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MANDALA MENU
Mandala Intro
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Mandala Dieties Dict. You are here.

What’s Esoteric Buddhism? It is one of three main schools of Buddhism, called Vajrayana. The mandala is the mainstay artform of Japan’s Esoteric sects (Tendai 天台 and Shingon 真言). The central deity is Dainichi 大日 Nyorai. Vajrayana's main claim is that it enables a person to reach Nirvana (freedom from suffering or enlightenment) in a single lifetime -- rather than passing through countless lives before achieving salvation. The Three Schools of Buddhism are:

Theravada = Orthodox
Mahayana = Mainstream
Vajrayana = Esoteric

RELATED PAGES
Dainichi Nyorai
Five Buddha
Myo-o (Wrathful Deities)
28 Lunar Mansions
Number FIve

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DEITIES DICTIONARY -- JAPANESE MANDALA
Deities and Deity Groupings
in Japan’s Esoteric Mandala

50 Listings Covering Over 400 Deities

Origin = India
Sanskrit = maṇḍala, मण्डल
English = mandala
Japanese = mandara
Chinese = màntúluó

 

 Listed Alphabetically

Bucchō, Butchō 仏頂 (Buccho, Butcho). Also Bucchōson 仏頂尊 (Butchoson). Literally “Buddha Crown.” A class of Esoteric deities who personify the bump of knowledge (Skt. = Usnisa) atop the Buddha’s head; they often appear as Bodhisattva, and can assume male or female form; in Japan, the Butchō are associated especially with rites for the dead, for their powers include purifying evil karma and liberating people from hell. See Glossary - Daibutchō Mandala for more details.

  • Three Butchō (Sanbucchō, Sanbuccho, Sanbutcho, 三仏頂) known as Kōdai 広大 (Skt. = Mahodgatosnisa), Gokukōdai 広大 (Skt. = Abhyudgatosnisa), and Muhen'onjō 無辺音声 (Skt. = Anantasvaraghosa).
  • Five Butchō (Gobucchō, Gobutcho, 五仏頂). Byakusangai 白傘蓋 (Skt. = Sitatapatrosnisa), Shō 勝 (Skt. = Jayosnisa), Saishō 最勝 (Skt. = Vijayosnisa), Kōju 光聚 (Skt. = Tejorasyusnisa), and Shajo 捨除 (Skt. = Vikiranosnisa)
  • Eight Butchō (Hachibucchō, Hachibutcho, 八仏頂). Three Butchō and Five Butchō; the eight sometimes appear in the Shaka-in 釈迦院 section of the Taizōkai (Taizokai) Mandala and in the Sonshō (Sonsho) Mandala.
  • Nine Butchō (Kubucchō, Kobutcho, 九仏頂). Eight Butchō encircling Dai Butchou 大仏頂 or Shōissai Butchō 摂一切仏頂. See Daibutchō (Daibuccho) Mandala.
  • Ten Butchō (Jūbucchō, Jubutcho, 十仏頂). Nine Butchō and Futsū Butchō 普通仏頂. However, there are variations (e.g., there are different naming conventions for the Butchō, or different enumerations of the eight, nine, or ten).
  • Other Bucchō. Ichijikinrin 一字金輪; Shijōkō Butchō 熾盛光仏頂; two others known as Butchō Sonshō 仏頂尊勝 (Skt. = Vijayosnisa) and Byakusangai 白傘蓋 (Skt. = Sitatapatra) became objects of popular individual cults (i.e., both are popular goddesses in Indo-Tibetan Tantrism).
  • See Glossary - Daibutchō Mandala for more details.

Buddhas of Three Ages and Ten Directions (Sanze Jippō Shobutsu 三世十方諸仏). Also Sanze Jippo Shobutsu. The three ages are past, present, and future. The ten directions are the four cardinal points, the four intermediate directions, and zenith and nadir. See Four Buddha and Five Buddha below for more details.

Four Attendant Bodhisattva (Shishingon 四親近). Known as Vajra Bodhisattva (Jp. = Kongō Bosatsu, Kongo Bosatsu), they surround Ashuku Nyorai in the Kongōkai Mandala. They are:

  • Kongōsatta 金剛薩垂 (Kongosatta; Skt. = Vajrasattva)
  • Kongōō 金剛王 (Kongo-o; Skt. = Vajraraja)
  • Kongōai 金剛愛 (Kongo-ai; Skt. = Vajraraga)
  • Kongōkai 金剛喜 (Kongo-kai; Skt. = Vajrasadhu)

    There are many such deities, known in Sanskrit as the Vajra Bodhisattva. Others include Kongōhō (Kongoho) 金剛宝, Kongōri (Kongori) 金剛利 and Kongōge (Kongoge) 金剛牙. In the Shiin-e 四印会 section of the Kongōkai Mandala, four Vajra Bodhisattva surround Dainichi Nyorai. They are:
     
    • Kongōsatta 金剛薩埵 (East; Skt. = Vajrasattva)
    • Kongōhō 金剛法 (West; Skt. = Vajradharma)
    • Kongōhō 金剛宝 (South; Skt. = Vajraratna)
    • Kongōgyō 金剛業 (North; Skt. = Vadrakarma). 理趣会

    The Vajradhātu Mandala describes numerous Vajra Bodhisattva, those  who carry the snare of compassion to bind the souls of the living. They include:

    • 金剛因菩薩 Vajrahetu
    • 金剛手菩薩 Vajrapāṇi
    • 金剛寶菩薩 Vajraratna
    • 金剛藏菩薩 Vajragarbha
    • 金剛針菩薩 Vajrasūci
    • 金剛將菩薩 Vajrasena
    • 金剛索菩薩 Vajrapāśa
    • 金剛鉤菩薩 Vajrāṅkuśa
    • 金剛香菩薩 Vajradhūpa
    • 金剛光菩薩 Vajratejaḥ
    • 金剛法菩薩 Vajradharma
    • 金剛利菩薩 Vajratīkṣṇa
    • Others
    • Source: Digital Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism
      (C. Muller; sign in as "guest")  

Four Buddha of the Four Directions (Shihō Shibutsu 四方四仏; also Shihō Shibutsu). The first four Buddha said to have appeared during the current era of Buddhist time known as the Auspicious Aeon (Skt. = bhadra-kalpa; Jp. = kengō 賢劫). They correspond to the last four of the Seven Buddha of the Past (kako shichibutsu 過去七仏). The four are Kuruson 拘留孫, Kunagonmuni 拘那含牟尼, Kashō (Kasho) 迦葉, and Shaka 釈迦. However, the grouping varies considerably among sects and nations. See Four Buddha of the Four Regions below for more details.

