Showing posts with label zen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zen. Show all posts




Buddhist Family Altar, butsudan 仏壇
Household Buddhist Altar

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A butsudan (佛壇 or 仏壇)
is a tabernacle found in religious temples and homes of Japanese and other Buddhist cultures. A butsudan is a wooden cabinet with doors that enclose and protect a religious icon, typically a statue or a mandala scroll. The doors are opened to display the icon during religious observances. A butsudan usually contains subsidiary religious items called "butsugu," such as candlesticks, incense burners, bells, and platforms for placing offerings.
Some buddhist sects place "ihai", memorial tablets for deceased relatives, within or near the butsudan.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


- quote from JAANUS
An altar or tabernacle in the form of a podium, table, recess or cabinet used in the sanctuaries of temples and in private residences for the installation of Buddhist images and ancestral tablets, ihai 位牌, recording the posthumous names of deceased family members. The custom of setting Buddhist images upon podia was introduced to Japan along with the religion itself, and examples made from stone, tamped earth, clay, and timber are known. With increasing use of a raised timber floor in temples from the Heian period, timber podia--often built-in, lacquered and elaborately decorated--became the norm.

The use of a cabinet *zushi 厨子, to house images (statues, paintings, and mandalas) placed upon the podium also goes back to the early days of Buddhism in Japan. The provision of a butsudan in private residences began amongst the highest aristocracy at an early date and spread widely among the upper classes during the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, along with the provision of private chapels *jibutsudou 持仏堂.

The practice of placing ancestral tablets in the butsudan is believed to derive from the influence of Confucianism, jukyou 儒教. By the Edo period, the principal purpose of the domestic butsudan was to provide a place to make offerings to the spirits of dead parents and ancestors. Only those who had inherited the parental house and carried on the main line possessed a butsudan. Thus a main house, honke 本家, possessed a butsudan, but a first generation branch house, bunke 分家, did not. It is not known when the butsudan spread to vernacular houses *minka 民家, although it can be inferred from the presence of a private chapel on the plan of the 1397 Rin'ami 琳阿弥house, that some kind of butsudan was in use in the most sophisticated vernacular houses by the end of the 14c.

Among early surviving vernacular houses of the 17c, a number originally had no permanent butsudan, so it is probable that a portable table was set up when necessary for rituals. However, with the exception of some areas such as Kagoshima, the butsudan had become an almost universal fixture of vernacular houses by the end of the Edo period. Amongst the upper classes, the butsudan might take the form of a platform representing Mt. Sumeru *shumidan 須弥壇, an example being that of Jishouji *Tougudou 慈照寺東求堂 (1486) in Kyoto, in Ashikaga Yoshimasa's 足利義政 Higashiyama 東山 residence.

An area known as the *butsuma 仏間 inside the Tougudou also contained a recess, closed with sliding screens *fusuma 襖, with a shelf which is believed to have been intended for the installation of ancestral tablets, an arrangement foreshadowing the butsudan as it appears in Edo period vernacular houses. The butsudan in Edo period vernacular houses may be divided into 6 basic types as follows.

1 A butsudan built into a recess, equipped with sliding doors and a small podium inside on which to stand the ancestral tablets. This type is to be found in the highest-ranking vernacular houses of the early 17c in the Kinki 近畿 region. By the mid-17c these had become decorative, and above them was placed a transom *ranma 欄間, with openwork *sukashibori 透彫, and an inner cabinet with its own doors and a base resembling a miniature shumidan.

2 A recess similar to a decorative alcove *tokonoma 床の間, within which a freestanding lacquered cabinet was placed. Originally open, it tended to acquire doors at the front. This type is particularly associated with the New Pure Land sect, Joudo shinshuu 浄土真宗, but was not confined to that sect.

3 Similar to 2, but the *tokogamachi 床框 was higher--about 30cm above the floor--and the recess too shallow for a cabinet so it is probable and the ancestral tablets were placed upon the shelf directly. Originally it had no doors, but it tended to acquire them.

