September 20, 2022

Aizen-myoo (Ragaraja): Tokyo National Museum

Aizen-myoo (Ragaraja): Tokyo National Museum

Wood with gold and other pigments, lacquer, gold leaf, and crystal

Japan, Kamakura period, 13th century

Aizen-myoo is an avator of Buddha and the god of love which believed in Shingon Esoteric Buddhism. He has three eyes and six arms, wears the crown of lion's head, is red in color with anger, and is seated in the lotus position with his legs crossed. He holds a bow and arrows for destroying demons on his six arms, and a Hobyo (sacred water vessel) is placed below the lotus seat.

As "Aizen(love)suggestshe is in charge of love and lust and has the power to transform our earthly lust and greed into pure bodhi-citta (enlightened mind), symbolizing the extinction of worldly desires and the attainment of enlightenment.

Humans have many desires, and these desires have the power to drive us to destruction, but, at the same time, they also have the power to energize our lives. Aizen-myoo's teaching is to purify such a crude human desire, which is like a double-edged sword, into the encouraging energy that causes spiritual enlightenment and self-improvement.

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