Four Buddha of the Four Regions (Shibutsu 四仏 or Shihōbutsu 四方四仏, 四方四佛). There are various combinations. Says the Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms by Soothill and Hodous: The four Buddhas of the four regions are  variously stated. The Golden-light Sutra 金光明經 (translated into Chinese in the sixth century and twice later) gives E. 阿閦; S. 寳相; W. 無量壽; N. 微妙聲. The Vairocana Sutra 大日經 (translated into Chinese in the Tang dynasty) gives E. 寳幢; S. 大勤勇遍覺華開敷; W. 仁勝 (i. e. 無量壽); N. 不動, i. e. 鼓音如來. The Vajrasekhara Sutra (Jp. Kongōchōkyō 金剛頂経) gives:

  1. East, world of 香積 abundant fragrance where reigns Akṣobhya 阿閦
  2. South, world of 歡喜 pleasure where reigns 寳相 Ratnaketu
  3. West, world of 安樂 restfulness, or joyful comfort, where reigns Amitābha 無量壽
  4. North, world of 蓮華莊嚴 lotus adornment, where reigns Amoghasiddhi 微妙聲 or Śākyamuni

<Says JAANUS > The first four Buddha said to have appeared during the current era of Buddhist time known as the Auspicious Aeon (Skt. = bhadra-kalpa; Jp. = kengō 賢劫). They also correspond to the last four of the Seven Buddha of the Past (kako shichibutsu 過去七仏). The four are: Kuruson 拘留孫, Kunagonmuni 拘那含牟尼, Kashō迦葉, and Shaka 釈迦. Shibutsu is also a shortened form of Shihō Shibutsu 四方四仏 or "Four Buddha of the Four Directions." Mahayana Buddhism teaches that there are countless Buddha existing in the past, present and future ages, and postulates the existence of an infinite number of world-systems, each with its own Buddha. These Buddha came to be known collectively as the Buddhas of the Three Ages (past, present and future) and the Ten Directions (four cardinal points, four intermediate directions, zenith and nadir). The Japanese term is Sanze Jippō Shobutsu 三世十方諸仏. Eventually, certain Buddha and Bodhisattva came to be associated with particular directions. We usually find Ashuku 阿閦 or Yakushi 薬師 in the east, Amida 阿弥陀 in the west, Miroku 弥勒 in the south, and Shaka in the north. The earliest example of a group of Four Buddhas, found in the KONKOUMYOUKYOU 金光明経 (Sk: Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra, or "Golden Splendor Scripture", ca 4c), is: Ashuku (east), Hōshō  宝生 (south), Muryōju 無量寿 = Amida (west), and Tenkuon 天鼓音 (north). With the addition of a central Buddha there evolves particularly in Esoteric teachings (ca 7c) the concept of Five Buddhas (Gobutsu 五仏), which in turn develops into the five principal Buddhas of the main esoteric mandala -- the Taizoukai 胎蔵界曼荼羅 and Kongoukai 金剛界曼荼羅. The central Buddha of both is Dainichi 大日, while the four surrounding Buddhas differ somewhat. In the Taizoukai, in a clockwise direction starting from the east (right), they are: Hōdō 宝幢, Kaifukeō 開敷華王, Muryōju, and Tenkuraion 天鼓雷音. In the Kongoukai they are Ashuku, Hōshō, Muryōju (aka Amida), and Fukuujōju 不空成就. Thus the concept of the Four Buddhas has played an important role in the development of the mandala. <Source: JAANUS > 

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Four Directional Guardians. See two entries immediately above.

Four Bodhisattva of Four Directions and Their Consorts.
They appear in the Kongōkai Mandala (Rishu-e Panel 理趣会) surrounding Dainichi Nyorai and representing the four directions and four intermediate directions.

  • Kongōyoku 金剛欲 (East; Skt = Vajramanodbhava)
  • Kongōai 金剛愛 (West; Skt. = Vajranismara)
  • Kongōsoku 金剛触 (South; Skt. = Vajrakelikila)
  • Kongōman 金剛慢 (North; Skt. = Vajragarva)
  • These four are often shown together with female consorts, who represent the four intermediate directions.
  • See Glossary - Aizen Mandala

Four Guardians of the Four Directions (Shitennō 四天王). The four are Jikokuten 持国天 (East); Zōchōten 増長天 (South); Kōmokuten 広目天 (West); Tamonten 多門天 (North); governed by Taishakuten 帝釈天 (Skt. = Indra), Lord of the Center. There is another group composed of Taishakuten 帝釈天, Katen 火天, Fūten 風天 and Suiten 水天. (See 12 Deva page for more on these last three ) 

Four Guardian Bodhisattva (Shishō Bosatsu, Shisho Bosatsu, 四摂菩薩, or 四攝金剛) of the Diamond Realm. They hold the hook, the rope, the chain, and the bell, Vajrāṅkuśa 金剛鉤菩薩; Vajra-pāśa 金剛索菩薩, Vajra-sphoṭa 金剛鏁菩薩, and Kongōryō Bosatsu金剛鈴菩薩 (Skt. = Vajrāveśa, bell). See Aizen Mandala.

Four Guardian Gods 護四王

Four Gods of Four Elements & Four Female Counterparts (Shidaijin 四大神). Also known as Four Diamond Protectors 四執金剛; also Four Great Deities (Shi no Ookami 四大神).

  1. 風天 Futen, Fūten, God of Wind (Shinto Counterpart = 風神 Fūjin)
  2. 火天 Katen, God of Fire (Shinto Counterpart = 火神 Kajin)
  3. 水天 Suiten, God of Water (Shinto Counterpart = 水神 Suijin)
  4. 地天 Chiten, God of Earth (Shinto Counterpart = 地神 Chijin)
  5. NOTE: In the Kongōkai Mandala, one finds mention of Four Diamond Protectors. In Japan, these four are also known as the Four Great Gods (Shi no Ookami 四大神). According to Dr. Gabi Greve, each of the four has a female counterpart, a sort of heavenly princess (KI, 妃). The JIN reading signifies a deity of Japanese origin and Shinto associations, while the TEN reading refers to deities of Indian origin and Buddhist associations. The term TEN is translated in English as DEVA, and the above four deities are members of the 12 Deva Guardians of Buddhist tradition. In a purely Japanese context, the Shinto (JIN) names may also be read in a third different way. For example, Suijin may be read as Mizu no Kamisama, and Kajin may be read as Hi no Kamisama.
    Four Inner Offering Bodhisattva (Joy, Garland, Song and Dance).

Four Outer Offering Bodhisattva (Incense, Flower, Lamp, and Perfume). See Ninningyo Mandala.

