article David Colello

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Buddhism Deity
By: David Colello, 2009

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Fudo-Myo-o is a truly terrifying deity venerated by the Shingon sect of Japanese esoteric Buddhism. While anger and wrath hardly fit the typical picture that westerners have in their minds of what Buddhism is all about, this deity is a central figure in the Myo-o, or Wisdom Kings. These warrior deities have their origin in the Hindu pantheon, and were adopted by certain sects of Buddhism as it spread through Asia and into Japan over a thousand years ago.

Fudo-Myo-o uses his fearful visage to scare people out of their ignorance and slothfulness and strike down demons. He is often shown with a sword, which is named kurikara, in one hand and a rope in the other. Both of these are symbolic of his work. The sword shows his warlike nature and is what he uses to slice through wrong-doing and evil. With the rope he binds up the spirits and demons that he vanquishes so that they cannot come back to threaten the people that he protects. Far from a mindless soldier, he is one of the protectors of the various Buddha throughout the ages, particularly Dainichi Buddha.

Another central quality of Fudo-Myo-o is his complete control over all carnal desires. He cannot be swayed by temptations of the flesh, and is often thought of as being as solid as a rock in his control. He is thus shown standing or sitting on rocks to remind people of his mastery of desire. As do most Buddhist deities, Fudo-Myo-o is usually shown with a third eye in his forehead which represents his enlightened nature. He is attended by the Eight Great Youths, although typically only Kongara Doji and Seitaka Doji are shown in artwork.

He literally does battle with evil, much like the Greek gods did in Western culture. Buddhism is typically thought of as a passive, peaceful religion by Western culture, but its polytheistic nature leaves room for many gods of various temperaments. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all have versions of this type of deity in their pasts, but have opted to no longer revere them.

Buddhism is focused more on each individual's struggle to become enlightened and break free of the delusion and suffering found in the world. Every person deals with this struggle in a different way, and countless sects have arisen revering deities that represent their path best. Fudo-Myo-o, the Immovable Wisdom King is revered by those who prefer an active battle with the ignorance in their lives.

- source : www.humanities360.com


. - Join Fudo Myo-O on facebook - Fudō Myō-ō .


. Pilgrimages to Fudo Temples 不動明王巡礼
Fudo Myo-O Junrei - Fudo Pilgrims .



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