Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient, non-theistic, Indian religion. Followers of Jainism are called "Jains", a word derived from the Sanskrit word jina and connoting the path of victory in crossing over life's stream of rebirths through an ethical and spiritual life. Jains trace their history through a succession of 24 victorious saviours and teachers known as tirthankaras, with the first being Rishabhanatha, who according to Jain tradition lived millions of years ago, twenty-third being Parshvanatha in 8th century BC and twenty-fourth being the Mahāvīra around 500 BCE. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology; the main religious premises of Jainism are anekāntavāda, aparigraha and asceticism. Devout Jains take five main vows: ahiṃsā, asteya and aparigraha; these principles have impacted Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle that avoids harm to animals and their life cycles.
Parasparopagraho Jīvānām is the motto of Jainism. Ṇamōkāra mantra is the most basic prayer in Jainism. Jainism has Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras; the Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras have different views on ascetic practices and which Jain texts can be considered canonical. Jain mendicants are found in all Jain sub-traditions except Kanji Panth sub-tradition, with laypersons supporting the mendicants' spiritual pursuits with resources. Jainism has between five million followers, with most Jains residing in India. Outside India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Suriname and the United States. Major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Jayanti, Diwali; the principle of ahimsa is a fundamental tenet of Jainism. It believes that one must abandon all violent activity, without such a commitment to non-violence all religious behavior is worthless. In Jain theology, it does not matter how correct or defensible the violence may be, one must not kill any being, "non-violence is one's highest religious duty".
Jain texts such as Acaranga Sūtra and Tattvarthasūtra state that one must renounce all killing of living beings, whether tiny or large, movable or immovable. Its theology teaches that one must neither kill another living being, nor cause another to kill, nor consent to any killing directly or indirectly. Furthermore, Jainism emphasizes non-violence against all beings not only in action but in speech and in thought, it states that instead of hate or violence against anyone, "all living creatures must help each other". Violence negatively affects and destroys one's soul when the violence is done with intent, hate or carelessness, or when one indirectly causes or consents to the killing of a human or non-human living being; the idea of reverence for non-violence is founded in Hindu and Buddhist canonical texts, it may have origins in more ancient Brahmanical Vedic thoughts. However, no other Indian religion has developed the non-violence doctrine and its implications on everyday life as has Jainism.
The theological basis of non-violence as the highest religious duty has been interpreted by some Jain scholars not to "be driven by merit from giving or compassion to other creatures, nor a duty to rescue all creatures", but resulting from "continual self-discipline", a cleansing of the soul that leads to one's own spiritual development which affects one's salvation and release from rebirths. Causing injury to any being in any form creates bad karma which affects one's rebirth, future well being and suffering. Late medieval Jain scholars re-examined the Ahiṃsā doctrine when one is faced with external threat or violence. For example, they justified violence by monks to protect nuns. According to Dundas, the Jain scholar Jinadatta Suri wrote during a time of Muslim destruction of temples and persecution that "anybody engaged in a religious activity, forced to fight and kill somebody would not lose any spiritual merit but instead attain deliverance". However, such examples in Jain texts that condone fighting and killing under certain circumstances are rare.
The second main principle of Jainism is anekāntavāda or anekantatva, a word derived from anekānta and vada. The anekāntavāda doctrine states that reality is complex and always has multiple aspects. Reality can be experienced, but it is not possible to express it with language. Human attempts to communicate is Naya, explained as "partial expression of the truth". Language is not Truth. From Truth, according to Mahāvīra, language returns and not the other way round. One can experience the truth of a taste, but cannot express that taste through language. Any attempts to express the experience is syāt, or valid "in some respect" but it remains a "perhaps, just one perspective, incomplete". In the same way, spiritual truths are complex, they have multiple aspects, language cannot express their plurality, yet through effort and appropriate karma they can be experienced. Since reality is many-sided the great error, according to Jainism, is ekānta where some relative truth is treated as an absolute truth to the exclusion of others.
