The standing Fudo Myō-ō represents the "world of the burning fire," which separates the human world and the Buddhist world, and looks out over the human world. In contrast, the sitting Fudo Myoo represents a steadfast and immovable figure. The angular material combined with the tightly compressed central seat symbolizes the rigidity and immovability of Fudo Myō-ō, and serves as a specific seat for the deity.
The ancient seated image of Shikubuku Myoo (色不動明王), also known as the "Seated Fudo Myoo," is a highly significant figure in Buddhist art, playing a special role in the faith and rituals of Esoteric Buddhism. This image is particularly notable in the context of Japanese Buddhist art, and its distinctive posture and symbolism hold deep spiritual significance for many believers.
Shikubuku Myoo is a manifestation of Fudo Myoo, a deity associated with wrathful aspects in Buddhism. The wrathful aspect is often employed to confront and subdue afflictions and obstacles. The ancient seated Shikubuku Myoo image embodies the characteristics of Fudo Myoo and symbolizes his powerful presence.
Typically, the seated Shikubuku Myoo image is depicted with three faces and six arms, each face displaying a different expression and looking in different directions. This represents the wisdom and power of Fudo Myoo extending in all six directions. In his hands, various weapons and tools are depicted, symbolizing the ability to overcome afflictions and obstacles, and to open the path to truth and liberation.
The posture of the seated figure is also significant. Shikubuku Myoo is often depicted sitting on a lotus flower, even though he embodies a wrathful form. This seated posture represents stability and harmony, despite the fierce appearance. It signifies the determination and resolve to confront afflictions and obstacles, aligning with the teachings of Fudo Myoo.
This ancient seated image of Shikubuku Myoo is revered in the practice and rituals of Esoteric Buddhism as a powerful ally to help believers overcome obstacles and afflictions, and to progress toward the truth. The wrathful aspect is seen as providing the courage to confront difficulties and advance in inner spiritual practice.
In summary, the ancient seated Shikubuku Myoo image is an important Buddhist icon with special significance in Esoteric Buddhist faith and practice. Its powerful posture and symbolism serve as spiritual guidance for many Buddhists, both in Japan and beyond.