Kujaku Myoo (the peacock king of those who hold knowledge) (孔雀明王)

Kujaku Myoo is an object of worship in Buddhism and one of the Myoo (king of wisdom) having venerable status specific to Mikkyo (Esoteric Buddhism).

She is believed to represent the dharma of benefit to living things.

Originally, she was Mahamayuri, an Indian goddess, and one of the Pancharakshya (five protector deities).


Sanskrit name Mahamayuri means 'great peacock.'
She is also called Makamayuri, Kujaku Butsumo, Kujaku Omo Bosatsu or Konjiki kujaku-o. Although the characteristic of Myoo is a fierce facial expression, she has only a Bosatsu-style face expressing mercy. Usually, she is depicted as the one that is riding a peacock and has one face and four arms. The four hands are holding Guen-ka, Kichijo-ka (auspicious fruit), lotus and a peacock's tail, respectively. There are some images, such as the painting image at Ninna-ji Temple in Kyoto (the Northern Song Dynasty period, a national treasure), that have three faces and six arms.

Because a peacock eats bugs and poisonous snakes like cobra, Kujaku Myoo was believed to do the 'pious act of removing plague or pain from people' and therefore became an object of faith. Later on, the interpretation that Kujaku Myoo performs the pious act of accomplishing Buddhism by eating poisonous living matter, in other words by eating the three kleshas that poison the heart of man (desire, ill will and ignorance), which symbolize the bonno (earthly desires) of human beings that had become prevalent; there are many sects that chant Shingon (mantra) of Kujaku Myoo at the rite as a charm against evil spirits. Further, it was believed to have the ability to predict rainfall and was therefore used on certain occasions as a ritual for rain.

The incantation of Mikkyo that uses Kujaku Myoo as the principal image is called Kujakukyoho.

In the world of Shingon Mikkyo, the prayer of Kujakukyoho was emphasized the most as it was deemed to be a prayer to guard the nation.

Sutra: Daikujaku-myoo-kyo Sutra (Butsubo-daikujaku-myoo-kyo Sutra) and Daikujaku-myoo Gazodanjojiki

Examples of images in Japan

In Japan there is a record stating that she was worshiped during the Nara period, and her image was placed at the newly constructed Saidai-ji Temple Kondo (Saidai-ji Temple Golden Hall).


On, Mayura, Kirandei, Sowaka


Noubotaya・noumotaramaya・noumosoukiya ・taniyata

Cultural properties in Japan

The image at Kongobu-ji Temple - the work of Kaikei, Kamakura period, an important cultural property
The image at Shoryaku-ji Temple - Kamakura period
The image at Shoten-do - Edo period
The image at Ninna-ji Temple - the Southern Song period, a national treasure
The image at Tokyo National Museum - late Heian period, a national treasure
The image at Horyu-ji Temple - an important cultural property
The image at Daigo-ji Temple (included in the Mikkyo painting image) - an important cultural property
The image at Anrakuji-in Temple - an important cultural property
The image at Chishakuin Temple - an important cultural property
the image at Matsuo-dera Temple (Maizuru City) - an important cultural property
The image at Sanritz Hattori Museum of Arts - an important cultural property

[Original Japanese]