Four Great Kings 四大天王/四天王天(指的是:南增長、東持國、西廣目、北多聞四大天王)

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Four Great Kings (Skt. Catur Mahārāja; Wyl. rgyal chen sde bzhi) or Guardians of the Universe (Skt. Lokapāla; Wyl. 'jig rten skyong ba) — four gods or deities who live on the lower slopes (fourth level) of Mount Meru in the Heaven of the Four Great Kings and guard the four cardinal directions. Each of them are leaders of a semi-divine class of beings living in their realm.

As a result of wishes made during the time of the previous Buddha—Kashyapa—the Four Guardian Kings were reborn in the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. Each uphold and teach the Dharma in their own realms, as well as—three times a month—surveying the four directions, protecting all who uphold the Buddha’s teachings. Always ready to protect the Dharma, they are surrounded by fire which represents the dynamism of their spiritual wisdom.

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, representations of the Four Great Kings are placed at the four directions of a closed retreat in order to set the boundaries of the retreat and guard the practitioner(s) from obstacles. They are also often found near the entrances of a temple or monastery.

四大天王 / 四天王天 The Four Great Kings are:

  1. Dhritarashtra 持國天王 (Tib. Yulkhor Sun), 'Defender of the Area' in the east;
  2. Virudhaka 增長天王 (Tib. Pak Kyepo), 'Noble Birth' in the south;
  3. Virupaksha 廣目天王 (Tib. Chen Mi Zang), 'Ugly Eyes' in the west; and
  4. Vaishravana 多聞天王 (Tib. Namtösé), 'Son of He who has Heard Many Things' in the north.

譯註: 「四天」並非「四大天王」,而是:

大梵天 Brahma

大自在天 Ishvara (Shambhu) (印度教中稱為Shiva)

遍入天/毘濕奴 Vishnu (Narayana)

帝釋天 Indra 因陀羅 (三十三天主)


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