Ashura & Garuda behind the gargouille…
The original Sanskrit name of this deity is “Asura”, which is said to be equivalent to the highest deity in Persia, “Ahura Mazdah”. In the ancient Indian writings, this deity was introduced as half-virtuous and half-evil, but later on it was defined as the deity of evilness against the virtuous deities.
Since this image was adopted in Buddhism, it has been considered to be the fifth member of the Eight guardians of the Realm of the Ten-bu. However, in the ideas of the “Six Realms in the Cycle of Life” and the “Three Evil Realms” of Buddhism, the Ashura’s Realm is interpreted as a sanguinary realm.
The original Sanskrit name of this deity is “Garuda”. In ancient India it was believed to be a gigantic bird which ate cobras and carried the Hindu deity Vishnu on its back. Later on, it was adopted in Buddhism as a deity and was included in the Eight Guardians. This statue represents a bird-headed figur with wings, playing the flute while keeping time with the foot.
Kyoto Sanjusangendo 12th Century.
© Ogawasan 小川/Bach.sacha.Photography.