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Encyclopedia > Yama (Buddhism and Chinese mythology)

Yama is the name of the Buddhist god and judge of the dead, who presides over the Buddhist Narakas (Pāli: Nirayas), "Hells" or "Purgatories". Although ultimately based on the god Yama of the Hindu Vedas, the Buddhist Yama has developed different myths and different functions from the Hindu deity. He has also spread far more widely, and is known in every country where Buddhism is practiced, including Tibet, China and Japan. Download high resolution version (768x1024, 213 KB)Yama_2 Field Museum of Natural History Yama, the Lord of Death, is revered in Tibet as a guardian of spiritual practice, and was likely revered even before the conversion of Tibet from Bön to Buddhism in the 7th century. ... Download high resolution version (768x1024, 213 KB)Yama_2 Field Museum of Natural History Yama, the Lord of Death, is revered in Tibet as a guardian of spiritual practice, and was likely revered even before the conversion of Tibet from Bön to Buddhism in the 7th century. ... Tibet (older spelling Thibet; Tibetan: བོད་; Wylie: Bod; Lhasa dialect IPA: [; Simplified and Traditional Chinese: 西藏, Hanyu Pinyin: XÄ«zàng; also referred to as 藏区 (Simplified Chinese), 藏區 (Traditional Chinese), ZàngqÅ« (Hanyu Pinyin), having the two names different connotations; see Name section below) is a plateau region in Central Asia and the... In Vajrayana Buddhism, a dharmapāla (Tibetan drag-gshed) is a type of wrathful deity. ... Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago The Field Museum of Natural History, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, sits on Lake Shore Drive next to Lake Michigan, part of a scenic complex called known as the Museum Campus which includes Soldier Field, the football stadium that is the home of the Chicago... Flag Seal Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location Location in Chicagoland and northern Illinois Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Illinois Cook, DuPage Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 606. ... Buddhism is a dharmic, non-theistic religion, which is also a philosophy and a system of psychology. ... Naraka (Sanskrit) or Niraya (Pāli) (Ch: 地獄 Dì Yù, Jp: Jigoku, Tib: ) is the name given to one of the worlds of greatest suffering in Buddhist cosmology. ... Pāli is a Middle Indo-Aryan dialect or prakrit. ... A modern depiction of Yamarajas Court, by Dominique Amendola Tibetan Dharmapala at the Field Museum in Chicago 19th century kagamibuta netsuke depicting Enma This article is about the deity Yama. ... Veda redirects here. ... Hinduism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Tibetan Buddhism (Simplified Chinese: 藏传佛教) is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet, the Himalayan region (including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim and Ladakh), Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia (Russia), and northeastern China (Manchuria: Heilongjiang, Jilin). ...

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Yama in Theravāda Buddhism

Yama was understood by Buddhists as a god of the dead, supervising the various Buddhist "hells". His exact role is vague in canonical texts, but is clearer in extra-canonical texts and popular beliefs, which are not always consistent with Buddhist philosophy. Death god redirects here. ...


In the Pali canon, the Buddha states that a person who has ill-treated their parents, ascetics, holy persons and elders is taken upon his death to Yama.[1] Yama then asks the ignoble person if he ever considered his own ill conduct in light of birth, aging, sickness, worldly retribution and death. In response to Yama's questions, such an ignoble person repeatedly answers that he failed to consider the kammic consequences of his reprehensible actions and as a result is sent to a brutal hell "so long as that evil action has not exhausted its result."[2] Standard edition of the Thai Pali Canon The Pali Canon is the standard scripture collection of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. ... Karma (Sanskrit act, action, performance[1]; Pāli kamma) ( ) is the concept of action or deed in Dharmic religions understood as denoting the entire cycle of cause and effect described in Hindu and Buddhist philosophies. ...


