Four Heavenly Kings
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The Four Heavenly Kings are four dieties that reside in the lowest heavenly realm within Buddhist cosmology. Each diety watches over one cardinal direction of the world. They are said to "serve as protectors of the dharma and of sentient beings who are devoted to the dharma".
In Chinese mythology, they are known collectively as the "Fēng Tiáo Yǔ Shùn" (simplified Chinese: 风调雨顺; traditional Chinese: 風調雨順; literally: "Good climate") or "Sì Dà Tiānwáng" (Chinese: 四大天王; literally: "Four Great Heavenly Kings").
The Hall of the Heavenly Kings is a standard component of Chinese Buddhist temples.
In the Sanskrit language they are called the "Caturmahārāja" (चतुर्महाराज), or Caturmahārājikādeva (Four Great Heavenly Kings).
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University
- Chaudhuri, Saroj Kumar. Hindu Gods and Goddesses in Japan. New Delhi: Vedams eBooks (P) Ltd., 2003. ISBN 81-7936-009-1.
- Nakamura, Hajime. Japan and Indian Asia: Their Cultural Relations in the Past and Present. Calcutta: Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay, 1961. Pp. 1–31.
- Potter, Karl H., ed. The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, volume 9. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1970–. ISBN 81-208-1968-3, ISBN 81-208-0307-8 (set).
- Thakur, Upendra. India and Japan: A Study in Interaction During 5th cent.–14th cent. A.D.. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 1992. ISBN 81-7017-289-6. Pp. 27–41.
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