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(Jap.). One of the four ‘wisdom kings’ adopted into Japanese Buddhism from the Indian tradition, whose Sanskrit name is Acalanātha. These kings appear as guardians of temples and esoteric ritual sites (see esoteric Buddhism), and manifest extremely fierce and angry countenances and attitudes. Despite their frightening appearance, their primary motivation is compassion (karuṇā): they protect the Buddhist teachings in order to dispel ignorance (avidyā) and bondage and allow beings to find liberation.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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