Four Myō-ō 明王. Gōsanze (Gozanze) 降三世明王, Gundari 軍荼利明王, Daiitoku 大威徳明王 and Kongōyasha (Kongoyasha) 金剛夜叉明王. See Ninningyo Mandala

Four Paramita (Haramitsu) Bodhisattva (Shiharamitsu Bosatsu 四波羅蜜菩薩 or 四波). Female attendants to Dainichi in the Kongōkai Mandara; they are considered “mothers of the four quarters,” for each is the mother of one of the Four Buddha of the Four Quarters (Shibutsu 四佛). There composition varies according to source. Below list comes from Soothill (see Sources).

  • Konkōmyōkyō 金光明經, a scripture to protect the state, gives E. Akṣobhya 阿閦; S. Ratnaketu 寶相; W. Amitāyus 無量壽; N. Madhura-svara-nirghoṣa 微妙聲.
  • Dainichikyō 大日經, one of the main sūtra of Esoteric Buddhism, gives E. Ratnaketu 寶幢; S. 大勤勇遍覺華開敷; W. 仁勝 (i.e. Amitāyus 無量壽); N. Acala 不動, i.e. Divyadundubhi Meghanirghoṣa 鼓音如來.
  • There are other groupings. 

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Five Buddha (Gobutsu 五仏). See Four Buddha above and Five Gochi Nyorai below.

Five Buddha of the Diamond Realm (Kongōkai Gobutsu 金剛界五仏). See Four Buddha above and Five Gochi Nyorai below. 

Five Gochi Nyorai 五智如来; also Five Tathagata of Wisdom or Five Buddha of the Diamond Realm. The five Buddha 五仏 of the Kongōkai Mandala, with each symbolizing a particular wisdom. The all-encompassing wisdom of Dainichi Nyorai (the central deity) embodies the other four. In Japan, the Kongōkai Mandala is associated with wisdom (chi 智), while the Taizōkai Mandala is associated with ultimate principle (ri 理).

  • Dainichi Nyorai 大日如来 (Skt. = Vairocana/Mahavairocana) | Center | Complete Wisdom. Wisdom of the Essence of the Dharma Realm = Hokkaitai Shōchi 法界体性智 (Skt. = Dharmadhatusvabhava jnana)
  • Fukūjōju Nyorai (Fukujoju) 不空成就 (Skt. = Amoghasiddhi) | North | Wisdom Developed by Practice (Jōsho Sachi 成所作智; Skt. = Krtyanusthana jnana). NOTE: In the Tendai 天台 sect, Fukūjōju is replaced by Ususama Myō-ō 烏枢沙摩明王.
  • Hōshō Nyorai (Hosho) 宝生 (Skt. = Ratnasambhava) | South | Wisdom of Equality. Wisdom of Equality = Byōdō Shōchi 平等性智 (Skt. = Samata jnana)
  • Ashuku Nyorai 阿橚 (Skt. = Akshobhya) | East | Mirror Wisdom. Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom = Daien Kyōchi 大円鏡智 (Skt. = Adarsajnana)
  • Amida Nyorai 阿弥陀如来 (Skt. = Amitabha) | West | Wisdom of Subtle Observing. Wisdom of Wondrous Observation = Myōkan Zatchi 妙観察智 (Skt. = Pratyaveksana jnana).

Five Great Myō-ō (Godai Myō-ō 五大明王). Godai Myoo, Godai Myo-o. These five preside over the five directions (center & four compass points). They are Fudō (Fudo) 不動明王, Gōsanze (Gozanze) 降三世明王, Gundari 軍荼利明王, Daiitoku 大威徳明王 and Kongōyasha 金剛夜叉明王. For a detailed review of the Myo-o Group, please see the Myo-o Page.

Eight Offering Bodhisattva (Hachikuyō Bosatsu八供養菩薩); Also Hachikuyo Bodhisattva. They appear in the Kongōkai Mandara.  

Eight Great Myō-ō (Hachidai Myō-ō 八大明王). Not as popular at the Five Great Myō-ō (see above entry). In Japan, they appear in the Butsugen Mandala, and were Invoked especially in esoteric (Mikkyō 密教) rituals (e.g., Daibucchō Hō 大佛頂法, Butsugenson Hō 佛眼尊法). This grouping of eight originated in Tang China, and was introduced to Japan by Eun 惠運 (see Eun Risshi Sho Mokuroku 惠運律師書目錄, Taishō 2168B.55.1090b04). They are also known as the Kōmyōrin 光明輪, or luminous emanations of the Eight Great Bodhisattva. The below list gives their names (and their Bodhisattva counterparts). There are other variations. <Source: Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (sign in as “guest)>

  1. Gōzanze Kongō Myōō 降三世金剛明王 (Kongōshu 金剛手)
  2. Roppi Rokutō Rokusoku Kongō Myōō 六臂六頭六足金剛明王, aka Daiitoku 大威德 (Myōkichijō 妙吉祥)
  3. Daishō Kongō Myōō 大笑金剛明王, aka Gundari 軍荼利 (Kokūzō 虛空藏)
  4. Dairin Kongō Myōō 大輪金剛明王 (Jishi 慈氏, aka Miroku 彌勒)
  5. Batō Kongō Myōō 馬頭金剛明王 (Kanjizai 觀自在, aka Kannon)
  6. Munōshō Kongō Myōō 無能勝金剛明王 (Jizō 地藏)
  7. Fudōson Kongō Myōō 不動尊金剛明王 (Joissaigaishō 除一切蓋障); more commonly known as Fudō Myō-ō (Fudo) 不動明王
  8. Buchaku Kongō Myōō 歩擲金剛明王 (Fugen 普賢)

Another grouping of the Eight Great Myō-ō gives them both Bodhisattva and Buddha counterparts. <Source same as above>

  1. Fudōson 不動尊 (Birushana 毘盧遮那, Han'nya 般若); more commonly known as Fudō Myō-ō (Fudo) 不動明王 
  2. Gōzanzeson 降三世尊 (Ashuku 阿閦, Kongōsatta 金剛薩埵)
  3. Gundari 軍荼利 (Hōshō 寶生, Kongōzaō 金剛藏王)
  4. Rokusokuson 六足尊, aka Daiitoku (Muryōju 無量壽, Monju 文殊)
  5. Kongōyakusha 金剛藥叉 (Fukūjōju 不空成就, Jakujōshin 寂靜身)
  6. Eshaku Kongō 穢積金剛, aka Ususama (Fukūjōju Kongōgō 金剛業)
  7. Munōshō 無能勝 (Shakamuni 釋迦牟尼, or Miroku 彌勒)
  8. Batō Kannon 馬頭觀音 (Muryōju Kanzeon, aka Kannon)  

Eight Great Bodhisattva (Chn. = Bādà Púsà, Jp. = Hachi Daibosatsu 八大菩薩 or Hachi Bosatsu 八菩薩). These eight are described in various Mahāyāna texts, wherein their names and attributes differ. The Sutra on the Maṇḍalas of the Eight Great Bodhisattva 八大菩薩曼荼羅經 (Hachi Daibosatsu Mandara Kyō), which was translated by Amoghavajra 不空金剛 in the 8th century and Faxian 法賢 in the 10th century, describes the attributes of each, including their mantra 密言 (secret words), their position in the mandala, the color of their bodies, and their mudra (hand signs). Below we present two different lists. In artwork, these deities appear in the Butsugen Mandala and in the Taizōkai (Womb World) Mandala.