4 Cupboard, todana 戸棚, type, the lower part containing a storage cupboard with sliding doors and the upper part the butsudan. The butsudan section may have 4 sliding doors, hikichigaido 引違戸 (see *hikichigai 引違), or a pair of double-folding swing doors *kannonbiraki tobira 観音開扉. This type may be a freestanding piece of furniture or it may be built in. Over time there was a tendency to raise the height of the sill track *shikii 敷居, dividing lower cupboard section from the butsudan, which is believed to reflect a change in seating styles from sitting cross-legged, agura あぐら, to sitting up straight on folded legs, seiza 正座.

5 Also a cupboard type, but set in a high position, usually with storage cupboards below. See *fukurodana 袋棚.

6 The butsudan is placed within a small enclosed room and observers pay their respects from an outer room, an arrangement that may reflect the influence of the sanctuary *naijin 内陣, and worship hall *gejin 外陣, of temple architecture characteristic of Esoteric Buddhism, mikkyou 密教. Sometimes a special room *butsudan-no-ma 仏壇の間 or butsudanma 仏壇間, is provided for the butsudan, but in other cases it may be located in the main reception room *dei 出居; *zashiki 座敷; or grand room *hiroma 広間 of a vernacular house of the *hiromagata 広間型 format.
source :


According to the various Buddhist sect, the main deity (honzon, go honzon 本尊 ご本尊) celebrated at the altar is different. For the Zen sect, it is Shakyamuni, the Buddha, in the center and Bodhidaruma on the right side. On the left is the founder of the sect.

There are many types of BUTSUDAN in a style called
仏壇 達磨, ダルマ箱檀

Many are in a small box format for the modern apartment dwellers with little space.

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Butsudan from Kyoto 京仏壇

They are the most elaborate and expensive ones, more than 700.0000 Yen.
They are made by various craftsmen, each one a specialist in his field:
cutting the wooden parts, laquering, putting gold foil on the laquer, carve the various detailed parts, making the roof part ...
It takes more than half a year to finish one.

Kyoto, the center of Imperial Court culture, is also the center of Buddhist culture. Temples, large and small, of many Buddhist denominations are located throughout the city. It was while meeting the demand from these numerous temples and also from households that Kyoto's Butsudan (called Kyo-Butsudan) and Butsugu (Kyo-Butsugu) developed.
source :


Bodhidaruma on a scroll for the family altar



For the Soto Zen Sect
Dogen, Shakyamuni, Daruma
道元禅師 釈迦如来 達磨大師

For the Rinzai Zen Sect
Rinzai, Shakyamuni, Daruma
開祖 釈迦如来 達磨大師



Butsudan for members of the Soto Zen sect
曹洞宗 (Sootoo shuu)


The Buddha-altar (Butsudan)
A Buddha-altar isn’t only a place to honor one’s ancestors. Within the altar, there is an area where Mt. Sumeru (the mountain at the center of the Buddhist cosmology) is represented and in the center of that area the main image is enshrined. In the same way as a temple’s main Dharma Hall, the Buddha-altar is “the temple in the middle of the home".

The significance of the Buddha-altar
The three fundamentals of Soto Zen School practice and faith are sitting, gassho, and worship. It is by sitting with a quiet mind, with our hands held together in gassho, and worshipping (expressing our reverence) that we are able to reflect on our everyday lives and practice the teaching of Buddha. Fulfilling this practice brings us peace of mind. To honor our ancestors is to repay our sense of gratitude for having received life from them. This is also to keenly feel that we have inherited not only our individual lives but the life of all things.

Read it all here please:


Daruma Magazine
© Daruma Issue 49


Three regions are especially famous for its Butsudan:
Kagoshima, Tokyo and Yamagata.

