Chenrezig / AvalokitesvaraThe five-pointed crown on the head symbolizes that Chenrezig embodies the five wisdoms: Dharmadhatu or wisdom of the all-pervading elements of Dharma, Mirror-like wisdom, Equanimity wisdom, Discriminating wisdom, and Allaccomplishing wisdom. His two earrings symbolize wisdom and method, or the two truths (relative and ultimate). His one face symbolizes that the nature of every buddha is the same. He wears the skin of a magical deer, the krishnasara, over his left shoulder. Only those who are pure of heart can see such a deer because he can understand the thoughts and language of men. The soft, compassionate eyes of a deer evoke Chenrezigs name he who gazes compassionately. The arm bracelets, bracelets, and ankle bracelets together symbolize perfection of the six paramitas. The three necklaces symbolize the perfection of the three kayas: the Nirmanakaya, the Sambhogakaya, and Dharmakaya. Four arms symbolize his four activities: peaceful, powerful, increasing, and forceful. Two hands hold the wish-fulfilling gem, which symbolizes the great compassion and indomitable courage. When courage is combined with great compassion, there is peace, joy, and harmony. This is the greatest way to fulfill wishes. This kind of peace and harmony allows no fear because it is achieved from within the mind. The upper right hand holding a crystal rosary symbolizes liberating sentient beings, drawing them toward enlightenment with pure and precise activity or manifestation. The lotus that he holds in his upper left hand shows sentient being's benefit through great wisdom. He is seated in the vajra asana, or lotus posture, showing that he is non-abiding; he neither abides in samsara nor in nirvana. Being free from all the obscurations of samsara, he does not belong there. He does not belong to nirvana because the compassion of bodhisattvas and buddhas wont let them rest. But while benefitting sentient beings, their minds are free from all delusions, so it is called the non-abiding posture. The moon disc lies on top of the lotus flower and symbolizes great compassion. The lotus flower seat symbolizes the pure nature of great wisdom.
Buddha AmitabhaHis one face symbolizes the one Dharmakaya. Two hands symbolize method and wisdom. The mudra of equipoise symbolizes that they are inseparable, one upon another. We can say that, This is method and that is wisdom but in fact
the two are inseparable. The bowl filled with wisdom nectar symbolizes that Buddha Amitabha's wisdom mind as completely filled with excellent qualities. He fulfills all the wishes of sentient beings, buddhas and bodhisattvas without any discrimination or differentiation. He wears the three Dharma robes, consisting of the lower garment and the two upper, yellow robes. These symbolize the three pitakas, or baskets, of teachings(Vinaya, Sutra, and Abhidharma). They can also represent the three trainings of morality, meditation, and wisdom. Buddha Amitabha is wearing these three pitakas or trainings because they are the special remedy or antidote to purify ignorance, hatred, and desire. The moon disc, symbolizing compassion rests on a sun disc. The sun disc, above a lotus, symbolizes clarity. As sunlight dispels darkness, likewise when the intuitive wisdom of critical sight arises in the mind it dispels all the darkness of ignorance. All the afflicting emotions are purified. The sun dispels the suffering of cold, and the moon dispels the suffering of heat. While in samsara we suffer from the heat and cold. By making this his seat, it shows that Amitabha has conquered all suffering. His lotus throne is supported by peacocks, which symbolize transformation. It is said that peacocks can eat poison, digest it, transform it, and not be affected by the poison. So, the peacock transforms negative qualities into positive. Similarly, our negative emotions transform into wisdom.
VajrapaniVajrapani is surrounded by the vajra-fire mountain circle, a huge circle of vajra-fire mountains, as if the whole universe were on fire. Vajra fire means wisdom fire, and is a form of protection. The tiara of five dry skulls symbolizes the five wisdoms. His flame-colored hair symbolizes burning all the obstacles and ignorance. The garland of fifty freshly severed heads around his neck indicates that the fifty afflicted mental factors have been transformed into wisdom. Eight nagas adorn his neck and head. A naga is a snake or water spirit, and the eight that
Vajrapani wears are the eight kings of the nagas. This means that there is nothing that he cannot subjugate. The five-pointed golden vajra that he holds in his right hand symbolizes indestructible wisdom. He uses the vajra lasso in his left hand, making the subduing mudra, to bind and destroy harmful demons and enemies of the Dharma. As a result, wisdom is bound to the minds of practitioners. His tiger-skin skirt symbolizes fearlessness. The sun disc above the lotus base shows his clear wisdom. The lotus base shown the purity of his mind.