Shiva(Daikoku) is worshiped in Japan as deity of Fortune

daijizaiten-in-guise-of-three-headed-daikokuten-butuzou-co-jpAs we know that Shiva is worshiped across world by many names, here we found shiva in japan worshiped as god of fortune as well as they worship Benzaiten (Sarasvati) & Bishamon (Vaiśravaṇa or Kubera). But now we are talking about shiva only. They call DAIKOKU, DAIKOKUTEN, DAIKOKU-TEN Name literally means “Great Black Deva” God of Earth, Agriculture, Rice, Farmers, the Kitchen, & Wealth Shinto Association =  Ōkuninushi no Mikoto Origin India  Member of the Tenbu (Skt. = Deva)  One of Japan’s Seven Lucky Gods  Associated Virtue = Fortune.

Historical Notes
Male. Originally a Hindu warrior deity named Mahākāla (an emanation of Siva; transliterated Makakara 摩訶迦羅), but later adopted into the Buddhist pantheon and appearing by at least China’s Sui 隋 dynasty (581-618) in Buddhist texts.  Daikokuten 大黒天 or Daikoku 大黒 is widely known in Japan as the happy-looking god of wealth, farmers, food, and good fortune, although in earlier centuries he was considered a fierce warrior deity. The oldest extant image of Daikokuten in Japan is dated to the late Heian period (794-1185) and installed at Kanzeonji Temple 観世音寺 (Fukuoka prefecture). The statue depicts the deity with a fierce expression, reminding us of his Hindu origin as a war god, as does the late-Heian sculpture of Daikoku at Kongōrinji Temple 金剛輪寺 (Shiga prefecture), which shows him dressed in armor.

However, since the 15th century, Japanese artwork of this deity starts showing him as a cheerful and pudgy deity wearing a peasant’s hat (called Daikoku-zukin 大黒頭巾) and standing on bales of rice (tawara 俵), carrying a large sack of treasure slung over his shoulder and holding a small magic mallet. There are other forms, including a female form, but in Japan, the god is invariably shown standing on two bales of rice holding his magic mallet and treasure sack. Images, paintings, and other artwork of Daikokuten can be found everywhere in modern Japan, showing him alone, paired with Ebisu (considered his son in many traditions), or grouped with the Seven Lucky Gods. He appears on posters, key chains, mobile-phone accessories, toys for children, and many other commercial goods.

Says the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (sign in with username = guest): “An important Tantric dharmapāla, considered to be a fully enlightened buddha. He is the Buddhist form of the Hindu god Śiva, taken into the Buddhist pantheon at the beginning of the second millennium C.E. As a dharmapāla, he provides protection from negative elements. Thus, despite his exalted status, Mahākāla is seen placed above temple doors, alongside and even below lesser deities. The Chinese pilgrim Yixing (671-695) reported seeing Mahākāla so placed in Indian temples, holding a bag of gold, which indicates that Mahākāla has long been associated with Kubera, the god of wealth. Mahākāla is largely a Tibetan and Mongolian deity, never having gained wide popularity in China. The Japanese form is likely to have entered from Mongolia, where he was introduced by the third Dalai Lama in the sixteenth century. In Tibetan iconography Mahākāla is often seen in a triumvirate with Mañjuśrī and Avalokitêśvara. The Tibetan pantheon includes over seventy forms of the god, both of Indic and Tibetan innovations. Among these some are considered world-transcendent, some worldly deities. His most commonly represented form is the six-handed ṣad-bhuja 六臂 Mahākāla. Reference=[Mikkyō Daijiten, 1453c]. Transliterated as 摩訶迦羅 (or 摩訶謌羅). [h.adams]”

