Death Terminator; Destroyer of Death; The Diamond Terrifier; The Diamond Terror; The Solitary Hero


Vajrabhairava; Vajra Bhairava


Bodhisattva; Buddha; Yidam

Yamantaka triumphs over evil, suffering, death, and delusion. He strikes fear into forces of evil. They quake before him, thus his image serves as an amulet to dispel malicious ghosts and spirits. There are three forms of Yamantaka:

• Yamantaka Vajrabhairava, Diamond Terrifier, the most famous form (multicolored)

• Yamantaka Krishnayamari (Black Yamantaka)

• Yamantaka Raktayamari (Red Yamantaka)

Yamantaka’s original root identity is subject to debate:

• He may be an indigenous Tibetan spirit incorporated into Buddhist cosmology.

• He may be Shiva in disguise.

• He may be a wrathful form of the Bodhisattva Manjushri.

• He may be a manifestation of a Buddha form of Manjushri.

Yamantaka represents the victory of wisdom and knowledge over death, whether literally or metaphorically. (Buddhism associates ignorance with a form of death.)

Meditating on Yamantaka’s image helps develop the strength to confront death: not necessarily to defeat it but to comprehend and accept death without fear or anger.


Yamantaka is a man with a buffalo’s head.


Vajravetali, the Diamond Zombie


  • Bodhisattva
  • Manjushri
  • Vajravetali
  • Yama
  • Yama Dharmarajah


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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