Guardians of the Universe

Tibetan: འཇིག་རྟེན་སྐྱོང་བ།, Wylie: ‘jig rten skyong ba, Sanskrit: Lokapāla.

Also known as Four Great Kings (Tibetan: རྒྱལ་ཆེན་སྡེ་བཞི།, Wylie: rgyal chen sde bzhi, Sanskrit: Catur Mahārāja).

The Guardians of the Universe are four gods or deities who live on the lower slopes (fourth level) of Mount Meru in the Heaven of the Four Great Kings and guard the four cardinal directions. Each of them are leaders of a semi-divine class of beings living in their realm.

The Four Great Kings:

Dhritarashtra ཡུལ་འཁོར་སྲུང་། – Guardian King of the East and chief of the gandharvas དྲི་ཟ། (the musicians of the heavens).

Virudhaka འཕགས་སྐྱེས་པོ། – Guardian King of the South and leader of the kumbhandas གྲུལ་བུམ། (fierce beings who reside in the desire realms of the heavens).

Virupaksha སྤྱན་མི་བཟང་། – Guardian King of the West and leader of the nagas ཀླུ། (serpent spirits)

Vaishravana རྣམ་ཐོས་སྲས། – Guardian King of the North and leader of the yakshas གནོད་སྤྱིན། (Yakshas are powerful beings, some times beneficent and sometimes malignant)

Source: Rigpa Wiki – Four Great Kings

Dhritarashtra ཡུལ་འཁོར་སྲུང་།

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