The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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In Vajrayana Buddhism, the Diamond Realm (Skt. वज्धातु vajradhātu, Jp. 金剛界 kongōkai) is a metaphysical space inhabited by the Five Wisdom Buddhas. The Diamond Realm Mandala is based on an esoteric Buddhist Sutra called the Vajrasekhara Sutra.
The Diamond Realm is a very popular subject for mandalas, and along with the Womb Realm Mandala (Garbhakosa Mandala forms the Mandala of the Two Realms. This Mandala, along with the Womb Realm, Form the core of Japanese esoteric, or Shingon Buddhist, Rituals, including the initiation or abhisheka Ritual. In this Ritual, new initiates are blindfolded, and are asked to toss a flower upon a Mandala. Where the flower lands helps decide which Buddhist figure the student should devote themselves to.
In traditional Shingon Buddhist halls, the Diamond Realm Mandala is hung on the west wall symbolizing the final realization of Mahā Vairocana Buddha. In this setting, the Womb Realm Mandala is hung on the east wall, symbolizing the young stage of MahāVairocana Buddha.