Aizen-Myoo: The Esoteric King of Lust, An Iconological Study by Roger Goepper

By Roger Goepper

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When he returned home to Japan he imported Shingon Mikky6. Because in our country the Buddhist Teaching was used for the rescue of peace and the prosperity of the state, this was regarded as the object sought after for excellence and abundance. " In correspondance to ancient Chinese symbolism the red solar disk could sometimes contain a three-legged black bird thereby accentuating in a syncretistic manner the intended meaning (fig. The Helzku-sh6 by the priest D6ky6 (1200-36) has in chapter "Ah", dated 1233, the following account:I13 "In the second year of Kanki [ I L ~ OI ]saw and revered in the Henchi-in an icon (Raga-gj,ozg) without sun disk [as halo], having only the usual flames [as halo].

11, Sirnla 1871, 6-11. Tucci 1949, 2,616. planation that, in its turn, presents some linguistic difficulties concerning the palatal " T " , ~but, on the other hand, adds some interesting meaning to the enigmatic name. In addition it seems to have also come to the mind of at least one medieval Japanese priest. This hypothetical explanation is based on the Sanskrit verbal root sthag- which has the meaning of "to cover, to hide, to conceal"' and changes into thak- in ~ a l i . 'The difficulty lies in the step to a palatalisation of the "T" in Prakrit which seems impossible to some linguistics, although in some cases this step seems to have been taken.

13 2. Tenkyii-Aizen Another form of our deity seems to illustrate the line in the Yagi-kyG which states that he holds bow and arrow "as if he were aiming at the brightness of all the stars". This is the so-called TenkytiKawade Shobo: Nihon Rekfshi Datjiten, Tokyo 1968, 5, 5. 'O " I2 Ibid. 836. Daigo-ji nos. 163-4 and 165-29. Reproduced in T. Mae and G. Nagajima: Koji-junvei, Saikokn 2, Kanshin-ji, Kyoto 1981,pi. 45-46; Tanabe and Ariga 1990,147,pi. 59. i. Tanabe and Ariga 1990,146, pl. 58. Fig.

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