. Kagoshima Folk Art - 鹿児島県  .
Kawanabe Butsudan 川辺仏壇

In the middle of the Kamakura period, family Buddhist altars became popular. They are called 仏壇 (butsudan) in Japanese. Early in the nineteenth century, these Buddhist altars the industry of making these altars started and became popular later. Today, it has become the base of Kawanabe Buddhist altar industry. Now there are many shops which sell Kawanabe Buddhist altars in Kawanabe.
- source : wikipedia -


. Niigata Folk Art - 新潟県  .
Nagaoka butsudan / Nagaoka 長岡市 / Nagaoka Buddhist altar
Shirone Butsudan / Shirone 白根市 / Shirone Buddhist altar

- quote -
Nagaoka butsudan 長岡仏壇 Nagaoka Buddhist altar
What is Nagaoka Buddhist altar ?

Nagaoka Butsudan refers to Buddhist altars and altar fittings which are produced in and around Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture. It has also risen to prominence as innovative-designed altars that suit a modern house, even using the traditional techniques that were developed in the 17th century. With a western furniture style that allows installment in a house with no alter room, The new Nagaoka Butsudan basks in popularity for its handmade feeling and dignified presence.
Nagaoka Butsudan is characterized by Mitsuyanegata kuden in analogy to the main hall of a temple. Equipped with a stand called Shumidan on the center top of the inside, a Buddhist altar has a Kuden (inner sanctuary), a space above 須弥壇 Shumidan where a Buddha statue is enshrined. A roof of the inner sanctuary is tailored to sect-designated style. Featuring the eclectic mix of the double roof structure for the Higashi Hongan-ji Temple and the single roof structure for the Nishi Hongan-ji Temple, Nagaoka Butsudan boasts a gorgeous triple roof. 唐破風 Kara Hafu which is a rising arch shaped roof is attached to both sides of the double roof adopting 千鳥破風 Chidori Hafu (triangular shaped gable).
Nagaoka Butsudan is well-designed to separate the pedestal from the main altar body, allowing easy assembly and disassembly in refurbishment to maintain it in good shape even years later. This is a Buddhist altar that will be handed down through many generations by virtue of the unique structure.
- History
History of Nagaoka Butsudan is presumed to have harked back to the 17th century, when a number of artisans with adept craftsmanship in sculpture and urushi work and carpenters specialized in building temples and shrines (宮大工 miyadaiku) and making Buddhist images (仏師 busshi), gathered and settled in and around Nagaoka City, leading to Buddhist altar production. The construction of Buddhist temples and shrines is susceptible to a weather condition and takes place only in mild climates. Visited by the long winter and heavy snowfall, Nagaoka and its neighboring areas forced artisans to be out of job during that time, which is believed to have prodded them to engage in altar production on the side.
In the 19th century, the Nagaoka clan, which controlled over the land of Nagaoka, implemented a policy to protect the Jodo Shinshu sect, resulting in a custom that commoners enshrined ihai (ancestral tablet). The altars reached rapid, widespread adoption amid growing demand for household Buddhist altars to place the tablets in, allowing the production of Nagaoka Butsudan to assume an impregnable position as a local industry.
- General Production Process
- reference source : -

- quote -
Shirone butsudan 白根仏壇 Shirone Buddhist altar
What is Niigata-shirone Buddhist altar ?

