MAM
Overcomes: Pride
Function: Increasing

Wisdom: Sameness
Consort: Ratnasambhava
Animal: Camel
Name: Mine-maker

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Tara: Female Buddha Savioress

Tara is a Buddhist deity known as the goddess of liberation. In the Tibetan pantheon of deities, Tara is the consort of the Dhyani Buddha Amogasiddhi. Tara means “star.” The word-name Tara is variously interpreted as Shining Star, Liberator, Savior, or One Who Ferries Across. Tara is the most powerful female deity in the Buddhist pantheon.

Widespread Devotion to Tara
Tara exists as a goddess in many other traditions and countries, including Hinduism, Polynesian mythology, Druidism, Finland (Tar, Woman of Wisdom), Roman mythology (Terra, Earth Mother), and South America (the goddess Tarahumara). Tara is one of the most important deities in Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia. Her Tibetan name is Drolma, meaning “she who sees.”

Symbolism of the Female Buddha Tara
The bodhisattva Tara is said to have been born out of the tears of Avolokitesvara as he looked down on the sorrows of the world. (See full story below.) Tara’s right hand is in the mudra or gesture of giving. her left hand is in the mudra of fearlessness. Depictions of Tara show her left leg tucked up in a meditation pose. Her right leg is stepping down into the world.

The Forms of Tara

There are 21 major forms of Tara, sometimes associated with colors. The Taras are a set of Bodhisattvas with varying qualities. Some of the more well-known are the following:

Green Tara: embodies compassion
Red Tara: a fierce goddess who magnetizes all good things
Black Tara: associated with power
Yellow Tara: associated with wealth and prosperity
Blue Tara: transmutation of anger

Names of Tara in Her Mantra
Tara is a Bodhisattva of compassion in action who manifests in female form. This mantra is called the Green Tara Mantra, a traditional Buddhist chant. The central part of Tara’s mantra is a loving play on her name. The variations of her name represent three progressive stages of salvation.

Three Stages of Salvation through Tara
Tāre
 represents salvation from mundane dangers and suffering. Tuttāre represents deliverance into the spiritual path conceived in terms of individual salvation. Lastly, Ture represents the culmination of the spiritual path in terms of deliverance into the altruistic path of universal salvation – the Bodhisattva path. 

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A Story about Tara

Tara is said to have been born out of the tears of compassion of Avalokitesvara. As he wept, a lake formed. A lotus sprang up. When the lotus opened, the goddess Tara emerged. In another story, Tara existed as a young princess named Yeshe Dawa, which means “wise moon.”

Becoming a Female Buddha
Yeshe Dawa had achieved great results in her spritual practice. A monk suggested that she pray to be born as a man in order to make further progress. At that, Yeshe replied that she vowed to be born as a woman in every lifetime. She also vowed to attain Buddhahood as a woman.

Mastery in Many World Systems
After this declaration, Yeshe entered a state of uninterrupted meditation for ten million years. This allowed her to manifest supreme enlightenment in many world systems. One of those world systems is ours. In our world system, she manifests as Tara.

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Characteristics of the Female Buddha Tara

Chant to Akasa Dhatvisvara, the consort of Vairochana. Her name means “the sovereign lady of the sphere of infinite space.” She holds a blooming lotus in each hand and is associated with the symbols of the dharmacakra (the wheel of dharma) and the vajra-bell (lightning bell).

Color: Green
Element: Air
Symbol: Crossed Vajra
Direction: Center  

Mudra: Ringing Vajra Bell
Seed Syllable: TAM
Overcomes: Envy & Fear
Function: All Functions

Wisdom: All Phenomena
Consort: Amoghasiddhi
Animal: Lioness
Name: Shining Star

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Dhatvishvari Female Buddha: Sovereign Lady

Dhatvishvari is the female buddha who is the consort of Vairochana. Her full name Akasa Dhatvishvari means “the sovereign lady of the sphere of infinite space.” She holds a blooming lotus in each hand. On her right shoulder is the symbol of the dharma cakra (the wheel of dharma). On the left is the vajra-bell (lightning bell). Dhatvishvari is associated with the color white.

Symbolism of Dhatvishvari
In mandalas of the five dhayani buddhas and their consorts, Akasadhatesvari sits in the center of the mandala. Thus, she embodies and harmonizes the qualities of all of the female buddhas as well as their male counterparts. She is said to ride a lion. This may be a reference to the “lion’s roar” which is a the proclamation of the truth of the Buddha’s teaching.

Color: White
Element: Space
Symbol: Wheel of Dharma
Direction: Center

Mudra: Turning Wheel
Seed Syllable: AM
Overcomes: Ignorance
Function: Pacifying

Wisdom: Truth
Consort: Vairocana
Animal: Lioness
Name: Sovereign Lady

Om Sarva Buddha

Female Buddha Article Summary

This article features the five female buddhas that are the counterparts to the Five Dhyani Buddhas. Each of these female buddhas have their own seed syllables, symbols, and other characteristics. The articles provides a description of these Buddhist deities with sound tracks as examples of mantras to each of them.  

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Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew, and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.

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