gochi nyorai 五智如来
KEY WORD : art history / iconography
Lit. Five Wisdom *nyorai 如来 (Sk: Tathagatas); this refers to the Five Buddhas gobutsu 五仏 of the *Kongoukai mandara 金剛界曼荼羅. In Japan, the Kongoukai mandara is associated with wisdom (in contrast with the *Taizoukai mandara 胎蔵界曼荼羅, which is associated with ri 理 or ultimate principle), and each of its Five Buddhas is associated with one of the five wisdoms gochi 五智. The correspondences between the Five Wisdom nyorai and the five wisdoms are as follows: *Dainichi 大日 (Sk: Mahavairocana; center) and hokkaitai shouchi 法界体性智 (Sk: dharmadhatusvabhava-jnana : wisdom of the essence of the Dharma-realm); *Ashuku 阿しゅく (Sk: Aksobhya; east) and daien kyouchi 大円鏡智 (Sk: adarsa-jnana : great perfect mirror wisdom); Houshou 宝生 (Sk: Ratnasambhava; south) and byoudou shouchi 平等性智 (Sk: samata-jnana : wisdom of equality) ; *Amida 阿弥陀 (west) and myoukan zatchi 妙観察智 (Sk: pratyaveksana-jnana : wisdom of wondrous observation) ; and Fukuu jouju 不空成就 (Sk: Amoghasiddhi; north) and jousho sachi 成所作智 (Sk: krtyanusthana-jnana : wisdom of accomplishing that which is to be done). The five wisdoms represent a development of the four wisdoms posited by the Yogacara school of Mahayana Buddhism , with the fifth (that attributed to Dainichi) having evolved within the doctrines of Esoteric Buddhism mikkyou 密教 to embrace the other four, and they all represent aspects of the wisdom held to be attained upon enlightenment. Examples of sets of images of Gochi nyorai include those at Anjouji 安祥寺 in Kyoto (9c; at present on view at Kyoto National Museum), Henmyouin 遍明院 (9c) in Okayama prefecture, Kongouzanmai-in 金剛三昧院 on Mt. Kouya 高野 (13c) in Wakayama prefecture, and Touji 東寺 (16c) in Kyoto. The gochi nyorai also appear on the five wisdom bejeweled crown *gochi houkan 五智宝冠 to be seen worn by Dainichi, Kongousatta 金剛薩た (Sk: Vajrasattva), *Miroku 弥勒 and certain other bodhisattvas *bosatsu 菩薩. In the Shingon 真言 sect it is also placed on the head of the initiated in the Dharma-transmission initiand, denbou kanjou 伝法潅頂, the initiation ceremony which confers upon the initiand the rank of a master ajari 阿闍梨 of Esoteric Buddhism, and the headgear toukin 頭襟 worn by practitioners of mountain asceticism shugendou 修験道 is also identified with the gochi houkan; in both these cases it indicates that the wearer is to realize the five wisdoms and attain a state equal to that of Vairocana.


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