“The great black deva 大黑神. Two interpretations are given. The esoteric cult describes the deva as the masculine form of Kālī, i.e. Durgā, the wife of Śiva; with one face and eight arms, or three faces and six arms, a necklace of skulls, etc. He is worshipped as giving warlike power, and fierceness; said also to be an incarnation of Vairocana for the purpose of destroying the demons; and is described as 大時 the “great time” (-keeper) which seems to indicate Vairocana, the sun. The exoteric cult interprets him as a beneficent deva, a Pluto, or god of wealth. Consequently he is represented in two forms, by the one school as a fierce deva, by the other as a kindly happy deva. He is shown as one of the eight fierce guardians with a trident, generally blue-black but sometimes white; he may have two elephants underfoot. Six arms and hands hold jewel, skull cup, chopper, drum, trident, elephant-goad. He is the tutelary god of Mongolian Buddhism.  [J. Daikoku; M. Yeke-gara; T. Nag-po c’en-po, CMuller; Soothill, Hirakawa].”

Daikoku is also considered a deity of the kitchen and a provider of food, and images of him can still be found in the kitchens of monasteries and private homes. This tradition is thought to have come from India and China, were images of Mahākāla (Daikoku’s Sanskrit name) were placed in monastery kitchens to provide for the nourishment of the monks. In Japan, the practice is thought to have been introduced on Mt. Hiei 比叡 in the 9th century by Saichō 最澄 (767-822), the founder of Japan’s Tendai sect. Saichō is also credited with introducing a three-headed form of Daikoku known as Sanmen Daikoku. In addition, says the Buddhism (Flammarion Iconographic Guides), “The main pillar of a house in the traditional Japanese style assumes the name of Daikoku-bashira 大黒柱 or ‘pillar of Daikoku,’ meaning ‘pillar of luck and wealth.’”

Daikoku Iconograpy
Of Indian origin, Daikoku imagery in Japan is identified with the mythic Shinto figure Ō-kuninushi-no-Mikoto大国主命 (Okuninushi-no-Kami; translated as “Prince Plenty”). His customary treasure sack is said to contain wealth, wisdom, and patience. The magic mallet in his right hand (uchide nokozuchi 打ち出の小槌) is similar to the Greek cornucopia. This mallet of plenty can miraculously produce anything desired when struck. Some Japanese say that coins fall out when he shakes his mallet. Others say believers are granted their desires by tapping a symbolic mallet on the ground three times and making a wish. Daikoku’s mallet or belt is often decorated with the sacred wish-granting jewel (Skt. = cintamani; Jp. = hōjunotama 宝珠の玉), which represents the themes of wealth and unfolding possibility. This jewel, of great importance to all Buddhist traditions in both Asian and Japan, is said to grant the wishes of its holder, to pacify desires, and to bring clear understanding of the Dharma (Buddhist law). The precious jewel is also one of the seven symbols of royal power in Buddhism.

Daikoku’s magic mallet is sometimes also inscribed with icons symbolizing the male and female principles, and at other times with a pear-shaped insignia consisting of three rings. These symbols suggest that sexual energy can be a powerful source of wealth and prosperity. Rice, moreover, is closely associated with fertility, hence Daikoku’s common depiction standing atop two bales of rice. See story byRyan Grube for more details and reference notes about Daikoku’s sexual symbolism.

Six Forms of Daikoku
According to the Butsuzou-su-i, there are six forms of this deity known as the Roku Daikokuten 六大黒天, which became popular among the common people as bringers of future prosperity.

  1. Makara Daikoku 摩伽羅, with mallet and bag, stands/sits on lotus leaf and bales of rice; the most common form enshrined in the homes of the masses.
  2. Ōikara Daikoku 王子迦羅大黒, princely figure holding sword and vajra
  3. Biku Daikoku 比丘大黒, a priest, mallet in right hand, vajra-hilted sword in left
  4. Yasha Daikoku 夜叉大黒, standing, holds wheel of law in right hand
  5. Shinda Daikoku 信陀大黒, boy seated with crystal (cintamani) in left hand
  6. Mahakara Daikoku-nyo 摩伽迦羅大黒如, seated female, with small bale of rice on her head; wears Chinese robe

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