are the five Dhyani Buddhas. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the Adi-Buddha, the primordial and highest being, created the Dhyani Buddhas by the power of meditation. The word 'Dhyani' is derived from the Sanskrit 'dhyana', meaning 'meditation.' Dhyani Buddhas are alternately known as Jinas ('Victors' or 'Conquerors') and are considered to be great healers of the mind and soul. They symbolize universal divine principles or forces and are not historical figures like the Buddha
Each Dhyani Buddha symbolises one of the five wisdoms, which act as antidote to the five deadly poisons that hamper man's spiritual progress and keep him attached to worldly existence. Each Buddha rules over one of the directions of space and one of the cosmic realms of ether, water, earth, fire and air. The Dhyani Buddhas also personify the five skandhas, namely consciousness, form, feeling, perception and volition.
Each Dhyani Buddha is associated with a specific color, mudra (hand gesture), symbolic animal, sacred symbol and bija (seed syllable). The bija is the essence of the Dhyani Buddha. Dhyani Buddhas are usually represented in a mandala, a circle denoting the entirety and perfection of Buddhahood. Buddhists use mandalas to help them in meditation and visualization. Mandalas are usually painted on thangkas, drawn with colored sand, represented by heaps of rice, or constructed three dimensionally, often in cast metal. A Dhyani Buddha is positioned in the center as well as on each of the cardinal points of the mandala.
The Tibetan buddhists believe that one can actually experience entry into the realm of the mandala and receive blesssings. To them, a mandala maps the step by step path to self-transformation and mystic union.