Saturday, 31 October 2015
What with this being Halloween I thought a display of Buddhist demons and wrathful deities was in order.
Hell demons. Buddhist "hell" (it's all in your own mind anyway) is not forever - everything is impermanent, even devils and gods.
In Buddhist lore, Hariti was originally a demon who slew human children in her desperation to feed her hundreds of children. In order to put a stop to this way of feeding, Gautama Buddha hid away one of her sons under a rice bowl, then pointed out to her that the suffering she was experiencing from losing one out of her hundreds of children could not be compared to that of the human mothers whose few children became her victims. Remorseful for her deeds, Hariti pledged to become the protector of childbirth and children. From then on, she and her brood fed on pomegranates as a substitute for human flesh.
Mara, the Buddhist Devil, who represents temptation, sin, and death.
Yama the Lord of Death. Although Yama is frightening, he is not evil. As with many wrathful iconic figures, his role is to frighten us to pay attention to our lives -- and the divine messengers -- so that we practice diligently.