Eight Great Bodhisattva, Sutra of the Maṇḍalas of Eight Great Bodhisattva 八大菩薩曼荼羅經

  1. Kannon Bosatsu 観音 (Skt. = Avalokiteśvara)
  2. Miroku Bosatsu 弥勒 (Skt. = Maitreya)
  3. Kokūzō Bosatsu 虚空蔵 (Skt. = Âkāśagarbha)
  4. Fugen Bosatsu 普賢 (Skt. = Samantabhadra)
  5. Seishi Bosatsu 勢至 (Skt. = Mahāsthāmaprāpta; in Tibet, also appears as Vajrāpani)
  6. Monju Bosatsu 文殊 (Skt. = Mañjuśrī)
  7. Jo Kaishō Bosatsu 除蓋障 (Skt. = Sarvanīvaraṇa Viṣkambhin)
  8. Jizō Bosatsu 地蔵 (Skt. = Kṣitigarbha)

    ....sutra translated by Amoghavajra 不空 (b705–d774)
    ....sutra translated by Faxian 法賢 (death 1001)

Eight Great Bodhisattva listed in 4th-century Chinese trans. of the Sutra of Consecration 灌頂經 (Kanjō Kyō) and in 7th-century trans. of the Original Vows of the Medicine-Master Tathāgata of Lapis Light 藥師琉璃光如來本願功德經 (Yakushi Rurikō Nyorai Hongan Kōtoku Kyō):

  1. Monju Bosatsu 文殊師利 (Skt. = Mañjuśrī)
  2. Kannon Bosatsu 観音 (Skt. = Avalokitêśvara)
  3. Dai Seishi Bosatsu 大勢至 (Skt. = Mahāsthāma-prāpta; in Tibet, also appears as Vajrāpani)
  4. Mujin-i Bosatsu 無盡意 (Skt. = Akṣayamati)
  5. Hōdanke Bosatsu 寶壇華 or 宝檀花 (C = Baotanhua)
  6. Yakuō Bosatsu 薬王 (Skt. = Bhaiṣajya-rāja)
  7. Yaku-jō Bosatsu 薬上 (Skt. = Bhaiṣajya-samudgata)
  8. Miroku Bosatsu 彌勒 (Skt. = Maitreya)

    ...Consentration Sutra translated by Śrīmitra 帛戸梨蜜多羅 around 317-322
    ...Original Vows Sutra translated by Xuanzang 玄奘 in mid-7th century

Eight Guardians of the Eight Directions (Happōten八方天). Guardians of the Eight Directions. See Celestial Deities below for full details. 

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Thirteen Butsu 十三仏 (Jūsanbutsu, Jusanbutsu). Often mistakenly translated as “Thirteen Buddha,” for the group includes five Buddha 仏, seven Bodhisattva 菩薩, and one Myō-ō 明王. These 13 Buddhist deities are important to the Shingon school of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism. The 13 are invoked at the 13 memorial services held for the dead. They are associated with the 10 Kings of Hell and judgment in the afterlife. The grouping appeared around the 14th century and was popularized in the 15th. The grouping is considered a purely Japanese convention. Curiously, this grouping fails to appear in the 1690 Butsuzō-zu-i, a major illustrated Japanese dictionary of Buddhist iconography. These 13 deities may have served as the basis for another grouping of eight Buddhist divinities known as the Hachi Hogo Butsu 八守護仏 (Eight Buddhist Protectors of the Zodiac).

Thirteen Butsu and Timing of Thirteen Memorial Services

  • Fudō Myō-ō, Fudo Myo-o, 不動明王 (7th day)
  • Shaka Nyorai, Historical Buddha, 釈迦 (14th day)
  • Monju Bosatsu 文殊 (21th day)
  • Fugen Bosatsu 普賢 (28th day)
  • Jizō Bosatsu, Jizo Bodhisattva, 地蔵 (35th day)
  • Miroku Bosatsu 弥勒 (42nd day)
  • Yakushi Nyorai 薬師 (49th day)
  • Kannon Bosatsu 観音 (100th day)
  • Seishi Bosatsu 勢至 (1st year anniversary)
  • Amida Nyorai 阿弥陀 (3rd year anniversary)
  • Ashuku Nyorai 阿閦 (7th year anniversary)
  • Dainichi Nyorai 大日 (13th year anniversary)
  • Kokūzō Bosatsu 虚空蔵 (33rd year anniversary)

    There are various schemes for the memorial services. See 10 Kings of Hell for details.
    During the seven weeks following one’s death, tradition asserts that the soul wanders about in places where it used to live. On the 50th day, however, the wandering soul must go to the realm where it is sentenced (one of the six realms). The 49th day is thus the most important day, when the deceased receives his/her karmic judgment and, on the 50th day, enters the world of rebirth. A service is held to make the “passage” as favorable as possible. Prayers are thereafter offered at special intervals.

    <Says JAANUS>: Thirteen Buddha are thought to have developed from the Chinese belief in ten kings of the underworld (Jū-ō 十王) who were regarded as manifestations of Ten Buddha (Jūbutsu 十仏), to whom three more Buddha were added. In addition to statuary sets of the 13 Buddha, there exist many stone tablets (itabi 板碑) portraying the Buddhas themselves or inscribed instead with their seed-syllables (shuji 種子). They are similarly represented in hanging scrolls that are still used today at memorial services for the dead. <end JAANUS quote>

    <Says the Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms by Soothill and Hodous: The thirteen Shingon rulers of the dead during the forty-nine days and until the thirty-third commemoration. The thirteen are 不動明王, 釋迦文殊, 普賢, 地藏, 彌勤, 藥師, 觀音, 勢至, 阿彌陀, 阿閦, 大日and 虛空藏; each has his place, duties, magical letter, signs, etc.>
  • LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 13 BUTSU

kue-kongokai-mandala-nine-panel-chart-gozanze-panelspacer16 Great Bodhisattva of Esoteric Buddhism
Jp. = Jūroku Daibosatsu 十六大菩薩
These sixteen Daibosatsu (those who cannot backslide) appear in the Gōzanze-e 降三世会 panel (see shaded circle, middle row, far right) of the Kue Mandala (lit. "Nine-Panel Mandala" 九会曼荼羅), which is the most widely used form of the Kongōkai Mandala 金剛界曼荼羅 in Japan. It is composed of nine panels, hence its name. The number of deities in each panel and their arrangement can vary, but the nine-panel format is standard. In most arrangements, the 16 Bodhisattvas are divided into four groups of four, with each group commanded by one of the Four Buddha of the Four Directions (Shihō Shibutsu 四方四仏). These Four Buddha (Jp. = Nyorai) are situated in the central position within their specific group. This results in four groupings, each with five deities. A fifth grouping of five deities is situated at the very center of the panel and is devoted to Birushana Buddha (aka Dainichi Nyorai), the foremost deity of Esoteric Buddhism.

