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Marici, in Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, is a deva or bodhisattva associated with light and the sun. She is known as Molizhitian (摩利支天) or Molizhitian Pusa (摩利支天菩萨) in China, Marishi-ten (摩利支天) in Japan, and Özer Chenma (Wylie: od zer can ma) in Tibet. She is one of the 20 (or 24) Celestials (二十/二十四諸天). In Taoism and Chinese folk religion, Marici is known under the epithet Doumu (Chinese: 斗母元君; pinyin: Dǒumǔ Yuánjūn), a name sometimes used by Buddhists.
Marici is usually depicted in one of the following ways:
- As a beautiful woman on an open lotus, the lotus itself sometimes perched on the back of seven sows.
- As a ferocious wrathful deity perched on the back of a boar.
- Riding a fiery chariot pulled by seven savage boars or sows.
- As a multi-armed woman with a different weapon in each hand standing or sitting on the back of a boar.
She has been depicted with one, three, five or six faces and two, six, eight, ten or twelve arms; three eyes; in her many-faced manifestations one of her faces is that of a sow.
Marici in China is worshiped as both a Buddhist and Taoist deity. She is highly revered in Esoteric Buddhism. Most often, she is depicted with three eyes in each of her four faces; with four arms on each side of her body. Two of her hands are held together, and the other six hold a sun, moon, bell, golden seal, bow, and halberd. She is either standing/sitting on top of a lotus or pig, or on a Lotus on top of seven pigs. She is celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month.
Due to similar iconography, she is often confused with the Bodhisattva Cundī. Among Chinese Buddhists, she is worshiped as the goddess of light and as the guardian of all nations, whom she protects from the fury of war. 
In Taoism, Doumu remains a popular deity and is often referred to as Queen of Heaven (Chinese: 天后; pinyin: Tiān Hòu) and is widely worshiped as the Goddess of Beidou (the Chinese equivalent of Ursa Major except that it also includes 2 "attendant" stars). She is also revered as the mother of the Nine Emperor Gods who are represented by the nine stars in the Beidou constellation. Legend has it that one spring day a queen went to bath in a pond. Upon entering she suddenly felt "moved" and nine lotus buds rose from the pond. Each of these lotus buds opened to reveal a star which then became the Beidou constellation.
Doumu is chronicled in three scriptural Daozang texts, from which the above stories have been extracted. The three texts in Daoist Canon were compiled during the Song Yuan, according to the each entry’s preface in the Zhengtong daozang (Numbered according to Schipper, 1975). They are Dz 45: 'Yuqing wushang lingbao ziran bei dou ben sheng jing' 玉清無上靈寶自然北斗本生經, True and Unsurpassed Lingbao Scripture from the Yuqing Heaven on the Spontaneous Origin of the Northern Dipper; Dz 621: Taishang xuanling doumu da sheng yuanchun benming yansheng xinjing 太上玄靈斗姆大聖元君本命延生心經, Heart Scripture of Original Destiny and Extending Life of the Great Sagely Goddess Dipper Mother; and Dz 1452: Xiantian doumu qingao xuanke 先天斗姆秦告玄科, Mysterious Rite for Petitioning the Dipper Mother of Former Heavens.
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While devotions to Marici predate Zen, they appear to be geared towards a similar meditative mode to enable the warrior to achieve a more heightened spiritual level. He lost interest in the issues of victory or defeat (or life and death), thus transcending to a level where he became so empowered that he was freed from his own grasp on mortality. The end result was that he became a better warrior.
The worship of Marici was to provide a way to achieve selflessness and compassion through Buddhist training by incorporating a passion for the mastery of the self. Some martial arts schools also worshipped Marishi-Ten as a guardian deity of their teachings. The school of Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū is an example of this, whose blood pledge chart (Keppan) ordered the disciples to submit to Futsunushi-no-mikoto and Marishi-Ten's punishment if they commit sins against the school's rule (the God of Katori's holy commandment).
The most outstanding example is the worship of Marici by the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū. In the aftermath of the battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa Ieyasu made the vow to protect this style and the Yagyū family in exchange for their teachings. Because of this, Shinkage style has been permeated with Mikkyō (esoteric Buddhism), mantra, and mudra who are said to confer invisibility upon a warrior.
At the age of 12 or 13, Yagyū Renya wrote the Shinkage-ryū Heihō Mokuroku Renya kudensho (scroll of Renya's oral teachings about the Art of War according to the style of the New-Shadow), a treasured scroll discussing the theory and techniques of the first and second Sōke compared to the one of his father, the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū 3rd sōke, Yagyū Toshitoshi. Martial arts were changing because samurai no longer fought wearing complete armors but instead with civilian clothes, so the headmaster made the choice to adapt to the current time. Sekishūsai also created the Mutō-dori techniques, which were absent from the original Shinkage-ryū of headmaster Kamiizumi, which he demonstrated on Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Unlike many other high ranked samurai of the Edo era, Renya fully mastered the core principle of Shinkage-ryū and Marobashi which allowed him a famous martial prowess in Edo era. Attacked at night, Renya unsheathed his wakizashi and butchered the assassin, killing him in a single blow. The wakizashi forged by Hata Mitsuyo was nicknamed "Oni-hōchō", the demon's kitchen knife, and many copies of various quality were made by swordsmiths of the time, with its peculiar kata-shinogi-zukuri shape. Yagyū Renya was said to possess Marobashi, a deep understanding of the nature of combat itself, a fighting instinct non-existent as an innate state in human beings. His book was never shown to anyone, and he wrote on the cover that someone foolish enough to break the seal would be blinded by Marishi-ten. According to Renya's strong beliefs, the Kudensho was passed down only to Shinkage-ryū headmasters.
She was also later worshipped in the Edo period as a goddess of wealth and prosperity by the merchant class, alongside Daikoku-ten (大黒天) and Benzaiten (弁財天) as part of a trio of "three deities" (santen 三天).
As a Yaksha General
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