The anekāntavāda premise of the Jains is ancient, as evidenced by its mention in Buddhist texts such as the Samaññapha
Buddhist texts were passed on orally by monks, but were written down and composed as manuscripts in various Indo-Aryan languages which were translated into other local languages as Buddhism spread. They can be categorized in a number of ways; the Western terms "scripture" and "canonical" are applied to Buddhism in inconsistent ways by Western scholars: for example, one authority refers to "scriptures and other canonical texts", while another says that scriptures can be categorized into canonical and pseudo-canonical. Buddhist traditions have divided these texts with their own categories and divisions, such as that between buddhavacana "word of the Buddha," many of which are known as "sutras," and other texts, such as shastras or Abhidharma; these religious texts were written in many different languages and scripts but memorizing and copying the texts were of high value. After the development of printing, Buddhists preferred to keep to their original practices with these texts. According to Donald Lopez, criteria for determining what should be considered buddhavacana were developed at an early stage, that the early formulations do not suggest that Dharma is limited to what was spoken by the historical Buddha.
The Mahāsāṃghika and the Mūlasarvāstivāda considered both the Buddha's discourses, of his disciples, to be buddhavacana. A number of different beings such as buddhas, disciples of the buddha, ṛṣis, devas were considered capable to transmitting buddhavacana; the content of such a discourse was to be collated with the sūtras, compared with the Vinaya, evaluated against the nature of the Dharma. These texts may be certified as true buddhavacana by a buddha, a saṃgha, a small group of elders, or one knowledgeable elder. In Theravada Buddhism, the standard collection of buddhavacana is the Pāli Canon; some scholars believe that some portions of the Pali Canon and Agamas could contain the actual substance of the historical teachings of the Buddha. In East Asian Buddhism, what is considered buddhavacana is collected in the Chinese Buddhist canon; the most common edition of this is the Taishō Tripiṭaka. According to Venerable Hsuan Hua from the tradition of Chinese Buddhism, there are five types of beings who may speak the sutras of Buddhism: a buddha, a disciple of a buddha, a deva, a ṛṣi, or an emanation of one of these beings.
These sutras may be properly regarded as buddhavacana. Sometimes texts that are considered commentaries by some are regarded by others as Buddhavacana. Shingon Buddhism developed a system that assigned authorship of the early sutras to Gautama Buddha in his physical manifestation, of the Ekayana sutras to the Buddhas as Sambhoghakaya, the Vajrayana texts to the Buddha as Dharmakaya. In Tibetan Buddhism, what is considered buddhavacana is collected in the Kangyur; the East Asian and Tibetan Buddhist canons always combined Buddhavacana with other literature in their standard collected editions. However, the general view of what is and is not buddhavacana is broadly similar between East Asian Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism; the Tibetan Kangyur, which belongs to the various schools of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, in addition to containing sutras and vinaya contains tantras. The earliest Buddhist texts were passed down orally in Middle Indo-Aryan languages called Prakrits, including Gāndhārī language, the early Magadhan language and Pali through the use of repetition, communal recitation and mnemonic devices.
Doctrinal elaborations were preserved in Abhidharma works and Karikas. As Buddhism spread geographically, these texts were translated into the local language, such as Chinese and Tibetan; the Pali canon was preserved in Sri Lanka where it was first written down in the first century BCE and the Theravadan Pali textual tradition developed there. The Sri Lankan Pali tradition developed extensive commentaries as well as sub-commentaries for the Pali Canon as well as treatises on Abhidhamma. Sutra commentaries and Abhidharma works exist in Tibetan, Chinese and other East Asian languages. Important examples of non-canonical Pali texts are the Visuddhimagga, by Buddhaghosa, a compendium of Theravada teachings and the Mahavamsa, a historical Sri Lankan chronicle; the earliest known Buddhist manuscripts, recovered from the ancient civilization of Gandhara in north central Pakistan are dated to the 1st century and constitute the Buddhist textual tradition of Gandharan Buddhism, an important link between Indian and East Asian Buddhism.
After the rise of the Kushans in India, Sanskrit was widely used to record Buddhist texts. Sanskrit Buddhist literature became the dominant tradition in India until the decline of Buddhism in India. Around the beginning of the Christian era, a new genre of sutra literature began to be written with a focus on the Bodhisattva idea known as Mahayana sutras. Many of the Mahayana sutras were written in Sanskrit and translated into the Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist canons which developed their own textual histories; the Mahayana sutras are traditionally considered by Mahayanists to be the word of the Buddha, but transmitted either in secret, via lineages of supernatural beings, or revealed directly from other Buddhas or bodhisattvas. Some 600 Mahayana Sutras have survived in Chinese and/or Tibetan translation. In the Mahayana tradition there are important works termed Shastras, or treatises which attempt to outline the sutra teachings and defend or exp
Kubera known as Kuvera, Kuber or Kuberan, is the Lord of Wealth and the god-king of the semi-divine Yakshas in Hindu mythology. He is regarded as the regent of the North, a protector of the world, his many epithets extol him as the overlord of numerous semi-divine species and the owner of the treasures of the world. Kubera is depicted with a plump body, adorned with jewels, carrying a money-pot and a club. Described as the chief of evil spirits in Vedic-era texts, Kubera acquired the status of a Deva only in the Puranas and the Hindu epics; the scriptures describe that Kubera once ruled Lanka, but was overthrown by his demon half-brother Ravana settling in the city of Alaka in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. Descriptions of the "glory" and "splendours" of Kubera's city are found in many scriptures. Kubera has been assimilated into the Buddhist and Jain pantheons. In Buddhism, he is known as Vaisravana, the patronymic used of the Hindu Kubera and is equated with Pañcika, while in Jainism, he is known as Sarvanubhuti.