The Gōzanze-e 降三世会 panel is translated as “Mandala of the Vanquisher of Three Worlds.” The vanquisher is Gōzanze Myō-ō, who subjugated Daijizaiten 大自在天 (lord of the three realms of desire, form, and non-form) when the latter refused to submit to Dainichi. Gozanze literally means "one who subjugates the three worlds," although the three worlds are also said to refer to the three poisons of greed, anger, and ignorance. (NOTE: In Tibetan Wheel-of-Life Tanka / Thangkas, the three poisons are represented by three animals (a pig, a snake, and a rooster) drawn at the very center of the Tanka and often shown biting each others tails to show that these evils are inseparably connected.) The Gōzanze-e panel traditionally depicts Dainichi at the very center of the panel with hands in the Chiken-in Mudra 智拳印 (Wisdom Fist Mudra). The 16 Great Bodhisattva appear around Dainichi, many with their hands forming the Gōzanze-in 降三世印 (Mudra of Subjegation).

Cutout from Kongokai MandalaStarting in the east (see #2 in adjacent chart), and moving in a clockwise direction, the 16 Great Bodhisattvas are listed below (along with their primary attribute) as they appear in the Japanese Kue Mandala.

EAST (See Number 2)

  • Center = Ashuku Nyoria 阿閦如来 (Skt. Akṣhobhya)
  • East = Kongōki Bosatsu 金剛喜菩薩 (Skt. Vajrasādhu); bliss 喜
  • South = Kongō-ai Bosatsu 金剛愛菩薩 (Skt. Vajrarāga); love 愛
  • West = Kongōsatta Bosatsu 金剛薩埵菩薩 (Skt. Vajrasattva); in the Gōzanze-e section of the Kongōkai Mandala, however, Kongōsatta is often replaced by Gōzanze Myō-ō 降三世明王 (Sk: Trailokyavijaya), the "Vanquisher of the Three Worlds." See Gōzanze Myō-ō for details. Kongōsatta is also identified with Fugen; essence, being, sentient 薩
  • North = Kongō-ō Bosatsu 金剛王菩薩 (Skt. Vajrarāja); kingly 王

SOUTH (See Number 3)

  • Center = Hōshō Nyorai  宝生如来 (Skt. = Ratnasaṃbhava)
  • East = Kongōkō Bosatsu 金剛光菩薩 (Skt. Vajrateja); identified with Nikkō; light 光
  • South = Kongōshō Bosatsu 金剛笑菩薩 (Skt. Vajrahāsa); smile, laugh 笑
  • West = Kongōdō Bosatsu 金剛幢菩薩 (Skt. Vajraketu); identified with Jizō; banner 幢
  • North = Kongōhō Bosatsu 金剛宝菩薩 (Skt. Vajraratna); identified with Kokūzō; treasure 宝

WEST (See Number 4)

  • Center = Muryōju Nyorai 無量寿無量寿如来 (Skt. Amitāyus)  
  • East = Kongōhō Bosatsu 金剛法菩薩 (Skt. Vajradharma); dharma, law 法
  • South = Kongōri Bosatsu 金剛利菩薩 (Skt. Vajratīkṣṇa); identified with Monju; benefit 利
  • West = Kongōgo Bosatsu 金剛語菩薩 (Skt. Vajrabhāṣa); discourse, language 語
  • North = Kongōin Bosatsu 金剛因菩薩 (Skt. Vajrahetu); cause 因

NORTH (See Number 5)

  • Center = Fukūjōju Nyorai 不空成就如来 (Skt. = Amoghasiddhi)
  • Kongōgō Bosatsu 金剛業菩薩 (Skt. Vajrakarma); karma, moral duty, action 業
  • Kongōge Bosatsu 金剛牙菩薩 (Skt. Vajrayakṣa); fanged guardian 牙
  • Kongōgo Bosatsu 金剛護菩薩 (Skt. Vajrarakṣa); protect 護
  • Kongōken Bosatsu 金剛拳菩薩 (Skt. Vajrasandhi, Vajrasaṃdhi); vajra fist 拳

CENTER (See Number 1)

  • Center = Birushana 昆盧遮那如来 (Skt. Vairocana); identified with Dainichi Nyorai
  • East = Kongōharamitsu Bosatsu 金剛波羅蜜菩薩 (Skt. Vajrapāramitā)
  • South = Hōharamitsu Bosatsu宝波羅蜜菩薩 (Skt. Ratnapāramitā)
  • West = Hōharamitsu Bosatsu法波羅蜜菩薩 (Skt. Dharmapāramitā)
  • North = Katsumaharamitsu Bosatsu羯磨波羅蜜菩薩 (Skt. Karmapāramitā)

Adds site reader Bret Hansen: “The 16 Great Bodhisattvas are associated with the 16 monthly phases of the moon. That is, full moon, new moon, quarter, half, 3/4, and so on. There are eight waxing [in/yin] phases and eight waning [yo/yang] phases. Each of the phases is associated with one of the 16 Bodhisattvas. They are used in conjunction with 28 moon lodges and the planets for bokusen卜占 [divination] and also used in gachirinkan 月輪観 and ajikan 阿字観. The idea is to contemplate all 16 in order throughout the month [or at once] and when they are united they manifest inyo-ittai, the great non-dual paradox of Mikkyo 密教.” <end quote from Hansen>

Kakuban 覚鑁 (1095-1143), a Shingon monk also known as Mitsugon Sonja 密厳尊者, was a prolific writer. He composed a number of manuals concerning Shingon rituals, including the memory-increasing rite known as the Kokūzō Gumonjihō 虚空蔵求聞持法, the Ajikan 阿字観 rite of meditating upon the Sanskrit syllable “A,” and the Gachirinkan 月輪観 rite of meditating upon the Gachirin 月輪 (lit. moon disc). Click here for more details on Kakuban.

