Fugen Bosatsu (Samantabhadra Bodhisattva) (普賢菩薩)

Fugen Bosatsu, samanta bhadra in Sanskrit, is a venerable Bosatsu entity and is Bodhisattva, which is worshipped in Mahayana Buddhism.

Sanma yagyo (characteristic things of the Buddha) is a sword and Gokosho (A short club with five prongs at each end, usually made of gilt bronze). Shushi (Mikkyo, Esoteric Buddhism) is aM and huuM.


The Sanskrit name samanta bhadra means 'far and widewise man' and that he is a wise man who appears in the far and wide world and relieves people with Buddha's mercy and intelligence. In addition, since it is seen in Hoke-kyo Sutra which preaches Nyonin Jobutsu (Attainment of Buddhahood by women), it has been especially worshipped by women. In Mikkyo it is regarded as a symbol of aspiration for Buddhahood (a mind to seek enlightenment through mastering the truth) and seen as the same entity as Kongosatta which has the same character. For this reason, Fugen Bosatsu is often called Kongoshu Bosatsu, another name for Kongosatta, as well.

Mt. Gabi (Emeishan) in Sichuan Province, China are regarded as Reijo, sacred ground, of the Fugen Bosatsu and statues are placed as Kyoji, attendant figures, of Shakanyorai with Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri).
(See Shaka sanzon, Shaka triad.)

Features of statue and works

As an individual Buddha, the most common figure is expressed as a figure which joins its hands in prayer in the lotus position on a white elephant that has six ivory tusks and has Rengeza (padmasana, Lotus base) on the back. In Mikkyo it is expressed as a figure which has a lotus stem on which a treasure sword is placed in the left hand and a figure which has gokorei (a five-pronged bell) in the left hand and Gokosho in the right hand in the same way as Kongosatta, and figures which have nyoi (an implement carried by Buddhist priests at a ceremony or during formal preaching), lotus flower and scriptures as well.

In Japan from the middle of the Heian period, it was worshipped mainly by noble women in accordance with the prevalence of Hoke-kyo Sutra, which preaches women's relief. In Japan there are many pictures and statues, such as the wooden statue (national treasure) of Fine Arts in the latter part of Heian period at The Okura Shukokan Museum. Fugen Enmei Bosatsu,' has venerable status and was more strongly influenced by Mikkyo, and is regarded as a strong venerable entity with 22 hands and many examples of this work have been made in Japan.

Concerning pictures, the picture of Fugen Bosatsu on an elephant in Tokyo National Museum (national treasure, the latter part of the Heian period) is a representative work. The book of Bujo-ji Temple in Tottori Prefecture (national treasure) and the book of Nara National Museum (important cultural property) and others are known as representative works.

Kenzoku, Disciples or followers of Buddha

It is said that the kenzoku of Fugen Bosatsu is ju-rasetsunyo, or ten demonesses, and that sometimes Kishimo-jin, a mother of the Ju-rasetsunyos, is placed as kenzoku. At an early date, Ju-rasetsunyo put employed Tang dynasty Chinese costumes, but there are also many works of Ju-rasetsunyo using Japanese costumes influenced by Japanese culture. This is because Fugen Bosatsu and Ju-rasetsunyo swear 'to guard people who defend Hoke-kyo Sutra' together in Hoke-kyo Sutra, and it became the reason for women's belief that these goddess's stay close to Fugen Bosatsu.

In addition, in the novel "Feng-Shen-Yen-I" (Popular Account of the Promotion to Divinity), the Sennin (wizards) named Fugen Shinjin and Monju Koho Tenson appeared and later came to believe in Buddhism, and subsequently became Fugen Bosatsu and Monji Bosatsu, respectively.

Mantra, Shingon

On Sanmaya Sabaton.

[Original Japanese]