Twelve Heavenly Generals

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Bhaisajyaguru Buddha (center) accompanied by one of the Twelve Heavenly Generals

In some Buddhist denominations, the Twelve Heavenly Generals or Twelve Divine Generals are the protective deities, or yaksha, of Bhaisajyaguru, the buddha of healing. They are introduced in the Bhaiṣajyaguruvaidūryaprabharāja Sūtra.[1] They are collectively named as follows:

Names of Generals[edit]

The precise names of the generals seem to vary depending on tradition. Those listed below are from an available Sanskrit transcription of the Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūryaprabhārāja Sūtra:[3]

Sanskrit Kanji romanized Japanese Pinyin Vietnamese Tibetan (Wly.) Zodiac Honji
Kiṃbhīra 宮毘羅
金毘羅
Kubira
Kompira (Shinto)
Guānpíluò
Jīnpíluò
Hợi Thần Ji 'jigs Boar Maitreya
Vajra 伐折羅 Basara, Bazara Fázhéluò Tuất Thần Rdo rje Dog Mahāsthāmaprāpta
Mekhila 迷企羅 Mekira, Meikira Míqǐluò Dậu Thần Rgyan 'dzin Rooster Amitābha
Antila 安底羅 Anchira, Anteira Āndǐluò Thân Thần Gza' 'dzin Monkey Avalokiteśvara
Anila 頞儞羅 Anira Ènǐluò Mùi Thần Rlung 'dzin Sheep Mārīcī
Saṇṭhila 珊底羅 Sanchira, Santeira Shāndìluò Ngọ Thần Gnas bcas Horse Ākāśagarbha
Indala 因達羅 Indara Yīndàluò Tỵ Thần Dbang 'dzin Snake Kṣitigarbha
Pāyila 波夷羅 Haira Bōyìluò Thìn Thần Gtun 'dzin Dragon Mañjuśrī
Mahāla 摩虎羅 Makora
Makura
Mòhǔluò Mão Thần Sgra 'dzin Rabbit Bhaiṣajyaguru
Cidāla 真達羅 Shintara
Shindūra
Zhēndàluò Dần Thần Bsam 'dzin Tiger Samantabhadra
Caundhula 招杜羅 Shōtora
Shatora
Zhāodùluò Sửu Thần 'dzin Ox Vajrapāṇi
Vikala 毘羯羅 Bikara
Bigyara
Píjiéluò Tý Thần Rdzogs byed Mouse Śākyamuni
Another one of the Twelve Heavenly Generals.

While the Honji and zodiac correspondences listed above are the standard in Japanese sources, there is variation among texts and regional traditions.[4]

Popular culture[edit]

General Catura at Ngong Ping
  • Statues of the Twelve Heavenly Generals stand in Ngong Ping, Hong Kong.

See also[edit]

  • The Glossary of Japanese Buddhism for an explanation of terms concerning Japanese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist art, and Japanese Buddhist temple architecture.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mary Neighbour Parent (2001). "JAANUS - Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System". Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology (online ed.). Retrieved 2009-04-20.
  2. ^ Mark Schumacher. "12 Divine Generals of Yakushi Buddha". A to Z Photo Dictionary: Japanese Buddhist Statuary. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
  3. ^ "Bhaiṣajyaguruvaidūryaprabharājasūtram". Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  4. ^ "薬師十二神将". Flying Deity Tobifudo. Retrieved 2019-03-02.

External links[edit]