Kubera is depicted as a dwarf, with complexion of lotus leaves and a big belly. He is described as having three legs, only eight teeth, one eye, being adorned with jewels, he is sometimes depicted riding a man. The description of deformities like the broken teeth, three legs, three heads and four arms appear only in the Puranic texts. Kubera holds a pomegranate or a money bag in his hand, he may carry a sheaf of jewels or a mongoose with him. In Tibet, the mongoose is considered a symbol of Kubera's victory over Nāgas—the guardians of treasures. Kubera is depicted with a mongoose in Buddhist iconography. In the Vishnudharmottara Purana, Kubera is described as the embodiment of both Artha and Arthashastras, the treatises related to it—and his iconography mirrors it. Kubera's complexion is described as that of lotus leaves, he rides a man—the state personified, adorned in golden clothes and ornaments, symbolizing his wealth. His left eye is yellow, he wears a necklace down to his large belly. The Vishnudharmottara Purana further describes his face to be inclined to the left, sporting a beard and mustache, with two small tusks protruding from the ends of his mouth, representing his powers to punish and to bestow favours.
His wife Riddhi, representing the journey of life, is seated on his left lap, with her left hand on the back of Kubera and the right holding a ratna-patra. Kubera should be four-armed, holding a gada and a shakti in his left pair, standards bearing a lion—representing Artha and a shibika; the nidhi treasures Padma and Shankha stand beside him in human form, with their heads emerging from a lotus and a conch respectively. The Agni Purana states that Kubera should be installed in temples as seated on a goat, with a club in his hand. Kubera's image is prescribed to be that of gold, with multi-coloured attributes. In some sources in Jain depictions, Kubera is depicted as a drunkard, signified by the "nectar vessel" in his hand; the exact origins of the name Kubera are unknown. "Kubera" or "Kuvera" as spelt in Sanskrit, means "deformed or monstrous" or "ill-shaped one". Another theory suggests. Kuvera is split as ku, vira; as the son of Vishrava, Kubera is called Vaisravana and as the son of Ailavila.
Vaisravana is sometimes translated as the "Son of Fame". The Sutta Nitapa commentary says that Vaisravana is derived from a name of Visana. Once, Kubera looked at his wife Parvati with jealousy, so he lost one of his eyes. Parvati turned this deformed eye yellow. So, Kubera gained the name Ekaksipingala, he is called Bhutesha like Shiva. Kubera is drawn by spirits or men, so is called Nara-vahana, one whose vahana is nara. Hopkins interprets naras as being water-spirits. Kubera rides the elephant called Sarvabhauma as a loka-pala, his garden is named Chaitrarath. Kubera enjoys the titles "king of the whole world", "king of kings", "Lord of wealth" and "giver of wealth", his titles are sometimes related to his subjects: "king of Yakshas", "Lord of Rakshasas", "Lord of Guhyakas", "king of Kinnaras", "king of animals resembling men", "king of men". Kubera is called Guhyadhipa; the Atharvaveda calls him the "god of hiding". In the Atharvaveda—where he first appears—and the Shatapatha Brahmana, Kubera is the chief of evil spirits or spirits of darkness, son of Vaishravana.
