Buddhist bronze and copper statuette Buddha Acala. Shingon deity, Japanese esoteric Buddhism. Height of 30cm

Buddhist bronze and copper statuette Buddha Acala. Shingon deity, Japanese esoteric Buddhism. Height of 30cm


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Buddhist bronze and copper statuette Buddha Acala. Shingon deity, Japanese esoteric Buddhism.
Height of 30cm

The bronze used is called purple bronze. It is a high quality bronze, holding its characteristic color to a high copper content

Acala, Acalanātha, Achala, Fudō-Myōō in Japanese, Búdòng míngwáng in Chinese (不动明王), Tibetan Miyowa.

Acala the Immutable or "Acalanātha", the immutable master, is a Buddhist deity of mikkyo, a Japanese term meaning "esoteric teaching", refers to Japanese tantric Buddhism. It is practiced in the Shingon school and in some branches of the Tendai school.

Also revered in Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese tantrism, the current "Tangmi" was long-lived for the latter, supplanted by Lamaism as early as the Mongol Yuan dynasty.

he is one of the five Vidyaraja, kings of knowledge and knowledge, lords of the magical sciences, wrathful gods embodied by Buddhas and bodhisattvas

Protectors of the Dharma, fighting demons, and scaring suffering and stubborn beings, having false or nihilistic beliefs.

Protectors of the 5 Dhyani Buddha, or Wisdom Buddha, also called Meditation Buddha.

Acala is the best known and revered of the Vidyaraja, the other 4 are

Trailokyavijaya (降三世明王, Xiángsānshì, Gōzanze Myō-ō in Japanese) conquering the three worlds (desire, form and formless) protector of the East.

Kuṇḍali (軍荼利明王, Jūntúlì míngwáng; ja: 軍荼利明王, Gundari Myōō) dispensing the amrita (Kundali being the vase that contains it), the elixir of immortality. Protector of the south.

Yamantaka (གཤིན་རྗེ་གཤེད, gshin-rje-gshed commonly revered in Tibet, Japanese, 大威徳明王 Daïitoku Myoo, Chinese 大威德金剛 Dà wēidé jīngāng or Yanmandejia) protector of the west and connected to the world of the dead.

Vajrayaksa (venerated in Japan as 金剛夜叉明王, Kongoyaksha Myoo), the purifier, protector of the north.

Acala, the leader of the Vidyaraja, is associated with fire and anger. Mostly represented in Japan,

Acala, from its mystical name Jôjû Kongô, "the eternal and immutable diamond", is the destroyer of passions. In esotericism, it is considered as a body of metamorphosis (Nirmânakâya) of Vairocana whose firmness of mind and the will to destroy evil he personifies.

Its symbol is a sword held vertically and around which surrounds a dragon surrounded by flames. Its halo of flames supposed to consume passions. It is described in many sutra including the Mahâvairochana- sutra.

He would assume, "against the obstacles, the energy of the follower himself", thus showing the power of compassion of Vairocana. His sword serves him to fight the "three poisons": avarice, anger and ignorance. With his left hand he holds a rope (pâsha) to catch and bind evil forces and prevent them from harming. Acala having made the vow to extend the life of his faithful by six months and to give them an unshakeable resolution to overcome the forces of evil, he is sometimes, as such, invoked as "prolonger of life".

In Tibet, Acala is called Achala- Vajrapani and is a Dharmapala (guardians of the teachings). He is depicted with 4 heads, four arms and four legs, trampling on demons. He holds the sword, the rope, a vajra and a skullcap.

His face expresses extreme anger, frowned eyebrows, left eye wrinkled or looking crooned, lower teeth biting the upper lip. He has the physique of a corpulent (round-bellied) child.

Its canines are protruding, the right pointing upwards, symbolizing the sky and the spirit, the left downwards, the earth and matter.

An aura of fire surrounds it completely (peaceful deities have an aura similar to a sea at rest). He sits on a large rock symbolizing his firmness and unwavering determination. It represents immutability.

Acala is said to be a powerful deity who protects the faithful by burning all obstacles (antaraya) (障難, Shonan) and (Klesa defilements) (雜染, zōzen), thus helping them to enlightenment.

Originally the deity Mahayana Acalanātha, whose name means "irremovable protector", Acala was incorporated into the vajrayana as a servant of the Buddha. In the Tangmi (Chinese Vajrayana of the Tang era), his name was translated as Budong "immobile" (chin: 不動; Búdòng ).

Then, the deity was imported to Japan as 不動 (Fudō) by Kukai (July 31, 774 – April 22, 835) scholar and official at the Japanese imperial court (early in the Heian period), holy founder of the Shingon esoteric Buddhist school, during his trip to China in 804, with the aim of learning the tantric form of Buddhism. There he met the eminent Buddhist scholar Pranja from the Gandhara region, the birthplace of Mahayana or the great vehicle, a region in the north-west of present-day Pakistan. Kukai studied in China as a member of the Kentoshi mission.

Scholars such as Miyeko Murase claim that the origins of this Buddhist deity lie in the Hindu deity Shiva, from which he borrows many traits, especially his attributes of destruction and reincarnation.

The deity was popular during the Middle Ages and in modern times in Nepal, Tibet and Japan where sculptural and pictorial representations of it are most often found. Much of the iconography comes from Japan.

In Tibetan Buddhism and art, the Buddha Akshobya, whose name also means "the immutable", presides over the clan of deities to which Ācala belongs. Other sources refer to the Acala and Caṇḍaroṣaṇa as an "emanation" of Akshobhya, suggesting further assimilation.

Acala evolves into a deity invoked in Buddhist rituals to "scare the gods, titans, men and destroy the strength of demons", and he kills all ghosts and evil spirits.

In some Buddhist texts such as the Sādhanamālā, the Vishnu Hindu gods, Shiva, Brahma and Kandarpa, are said to be "evil" because they cause an endless rebirth, and these gods are terrified by Acala because he wears a rope to tie them.

In the Nepalese and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, Visvajri became Acala's companion.

In Japan, Acala became a full-fledged home of worship, and was installed as a honzon (本尊) or main deity in outer temples and shrines. A famous example is the Narita Fudō-dō, a Shingon sub-sect temple in Narita San.

The mantra recited in honor of Fudō Myō-ō is in Sanskrit

"Namaḥ samantavajrāṇāṃ, caṇḍamahāroṣaṇa sphoṭaya hūṃ traka hāṃ māṃ".

In Japanese " Nōmaku samanda bazaradan sendamakaroshada sohataya hun tarata kan man "

In Shingon Buddhist temples dedicated to Ācala, priests perform the Fudō-hō (不動法), or ritual service to obtain the purifying power of the deity for the benefit of the faithful. This rite systematically involves the use of the Homa ritual (護摩, goma) as a purification tool. Ritual in which every religious offering is turned into fire.

In the Mystical Shugendo, Japanese esoteric Buddhist current, lay people or monks in yamabushi dress following rigorous outdoor training in the mountains often pray for small Acala statues or portable talismans that serve as his honzon.

Ācala is also at the top of the list of 13 Buddhas (十三仏, jūsan butsu). Thus, shingon followers in times of mourning assign Acala to the first seven days of mortuary service.

The first week is an important observation, but perhaps not as much as the observation of "seven times seven days" (or 49 days) meaning the end of the "intermediate state" (bardo).

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