I have a research and I need to know all the names of angels in different religions and their actions, and since I am an Arab, my sources are not enough and I need the names of the angels in Buddhism

4 Answers 4


There is no matching concept for the Abrahamic angelic doctrine, because the existence of god(s) is quite irrelevant to the goal of Buddhism: enlightenment, which can only be gained through personal experience.

The only two concepts that could be confused with angels are devas (the same root as our word "divine") and bodhisattvas. However they differ in a number of key properties with the idea of angels.

A deva in Buddhism is one of many different types of non-human beings who share the godlike characteristics of being more powerful, longer-lived, and, in general, much happier than humans, although the same level of veneration is not paid to them as to buddhas (humans). However, they are still mortal and unenlightened. In Buddhism, the human form is the primary form for attainment.

Bodhisattvas in most schools of Mahayana Buddhism are humans who attained enlightenment, but chose not to enter Nirvana, but go back into the world to help other beings gain attainment.

  • There are also brahmas.
    – ruben2020
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 8:53
  • A brahma is a deva in the heavenly realms of Saṃsāra
    – Codosaur
    Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 8:07

Possibly the most important angel (deva) in Buddhism is Brahmā Sahampati, who urged the newly awakened Buddha to teach (after the Buddha made the decision to not teach people).

Then, bhikkhus, the Brahmā Sahampati knew with his mind the thought in my mind and he considered: ‘The world will be lost, the world will perish, since the mind of the Tathāgata, accomplished and fully enlightened, inclines to inaction rather than to teaching the Dhamma.’ Then, just as quickly as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, the Brahmā Sahampati vanished in the Brahma-world and appeared before me. He arranged his upper robe on one shoulder, and extending his hands in reverential salutation towards me, said: ‘Venerable sir, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma, let the Sublime One teach the Dhamma. There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are wasting through not hearing the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.’

MN 26


Check out sn11.3;

"Monks, I shall relate a former incident. There arose a battle between the Devas (gods) and Asuras. Then Sakka, the Lord of the devas, addressed the devas of the Tavatimsa heaven thus:

"'Happy ones, if the devas who have gone to the battle should experience fear or terror or suffer from hair standing on end, let them behold the crest of my own banner. If you do so, any fear, terror or hair standing on end arising in you will pass away.

"'If you fail to look up to the crest of my banner, look at the crest of the banner of Pajapati, King of gods. If you do so, any fear, terror or hair standing on end arising in you will pass away.

"'If you fail to look up to the crest of Pajapati, King of the gods, look at the crest of the banner of Varuna, King of the gods. If you do so, any fear, terror or hair standing on end arising in you will pass away.'

There are several stories about the actions of Sakka and a whole collection of texts is dedicated to him , it's called Sakkasamyutta found in the Samyutta Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka.

There are many names of gods in the Atanatiya Sutta; https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.32.0.piya.html

There are several dialogues in which devas participate in the https://suttacentral.net/sn1 Devata Samyutta Also in https://suttacentral.net/sn2 Devaputta Samyutta

Also many are scattered throughout the other collections.

There are many stories about various non-humans who do things, too many to list here and you can definitely add more details as to narrow it down as to your interest.

Here is a good one;

Then the Ajakalāpaka spirit — wanting to cause fear, terror, & horripilation in the Blessed One — went to him and, on arrival, not far from him, three times made a commotion & pandemonium: "Commotion & pandemonium! Commotion & pandemonium! Commotion & pandemonium! — That's a goblin for you, contemplative!"

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed: When, with regard to his own qualities,[1] a brahman is one who has gone beyond, he transcends this goblin and his pandemonium.

There are several which name a spirit in a similar context.

If you want to list all Buddhist deities it is a lot of work as there are many deities and many schools of Buddhism which often have different deities and sometimes use different names for those that are common.


How are you doing with the Abrahamic angels? I wrote a post about angels, outlining how that word is from the Greek for messenger, and in Christian theology they are a job rather than a specific type or groups of being - angels are messengers and agents of divinity: are-angels-rational-or-irrational-beings There are various heavenly beings like cherubim, seraphim & orephim, which can act as angels. But so can humans, or their manifestations as humans.

By this understanding of angels as the messengers or agents of the divine plan, in Mahayana Buddhism (Chinese, Korean, Japanes & Tibetan) the equivalent are bodhisattvas.

The oldest and most widespread boddhisattva venerated across the Mahayana world is Manjushri, bodhisattva of transcendent wisdom. His attribute is said to be a 'diamond sword', for cutting attachments.

The second most widespread, is Avalokitesvara bodhisattva of compassion, who is said to embody the compassion of all Buddhas, and who's attribute is to be present in 'the thousand hands and eyes of compassion', so is often represented with many arms and a tower of heads.

After these, the schools differ.

In China, Korea, and Japan, it would be Ksitigharba bodhisattva, 'earth store bodhisattva', who's attribute is a lantern staff to break down the doors of hell.

In Tibetan Buddhism it would be Vajrapani, protector of Buddhas and manifestor of their power, who's attribute is the vajra or lightning-hammer, representing both sudden insight and power, and also called 'bodhisattva of secrets' as guardian of the initiate tantra paths.

There are a number of others, but I would describe these as the leading ones, with the widest observences & prayers to. They have different names in each different language, so I have just given the Sanskrit.

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