Kshitigarbha bodhisattva (Dizang, Jizo).
Obsidian celeste eye native to Mexico,
Rare and unique piece entirely made by hand.
Total height 38cm. width:17cm, 15cm thick.
Massive and imposing piece.
Dizang, the savior of the underworld. Dizang, known in China as Dizang Wang or Dizang Pusa, is the savior of the underworld in Chinese Buddhism.
Its name "Hidden Treasure of the Earth" is the translation of the Sanskrit Ksitigharba, which means "the one that hides the earth". It belongs to the tetralogy of the great Chinese bodhisattvas, masters of the four sacred Buddhist mountains.
Dizang is often depicted as a young monk with a toned skull, holding a pilgrim's drone in his hand and a luminous pearl in the other. Both serve to guide the souls of the dead to get them out of the underworld.
Dizang shares with Guanyin the great wish to be present as long as there are men to be rescued, for all the endless "period without Buddha" that will end only with the regenerative coming of Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future.
But if Guanyin deploys his infinite compassion in this world, Dizang extends his action into the afterlife, repatriating his departed faithful in the peaceful living of Nirvana.
His cult has therefore developed mainly in China where he is one of the four great bodhisattvas. Like those of Amituofo and Guan Yin, it is centered around the function of spiritual deliverance that is lent to it. Nevertheless, while the previous two are interested in the six categories of creatures indiscriminately, Dizangwang's specialty is the help of the souls of hell. a
His worship in China is also linked to a Tang-era monk considered his incarnation, founder of the Temple of Mount Jiuhua where his mummy was kept. Jiuhua is one of the four great Buddhist mountains associated each with one of the four great bodhisattvas.
Like Amitabha and Avalokiteshvara, Dizangwang made a vow to deliver the souls from hell. This tradition is reported in the Sutra of Dizangwang's vow. The arrival of Ksitigarbha is announced by Shakyamuni Buddha in Paradise Trayastrimsa as a mark of gratitude to his mother Maya. The Buddha explains that Ksitigarbha was once a young Brahmin whose mother had often shown ungodliness; she had then resolved to save her with offerings and prayers; on this occasion she had seen hell and vowed to become a Buddha (or bodhisattva) to deliver all its inhabitants.
Two Japanese Jizos of childlike appearance wearing the red bibs offered by grieving mothers. According to the sutra, the Buddha entrusted Ksitigarbha with the task of watching after him over the "world without Buddha" while waiting for the arrival of the boudha of the future, Maitreya. This text had familiar resonances for the Chinese: millennialism announcing the loss of the transmission of the dharma until the arrival of the future Buddha; importance of filial piety.
In Japan, Jizo is especially sought after by women who have had a miscarriage or aborted, and placed at crossroads because these places particularly attract ghosts and other demons.
Apart from helping troubled souls, he occasionally acts as a purveyor of wealth by virtue of the pearl he holds on tantric representations and his name, which sometimes appears on lottery tickets, in Hong Kong for example.
Here's his full sutra for anyone who wants to read it
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