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Nyoirin Kannon@”@ˆÓ—֊ωš
CATEGORY:@art history / iconography
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Sk:Cintamanicakra. A form of *Kannon ŠĎ‰š, most often six armed and proffering a "wish-fulfilling jewel" *nyoi houju ”@ˆÓ•óŽě and holding up a wheel, rinpou —Ö•ó. Most characteristically, from the Heian period on, he sits on a lotus on top of a rock that rises from the sea. His left leg is in a cross-legged pose, while his right knee is raised, his right foot resting in his left foot. He wears a crown with a small image of *Amida ˆ˘–í‘É set in it (see *kebutsu ‰ť•§). In his left hands he holds a full blown lotus and a wheel, while another hand rests on the dais. One of his right hands holds the jewel, another a rosary, and he rests the elbow of the third on his knee. When the wheel is missing (the attributes are often separate) he appears to point up with one left hand. The Six-armed Nyoirin apears also in the Kannon section of the Matrix Mandala *Taizoukai mandara ‘Ů‘ ŠE™Ö䶗…, in which the deity is colored in gold. A number of different forms of Nyoirin exist, and he may be shown with from two to twelve arms. When two-armed, the deity does not hold a jewel and may be shown seated with his right leg crossed at the ankle over his pendant left leg, hanka shiyui ”źććŽvˆŇ. For this reason the image of *Miroku –íčÓ in Chuuguuji ’†‹{Ž›, Nara, had been wrongly venerated as Nyoirin. In paintings, Nyoirin may figure as the main image of a *mandara ™Ö䶗…, and he may also be shown on a rock, standing for Kannon's paradise, that rises out of the sea. There are different opinions as to the meaning of the deity, but they may be summarized as a belief that he offers what one wants either in the world or in monastic life. The jewel represents wealth, wisdom, the aspiration to enlightenment, the Buddha-nature, the transmission, and the relic. The wheel is dominion, the way things are, and the buddhist teaching. The eight spokes of the wheel refers to the eightfold path, which is elaborated in the precepts. Also, Nyoirin's six arms may be considered the forces that save in all the Six Realms rokudou ˜Z“š, or to represent the Six Kannon *Roku Kannon ˜ZŠĎ‰š, for he is one of the Six Kannon, who saves the divinities *ten “V. He may be considered an esoteric version of *Shoukannon šŠĎ‰š. Nyoirin was worshipped as a deity who protected the life of the emperor. The well-known 9c wooden statue in Kanshinji ŠĎSŽ›, Osaka, as well as the images at Murouji ŽşśŽ›, Nara and Kannouji _ŽôŽ›, Hyougo prefecture, make a group of three masterpieces of Nyoirin images called San Nyoirin ŽO”@ˆÓ—Ö.
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