The Shatapatha Brahmana calls him the Lord of criminals. In the Manusmriti, he becomes the patron of merchants. In the epic Mahabharata, Kubera is described as the son of Prajapati Pulastya and his wife Idavida and the brother of sage Vishrava. Kubera is described. However, from the Puranas, he is described as the grandson of Pulastya and the son of Vishrava and his wife Ilavida, daughter of the sage Bharadvaja or Trinabindu. By this time, though still described as an asura, Kubera is offered prayers at the end of all ritual sacrifices, his titles, such as "best of kings" and "Lord of kings", in contrast to the god-king of heaven, whose title of "best of go
Pataliputra, adjacent to modern-day Patna, was a city in ancient India built by Magadha ruler Udayin in 490 BCE as a small fort near the Ganges river. It became the capital of major powers in ancient India, such as the Shishunaga Empire, Nanda Empire, the Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Pala Empire. During the Maurya period, it became one of the largest cities in the world; as per the Greek diplomat and historian Megasthenes, during the Mauryan Empire it was among the first cities in the world to have a efficient form of local self government. Extensive archaeological excavations have been made in the vicinity of modern Patna. Excavations early in the 20th century around Patna revealed clear evidence of large fortification walls, including reinforcing wooden trusses; the etymology of Pataliputra is unclear. "Putra" means son, "pāţali" is a species of rice or the plant Bignonia suaveolens. One traditional etymology holds. Another tradition says that Pāṭaliputra means the son of Pāṭali, the daughter of Raja Sudarshan.
As it was known as Pāṭali-grāma some scholars believe that Pāṭaliputra is a transformation of Pāṭalipura, "Pāṭali town". There is no mention of Pataliputra in written sources prior to the early Jain and Buddhist texts, where it appears as the village of Pataligrama and is omitted from a list of major cities in the region. Early Buddhist sources report a city being built in the vicinity of the village towards the end of the Buddha's life. In 303 BCE, Greek historian and ambassador Megasthenes mentioned Pataliputra as a city in his work Indika. Diodorus, quoting Iambulus mention that the king of Pataliputra had a "great love for the Greeks"; the city of Pataliputra was formed by fortification of a village by Haryanka ruler Ajatashatru, son of Bimbisara. Its central location in north eastern India led rulers of successive dynasties to base their administrative capital here, from the Nandas, Mauryans and the Guptas down to the Palas. Situated at the confluence of the Ganges and Son rivers, Pataliputra formed a "water fort, or jaldurga".
Its position helped it dominate the riverine trade of the Indo-Gangetic plains during Magadha's early imperial period. It was a great centre of trade and commerce and attracted merchants and intellectuals, such as the famed Chanakya, from all over India. Two important early Buddhist councils are recorded in early Buddhist texts as being held here, the First Buddhist council following the death of the Buddha and the Second Buddhist council in the reign of Ashoka. Jain and Brahmanical sources identify Udayabhadra, son of Ajatashatru, as the king who first established Pataliputra as the capital of Magadha. During the reign of Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE, it was one of the world's largest cities, with a population of about 150,000–400,000; the city is estimated to have had a surface of 25.5 square kilometers, a circumference of 33.8 kilometers, was in the shape of a parallelogram and had 64 gates. Pataliputra reached the pinnacle of prosperity when it was the capital of the great Mauryan Emperors, Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka.
The city prospered under the Mauryas and a Greek ambassador, resided there and left a detailed account of its splendour, referring to it as "Palibothra": "Megasthenes says that on one side where it is longest this city extends ten miles in length, that its breadth is one and threequarters miles. Arrian, "The Indica" Strabo in his Geographia adds; these are thought to be the wooden palisades identified during the excavation of Patna. "At the confluence of the Ganges and of another river is situated Palibothra, in length 80, in breadth 15 stadia. It is in the shape of a parallelogram, surrounded by a wooden wall pierced with openings through which arrows may be discharged. In front is a ditch, which serves the purpose of defence and of a sewer for the city." Strabo, "Geographia" Aelian, although not expressly quoting Megasthenes nor mentionning Pataliputra, described Indian palaces as superior in splendor to Persia's Susa or Ectabana: "In the royal residences in India where the greatest of the kings of that country live, there are so many objects for admiration that neither Memnon's city of Susa with all its extravagance, nor the magnificence of Ectabana is to be compared with them.