Today, the Sixteen Great Bodhisattva are of particular importance to Zen practitioners, who recite the 16 Great Bodhisattva Precepts in various ceremonies at Soto Zen centers worldwide, in particular during the Bodhisattva Initiation Ceremony. For details, see Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts (by Reb Anderson). The primary text for these 16 precepts comes from Banjin Dōtan 萬仞道坦 (also written 万仞道坦), an 18th century monk and scholar who compiled the Zenkaishō 禅戒鈔 (aka 改訂仏祖正伝禅戒鈔), which is translated as Essence of Zen Precepts.

16 Great Bodhisattva of the Kongokai Mandala
Source of Above Diagram of 16 Great Bodhisattva
Philipp Franz von Siebold. 1832-54 Nippon. Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan.
Nippon Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan, Leiden (1831 CE)
Photo Page   |   Index Page   |   Top Page

However, the original images of the 16 Bodhisattva were directly copied from a
Japanese resource called Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙. See references below for details.

References for the 16 Great Bodhisattva:

  • Butsuzō zui 仏像図彙 (Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). Published in 1690 (Genroku 元禄 3). A major Japanese dictionary of Buddhist iconography with hundreds of black-and-white drawings by Tosa Hidenobu 土佐秀信, with deities classified into approximately 80 (eighty) categories based on function and attributes. For an extant copy from 1690, visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library. An expanded version, known as the Zōho Shoshū Butsuzō-zui 増補諸宗仏像図彙 (Enlarged Edition Encompassing Various Sects of the Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images), was published in 1783. View a digitized version (1796 reprint of the 1783 edition) at the Ehime University Library. Modern-day reprints of the expanded 1886 Meiji-era version, with commentary by Ito Takemi (b. 1927), are also available at this online store (J-site). In addition, see Buddhist Iconography in the Butsuzō-zui of Hidenobu (1783 enlarged version), translated into English by Anita Khanna, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2010.
     
  • Mandara Zuten 曼荼羅図典 (Japanese Edition). The Mandala Dictionary. 422 pages. First published in 1993. Publisher = Daihorinkaku 大法輪閣. Language = Japanese. ISBN-10: 480461102-9. Click here to purchase book from Amazon.
     
  • Philipp Franz von Siebold. 1832-54 Nippon. Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan. Nippon Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan, Leiden (1831 CE)  Photo Page | Index Page | Top Page
     
  • Digital Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism (C. Muller; login "guest")
     
  • Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms. With Sanskrit & English Equivalents. Plus Sanskrit-Pali Index. By William Edward Soothill & Lewis Hodous. Hardcover, 530 pages. Published by Munshirm Manoharlal. Reprinted March 31, 2005. ISBN 8121511453. The dictionary says this: “There are two groups, one of the exoteric 顕教, one of the 密教 esoteric cults; the exoteric list is indefinite; the esoteric has two lists, one is of four bodhisattvas to each of the Buddhas of the four quarters of the Diamond Realm; the other is of the sixteen who represent the body of the bodhisattvas in a 賢 kalpa; those in the present kalpa are:
     
    • East 彌勒 Maitreya, 不空, 除憂, 除惡;
    • South 香象 Gandhahastī, 大精進 Śūra, 虛空藏 Akāśagarbha, 智幢;
    • West 無量光 Apramāṇābha, 賢護 Bhadrapāla, 網明, 月光 Candraprabha;
    • North 無量意 (Mañjuśrī), 辨積, 金剛藏 Vajragarbha, 普賢 Samantabhadra.
       
  • http://www.tctv.ne.jp/tobifudo/butuzo/16bosatu/index.html
     
  • http://www.sakai.zaq.ne.jp/piicats/kongoukaireisan.htm

 

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16 Deities of the Auspicious Aeon (Gengō Jūrokuson, Gengo Jurokuson, 賢劫十六尊) of the Kongōkai Mandala. Also called the 16 Worthies of the Auspicious Aeon. Gakko 月光 included. Miroku included. Kokūzō included (corresponds to Gaga Naganja). Chidō Bosatsu 智幢菩薩 (transliterated as 枳孃襄計都; also known as 常恆菩薩, 常利益菩薩). There are also some mandala examples in which 1,000 Buddha of the "auspicious aeon" are included (need to give reference).

16 Good Gods (Jūroku Zenjin, Juroku Zenjin 十六善神). Protectors of the Daihannyakyū Sutra 大般若経 (Great Widsom Sutra, Skt. Mahaprajna paramita sutra) and those devoted to it. But more accurately referred to as the 16 Protectors of Shaka Nyorai (the Historical Buddha), or Shaka Jūroku Zenshin 釈迦十六善神, or Shaka Sanzon Jūroku Zenshin 釈迦三尊十六善神. They are depicted as warlike figures (Yasha 夜叉), and paintings of the sixteen were invoked at the Daihannya-e 大般若会 ceremony. They often appear in the Sangatsu-kyō Mandala devoted to Shaka Nyorai (the Historical Buddha). In addition, Hannya Bosatsu is sometimes surrounded by the 16 Protectors.

  1. Daitorada 提頭羅宅; Jikokuten 持国天 (one of four Shitennō)
  2. Birurokusha 毘盧勒叉; Zōchōten 増長天 (one of four Shitennō)
  3. Saifukudokugai 摧伏毒害
  4. Zōyaku 増益
  5. Kanki 歓喜
  6. Joissaishōnan 除一切障難
  7. Batsujozaiku 抜除罪垢
  8. Nōnin 能忍
  9. Ueshiramanu 吠室羅摩拏; Tamonten 多聞天 (one of four Shitennō)
  10. Birubakusha 毘盧博叉; Kōmokuten 広目天 (one of four Shitennō)
  11. Riissaifui 離一切怖畏
  12. Kugoissai 救護一切
  13. Shōfukushoma 摂伏諸魔
  14. Nōkushō 能救諸有
  15. Shishiimō 師子威猛
  16. Yūmōshinchi 勇猛心地

    Bonten 梵天 and Taishakuten 帝釈天 are also sometimes added, making eighteen. Paintings of the 16 Good Gods sometimes include other protective deities, including Changti 常啼 (Jp: Jōtei ), the nun Fayō 法優 (Jp: Hōyū), Basusen 婆薮仙, and Kudokuten 功徳天 (an emanation of Kichijōten 吉祥天, the goddess of fortune and merit). Paintings may also include Anan 阿難 and Kashō 迦葉, disciples of the Historical Buddha (Jūdai Deshi 十大弟子). <Source: JAANUS> 

