The Guhyasamāja Tantra is one of the most important scriptures of Tantric Buddhism. In its fullest form, it consists of seventeen chapters, though a separate “explanatory tantra” is sometimes considered to be its eighteenth chapter.
There are two main commentarial traditions on the Guhyasamāja Tantra, the Ārya Tradition and the Jñānapada tradition.
In the practice of the Ārya Tradition, the central deity of the Guhyasamāja is blue-black Akṣobhyavajra, a form of Akṣobhya, one of the five tathāgathas (pañcatathāgata), sometimes called the dhyāni buddhas. Akṣobhyavajra holds a vajra and bell (ghanta) in his first two hands, and other hands hold the symbols of the four other tathāgathas: wheel of Vairocana and lotus of Amitābha in his rights, and gem of Ratnasambhava and sword of Amoghasiddhi in his lefts. The maṇḍala consists of thirty-two deities in all.
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