In the parks, tame peacocks and pheasants are kept." Aelian, "Characteristics of animals" Under Ashoka, most of wooden structure of Pataliputra palace may have been replaced by stone. Ashoka was known to be a great builder, who may have imported craftsmen from abroad to build royal monuments. Pataliputra palace shows decorative influences of the Achaemenid palaces and Persepolis and may have used the help of foreign craftmen. Which may be the result of the formative influence of craftsmen employed from Persia following the disintegration of the Achaemenid Empire after the conquests of Alexander the Great; the city became a flourishing Buddhist centre boasting a number of important monasteries. It remained the capital of the Pala Dynasty; the city was in ruins when visited by Xuanzang, suffered further damage at
Vaiśravaṇa or Vessavaṇa, is one of the Four Heavenly Kings, is considered an important figure in Japanese Buddhism. The name Vaiśravaṇa is a vṛddhi derivative of the Sanskrit proper name Viśravaṇa from the root vi-śru "hear distinctly", "become famous"; the name Vaiśravaṇa is derived from the Sanskrit viśravaṇa which means "son of Vishrava", a usual epithet of the Hindu god Kubera. Vaiśravaṇa is known as Kubera and Jambhala in Sanskrit and Kuvera in Pāli. Other names include: traditional Chinese: 多聞天; this was a loanword from Vaiśravaṇa into Middle Chinese with the addition of the word "heaven, god" Tibetan: རྣམ་ཐོས་སྲས, Wylie: rnam thos sras, THL Namthöse, "Prince All-Hearing", a calque of Sanskrit Vaiśravaṇa Mongolian: Баян Намсрай bajn namsrɛ is a loan from Tibetan thos sras, a short form of Tibetan rnam thos sras with the addition of an honorific Thai: ท้าวกุเวร Thao Kuwen or ท้าวเวสสุวรรณ Thao Wetsuwan is an honorific plus the modern pronunciation of Pali Vessavaṇa. The character of Vaiśravaṇa is founded upon the Hindu deity Kubera, but although the Buddhist and Hindu deities share some characteristics and epithets, each of them has different functions and associated myths.
Although brought into East Asia as a Buddhist deity, Vaiśravaṇa has become a character in folk religion and has acquired an identity, independent of the Buddhist tradition. Vaiśravaṇa is the guardian of the northern direction, his home is in the northern quadrant of the topmost tier of the lower half of Sumeru, he is the leader of all the yakṣas. He is portrayed with a yellow face, he carries an parasol as a symbol of his sovereignty. He is sometimes displayed with a mongoose shown ejecting jewels from its mouth; the mongoose is the enemy of a symbol of greed or hatred. In the Pāli Canon of Theravāda Buddhism, Vaiśravaṇa is called Vessavaṇa. Vessavaṇa is one of the Cātummahārājāno or "Four Great Kings", each of whom rules over a specific direction. Vessavaṇa's realm is the northern quadrant including the land of Uttarakuru. According to some suttas, he takes his name from a region. Vessavaṇa governs the yakshas – beings with a nature between'fairy' and'ogre'. Vessavaṇa's wife is named Bhuñjatī, he has five daughters, Latā, Sajjā, Pavarā, Acchimatī, Sutā.
He has a nephew called Puṇṇaka, a yakkha, husband of the nāga woman Irandatī. He has a chariot called Nārīvāhana, he is called gadāvudha "armed with a club", but he only used it before he became a follower of the Buddha. Vessavaṇa has the name "Kuvera" from a name he had from a past life as a rich Brahmin mill-owner from Sri Lanka, who gave all the produce of one of his seven mills to charity, provided alms to the needy for 20,000 years, he was reborn in the Cātummahārājikā heaven as a result of this good karma. As with all the Buddhist deities, Vessavaṇa is properly the name of an office rather than a permanent individual; each Vessavaṇa is mortal, when he dies, he will be replaced by a new Vessavaṇa. Like other beings of the Cātummahārājika world, his lifespan is 90,000 years. Vessavaṇa has the authority to grant the yakkhas particular areas to protect, these are assigned at the beginning of a Vessavaṇa's reign; when Gautama Buddha was born, Vessavaṇa became his follower, attained the stage of sotāpanna, one who has only seven more lives before enlightenment.
He brought the Buddha and his followers messages from the gods and other humans, protected them. He presented to the Buddha the Āṭānāṭā verses, which Buddhists meditating in the forest could use to ward off the attacks of wild yakkhas or other supernatural beings who do not have faith in the Buddha; these verses are an early form of paritta chanting. Bimbisāra, King of Magadha, after his death was reborn as a yakkha called Janavasabha in the retinue of Vessavaṇa. In the early years of Buddhism, Vessavaṇa was worshipped at trees dedicated to him as shrines; some people appealed to him to grant them children. In Japan, Bishamonten, or just Bishamon is thought of as an armor-clad god of war or warriors and a punisher of evildoers. Bishamon is portrayed holding a spear in one hand and a small pagoda in the other hand, the latter symbolizing the divine treasure house, whose contents he both guards and gives away. In Japanese folklore, he is one of the Seven Lucky Gods. Bishamon is called Tamonten because he is seen as the guardian of the places where the Buddha preaches.
