Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jesus Christ Pose

Let me introduce you to Jizō - the Buddhist guardian of children. That's him in the photo to the left.
According to Buddhist teachings, in the 5,670,000,000,000 (that's 5.67 billion) years between the death of Gautama Buddha and the coming of the second Buddha, Maitreya, there's going to be a lot of suffering on this world. Ya can't argue with that. If my calculations are correct, we're right smack dab in the middle of it, and unless Doctor Who can come and save us in his Tardis (his space/time machine that looks like an old-time UK police box/phone booth) or the second coming of Jesus Christ in 2011, we're in for another year of dismal downers. Hmmm... that JC video seems incorrect.
Anyhow, should the populace require some help and guidance while waiting for the next Buddha (I can hardly wait!), we can seek it from Bodhisattva Jizō.
Not sure why it's blurry - but here's a bunch of Jizō in Nikko.
Y'see, Jizō protects people who fear Hell (the Buddhist Hell). And, he really looks after the kids - saving them from the demons of Hell, and that's why he is the guardian deity of children.
Check out the photo - he looks like a man - like a monk, and can always be found with a red bib - courtesy of the local populace who dress up the Jizō statues - the idea is that since he protects little kids, he should look like a little kid. I wonder if the style of kid-dress has changed over the past 1000 years it has been done. For the sake of Japan's fashion industry, I hope so.
Still, judging from the number of Jizō statues I saw in my travels throughout Japan, I'm guessing that he is a very much cared for deity.    
Do I believe in him? I'm not Buddhist, but why not?- we all can use a little help!

Somewhere looking for a religion where it is all peaches and cream here on Earth,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog title is by Soundgarden - a power grunge group from the early 1990s (and I'll tell you a funny story about THAT tomorrow). I chose the title because Jizō and Jesus sound similar in my mind. Of course, I've had a few rum and Cokes, so who knows if I'll feel the same way about it tomorrow. Hmm... best keep drinking. MTV.

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