Niigata Shirone Butsudan refers to Buddhist altars which are mainly made in Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. A base of an altar usually uses Japanese cypress, zelkova, Japanese cherry, Japanese white pine and pine. Niigata Shirone Butsudan is characterized by its original techniques combined with traditional techniques and fabrication methods of Kyo Butsudan and elegant finish with Maki-e painting. The main structure of a palace incorporates a unique technique, Hiramasugumi, which allows easy assembly and disassembly, even in refurbishment. This technique enables easy repair of detailed parts, maintaining historical architectures in good condition after centuries. Niigata Shirone Butsudan undergoes five process steps, which are professionally handcrafted by respective expert craftsmen in woodwork, sculpture, metalwork, Urushi work and Maki-e work. The gorgeous rich effects of real gold leaf, gold painting and Maki-e decorating an Urushi surface give an exquisite and graceful beauty to Niigata Shirone Butsudan, retaining the initial quality without discoloring even after time passes.
- History
Niigata Prefecture, where Shinran the founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect and Nichiren the founder of the Nichiren-shu sect were exiled and sent, has widely accepted Buddhism since ancient times. Repeatedly affected by the raging Shinano River, local residents found peace in Buddhism and grew devout. Rinemon NAGAI, a carpenter who specialized in building Garanshi temples in Kyoto, handed down the art of Buddhist altar-building to Niigata in between 1688 and 1704 (mid-Edo Era). Adorned with more sculpture and decoration to Kyo Butsudan, Niigata Shirone Butsudan attained its originality eventually. In the Tenmei Era of the late Edo period (the late 18th century), an integrated production system by five professionals is believed to have been established. Buddhist altars were worshiped among people in Shirone in the throes of longstanding flood damage, and over 300 years Niigata has been performing steady growth as the center of altar production by virtue of excellent materials and a hot-humid climate suited for drying Urushi.
- General Production Process
- reference source : -

. Tokyo and Edo Folk Art 東京 江戸 .

- quote -
Traditional Technologies and Techniques
01 -- The basic wooden construction of Tokyo Butsudan (Buddhist Altars) is assembled free of nails. Woodworking techniques such as mitered shoulder joints, dovetail keyed miter joints, and mortise and tenon joints are all used.
02 -- Engraving involves standard woodworking techniques, as well as the working of reliefs and inlays, etc.
03 -- Using lacquer that has undergone a refining process, the finish that is applied is polished to a gloss.

Traditionally Used Raw Materials
Timber species used in the construction of Butsudan include Ebony, Rosewood, Bombay Blackwood, Chinese Quince, Zelkova, Mulberry, Cherry, Cypress, Cedar and other timbers with similar qualities.
Additionally, a natural lacquer is used for lacquering.

History and Characteristics
In modern times, when Butsudan (Buddhist Altars) are imagined by people, they tend to think of immobile box-type structures that are placed somewhere. However, when originally conceptualized, Butsudan were seen as a stand on which statues of Buddha could be safely placed within the precincts of Buddhist temples. As the meaning of "Butsudan" when written in kanji characters implies (literally "a platform on which a statue of Buddha maybe safely placed"), at one stage such altars were also created from earth and stone in addition to wood. Concerning the use of stone structures, it seems that their origins lay in cave altars constructed in India and China.
It is said
Buddhism reached Japan in 538 (552 in some sources) during the Asuka Period. This was due to King Seong of the Kingdom of Baekje offering a Buddhist statue and sutra scrolls as a gift. The Emperor Tenmu stated in 685, “Iurge that within the country, each household be encouraged to build an altar with a dais where an image of Buddha and a sutra may be placed; and that each does hereby engage in acts of worship.” This rescript is said to have resulted in the construction of Buddhist monasteries and nunneries in each province of the country during the Nara Period that followed.
until the Heian Period (794 - 1185) Buddhism remained a preserve of the aristocracy, during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333) it underwent a transformation as the aristocracy conveyed it to the warrior classes. Furthermore, through the work of missionaries such as Honen, Shinran and Nichiren, Buddhism spread further among the masses.
the arrival of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603 - 1868), because a system of government with the Shogunate at its apex was established, an attitude that promoted both the protection and strengthening of Buddhism was instituted. Such policies saw numerous temples being built in Edo as the power of Buddhism increased due to the organization of death registers.
Tokyo Butsudan
started to be manufactured at the beginning of the Genroku Era (1688 - 1704). Using their own techniques and materials such as hardwood timbers including Mulberry and Zelkova, during their work breaks the cabinetmakers of Edo made rather simple cabinets without much decoration. Furthermore, it is also said that Shokei Yasuda, a third-generation Edo sculptor of Buddhist statues, was the first person to use imported timbers such as Ebony and Rosewood (in around 1840).
These days,
the Tokyo Butsudan craft continues to incorporate the skills passed down by generations of craftsmen. The altars themselves also offer a marvelous sense of splendor that induces those who witness them to bow in reverence.