In extra-canonical Pali texts, the great Theravāda scholar, Buddhaghosa, described Yama as a vimānapeta, a being in a mixed state, sometimes enjoying celestial comforts and at other times receiving the more unpleasant fruits of his kamma; however, as a king, his rule is considered just.[3] Standard edition of the Thai Pali Canon The Pali Canon is the standard scripture collection of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. ... Theravada (Pali; Sanskrit: Sthaviravada) is one of the eighteen (or twenty) Nikāya schools that formed early in the history of Buddhism. ... Bhadantācariya Buddhaghosa was a 5th century Indian Theravadin Buddhist commentator and scholar. ... Vipaka is the metabolised part of drug, the after taste of food in the body in Ayurvedic Medicine Vipaka (Pali) is the result of karma (intentional actions). ... Karma (Sanskrit karman) or Kamma (Pāli) means action or doing; whatever one does, says, or thinks is a karma. ...


In popular belief in Theravādin Buddhist countries, Yama sends old age, disease, punishments and other calamities among humans as warnings to behave well. When they die, they are summoned before Yama, who examines their character and dispatches them to their appropriate rebirth, whether as a human, to a heaven, or to one of the hells that Yama presides over. Sometimes there are thought to be several Yamas, each presiding over a distinct Hell. Theravāda sources sometimes speak of two Yamas or four Yamas.[4] Rebirth in Buddhism is the doctrine that the consciousness of a person (as conventionally regarded), upon the death or dissolution of the aggregates (skandhas) which make up that person, becomes one of the contributing causes for the arising of a new group of skandhas which may again be conventionally considered... Theravada (Pāli: theravāda, Sanskrit: sthaviravāda → English: The Way of the Elders) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school, and for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population[1]) and continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and parts of southwest...


Yama in Chinese and Japanese mythology

In Chinese mythology, Yan Wang (Traditional Chinese: 閻王; Simplified Chinese: 阎王; pinyin: Yán Wáng), also called Yanluo (Traditional Chinese: 閻羅; Simplified Chinese: 阎罗; Hanyu Pinyin: Yánluó; Wade-Giles: Yen-lo), is the god of death and the ruler of Di Yu (Jp. Jigoku, "hell" or the underworld). The name Yanluo is a shortened Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit term Yama Rājā (閻魔羅社) "King Yama". In Japan Yanluo is referred to as Emma (older Yemma), or Emma-ō (閻魔大王 Enma Dai-Ō, "Great King Yama"). Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written form. ... Traditional Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字, Simplified Chinese: 正体字/繁体字) refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Simplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: 简体字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字; pinyin: jiǎntǐzì; also called 简化字/簡化字, jiǎnhuàzì) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. ... It has been suggested that Pinyin method be merged into this article or section. ... Traditional Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字, Simplified Chinese: 正体字/繁体字) refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Simplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: 简体字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字; pinyin: jiǎntǐzì; also called 简化字/簡化字, jiǎnhuàzì) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. ... Pinyin (拼音, Pīnyīn) literally means join (together) sounds (a less literal translation being phoneticize, spell or transcription) in Chinese and usually refers to Hànyǔ Pīnyīn (汉语拼音, literal meaning: Han language pinyin), which is a system of... Wade-Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration) system for the Chinese language based on Mandarin. ... Death, as a skeleton carrying a scythe, visiting a dying man. ... Diyu (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Ti-yü; Japanese: 地獄, jigoku, literally earth prison) is the realm of the dead or hell in Chinese mythology. ... Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180) A hell, according to many religious beliefs, is an afterlife of suffering where the wicked or unrighteous dead are punished. ... // In the study of mythology and religion, the underworld is a generic term approximately equivalent to the lay term afterlife, referring to any place to which newly dead souls go. ... Transliteration is the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system. ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is an old Indo-Aryan language from the Indian Subcontinent, the classical literary language of the Hindus of India[1], a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...


