(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:21 PM)
otei is one of the Shichi Fukujin,
the seven Japanese Shinto-gods of luck. He is the god of happiness,
laughter and the wisdom of contentment, and is the patron of the weak
and children, fortunetellers and bartenders. Hotei is distinguished by
his body of generous proportions and round stomach exposed beneath
loose robes. His big belly is a symbol of happiness, luck and
generosity. On his back he carrys a huge linen bag containing precious
things and gifts of good fortune, including children. He also holds an uchiwa,
a flat fan of Chinese orgin used by ancient chieftains as an emblem of
authority and wish granting. He may sit in an old cart drawn by boys,
as the Wagon Priest, and can be compared with the Buddhistic Mi-lo-Fo.
In Chinese Buddhism he is known as Budai, the Loving or Friendly One.
He was a wandering Chan Buddhist monk who lived in the ninth century.
At his death between 901 and 903, he recited a poem that revealed to
the world that he was in fact the Bodhisattva Maitreya in disguise.
Maitreya, Chinese Buddhists believe, is the future buddha, who will
return to the world and bring innumerable individuals to salvation.
This concept of hope for the suffering, combined with Budai's pleasing,
human features, made him a most popular Buddhist deity. It was not
until the sixteenth century that he was canonised as the sixteenth and
last Chinese bodhisattva.
to Chinese legend he carried a sack of candy to give to children. He is
sometimes worshipped as a god of good luck and prosperity. He is always
represented as very stout, with the breast and upper abdomen exposed to
view. His face has a widely grinning or laughing expression, and he is
also known as the Laughing Buddha.
He stands in the first hall of the Buddhist monastery. Because of his
constant good nature, he has become the symbol of philosophical
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(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:22 PM)
Tibetans, a Buddha is a being -- both human and divine, either male or
female -- who has "awakened" from the sleep of ignorance and has
purified all evil, a being who has "expanded" limitlessly the power of
his or her compassion and accomplished all goodness. A Buddha is a form
of life that has achieved the highest evolutionary perfection possible.
He or she is perfect wisdom (the experience of the exact nature of
reality) and perfect compassion (the embodiment of the will to other's
happiness). Buddhahood transcends suffering and death and incorporates
the perfected abilities to experience and communicate happiness to all
In the mystical Buddhism, a set of Five Transcendent Buddhas, or Dhyani
Buddhas (Buddhas in Meditation), became popular over the centuries as
symbolic of the purity of the five aggregates, the five elements, the
five directions, the five colors, the five transmuted addictions, the
five wisdoms, and the five Buddha clans. Akshobhya is the paradigm of
the Dharma's ability to transmute all the hate of all beings into blue
ultimate-reality-perfection wisdom; Vairochana transmutes delusion into
white mirror wisdom; Ratnasambhava transmutes pride and avarice into
yellow equality wisdom; Amitabha transmutes lust into red
discriminating wisdom; and Amoghasiddhi transmutes envy into green
all-accomplishing wisdom. However, these are not separate gods. They
are just abstract aspects of Buddhahood, often called Tathagata. The
are so popular in Nepal that they are found in every stupa, in
thousands of Chaityas (small stupas), in courtyards, and painted in the
main entrance of the Buddhist house. In Kathmandu, they are also called
Panch Buddhas. They are always shown seated in the position of
Medicine Buddha is a form that any Buddha can manifest by identifying
with the Medicine Buddha in his Pure Land, and represents a
Transcendent Buddha's ability to express himself as healing medicine
for the benefit of ailing beings.
was born in 463 B.C. in the Lumbini garden at Rummindei in Nepal. His
birthday is the main Buddhist festival of the year and traditionally is
celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar
calendar, typically a full moon day. Therefore the date will vary from
year to year in the Western (Gregorian) calendar. Since it is the day
upon which the Buddha was born, died and achieved Enlightenment, for
Buddhists the celebrations are massive. Families visit the local wat
(temple) to pray, and services continue all night and well into the
morning. As part of the observance of this festival, celebrants build
huge bamboo rockets which they fire at the rain god to bring down the
first rains of the season. In addition to the processions there are
puppet shows and dancing with everyone dressed up in their very best
clothes for the occasion.