Tokyo Karaki Butsudan Manufacturing Cooperative Association
- source : -

. Yamagata Folk Art - 山形県  .

- quote -
By the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868), the number of people travelling to and from Kyoto had increased because of the trade in such crops as safflower from Yamagata. As a result, Buddhist altar culture found its way into the area. Some craftsmen went to distant Edo (Tokyo) to learn carving skills and began working on such things as transoms and other articles related to Buddhism. Subsequently, workers of metal, lacquerers and maki-e decorators began to make household Buddhist altars.

Facings are of zelkova (Zelkova serrata) or sen (Kalopanax septemlobus) which are lacquered to bring out their grain and to give them a warmth. The kuden or inner sanctuary with its bracket assemblies has a heart-warming beauty. The fittings, which are inlaid with arabesque patterns on black, are grand within a composed setting, and the carvings of dragons and heavenly beings have a glittering splendor.
There are now 115 firms employing 262 staff, among which there are 22 government recognized Master Craftsmen.
Yamagata Household Buddhist Altars commerce and industry cooperative association
- source : -


Altar Scrolls with Fudo Myo-O

Buddhist Altar Cloth (uchishiki 打敷)

Bon Festival, O-Bon, Obon e  お盆 

Daruma Museum


................ H A I K U

butsudan ni honzon kaketa ka hototogisu

"Is the main image
Set on the altar?"
Cries the hototogisu.

Tr. Blyth


subako hodo no butsudan o kau haru yuube

a Buddhist altar
in a size of a birdhouse
spring evening

Akao Fumiko 赤尾冨美子
Tr. Fay Aoyagi

small modern butsudan


This young temple,
Is still collecting smells,
Taking them into the wood,
Of the butsudan and shrines.

© Richard Crabtree
amida haiku


RENKU and kannonbiraki (観音開き)

lit. this is a door that opens to both sides of a cupboard, displaying the cupboard interior in the middle. This is in contrast to the sliding doors which are usual in a Japanese home.

The Buddha Shelf for the Ancestors (butsudan) in a home opens like this too, and usually shows the statue of a little Kannon Bosatsu, hence the name.
biraki ... hiraki 開き... hiraku ... to open

Renku, 連句、renga 連歌 : Linked Verse


. kamidana 神棚 household Shinto altar, "shelf for the Gods" .

. butsudan 仏壇と伝説 legends about the Buddhist family altar .

- #butsudan -


Taisen Deshimaru




haiku flowers -
Japanese seeds
for the whole world

For Taisen Deshimaru
who brought Zen seeds to France

CLICK for links to Deshimaru !


Taisen Deshimaru (birth name: Yasuo Deshimaru) (1914-1982) was a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher. Born in the Saga Prefecture of Kyushu, Deshimaru was raised by his grandfather, a former Samurai before the Meiji Revolution, and by his mother, a devout follower of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism.

He received dharma transmission from Master Yamada Reirin.

In 1967, Deshimaru came to Europe and settled in Paris in order to fulfill his master's wish and spread the teachings of Zen. In the 1970's, his mission grew and he received dharma transmission from Master Yamada Reirin and became kaikyosokan (head of Japanese Soto Zen for a particular country or continent) in Europe.

He trained many disciples, and was the catalyst for the creation of a multitude of practice centers. His teachings and multitude of books helped spread the influence of Zen in Europe and America, particularly of the Soto sect. He founded the AZI in 1970 and La Gendronnière in 1979. He died in 1982, after having solidly established Zen practice in the West.

