Lord Skanda-Murugan

Ida-Ten, Japanese portrait of Skanda

Note on Skanda in Japanese Zen tradition

by Chuan Yuan Shakya

"For just as an eagle or a wild bull may capture our imagination and emotion and hold us in a devotional bond, so do heroic archetypes create an inspirational connection and help us to rise to whatever height survival requires. The Buddha is a Prince of Peace, but since some wars must be fought, Śiva's son, Skanda (Japanese: Ida-Ten), is a god of war. Gods make us better human beings. They allow us to absorb into ourselves their heroic or majestic qualities - a true mystique of participation within the paradigm of spiritual change."

Śiva's son Skanda, celibate and reclusive god of war. Note Śiva's emblem, the bull-horn, moon crescent, on his headdress. Illustration at right from D.T. Suzuki's Manual of Zen Buddhism.

Skanda in Japanese Zen tradition

Courtesy: Ruminations on Zen's Cows: A series of essays on the Oxherding Pictures

Bodhisattva Skanda (Wei Tuo P s) in Chinese Buddhism
Iconographic Contact between Karttikeya and ManjuŚrī in China
Index of articles from the First International Conference on Skanda-Murukan