Asian art

Buddhist Deity: Kongorikishi

kongorikishi

View our Buddha Statues in our gallery

Buddhist Deity- Kongorikishi is two enraged, muscular guardians of the Buddha standing at the entrance of many temples which houses Buddha statues. These Buddhist deities are seen only in the Buddhist temple that follows East Asian Buddhism. It is believed that the Bodhisattvas, Kongorikishi is Dharmapala manifestations of the Bodhisattva Vajrapani, the oldest and most powerful Mahayana Buddhist deity. Apart from the manifestation of the Bodhisattva Vajrapani, the Kongorikishi are also seen as the manifestation of Mahasthamaprapta, the Bodhisattva of power that represents Amitabha Buddha in Pure Land Buddhism and as Vajrasattva in Tibetan Buddhism.

According to Japanese tradition, and as mentioned in Pali Canon and Ambattha Sutta, the Bodhisattva Kongorikishis traveled with Gautama Buddha to protect him and remained his guardian. The other names for this Bodhisattva are Niomon in Japan, Henghaer Jiang in China, Genumgangmun in Korea.

Iconography of Buddhist Deity: Kongorikishi

buddha head

Kongorikishi usually represented in a pair that stands on either side of the entrance gate of Buddhists temple. Among them, the right statue is called as Misshaku Kongo and the left one is Naraen Kongo.

The Right statue, Misshaku Kongo is also called Agyo and has his mouth open. It represents the vocalization of the first grapheme of Sanskrit Devanagari which is pronounced as "a". This Buddhist deity is a symbol of overt violence. He has a vajra mallet in his hand and bares his teeth. The alternative names for Misshaku Kong are Milijeok geumgang in Korea, Miji Jingang in Mandarin Chinese, and Mat Tich Kim Cuong in Vietnamese.

The left statue, Naraen Kongo is also called Ungyo and has his mouth closed. It represents the vocalization of the last grapheme of Sanskrit Devanagari which is pronounced as "hum". This Buddhist deity is depicted as either bare-handed or wielding a sword. He symbolizes latent strength, holding his mouth tightly shut. The alternative names for Naraen Kongo are Narayeon geumgang in Korean, Naluoyan Jingang in Mandarin Chinese, and Na la Dien Kim Cuong in Vietnamese.

These two characters together symbolize the birth and death of all the beings. Sometimes, both the figures of Kongorikishi are combined together to form into one complete figure. When they are infused together then the figure is better known as Shukongoshin, which literally means vajra wielding spirit. The alternative names for Shukongshin are Shikkongojin in Japan, Jip geumgang sin in Korea, ZhiJingang Shen in Mandarin Chinese and chap Kim Sang than in Vietnam.

It is believed that the iconography of this Buddhist deity was more influenced by the Greek hero Heracles in the past. It is mainly because there was a cultural influence in the art and culture of that period and also the Greek god, Heracles was used in the Greco-Buddhist art to represent Vajrapani, the protector of the Buddha. The deity was carved as the Greek hero in the early period representing Greco Buddhist art but later it was localized as it was spread in South-East Asian countries. We can see localized statues guarding various Buddhist temple.

View our collections of statues and arts in our gallery

Nio Zen Buddhism

The Zen monk, Suzuki Shosan advocated a practice Nio Zen Buddhism for the nirvana. He chose Nio Zen Buddhism over Nyorai Zen Buddhism. He recommended that practitioners should meditate on Nio and even adopt their fierce expressions and martial stances in order to cultivate power, strength, and courage when dealing with adversity.

Suzuki Shosan explains Nio as a menacing God. He wields the vajra and can crush the enemies. He vibrates with energy and spiritual power, and these power can be absorbed from him in times of the need. Suzuki further explains that we should depend on him and pray to him because he will protect us as he protects the Buddha.

Share this page

Our collections of Buddha statues and arts

Large antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

Large antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

4,200 euro
Old bronze Thai Buddha statue

Old bronze Thai Buddha statue

200 euro
Old bronze Nepali Indra statue

Old bronze Nepali Indra statue

750 euro
Very special alabaster Buddha statue

Very special alabaster Buddha statue

18,500 euro
Old bronze Nepali Tara statue

Old bronze Nepali Tara statue

950 euro
Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

1,100 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

275 euro
12th century Terracotta Bagan tablet

12th century Terracotta Bagan tablet

300 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Temple

Antique wooden Burmese Temple

600 euro
Antique marble Jain statue from an Indian temple

Antique marble Jain statue from an Indian temple

2,200 euro
Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

275 euro
Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

275 euro
Antike Thai Rattanakosin Buddha statue

Antike Thai Rattanakosin Buddha statue

1,350 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

Antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

450 euro
Special large antique Burmese Mandalay Buddha

Special large antique Burmese Mandalay Buddha

11,500 euro
Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

2,450 euro
Antique bronze Nepali Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara - Padmapani

Antique bronze Nepali Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara - Padmapani

950 euro
Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

1,750 euro
Old bronze Nepali Vajra

Old bronze Nepali Vajra

150 euro
Bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

Bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

200 euro
High quality old bronze Nepali Bodhisattva statue

High quality old bronze Nepali Bodhisattva statue

4,500 euro
Antique marble Jain Buddha from a temple in Rajasthan

Antique marble Jain Buddha from a temple in Rajasthan

2,200 euro
Old bronze Nepali Medicinebuddha

Old bronze Nepali Medicinebuddha

275 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Shan Buddha

Antique wooden Burmese Shan Buddha

500 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

500 euro
Special antique Burmese Buddha statue

Special antique Burmese Buddha statue

6,000 euro
Antique bronze Thai Buddha with monk statue

Antique bronze Thai Buddha with monk statue

450 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Mandalay Buddha

Antique wooden Burmese Mandalay Buddha

2,950 euro
Very special antique Burmese Buddha head

Very special antique Burmese Buddha head

3,950 euro
Antique marble Mandalay Buddha

Antique marble Mandalay Buddha

1,600 euro
arrow-right keyboard_arrow_right arrow-down chevron-down keyboard_arrow_down chevron-up arrow-left keyboard_arrow_left close menu search twitter facebook youtube-play linkedin envelope instagram google-plus pinterest whatsapp heart-o Wishlist share file-pdf-o printer trash