12/29/2017

Fudo Myo-O Introduction

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Who is Fudo Myo-O, the Wisdom King ?

Fudō Myō-ō, Fudoo Myoo-Oo , Fudou Myou Ou 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O
Acala Vidyârâja - Vidyaraja

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Acala (Skr.: Acala, Achala अचल; "immovable" one)
is a guardian deity primarily revered in Vajrayana Buddhism in Japan, China and elsewhere.

He is classed among the vidyārāja and preeminent among the Five Wisdom Kings of the Womb Realm. Accordingly, his figure occupies an important hierarchical position in the pictorial diagramatic Mandala of the Two Realms. In Japan, Acala is revered in the Shingon, Tendai, Zen and Nichiren sects.



Overview
Descriptions of his physical appearance derive from such scriptural source as the Mahavairocana Tantra (Dainichikyō (『大日経』)) and its annotation.

His face is expressive of extreme wrath, wrinkle-browed,left eye squinted or looking askance, lower teeth biting down the upper lip. He has the physique of a corpulent (round-bellied) child. He bears a sword in his right hand, and a lariat or noose (kensaku (羂索)) in his left hand. He is engulfed in flame, and seated on a "huge rock base" (banjakuza (盤石座)).

Acala is said to be a powerful deity who protects All the Living (sattva, shujō (衆生)) by burning away all impediments (antar-aya, shōnan (障難)) and defilements, thus aiding them towards enlightenment.

In Japanese esoteric Buddhism, according to an arcane interpretive concept known as the "three wheel-embodiments(ja)" or san rinjin (三輪身) Acala and the rest of the five wisdom kings are considered kyōryō tenshin (教令輪身 "embodiments of the wheel of injunction"), or beings whose actions constitute the teaching of the law (the other embodiments teach by word, or merely by their manifest existence). Under this conceptualization, the wisdom kings are ranked superior to the Dharmapala (gohō zenshin (護法善神)), a different class of guardian deities. Nevertheless, this distinction sometimes fails to be asserted, or the two are openly treated as synonymous by many commentators, even in clearly Japanese religious contexts.

The Sanskrit symbol that represents Acala is hāṃ हां ( conventionally transliterated kān (kaan) (カーン)).
However, it has been confounded with the similar glyph (हूं hūṃ), prompting some commentators to mistakenly identify the Acala with other deities. (The Sanskrit symbol is called siddham, bonji (梵字)), or "seed syllable" (zh: bīja, Ja: shuji (種子)).

Some of the other transliterations and variants to his name are Ācalanātha, Āryācalanātha, Ācala-vidyā-rāja. The Hindu form of the deity may also be known as Caṇḍamahāroṣaṇa or Caṇḍaroṣaṇa "the violent-wrathful" one.

History
Originally the Hindu deity Acalanātha (अचलनाथ),
whose name in Sanskrit signifies ācala "immovable" + nātha' "protector, Acala was incorporated into esoteric Buddhism (late 7th century, India) as a servant of Buddha. In Tang Dynasty China, he became Budong (pinyin: Búdòng; Middle Chinese: /pǝw dungx/- 不動, "immovable"), a translated-meaning-name derived from Acala. In turn, the deity was imported into Japan as Fūdō (不動) "immovable") by the priest Kobo Daishi Kūkai (died 835) who was studying in China as a member of the Kentoshi mission, and founded the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism.

As the deity's importance waned in India and China (as did the religion itself), the iconic image remained popular throughout the Middle Ages (and into modern times) in Nepal, Tibet and Japan, where sculptural and pictorial representations of them are most often found. Much of the iconography comes from Japan, where a popular cult especially devoted to him has developed.

In Tibetan Buddhism and art, the buddha Akshobhya, whose name also means "the immovable one", presides over the clan of deities to which Ācala belongs. Other sources refer to the Acala/Caṇḍaroṣaṇa as an "emanation" of Akshobhya, suggesting further assimilation.

Acala in Japan
Fudō-myōō (不動明王) is the full Japanese name for Acala-vidyaraja, or Fudō (o-Fudō-sama etc.) for short. It is the literal translation of the Sanskrit term "immovable wisdom king".

Iconography
Acala in Buddhist art since the Heian era has depicted him as angry-faced, holding a vajra sword and a lariat. In later representations, such as those used by the yamabushi monks, he may have one fang pointing up and another pointing down, and a braid on the one side of his head.

The sword he holds may or may not be flaming and sometimes described only generically as a hōken (宝剣 "treasure sword") or as kongō-ken (金剛杵 "vajra sword"), which is descriptive of the fact that the pommel of the sword is in the shape of the talon-like kongō-sho (金剛杵 "vajra") of one type or another. It may also be referred to as sanko-ken (三鈷剣 "three-pronged vajra sword"). However in some cases as in the Akafudo painting, the divinity is seen holding the Kurikara-ken, a sword with the dragon coiled around it.