Yanluo is not only the ruler but also the judge of the underworld and passes judgment on all the dead. He always appears in a male form, and his minions include a judge who holds in his hands a brush and a book listing every soul and the allotted death date for every life. Ox-Head and Horse-Face, the fearsome guardians of hell, bring the newly dead, one by one, before Yanluo for judgement. Men or women with merit will be rewarded good future lives, or even revival in their previous life. Men or women who committed misdeeds will be sentenced to torture and/or miserable future lives. Ox-Head (牛頭) and Horse-Face (馬面) are two fearsome guardians of the Underworld in Chinese mythology, where the dead face judgement (and punishment) prior to reincarnation. ...


The spirits of the dead, on being judged by Yanluo, are supposed to either pass through a term of enjoyment in a region midway between the earth and the heaven of the gods, or to undergo their measure of punishment in Naraka, the nether world, situated somewhere in the southern region. After this time they may return to Earth in new bodies. Look up Punishment in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Naraka (Sanskrit) or Niraya (Pāli) (Ch: 地獄 Dì Yù, Jp: Jigoku, Tib: ) is the name given to one of the worlds of greatest suffering in Buddhist cosmology. ... Adjectives: Terrestrial, Terran, Telluric, Tellurian, Earthly Atmosphere Surface pressure: 101. ...


Yanluo is considered to be an office or bureaucratic post, rather than an individual god. There were said to be cases in which an honest mortal was rewarded the post of Yanluo, and served as the judge and ruler of the underworld. This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...


In his capacity as judge, Yanluo is normally depicted wearing a Chinese judge's cap in Chinese and Japanese art. Yanluo sometimes appears on Chinese Hell Bank Notes. The widely used $10,000 Hell note. ...


Yama in Tibetan Buddhism

In Tibet, Yama (Tibetan gshin.rje) was both regarded with horror as the prime mover of saṃsāra, and revered as a guardian of spiritual practice. In the popular mandala of the Bhavacakra, all of the realms of life are depicted between the jaws, or in the arms of a monstrous Yama. Yama is sometimes shown with a consort, Yami. Tibet (older spelling Thibet; Tibetan: བོད་; Wylie: Bod; Lhasa dialect IPA: [; Simplified and Traditional Chinese: 西藏, Hanyu Pinyin: XÄ«zàng; also referred to as 藏区 (Simplified Chinese), 藏區 (Traditional Chinese), ZàngqÅ« (Hanyu Pinyin), having the two names different connotations; see Name section below) is a plateau region in Central Asia and the... The Tibetan language is spoken primarily by the Tibetan people who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering South Asia, as well as by large number of Tibetan refugees all over the world. ... Saṃsāra, the Sanskrit and Pāli term for continous movement or continuous flowing refers in Buddhism to the concept of a cycle of birth (jāti) and consequent decay and death (jarāmaraṇa), in which all beings in the universe participate and which can only be escaped... Buddhist mandala Mandala (Sanskrit circle, completion) is a term used to refer to various objects. ... The Bhavacakra (Sanskrit) or Wheel of becoming, Tibetan is a complex symbolic representation of in the form of a circle (mandala), used primarily in Tibetan Buddhism. ... In Vedic beliefs, Yami is the first woman, along with her twin brother, Yama. ...


Another elaboration of the concept of Yama in Tibetan Vajrayāna Buddhism was as Yamāntaka – i.e. Yama-Antaka, meaning Yama-Death or "Death's Death". This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Yamāntaka is a Mahāyāna Buddhist yidam or iṣṭadevatā of the Highest Yoga Tantra class in Vajrayana, popular within the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism. ...


The following story describes the relationship between Yama and Yamāntaka:

A holy man was told that if he meditated for the next 50 years, he would achieve enlightenment. The holy man meditated in a cave for 49 years, 11 months and 29 days, until he was interrupted by two thieves who broke in with a stolen bull. After beheading the bull in front of the hermit, they ignored his requests to be spared for but a few minutes, and beheaded him as well. In his near-enlightened fury, this holy man became Yama, the god of Death, took the bull's head for his own, and killed the two thieves, drinking their blood from cups made of their skulls. Still enraged, Yama decided to kill everyone in Tibet. The people of Tibet, fearing for their lives, prayed to the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī, who took up their cause. He transformed himself into Yamāntaka, similar to Yama but ten times more powerful and horrific. In their battle, everywhere Yama turned, he found infinite versions of himself. Mañjuśrī as Yamāntaka defeated Yama, and turned him into a protector of Buddhism. He is generally considered a wrathful deity.

