Symbols #28: Jizo

Jizo is a Bodhisattva in Japanese Mahayana Buddhism, originally known in Sanskrit as Ksitigarbha. He is worshipped primarily in East Asia, where statues of his likeness can be spotted on roadsides. He is often depicted as a shaven-headed monk with child-like features and a large cloak.

Revered for his self-sacrifice, Jizo is said to have delayed nirvana in order to help others. He is a guardian of travelers and firefighters. He keeps watch over the souls of children, especially those who pass away before their parents.

6 thoughts on “Symbols #28: Jizo”

  1. Wow, what a great insight. Profound. What if the world truly exists as one whole individual, we are all charactars and are made out of the same book. The world is one entity.

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  2. Well, one of the teaching which has stayed with me since around 1997 (when I stopped going to ‘class’) is that everything is appearance to mind, the profound thought that we are all individuals, alone, encased in flesh and that we can’t take for granted that anyone else can see the world as we do. In other words, for all I know this life, this experience might just be a fantasy and the world truly does just exist for me, this individual. That, I thought, was very profound — just one example.

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  3. It is very fascinating, the world view of the East is different in ways that seem to make a lot of sense. That’s good to hear, what is one of the most interesting things you have learnt?

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  4. Fascinating, I studied Tibetan Buddhism which I guess is largely Mahayana merged with vajrayana, or diamond vehicle. I have to say these days I prefer the simplicity of Theravada.

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