The flaming nimbus or halo behind the statue is known as the "karura flame", after a mythical firebreathing birdlike creature, the garuda.

The two boy servants who is usually depicted in attendance to Acala are named Kongara (Kiṃkara) and Seitaka (Ceṭaka) though there are said to be eight such boy servants altoghether, and as many as forty-eight servants overall.

His seat, the banjakuza (盤石座 or "huge rock base")   is considered an appropriate iconographic symbol to demonstrate the steadfastness of" the Fudō.

Acala/Fudo Cult
In Japan, Acala became an idol of worship in its own right, and became installed as the gohonzon (本尊) or main deity at temples and outdoor shrines. A famous example is the Narita Fudo, a Shingon subsect temple at Narita-san.

At Shingon Buddhist temples dedicated to Ācala, priests perform the Fudō-hō (不動法), or ritual service to enlist the deity's power of purification to benefit the faithful. This rite routinely involves the use of the ritual burning ceremony, fire ritual or goma (護摩) (Skr.: Homa) as a purification tool.

Lay persons or monks in yamabushi gear who go into rigorous training outdoors in the mountains also often pray to small Ācala statue or talisman they carry, which serve as his honzon. This praciticed path of yamabushi's training, known as Shugendō, predates the introduction of Ācala, so at first adored idols such as the Zaō Gongen who appeared before the sect's founder En no Ozunu or the Vairocana. But eventually Ācala was added to list of deities most typically enshrined by the yamabushi monks, either portable, or installed in outdoor shrines (hokora). These statues would be often placed near waterfalls (a common training ground) and deep in the mountains and in caves.

Ācala also tops the list of so-called Thirteen Buddhas (jūsan butsu (十三仏)). Thus Shingon sect mourners assign the Fudo the "First Seven Days" (Shonanoka (初七日)) of service. The first week is an important observance, but perhaps not as prominently important as the observance of "seven times seven days" (i.e. 49 days) signifying the end of "intermediate state" (bardo).

Literature on Shinto Buddhist ritual will explain that such and such Sanskrit "seed syllable", or mantra or mudra is attendant to each of the "buddhas" for each observance period. But the scholarly consensus seems to be that the invoking of the "Thirteen Buddhas" had evolved later around the 14th century and became widespread by the following century, so this could not have been part of the original teachings by priest Kukai, but rather a later adaptation.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Acala Vidyârâja
is one of the Vidyârâjas (Myôô) class of deities, and a very wrathful deity.

He is portrayed holding a sword in his right hand and a coiled rope in his left hand. With this sword of wisdom, Acala cuts through deluded and ignorant minds and with the rope he binds those who are ruled by their violent passions and emotions. He leads them onto the correct path of self control. Acala is also portrayed surrounded by flames, flames which consume the evil and the defilements of this world. He sits on a flat rock which symbolizes the unshakeable peace and bliss which he bestows to the minds and the bodies of his devotees.

Purpose and Vows
Acala transmits the teachings and the injunctions of Mahâvairocana to all living beings and whether they agree to accept or to reject these injunctions is up to them, Acala's blue/black body and fierce face symbolize the force of his will to draw all beings to follow the teachings of the Buddha. Nevertheless, Acala's nature is essentially one of compassion and he has vowed to be of service to all beings for eternity.

Acala also represents his aspect of service by having his hair knotted in the style of a servant: his hair is tied into seven knots and falls down from his head on the left side. Acala has two teeth protruding from out of his mouth, an upper tooth and a lower tooth. The upper tooth is pointed downward and this represents his bestowing unlimited compassion who are suffering in body and spirit. His lower tooth is pointed upward and this represents the strength of his desire to progress upward in his service for the Truth. In his upward search for Bodhi and in his downward concern for suffering beings, he represents the beginning of the religious quest, the awakening of the Bodhicitta and the beginning of his compassionate concern for others.
It is for this reason that the figure of Acala is placed first among
the thirteen deities (juusanbutsu 十三仏).

His vow is to do battle with evil with a powerful mind of compassion and to work for the protection of true happiness. To pray for recovery from illness and for safety while traveling is to rely upon his vow and power to save. Acala is also the guide for the deceased, to help save them and assist them in becoming buddhas for the first seven days after death.

Read more about these 13 deities.
http://www.shingon.org/deities/jusanbutsu/fudo.html

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The 19 characteristics of Fudo Myo-O
... ... ... The 19 Signs ... ... ...


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Firmly Rooted: On Fudo Myoo's Origins
Standing Fast: Fudō Myōō in Japanese Literature


. 2 Articles by Richard K. Payne .


Read more on this extensive page about Buddha Statues
... Mark Schumacher ...

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CLICK for more samples - 不動明王 梵字 !


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1 comment:

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Dainichi Sutra 大日経 Dainichi Kyo
Mahavairocana Sutra
.