Statue of Manjusri (Monju) at Senkoji in Onomichi, Japan Mañjuśrī (文殊 Ch. ...

Yama in popular culture

19th century kagamibuta netsuke depicting Enma
19th century kagamibuta netsuke depicting Enma
  • For many popular uses of characters loosely based on the Japanese version of Yama, see Enma.
  • Yama, identified as a "Chinese spirit of the underworld", appears played by Todd Newton in the episode Dead Man Dating of the television series Charmed.
  • In Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, Yanluo is mentioned as Yan Lo.

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1240x1242, 243 KB) Summary This 19th century kagamibuta netsuke depicts Emma Dai O, the King of Hell. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1240x1242, 243 KB) Summary This 19th century kagamibuta netsuke depicts Emma Dai O, the King of Hell. ... a monkey-shaped netsuke a netsuke maintains an inro (box) in the obi (belt) Japanese artists starting in the 17th century cleverly invented the miniature sculptures known as netsuke (Japanese:根付) to serve a very practical function. ... Yama is the Hindu Lord of death whose first recorded appearance is in the Vedas. ... Todd Newton is the host of Hollywood Showdown and Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck, both on GSN; and Coming Attractions on E!, as well as occasional episodes of that channels infamous Wild On. ... General Information Episode of the popular U.S. television series, Charmed Episode Number: 4 Season: 1 First Aired: October 28, 1998 on The WB in the United States of America Production Code: 4398005 Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach Director: Richard Compton Synopsis Spoiler warning: Piper falls for the ghost of a... Charmed is an American television series that ran for eight seasons on The WB. It was produced by Aaron Spelling and is about three sisters who are the worlds most powerful good witches, known throughout the supernatural community as The Charmed Ones but known to everyone else as the...

See also

A modern depiction of Yamarajas Court, by Dominique Amendola Tibetan Dharmapala at the Field Museum in Chicago 19th century kagamibuta netsuke depicting Enma This article is about the deity Yama. ...

Notes

  1. ^ See, for example, MN 130 (Nanamoli & Bodhi, 2001, pp. 1029-36) and AN 3.35 (Nyanaponika & Bodhi, 1999, pp. 51-3), both of which are entitled, "Devaduta Sutta" (The Divine Messengers).
  2. ^ Nanamoli & Bodhi (2001), p. 1032.
  3. ^ Buddhaghosa states this in his commentary to the Majjhima Nikaya (Nanamoli & Bodhi, 2001, p. 1341, n. 1206).
  4. ^ According to Nanamoli & Bodhi (2001), p. 1341 n. 1206, the Majjhima Nikaya Atthakatha states that "there are in fact four Yamas, one at each of four gates (of hell?)." [The paranthetical expression is by Bodhi.]

The Majjhima Nikaya, or Middle-length Discourses of the Buddha, is the second of the five nikayas, or collections, in the Sutta Pitaka of the Tipitaka. ... The Anguttara Nikaya (Gradual Collection) is the fourth of the five nikayas, or collections, in the Sutta Pitaka, which is one of the three baskets that compose the Pali Tipitaka. ... The Majjhima Nikaya, or Middle-length Discourses of the Buddha, is the second of the five nikayas, or collections, in the Sutta Pitaka of the Tipitaka. ...

References

  • Nanamoli, Bhikkhu & Bodhi,Bhikkhu (2001). The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-072-X.
  • Nyanaponika Thera & Bodhi, Bhikkhu (1999). Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: An Anthology of Suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. ISBN 0-7425-0405-0.

External links

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