 © Wikipedia has more

Read my Haiku Archives 2007



Daruma Mudra


Daruma Mudra


E. has a portrait of Bodhi Dharma in his office with his hands in this mudra and so I call it Daruma's Mudra.

As far as I know, the mudra of the hands is not the be all end all. I think that it comes down to preference or teacher's preference. Above are some of the most common mudras, I have left a few out, including the ones in which you place your hands on your knees. I think that hand mudras have 2 major purposes.
1) they give you a fixed place for your hands so that you do not keep on moving them during meditation.
2) they bring focus to your abdominal area or dan tien (tanden) chakra about 2 inches below your navel.

Cosmic Mudra

Theravada Mudra

© Shugyo by Thomas has a lot more !


mudra of preaching the Dharma (dharma-cakra-pravartana)

The Sign Language of the Deities 神様の手話、仏様の手話

Click on this photo to go to a Japanese page with all the mudra and gestures of Esoteric Buddhism.



Let us explore the iconography of mudras a bit more.

Read the ENGLISH explanations of
Mark Schumacher:

Handhaltungen, Gesten (inzoo, inkei; mudraa)

Die meisten Kanji und Beispiele finden sich auf der Seite von Mark.

Die Handhaltungen drücken die verschiedenen Gelübde und Lehren der einzelnen Buddhas aus und dienen oft zur Identifizierung der Statuen. Die direkte Übersetzung von "inzoo" bedeutet eigentlich "Siegel".

Am häufigsten sind die normale Zen-Meditationshaltung, die Gesten Fürchtet Euch nicht!, Wunschgewährung, Drehen des Rades der Lehre und Anrufung der Erde als Zeuge.
Im esoterischen Buddhismus ist durch den Einfluß verschiedener Gottheiten die Anzahl der Handhaltungn stark angestiegen. Die Gläubigen versuchen, durch Nachahmung dieser Haltungen eine Vereinigung mit der Gottheit zu erlangen.

Abwehr von Unheil, Goosanze-Haltung (Goosanze-in 降三世印)

Geste des Goosanze Myôô, der die drei Grundübel des fleischlichen Leibes, Gier, Haß und Unwissenheit abwehrt.
Die mittleren von acht Armen sind vor der Brust verschränkt: Die kleinen Finger eingehakt, Ring- und Mittelfinger berühren den Daumen der jeweiligen Hand und die Zeigefinger ausgestreckt.

Amida-Meditationshaltung (Amida jooin)

Nur bei sitzenden Statuen in klassischer Meditationshaltung unterhalb des Nabels.
Die linke Hand mit der Handfläche nach oben im Schoß liegend, die rechte darüber. Daumen und Zeigefinger der gleichen Hand berühren sich bei Statuen des Amida Nyorai immer, im Gegensatz zu Statuen des Shaka Nyorai. Durch den Kreis wird die Vollkommenheit des buddhistischen Gesetzes ausgedrückt. Der Kreis der rechten Hand bedeutet die Welt des Buddha und der Kreis der linken die Welt der fühlenden Wesen.

Anrufung der Erde als Zeuge (goomain; shichiin; sokujiin, sokuchiin)

Geste der Erdberührung des Shaka Nyorai. Als Shakyamuni in tiefer Meditation saß, kam der Teufel in verschiedenen Formen, um ihn zu verführen. Mit dieser Haltung hat Buddha sich von seinem Versucher Maara abgewendet und rief die Göttin der Erde als Zeuge an, daß er die Erleuchtung erlangt habe. Die Rechte symbolisiert die unumstößliche innere Haltung des Buddha, die Linke sein Wirken für die Menschheit.

Rechte Hand in Meditationshaltung unterhalb des Nabels; linke Hand über den gekreuzten Beinen nach unten, mit ausgestrecktem Zeigefinger zur Erde. Auch umgekehrt, mit rechter Hand nach unten.
Diese Geste findet sich häufig in Indien und Südostasien, seltener aber in Japan.