He is believed to live halfway down Mount Sumeru. He is associated with Hachiman. In Tibet, Vaiśravaṇa is considered a dharmapāla in the retinue of Ratnasambhava, he is known as the King of the North. As guardian of the north, he is depicted on temple murals outside the main door, he is thought of as a god of wealth. As such, Vaiśravaṇa is sometimes portrayed carrying a citron, the fruit of the jambhara tree, a pun on another name of his, Jambhala; the fruit helps distinguish him iconically from depictions of Kuvera. He is sometimes represented as corpulent and
Lokapāla, Sanskrit and Pāli for "guardian of the world", has different uses depending on whether it is found in a Hindu or Buddhist context. In Hinduism, lokapāla refers to the Guardians of the Directions associated with the eight and ten cardinal directions. In Buddhism, lokapāla refers to the Four Heavenly Kings, to other protector spirits, whereas the Guardians of the Directions are referred to as the'dikpālas' In Buddhism, lokapāla are one of two broad categories of Dharmapāla -the other category being Wisdom Protectors. In China, "each is additionally associated with a specific direction and the Four Heraldic Animals of Chinese astronomy/astrology, as well as playing a more secular role in rural communities ensuring favorable weather for crops and peace throughout the land... Identified by their armor and boots, each has his own magic weapon and associations." Their names are Dhrtarastra, Virupaksa and Virudhaka. In Tibetan Buddhism many of these worldly protector deities are indigenous Tibetan deities, mountain gods, spirits or ghosts that have been subjugated by Padmasambhava or other great adepts and oath bound to protect a monastery, geographic region, particular tradition or as guardians of Buddhism in general.
These worldly protectors are invoked and propitiated to aid the monastery or Buddhist practitioner materially and to remove obstacles to practice. However, since they are considered to be Samsaric beings they are not worshiped or considered as objects of refuge. According to Tripitaka Master Shramana Hsuan Hua of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, All of these beings are invoked and exhorted to behave and protect the Dharma and its practitioners in the Shurangama Mantra Classes of Worldly Protector include: Lokapāla The Four Heavenly Kings - Oathbound spirits - Kalsang, Ladrang The Guardian Deities of Tibet Delhi: Winsome Books. ISBN 81-88043-04-4 Linrothe, Rob Ruthless Compassion: Wrathful Deities in Early Indo-Tibetan Esoteric Buddhist Art London: Serindia Publications. ISBN 0-906026-51-2 De Nebesky-Wojkowitz, Rene. Oracles and Demons of Tibet. Oxford University Press. Reprint Delhi: Books Faith, 1996 - ISBN 81-7303-039-1. Reprint Delhi: Paljor Publications, 2002- - ISBN 81-86230-12-2 Buddhist Protectors - outline page at Himalayan Art Resources Buddhist Protectors: Worldly - images at Himalayan Art Resources Lokapalas and caturmaharajikas - Lokapalas and caturmaharajikas in rock carvings at Chilas and Thalpan on the Upper Indus
Mahamayuri, or Mahāmāyūrī Vidyārājñī is a bodhisattva and Wisdom King in Mahayana Buddhism. Her origins are said to derive from an Indian goddess of the same name, she is the name of one of the five protective goddesses in the Buddhist Pantheon. Known as the'Queen of the secret sciences' and Mahamayuri-vidyarajni, the Mother of Buddha in Mahayana Buddhism, Mahamayuri is believed to have the power to protect devotees from poisoning, either physical or spiritual. In Buddhism, her demeanor is in contrast to the wrathful attitudes of male personifications of the Wisdom Kings; the Mahamayuri text is a Buddhist dharani-genre text, containing magical incantations to treat snake bites and other maladies. Mahamayuri's dharani was translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva between 402 and 412 CE, it contains the only mention of the Rig Veda in the entire Chinese Buddhist canon. Despite being associated with the Wisdom Kings, Mahāmāyūrī tends to be portrayed with a benevolent expression rather than a wrathful one.
She is potrayed riding a top a peacock and sporting four arms. Although the items she holds varies among traditions, common items include a citron, bael fruit, lotus flower and a peacock tail feather. Chinese Buddhism List of Japanese deities