不動明王Fudo Myo

2014-01_Fudo Myo_1

Etching with drypoint technique. Four prints.

不動明王Fudo Myo

Fudo Myo is a personification of Dainichi Nyorai (the Cosmic Buddha), who is the supreme deity of Esoteric Buddhism (Mikkyo) in Japan.

The following text is taken from http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/fudo.html (which is a great resource):

“Fudō converts anger into salvation; has furious, glaring face, as Fudō seeks to frighten people into accepting the teachings of Dainichi Buddha; carries “kurikara” or devil-subduing sword in right hand (representing wisdom cutting through ignorance); holds rope in left hand (to catch and bind up demons); often has third eye in forehead (all-seeing); often seated or standing on rock (because Fudō is “immovable” in his faith). Fudō is also worshipped as a deity who can bring monetary fortune. Also, Fudō’s left eye is often closed, and the teeth bite the upper lip; alternatively, Fudō is shown with two fangs, one pointing upward and other pointing downward. Fudō’s aureole is typically the flames of fire, which according to Buddhist lore, represent the purification of the mind by the burning away of all material desires.”

“Myō-ō is the Japanese term for Sanskrit “Vidyaraja,” a group of warlike and wrathful deities known in English as the Mantra Kings, the Wisdom Kings, or the Knowledge Kings. Myō-ō statues appear ferocious and menacing, with threatening postures and faces designed to subdue evil and frighten unbelievers into accepting Buddhist law. They represent the luminescent wisdom of Buddhism, protect the Buddhist teachings, remove all obstacles to enlightenment, and force evil to surrender. Introduced to Japan in 9th century, the Myō-ō were originally Hindu deities that were adopted into Esoteric Buddhism to vanquish blind craving. They serve and protect the various Buddha, especially Dainichi Buddha. In most traditions, they are considered emanations of Dainichi Buddha, and represent Dainichi’s wrath against evil and ignorance. In Japan, among the individual Myō-ō, Fudō is the most widely venerated.”

This etching is inspired by a photo of a Fudo Myo statue found in this interesting blog:

http://www.deepkyoto.com/?p=1947

The plate:

2014-01_Fudo Myo_2

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