An Encyclopaedia of Buddhist Deities, Demigods, Godlings, Saints and Demons
Author: Bunce, Fredrick W.
Beginning with a few aniconic symbols, like foot prints, a throne, the Bo tree or stupas, in the prechristian Indian art, Buddhism came to evolve a variety of picturesque representations of a Self-Existent, Superimmanent Principle: in myriad forms and emanations that range from the superbly magnificent to sheerly grotesque. Endowed with diverse iconographic attributes, Buddhist deities/saints/demons have grown, over the rolling centuries, into bewildering numbers, legions. Which all, leave alone the neophytes, not even the best of scholars can recognize! The names of the divinities and their cultural/regional perceptions â€” owing largely to the plurality of Buddhist pantheons, have only gone on to further complicate their identification.