Dear O-Henro ... Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Another day has started ... we are on a pilgrimage along the 88 temples on the Island Shikoku. A pilgrimage in which we are trodding in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism, and once born on the Island of Shikoku.
Today we are walking from our yesterday's goal to temple 26, Kongochoji. This temple is devoted to Yakushi Nyorai who is typically depicted seated, wearing the three robes of a Buddhist monk, holding a lapis-colored jar of medicine nectar in his left hand and the right hand resting on his right knee, holding the stem of the Aruna fruit or Myrobalan between thumb and forefinger. In the sutra, he is also described by his aura of lapis lazuli-colored light.
In Chinese depictions, he is sometimes holding a pagoda, symbolising the ten thousand Buddhas of the three periods of time. He is also depicted standing on a Northern Wei stele from approximately 500 AD now housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accompanied by his two attendants, Suryaprabha and Candraprabha. Within the halo are depicted the Seven Bhaiṣajyaguru Buddhas and seven apsaras.
|Yakushi Nyorai along the road|