(Skt.; Pāli; world protector).
In Buddhist mythology the four guardians of the world who stand at the four cardinal points and protect the world and Buddhist teachings. Often known as ‘the regents of the four directions’ or the ‘four great kings’ (caturmahārāja) they are gods who inhabit the lowest heaven above the human world. Statues of the four lokapālas are often found guarding religious sites.