Komokuten (Virupaksa) (広目天)

According to Buddhism, Komokuten (viruupaakSa in Sanskrit) is the Buddha of Tenbu (deities who reside in a heavenly realm, one of six realms in which the souls of living beings transmigrate from one to another). It is one of the Shitenno (the Four Guardian Kings) together with Jikokuten (Dhrtarastra), Zochoten (Virudhaka) and Tamonten (Vaisravana).

Although original meaning of Virupaksa in Sanskrit was 'the one who has various eyes' or 'the one who has awkward eyes,' such meaning was stretched to 'extraordinary eyes that have particular abilities' and was eventually interpreted as second sight and translated as "komoku (wide eyes)."

His sanmayagyo (symbol) is a sankogeki (a long, three-pronged spear) and kenjaku (a rope made from five different colored strands--blue, yellow, red, black and white--with clasps at both ends). Shushi (Esoteric Buddhism) is vi.

His figure is depicted in various ways, but in Japan he is generally depicted as a leather-armored warrior of the Tan Dynasty period. In the old days he was depicted as a figure writing something on a scroll with a brush. However, most of such figures were created in the Tenpyo period, and since Heian period figures holding items other than the above gradually became more prevalent.

For example, in the Garbha-mandala of Mikkyo he is depicted as having a red-colored body, with right hand holding Sankogeki (a three-pronged pike) and the left hand clenched and placed on the right side of the waist. Sometimes he is depicted as a figure holding kenjaku. In Chinese folk belief he is depicted as a figure with a red-colored face and holding a dragon.

Originally, he served under the thunder god Indra (Taishakuten), who appears in Indian mythology, but later he was introduced in Buddhism as a guardian deity. As one of the Shitenno that guard the four sides of Mt. Shumisen、which support the world where Buddha resides, he resides in Hakuginta and was believed to guard its west side or Saigokeshu, one of four continents on the earth believed to exist in the ancient Indian view of the world. He has fierce gods such as Naga and Pishaca as subordinates.

[Original Japanese]