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Dainichi Nyorai (Great Sun Buddha) by Unkei, lacquered wood sculpture, 1175; in the —Asuka-en, Japan
In Mahayana and tantric Buddhism, the supreme buddha who is the cosmic counterpart of Sakyamuni in his teaching mode. He is the most prominent of the five self-born buddhas, those who were born as humans to propagate the dharma. Though without canonical basis, Vairocana holds a special place in Tibetan Buddhism and has a special role in the Avatamsaka-sutra, in which he is the solar buddha who is both the ultimate reality of the cosmos and the one who pervades its component parts.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Vairocana, visit Britannica.com.
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