Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Great Peacock Bodhisattva Part 2

Mahamayuri is depicted in many images from two hands to twelve hands.

The Tibetan image of Mahamayuri is green with 8 arms and 3 heads. Her faces are white, green and blue. Her eight hands display: Right side -- varadamudra, a sword, vajra and jewel; left side - a bowl, a treasure jar, a bell and a flower. Seated on a lotus throne, she wears all the ornaments and celestial garments of a bodhisattva.

There is a rare Mahamayuri (as above) depicted with six heads and twelve hands but is not unheard of. The very name of the goddess Mahamayuri is suggestive of her close connection with the bird mayura i.e. the peacock. This connection seems to be very logical in the view of the fact that the goddess is believed to be the deification of the magical formula, called the Golden Peacock Charm, used by the faithful to ensure protection from snake bites. Seated in a relaxed posture atop the peacock, she raises two hands in abhaya and varada mudra respectively and the rest ten hands hold various weapons. The bird is shown with its natural poise and grace, delicately carved.

Maha-Mayuri became in Japan, a male figure called Kujaku Mi-o. Mi-o is translated as "Ming Wang" in chinese. This Buddhist wisdom deity associated with the peacock (whose call is believed to herald the rain) protects against calamity, especially drought. There are depictions of her as an unusual form of a Myo'o (Vidyaraja), descending from Heaven on a peacock accompanied by clouds. This figure, with its three faces and six arms, differs from the other Japanese style of her, which usually has one face and four arms. In contrast to the central face, which suggests a merciful disposition, the side faces appear fierce. According to "...the Myō-ō 明王 are warlike and wrathful deities who represent the power of Buddhism to overcome the passions. Five of the Myō-ō are emanations of the 5 Buddhas of wisdom (Skt. Dhyāni Buddhas, Jinas), and in this role they guard the four cardinal directions and the center. It was introduced to Japan in the 9th century by Japan’s Shingon and Tendai sects of esoteric Buddhism". According to Wikipedia, "Wisdom Kings are usually represented as wrathful deities often with many faces, many arms and even many legs. They hold weapons in their hands and are sometimes adorned with skulls, snakes or animal skins and wreathed in flames. A notable exception is Mahamayuri (Jp. Kujaku), the "Peacock Wisdom Queen", who is usually presented with a peaceful expression. She is easily identifiable as she usually rides a peacock" It further says, "....Mahamayuri had the power to protect devotees from poisoning, either physical or spiritual".

In the anime world of Manga, there is even Mahamayuri. Check this out:

Within that site, it says: "In 1989, Hong Kong’s Golden Harvest (嘉禾) in collaboration with Japan’s Toho-Towa (東宝東和) Studios adapted 「孔雀王」 into a live-action film re-titled as 「孔雀王子」 (
Peacock King), with some minor tweaks: there’s two “Peacocks” in the movie. The lead role went to Yuen-biao (元 彪), who played the Tibetan Lama called 孔雀; Hiroshi Mikami (三上博史) became the Japanese Shingon-sect monk known by the name Lucky Fruit (吉祥果) in the original release. But in the version for the Japanese audience, the Japanese monk was renamed 孔雀 [Kujyaku] to stay faithful to the typecast. However, the Tibetan monk character also retained the name ‘Peacock’ but read in Chinese as Kong Que. Its awesome when they invoked the 九字真言: 臨、兵、闘、者、皆、陣、列、在、前 followed by 破 !!"

Interesting? You bet.


s said...

There is a religion in Yemen (a place?), i can't remember the name (pardon my shreds of memory), who worships a deity with a peacock, i think the Western world label this religion as worshipping satan. Somehow their satan was always related to a peacock. But it's interesting how our Buddhist deities manifest in all kinds of ways. For eg, it's said that HH Dalai Lama said that Virgin Mary was a manifestation of Tara. Amen, but that's just hearsay. I'm not sure.

s said...

found the source. They are the Yeezidees in Iraq and worship the Peacock Angel aka Lucifer. But apparently according to the comments of someone who had been there, "..we reached the Yezidee shrine, and the peacefulness of always seem strange that the worshippers of Satan should be the most peaceful of all the varying religious sects in that part of the world. When the sun began to get low.. we left... it had been utter peace." Wonder if it could have been our Peacock Bodhisattva afterall...

karma police said...


Mahabodhiyana said...

Karma police,

Please refer to my comments on OCtober 25, 2009 in which I said that Arya Maha Mahayuri is nothing but goodness. I do not know about these other gods from other religions and I do not wish to speculate. This kind of speculation is worse than speculating in stocks and share markets. Better to take care of our mind.