Drehen des Rades der Lehre (tenpoorinin, temboorin, seppooin, tenbourin-in)

Diese Haltung symbolisiert die erste Lehrrede des Shakyamuni an seine Jünger im Hirschpark in Saranath, mit der er sozusagen das Rad seiner Lehre in Bewegung gesetzt hat (shotenpoorin).
In der Shingon-Sekte wird dabei durch die linke Hand die Mutterschoßwelt und durch die rechte Hand die Diamantwelt symbolisiert.
Beide Hände vor der Brust erhoben, rechte Handfläche nach außen, linke nach innen, rechter Daumen und Zeigefinger berühren sich, restliche Finger gestreckt; linker Daumen und Mittelfinger berühren sich, Zeigefinger auf Daumengelenk der rechten Hand, Ring- und Kleinfinger gebeugt.

Echte Hände (shinju 真手)

Vor der Brust ausgestreckt gefaltete Hände einer Tausendarmigen Kannon und anderer vielarmiger Gottheiten. Siehe auch gefaltete Hände.

Erlösungshaltung (raigooin, Mida gooshooin)

Geste des Amida Nyorai, der die Seelen der Menschen nach dem Tode zum Paradies des Westens geleitet.
Daumen und Zeigefinger jeder Hand sind zu einem Kreis verbunden; rechte Hand erhoben, linke gesenkt auf dem linken Knie. Die Haltung entspricht einer Kombination der Gesten Fürchtet Euch nicht! und Wunschgewährung.

Fürchtet Euch nicht! (semuiin)

Geste der Furchtlosigkeit und "Schutzgewährung". Der japanische Begriff I bedeutet: sich fürchten. Diese Geste zeigt den Menschen, daß es nach dem Gesetz des Buddha nichts mehr zu fürchten gibt, besonders nicht den Tod.
Rechte (selten auch linke) Hand zur Brust erhoben, Finger nach oben ausgestreckt, Handfläche nach vorne weisend. Linke Hand oft in der Geste der Wunschgewährung.

Gefaltete Hände (gasshooin, gasshooju)

Menschen falten die Hände, wenn sie die Gottheit anbeten und eine Bitte aussprechen. Die linke Hand symbolisiert den Menschen, die rechte die Gottheit. Die meisten Bosatsu haben 12 Formen dieses Anbetungsgestus.
Gestreckt gefaltete Hände vor der Brust.
Man unterscheidet im esoterischen Buddhismus auch zwischen den verschränkt gefalteten Diamant-Händen (kongoo gasshoo) und den nicht verschränkt gefalteten Lotus-Händen (renge gasshoo).

Meditationshaltung (jooin, zenjooin, hookai jooin)

Ausdruck der tiefen Ruhe und Meditation.
Geste des Shaka Nyorai (zenjooin) und Dainichi Nyorai in der Mutterschoßwelt (hookai jooin); Handflächen im Schoß überein~ander, Daumen berühren sich. Die rechte liegt auf der linken Hand. In Indien ist die rechte Hand die saubere, mit der auch gegessen wird und die linke die Schmutzige. Wenn man daher in der Meditationshaltung mit der reinen Hand die schmutzige abdeckt, bleibt der Körper und der Geist rein.
Nur bei Statuen des Amida Nyorai berühren sich Daumen und Zeige~finger der gleichen Hand (Amida jooin); bei Statuen des Shaka Nyorai berühren sich nur die Daumen beider Hände.
Siehe auch Amida-Meditationshaltung.

Medizintopf-Haltung (yakkoin 薬壺印)

Spezielle Geste des Yakushi Nyorai. Über den in Meditationshaltung gefalteten Händen steht der Medizintopf.

Mitleidshaltung (chikenin)

Geste der Weisheitsfaust. Auch Karman-Haltung (katsuma in) oder Höchste Erleuchtungsgeist-Haltung (saijoo bodaiin) genannt.
Geste der Macht des Dainichi Nyorai der Diamantwelt. Rechte Hand bedeutet der Buddha, linke Hand bedeutet die Menschen.
Beide Hände in Brusthöhe. Linker Zeigefinger nach oben ausgestreckt, Daumen von drei Fingern eingeschloßen. Rechter Daumen und Zeigefinger berühren den linken Zeigefinger an der Fingerspitze, die anderen Finger umfaßen den Zeigefinger. So treffen sich drei Fingerspitzen an einem Punkt.

