|KEY WORD :@art history / iconography|
Kanro Gundari ΓIRδΆ (Sk: Amrtakundalin); also known as Kirikiri Myouou g’g’Ύ€.
One of the five great myouou *godai
myouou άεΎ€, the fierce deities who preside over the five directions.
He represents the wrathful manifestation of Houshou σΆ, one of the Five
Buddhas of the Diamond world, Kongoukai gobutsu ΰEά§ and presides
over the southern quarter. His name Gundari is a transliteration of Sanskrit
Kundali, and the origins of his cult are generally thought to lie in the
Hindu cult of kundalin, a form of latent spiritual energy envisioned in
the form of a snake coiled at the base of the spine. He is believed to be
especially efficacious in the removal of obstacles to ones spiritual or
physical progress, and he is invoked in many rites in the Shingon ^Ύ sect.
He is described in texts as having either one face and eight arms or four
faces and four arms, but he is usually represented in the one-faced and
eight-armed form. The objects held in his hands may vary, but he invariably
has snakes coiled around his neck, waist, wrists and ankles, and he stands
on a lotus with one leg raised. Artistic representations of him, both statuary
and pictorial, are usually found in sets of the godai myouou but
there are also many examples of independent wooden images (e.g., Daikakuji
εo and Enryakuji ο in Kyoto, Konshouji ΰ in Shiga prefecture, and Jourakuin
νy@ in Saitama preference). He also appears with two arms in the *Taizoukai
mandara Ω EΦδΆ
as Kongou Gundari ΰRδΆ (Sk: Vajrakundalin) in the
Soshitsuji-in h»n@ and Kongoushu-in ΰθ@ and as Renge Gundari @ΨRδΆ (Sk:
Padmakundalin) in the Kannon-in ΟΉ@.
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