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25 Bodhisattva (Nijūgo Bosatsu, Nijugo Bosatsu, 二十五菩薩). These bodhisattva, including Kannon and Seishi, accompany Amida from the heavens to the death bed and then lead the deceased back to Amida’s Western Paradise or Pure Land. Found often in Raigo paintings (Raigō-zu 来迎図). The twenty-five are first mentioned in the Jūōjō Amida Bukkokukyō 十往生阿弥陀仏国経, an apocryphal sutra attributed to China. They also appear in a version of the Amida Mandara 阿弥陀曼荼羅 brought to Japan by Eun 恵運(798-869), a Chinese monk of the Kegon Sect 華厳. Their names are:

  1. Kanzeon 観世音 (Kannon 観音)
  2. Daiseishi 大勢至(Seishi 勢至)
  3. Yakuō 薬王
  4. Yakujō 薬上
  5. Fugen 普賢
  6. Hōjizaiō 法自在王
  7. Shishiku 獅子吼
  8. Darani 陀羅尼
  9. Kokūzō 虚空蔵
  10. Tokuzō 徳蔵
  11. Hōzō 宝蔵
  12. Konzō 金蔵
  13. Kongōzō 金剛蔵
  14. Kōmyō-ō 光明王
  15. Sankaie 山海慧
  16. Kegon-ō 華厳王
  17. Shuhō-ō 衆宝王
  18. Gakkō-ō 月光王
  19. Nisshō-ō 日照王
  20. Sanmaiō 三昧王
  21. Jōjizaiō 定自在王
  22. Daijizaiō 大自在王
  23. Byakuzō-ō 白象王
  24. Daiitokuō 大威徳王
  25. Muhenshin 無辺身 

    The Kyoto National Museum provide photos and textual descriptions of various Raigo artwork.

    -- Amida and Twenty-five Attendants
    -- Amida Coming Over the Mountain
    -- More on Amida Raigo from Kyoto National Museum (once there, visit the PAINTINGS section).

Amida and 25 Attendants, Photo courtesy Kyoto National Museum
Raigo of Amida and Twenty-five Attendants
Hanging scroll, color on silk
Kamakura Period (National Treasure, Chion-in Temple, Kyoto)
Photo courtesy Kyoto National Museum

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37 Deities of the Diamond World. Kongōkai Sanjūshichison 金剛界三十七尊. Centered around Dainichi Nyorai and composed of the Five Gochi Nyorai 五智如来, 16 Great Bodhisattvas (Jūroku Daibosatsu十六大菩薩), Four Paramita Bodhisattva (Shiharamitsu Bosatsu 四波羅蜜菩薩), Eight Offering Bodhisattva (Hachikuyō Bosatsu 八供養菩薩), and Four Guardian Bodhisattva (Shishō Bosatsu 四摂菩薩). See above for listings of these deity groupings. These 37 deities are classified into five families: (1) Nyorai-bu 如来部, Buddha Realm, Skt. = Tathagata-kula; (2) Kongōbu 金剛部, Adamantine Realm, Skt. = Vajra-kula; (3) Hōbu 宝部, Jewel Realm, Skt. = Ratna-kula; (4) Rengebu 蓮華部, Lotus Realm, Skt. = Padma-kula; and (5) Katsumabu 羯磨部, Action Realm, Skt. = Karma-kula. The Tathagata family is positioned in the center, with the other four placed in the four compass quarters. This format has gained great popularity in Japan’s Kongōkai Mandala.

108 Honorable Ones. Hyakuhasson 百八尊. The 108 honorable ones in the Vajradhātu Maṇḍala 金剛界曼荼羅. This includes the five buddhas 五佛, the four perfections 四波羅蜜, the sixteen great bodhisattvas 十六大菩薩, the twelve offerings 十二供養, the sixteen honored ones of the Bhadrakalpa 賢劫十六尊, the twenty-five deities of the Vajra group 外金剛部二十天, the five buddha attendants 五頂輪王, the sixteen vajrapāṇi 十六執金剛, the ten perfections 十波羅蜜, and the deities of the four elements 地水火風. 〔祕藏記; 御請來目錄 T 2161.55.1063a12〕. In the Mahayana Sutra tradition, there are several lists of eight and sixteen great bodhisattva. <source: Soothill & Muller>

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MANDALA DICTIONARY OF
Celestial Beings, Heavenly Divinities, Planets and Stars

Big Dipper. Hokuto Mandara 北斗. See Hokuto Mandala

Happōten, Happoten, 八方天. Guardians of the Eight Directions (the four cardinal and four intermediary directions).

  • Taishakuten 帝釈天 (Skt. Indra/Sakra; east)
  • Katen 火天 (Fire, Skt. Agni; southeast )
  • Enmaten 焔魔天 (Skt. Yama; south)
  • Rasetsuten 羅刹天 (Skt. Nirrti/Nairrti; southwest)
  • Suiten 水天 (Water. Skt. Varuna; west)
  • Fūten or Futen 風天 (Wind, Skt. Vayu; northwest)
  • Bishamonten 毘沙門天 (Skt. Vaisravana; north)
  • Ishanaten 伊舎那天 (Skt. Isana; northeast)

    [Soothill] "The eight heavens and devas at the eight points of the compass: E. the Indra, or Śakra heaven; S. the Yama heaven; W. the Varuna, or water heaven; N. the Vaiśramana, or Pluto heaven; N.E. the Īśāna, or Śiva heaven; S.E. the Homa, or fire heaven; S.W. the Nirṛti, or Rakṣa heaven; N.W. the Vāyu, or wind heaven. All these may be considered as devalokas or heavens."  <end quote Soothill]

Hokuto Mandala 北斗曼荼羅 (Big Dipper Mandala).

Hoshi Mandala 星曼荼羅. A generic type of Mandala 曼荼羅 dedicated to the celestial entities, and including the Hokuto Mandala 北斗曼荼羅 (Big Dipper Mandala).

Jitten 十天. Ten deva. Two more were added (heaven & earth) over time to the eight Happōten 八方天 (see above entry).

  1. Bonten 梵天 (Heaven, Zenith, Skt. Brahman)
  2. Jiten 地天 (Earth, Nadir, Skt. Prthivi)

Jūnikyū (or) Jūnigū 十二宮. The twelve houses of the Zodiac, also known as the zodiacal mansions; they are typically depicted in the Gekongōbuin 外金剛部院 section of the Matrix Mandara (aka Taizōkai Mandala or Womb World Mandala 胎蔵界曼荼羅). Visit this J-site for photos of the 12 zodiac houses found in the Star Mandala of Japan’s Shingon sect.