Nachdenkliche Haltung (hanka shuigyoo, shiyui, shui 半跏思惟)

Häufig bei Miroku Bosatsu, der nachdenkt, wie er die Menschen der zukünftigen Welt erretten kann.
Sitzende Figur mit dem linken Fuß nach unten auf dem Boden und rechter Fuß auf linkem Knie. Den rechten Ellbogen auf dem rechten Knie, die Hand am Kinn, zwei Finger auf die Wange ausgestreckt; in tiefem Nachdenken den Kopf leicht zur Seite gebeugt.

Neun Handhaltungen des Amida (kuhon no in)

Die Neun Handhaltungen des Amida Nyorai, mit denen er die neun verschiedenen Stadien (kuhon no sekai) des Paradieses des Westens darstellt.

Die Daumen und jeweils ein Finger jeder Hand berühren sich, die anderen drei Finger sind ausgestreckt.
Beide Hände im Schoß in Meditationshaltung: jooshoo;
beide Hände vor der Brust erhoben: chuushoo;
eine Hand erhoben, die andere zur Erde gestreckt: geshoo.

Dabei berühren sich jeweils zwei Finger: Daumen und Zeigefinger: Joobon; Daumen und Mittelfinger: chuubon; Daumen und Ringfinger: gebon. Als Kombination ergeben sich dann "joobon jooshoo" usw.
"BON" drückt die Tiefe des Glaubens aus, "SHOO", wieviel gute Werke getan wurden. Eine Statue mit den Händen jeweils in der mittleren Stellung (chuubon chuushoo) drückt aus, daß dieser Amida ganz normale Menschen rettet, die mäßig glauben und mäßig gute Werke getan haben.

Pferdekopf-Haltung, Pferdemaul-Haltung (bakooin 馬口印, makooin, Batoo Myooin)

Geste der Pferdeköpfigen Kannon mit mehreren Armen.
Mittlere Hände in Gebetshaltung nach unten gerichtet; Daumen, Mittelfinger und kleiner Finger gestreckt, Zeigefinger und Ringfinger gekrümmt; oder Daumen, Zeigefinger und Ringfinger gekrümmt, Mittelfinger und kleiner Finger gestreckt.

Überkreuzte Arme (daishinin 大瞋印(だいしんいん))

Geste des Gundari Myôô. Die mittleren von acht Armen sind vor der Brust gekreuzt.

Wunschgewährung (yoganin)

Diese Geste zeigt, daß ein Buddha alle Bitten gewährt, wenn der Mensch sie nur wirklich in der Tiefe seines Herzens ausspricht. Es ist die grundlegende Geste zum Versprechen von Wohlergehen in dieser Welt (genze goriyaku) bzw. zum Auslöschen des Leidens, das ja eigentlich die Ursache für unsere Bitten ist.

Bei sitzenden Statuen der linke (selten der rechte) Ellenbogen angewinkelt, die Handfläche nach oben über das Knie ausgestreckt; alle Finger gestreckt, Ringfinger und kleiner Finger manchmal gebeugt. Bei stehenden Stauten die linke Hand nach unten hängend. Rechte Hand meist in Geste Fürchtet Euch nicht! erhoben.

© Gabi Greve
Buddhastatuen (Buddhastatues) Who is Who
Ein Wegweiser zur Ikonografie von japanischen Buddhastatuen

Mudra of Fudo Myo-O 不動明王印


Why does Daruma have his hands under his robe?
Read the answer HERE !
This anti-mudra then can be
a symbol of the wordless transmission.

. Jimotsu ... 持物 - What is Daruma holding?  

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