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Di-cang

by Micha F. Lindemans
One of the four great bodhisattvas in Chinese Buddhism, whose name means "Womb of the Earth." He liberates those who dwell in the various hells (naraka). He can take on six different forms in order to help the beings of the six modes of existence (gati). It is said that he was a Korean prince from the Tang period who lived on the mountain Jiu-hua-shan in South China. After his death his body did not decay, and a temple was built over it (which still exists today).

Di-cang is depicted as a monk with in his right hand a metal staff with six jingling rings on it, which opens the gates of the hells for him. In his left hand he holds a wish-fulfilling jewel, the radiance of which illuminates the hells and calms the sufferings of the damned. He is occasionally portrayed with a crown of the type that was usually worn by monks during funeral ceremonies.

He is similar to the Sanskrit Kshitigarbha.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Ti-Ts'ang
  • Pronunciation:
    dee-zang

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