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Iconography

An image of the Hyōgo Daibutsu depicting Vairocana in Kobe, Japan.

Significantly, Vairocana is said to be the sum of all the Dhyani Buddhas and combines all their qualities. He is therefore, pure white, since white is a blend of all colors.

Indeed, his lotus seat is supported by a pair of two great lions. The lion is considered to be the king of beasts and when he roars all others fall silent. Similar is the roar of Buddha's teachings, in relation to the grandeur of which all other voices of our everyday life become insignificant and fall silent. Not surprisingly, meditating on the image of Vairocana is specifically believed to transform the delusion of ignorance into the wisdom preached by the Dharma. When Gautama Buddha turned the wheel of the Dharma, it illuminated (like a sun), the hearts of men and women darkened by ignorance. Correspondingly, Vairocana's distinguishing emblem is the golden or solar wheel.

The Vairocana statue in Nara's Tōdai-ji in Japan is the largest bronze image of Vairocana Buddha in the world. The larger of the monumental statues that were destroyed at Bamyan in Afghanistan was also a depiction of Vairocana.

Vairocana Buddha is often depicted in sculpture using the Dharmacakra mudrā symbolizing the Wheel of Dharma. This mudra represents one of the most important moments in the historical life of the Buddha, the occasion when he preached to his companions the first sermon after his Enlightenment in the Deer Park at Sarnath. It thus denotes the setting into motion of the Wheel of the teaching of the Dharma.

Notes

  1. ↑ During the initial stages of his predication in Japan, the Catholic missionary Francis Xavier was welcomed by the Shingon monks since he used the word Dainichi for the Christian God. As Xavier learned more about the religious nuances of the word, he changed to Deusu from the Latin and Portuguese Deus. The Buddhist monks also realized by that point that Xavier was preaching a rival religion.
  2. ↑ Bogle (1999), xxxiv-xxxv.

References

  • Bogle, George, Clements Robert Markham, and Thomas Manning. 1999. Narratives of the Mission of George Bogle to Tibet and of the Journey of Thomas Manning to Lhasa. ISBN 812061366X
  • Bucknell, Roderick, and Martin Stuart-Fox. 1986. The Twilight Language: Explorations in Buddhist Meditation and Symbolism. Curzon Press: London. ISBN 978-0312825409
  • Cook. Francis. Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1977. ISBN 978-0271021904
  • Vessantara. Meeting The Buddhas. Sheffield: Windhorse Publications, 1993. ISBN 0904766535
  • Wayman, Alex, and R. Tajima Motilal. The Enlightenment of Vairocana: Study of the Mahavairocana-Sutra. Banarsidass Publisher, 2005. ISBN 978-8120806405

External links

All links retrieved January 14, 2016.

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