Jūniten, Juniten, 十二天. Twelve Deities, or 12 Deva. A group of Hindu gods incorporated into Japan's Esoteric traditions; they came to supplant the Four Heavenly Kings (Shitennō 四天王) as protectors of Buddhism. This group of 12 was already invoked in esoteric rites by the Heain period. There are many extant examples of Jūniten masks (Jūniten Men 十二天面), which we used in esoteric ceremonies. The Jūniten appear together with their attendants in the Gekongōbu-in section 外金剛部院 of the Taizoukai Mandala. There is also a Jūniten Mandara 十二天曼荼羅 devoted to the four-armed form of Fudō Myō-ō. Another version of this mandala serves as the Anchin Mandala in the Shingon 真言 sect.  Two more were added (sun and moon) to the Ten Deva (Jitten 十天) over time to create this group of 12 Deva.

  • Nitten 日天 (Sun, Skt. = Surya/Aditya)
  • Gatten 月天 (Moon, Skt. = Candra)

Kuyō 九曜 or Kushitsu 九執. The nine planets, which are the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rago 羅ご (Skt = Rahu), and Keito 計都 (Skt = Ketu). Details Here.

Moon and Sun. Gatten 月天 (Moon, Skt. Candra) and Nitten 日天 (Sun, Skt. Surya/Aditya). Identified with Gakkō Bosatsu 月光菩薩 and Nikkō Bosatsu 日光菩薩.

Myōken (Myoken) 妙見. Deification of the Polestar and/or Big Dipper.

Nijitten 二十天. Twenty (20) Heavenly Gods appearing in Japanese mandala.

Nijūhasshuku, Nijuhasshuku 二十八宿. See 28 Lunar Mansions. The twenty-eight lunar mansions (Skt. = naksatras), also sometimes called the 28 moon lodges or 28 stations of the moon. The 28 points in the moon’s monthly orbit were deified. In Japan, they are commonly depicted in the Gekongōbuin 外金剛部院 section of the Matrix Mandara (aka Taizōkai Mandala, Womb World Mandala 胎蔵界曼荼羅) of the Shingon and Tendai sects. They appear in the form of celestial maidens (seven in each quarter) and also in the Hokuto Mandara 北斗曼荼羅.

Polestar. See also Myōken Mandala.

Seishuku (or) Shoshuku 星宿. The Japanese term for “constellation.” It refers to the celestial bodies, stars, constellations, planets, moons, and other heavenly objects that were incorporated into Buddhism and deified.

Seishukubu 星宿部 (sidereal division). A term used sometimes to refer collectively to the celestial bodies that have been deified in the esoteric Buddhist pantheon.

Shichiyō 七曜. The seven days of the weeks, all deified. Visit this J-site for photos of the seven found in the Star Mandala of Japan’s Shingon sect.

Shukuyō 宿曜. Another term for "constellation.” See entry for Seishuku above.

Sun and Moon. Nitten 日天 (Sun, Sk: Surya/Aditya) and Gatten 月天 (Moon, Sk:Candra). Identified with Nikkō Bosatsu 日光菩薩 and Gakkō Bosatsu 月光菩薩.

Yōshuku 曜宿. Celestial bodies, celestial orbs, including the sun, moon, planets, and the 28 constellations. 

Star Mandala
星曼荼羅

Modern Japanese Reproduction

Ichijikinrin Butchō
一字金輪仏頂
at center.

Seven Stars of Big Dipper,
plus the Nine Planets,
appear in inner section.

Twelve Zodiac Animals
appear in middle section.

28 Celestial Maidens
appear in outer section.
More photos below.

Photo at left
from this J-site

 

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SOURCES

  • Shukuyō-kyō 宿曜経. Also read as Sukuyōkyō. T 1299.21.392c6.
    One of the main sources for the 28 Constellations. Tang-era Chinese translation from Sanskrit. This is the abbreviated name of the sutra. Its long name is 文殊師利菩薩及諸仙所説吉凶時日善悪宿曜経, (Monjushiri Bosatsu kyuu shosen shosetsu kikkyō jijitsu zen-aku shukuyōk-yō). The Chinese translation is attributed to Amoghavajra (Jp. = 不空金剛 Fukū Kongō), a prolific 8th-century translator who was one of the most politically powerful Buddhist monks in Chinese history. The text was reportedly brought to Japan by Kūkai 空海 in the 9th century. LINK: www.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~sat/japan/downpage/v21.html
  • Butsuzō zui 仏像図彙 (Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). Published in 1690 (Genroku 元禄 3). A major Japanese dictionary of Buddhist iconography with hundreds of black-and-white drawings by Tosa Hidenobu 土佐秀信, with deities classified into approximately 80 (eighty) categories based on function and attributes. For an extant copy from 1690, visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library. An expanded version, known as the Zōho Shoshū Butsuzō-zui 増補諸宗仏像図彙 (Enlarged Edition Encompassing Various Sects of the Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images), was published in 1783. View a digitized version (1796 reprint of the 1783 edition) at the Ehime University Library. Modern-day reprints of the expanded 1886 Meiji-era version, with commentary by Ito Takemi (b. 1927), are also available at this online store (J-site). In addition, see Buddhist Iconography in the Butsuzō-zui of Hidenobu (1783 enlarged version), translated into English by Anita Khanna, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2010.
  • Mandara Zuten 曼荼羅図典 (Japanese Edition). The Mandala Dictionary. 422 pages. First published in 1993. Publisher = Daihorinkaku 大法輪閣. Language = Japanese. ISBN-10: 480461102-9. Click here to purchase book from Amazon.
  • Shukuyōgiki 宿曜儀軌 Tang-era Chinese translation from Sanskri
  • Shatōkankyō 舎頭諫経 or 舍頭諫太子二十八宿經
    Admonition of the Prince and the 28 Lunar Lodgings, T 1301.21.410-420
  • Shichiyō jōsai ketsu 七曜攘災決
    Expelling the Seven Planets' Fated Calamities, T 1308.21.426
  • Star Charts and Moon Stations by Steve Renshaw and Saori Ihara
  • Japanese Site Devoted to Star Deities
  • JAANUS Database
  • Digital Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism (C. Muller; login "guest")
  • Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms. With Sanskrit & English Equivalents. Plus Sanskrit-Pali Index. By William Edward Soothill & Lewis Hodous. Hardcover, 530 pages. Published by Munshirm Manoharlal. Reprinted March 31, 2005. ISBN 8121511453.
  • Kokugakuin University Shinto Online Dictionary
  • SAT Daizōkyō Text Database 大正新脩大藏經
  • Taishō Mokuroku. Huge text catalog of the sutras. 大正目録
  • Gabi Greve deserves special thanks. She is my 2nd pair of eyes, a site contributor, and often reviews my pages for errors/omissions.
  • Our site’s main bibliography; categorized by topic

PHOTOS

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Last Revision = Feb. 27, 2011, updated Eight Bodhisattva & Sixteen Bodhisattva
Last Revision = May 20, 2014, updated Thirteen Butsu

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