birthday is a national religious holiday in Hong Kong, Laos, Macau and
South Korea. In Japan it is celebrated on April 8th. Those who visit a
shrine on his birthday take an offering of fresh spring flowers (cherry
blossoms), and so there the festival is called Hana Matsuri
or Flower Festival. It is celebrated with offerings and prayers. Things
that are offered are flowers, fruit, wine, rice, and lengths of silk or
linen. Many believers prostate themselves repeatedly in front of the
Buddha statue. A long line of believers waits patiently for the
opportunity to bow and pour a bamboo ladle full of sweet tea (hydrangea
leaf tea) with a prayer over a statue of the baby Buddha. This is in
remembrance of the legend that it rained tea on the day that Buddha was
birthday is a time to remember the story of how the Buddha gained
enlightenment and to reflect on what it might mean for individuals to
move towards enlightening themselves. Traditionally, the values of
kindness, peace and harmony are stressed during this holiday. It is a
time to be more patient and more open to each other's differences, a
time to do better and to forgive each other's failings. In some parts
of Asia, for example, some prisoners are released from jail during
Bhaishajyaguru is known as the Medicine Buddha. He is also called the
Healing Buddha. He is said to dispense spiritual medicine when properly
worshipped. In Tibet he may be represented either as a Buddha or as a
Bodhisattva. As a Buddha, he wears a monastic robe and is seated with
the legs crossed. His left hand, lying in his lap in meditation mudra,
usually holds the medicine bowl while the right hand in charity mudra
holds either a branch with fruit, or the fruit alone, of the myrobalan,
a medicinal plant found in India and other tropical countries.
Tibetan medicine recognises three basic types of illness, the root
causes of which are the conflicting emotions -- passion, agression, and
ignorance. Myrobalan is the only herb in the Tibetan pharmacopea that
can aid in healing each of these three types of diseases. This is like
the action of the Buddha of Healing, who has the power to see the true
cause of any affliction, whether spiritual, physical or psychological,
and who does whatever is necessary to alleviate it.
From the perspetive of the Apocalptic Vehicle, the Vajrayana, Adi
Buddha is regarded as the highest deity of The Buddhist Pantheon, the
supreme essence of all Buddhas. When represented he begets the name of
Vajradhara and is conceived in two forms, single and yabyum. When
single he is decorated with jewels, ornaments, and dress. He sits in
the attitude of mediation, and carries the vajra in the right hand and
the ghanta (bell) in the left, the two hands crossed in front of the
heart in the diamond HUM-sound gesture. In yab-yum,
his form remains the same as when single except that when he is locked
in close embrace by his Saki. Considered indivisible from the Truth
Body of all Buddhas, he nevertheless manifests in the form of a royal
Beatific Body Buddha or celestial Bodhisattva with crown and ornaments
seated in the diamond posture.
The Tibetans demonstrate their long-term hope for a positive outcome to
their evolutionary struggles in believing in the legend of the future
Buddha Maitreya. Maitreya is present in Tushita Heaven now and
constantly intervenes to improve
the day, while waiting to emanate as a Buddha far in the future in
order to help those who have failed to reach enlightenment in this
cycle of history. It is said he will come to earth a full 4,000 years
after the disappearance of Gautam Buddha for the deliverence of all
sentient beings. He is the only Bodhisattva who is worshipped both by
the Himayanists and the Mahayanists.
their devotion to the myth of Avalokiteshvara's vow to protect the
Tibetans, they uphold their convenant with a powerful archangel of
total benevolence. They need only put the Buddha Dharma of wisdom and
compassion into practice as much as possible in their personal lives
and social institutions, and the Bodhisattva will tirelessly come to
their aid in all their difficulties. In the sense of planetary
spiritual environment, Tibetans feel the continuing presence of Padma
Sambhava alive on his copper mountain, of Manjushri dwelling on his
five peaks, and of the Vajradakinis in their magic land to the west. In
the midst of being invaded and troubled by difficulties in the world,
they feel Shakyamuni still radiant from the holy land of India, and
they feel the vigilant presence of Shambhala in the north, waiting for
the time to turn the world around toward goodness and sanity.
may be represented as a standing figure adorned with rich ornaments and
holding in his right hand the stalk of a lotus. Maitreya may also be
represented seated as a Buddha, with legs either interlocked or
dangling down. His color is yellow, and his images sometimes bear the
figures of Dhyani Buddhas.
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(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:25 PM)
Nephew of the Jade-Emperor
specialises in outwitting demons and evil spirits. With seventy-two
separate disguises in his dressing room, they seldom spot him coming.
was called in by Heaven to subdue the troublesome MONKEY, which he
attempted to do with great confidence. But pride comes before a fall
and he failed most miserably, not realising that the Monkey King was
just as adept at the seventy-two transformations and had a much bigger
ER-LANG is also a mortal enemy of ZHANG-XIAN. We don't
know why, but we aim to find out. There are giveaway hints however. He
has a third eye in the middle of his forehead on which an eyepatch
would be out of place, and he favors a three-bladed spear and rather
swirly clothes. Also his black hound will never be far away.
Pronunciation: "Uh Larng"
Aternative Names: Er-Long, Erh-Lang
Mystic number: 3306
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