Monday, April 14, 2008

MFA: III



This is one of the statues in the Buddhist Temple Room I showed you back on Saturday. That scary guy is Bishamonten - the God of War and Warriors. He holds a pagoda in his hand, and here is why:

The small pagoda he often carries symbolizes the divine treasure house. He is both a protector of and dispenser of its treasure -- he shares the pagoda's vast treasures with only "the worthy." In Japan, as a member of the Four Heavenly Kings, he is called Tamonten (Listens to Many Teachings), and in this capacity he protects the places where Buddha preaches and listens always to Buddha's teachings.
Learn more here, and don't let this guy's grumpy face scare you - make sure you stop in and say hi to him next time you're at the MFA!

2 comments:

The Lone Beader said...

His shadow is scaring me!

Professor said...

I like the shot and I appreciate the lesson in culture (I don't have cultural moments here!) Thank you!