The Buddhas of the Five Directions (Gochi Nyorai)
(as seen on September 21st, 2001,
on the Old Tokaido stage of the Aki
The Gochi Nyorai are between Okabe and
Fujieda in Shizuoka Prefecture. These are Stations #21 and 22
respectively (from Tokyo) on the
Old Tokaido Highway. You can read about my visit to the Gochi
Nyorai in my Logbook. You may also choose to start reading about
journey at the beginning, or start at the top of my Aki
||First, I want to
prove that these guys really are in a parking lot.
|Here's a group shot, head on.
Read on to hear about a mystery.
Below I have shown the boys from left to right (according to
name plates hanging above them), along with some information
about each one.
Japanese Name: Kaifuke-o
Sanskrit Name: Ratnasambhava
Meaning of Name: The Jewel-born One, Origin of Jewels
Direction: The Buddha of the South
|Japanese Name: Hodo
Sanskrit Name: Akshobhya
Meaning of Name: Immovable, Unshakable
Direction: The Buddha of the East
||Japanese Name: Dainichi Nyorai
Sanskrit Name: Vairochana
Meaning of Name: He Who Is Like the Sun, The Radiating
Direction: The Buddha of the Center
|Japanese Name: Fukujoju
Sanskrit Name: Amoghasiddhi
Meaning of Name: Almighty Conqueror, He Who Unerringly
Achieves His Goal
Direction: The Buddha of the North
Note: This is the historical Buddha
||Japanese Name: Amida Nyorai
Sanskrit Name: Amitabha
Meaning of Name: Infinite Light
Direction: The Buddha of the West
|Now, here's the mystery: behind each
figure sits another figure. The hand-gestures (mudras) are
identical, leading me to believe this is a second set of the
same Buddhas. But why? Why are they seated behind?
Is there an esoteric meaning? Or is it just storage?
Your ideas would be appreciated.
[Note: One of my professors has
suggested that these represent emanations of the Buddhas, like ripples
in a pond.]