The scriptural basis for the six can be traced back to a late 6th-century Tendai text from China, although Batō was not part of the original six but rather inserted some four centuries later. In this role, the deity is known as Batō Myō-ō 馬頭明王 and included in a grouping known as the Hachidai Myō-ō 八大明王 (lit. Batō Kannon is not only said to protect dumb animals, particularly those who labor for mankind, but extends those powers to protecting their spirits and bringing them ease and a happier life than they experienced while on earth. Hadland Davis, 1913)In esoteric traditions, Batō Kannon appears in the Taizōkai (Womb World) Mandala in the Lotus Court (Rengebu-in 蓮華部院), also known as the Kannon-in 観音院.
Says the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (abridged; sign in with user name = guest): “In Japan, from the beginning of the Tokugawa period, steles of Batō Kannon were dedicated to a deceased horse, as attested by numerous roadside steles bearing its figure and the inscription 馬供養 uma kuyō.
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There are many different forms of Batō having one to three faces and two to eight arms, and he holds different attributes in different images.
In the Kannon Section of the Taizōkai Mandala 胎蔵界曼荼羅, he has three faces and two arms, is red in color, and makes the komponin 根本印 hand gesture (mudra) in front of his chest.
About Site Author Bibliography Buddhism in Japan Busshi Glossary Carving Techniques Cycle of Suffering Drapery/Robe Guide Mandala Guide Mudra Guide Objects Guide Pilgrimage Guide Shinto Guide Statues by Artist Statues by Era Symbols Guide Terminology A TO Z INDEX 3 Element Stele 3 Monkeys 4 Bosatsu 4 Celestial Emblems 4 Heavenly Kings 5 (Number Five) 5 Elements 5 Tathagata 5 Tier Pagoda 5 Wisdom Kings 6 Jizo 6 Kannon 6 Realms 6 Nara Schools 7 Lucky Gods 7 Nara Temples 8 Legions 8 Zodiac Patrons 10 Kings of Hell 12 Devas 12 Generals 12 Zodiac Animals 13 Butsu (Funerals) 28 Legions 28 Constellations 30 Buddha of Month 30 Kami of Month 33 Kannon About the Author Agyo Aizen Amano Jyaku Amida Nyorai Apsaras Arakan (Rakan) Arhat (Rakan) Ashuku Nyorai Asuka Era Art Tour Asura (Ashura) Baku (Eats Dreams) Bamboo Benzaiten (Benten) Bibliography Big Buddha Birushana Nyorai Bishamon-ten Bodhisattva Bonbori Artwork Bosatsu Group Bosatsu of Mercy Bosatsu on Clouds Buddha (Historical) Buddha Group Buddha Statues Busshi (Sculptors) Calligraphy Celestial Emblems Celestial Maidens Children Patrons Classifying Color Red Confucius Contact Us Daibutsu Daijizaiten Daikokuten Dainichi Nyorai Daruma (Zen) Datsueba (Hell Hag) Deva (Tenbu) Donations Dosojin Dragon Drapery (Robes) Early Buddhism Japan Ebisu Eight Legions En no Gyoja Estores Family Tree Footprints of Buddha Fox (Inari) Fudo (Fudou) Myoo Fugen Bosatsu Fujin (Wind God) Fukurokuju Gakko & Nikko Gardens Gigeiten Godai Nyorai Goddess of Mercy Goddesses Gongen Gravestones Hachi Bushu Hachiman Hands (Mudra) Hell (10 Judges) Hell Hag (Datsueba) Hell Scrolls Henge Hikyu (Lion Beast) Holy Mountains Ho-o (Phoenix) Hotei Idaten Inari (Fox) Ishanaten Ishidoro (Ishidourou) Jikokuten Jizo Bosatsu Jocho Busshi Juni Shi Juni Shinsho Juni Ten Junrei (Pilgrimage) Jurojin Juuzenji Jyaki or Tentoki Kaikei Busshi Kamakura Buddhism Kankiten Kannon Bosatsu Kappa Kariteimo (Kishibojin) Karura Karyoubinga Kendatsuba Kichijouten Kitchen Gods Kishibojin (Kariteimo) Kitsune (Oinari) Kokuzo Bosatsu Koujin (Kojin) Komokuten Korean Buddhism Koushin Lanterns (Stone) Links Magatama Making Statues Mandara (Mandala) Maneki Neko Marishiten (Marici) Miroku Bosatsu Monju Bosatsu Monkeys Moon Lodges Mother Goddess Mudra (Hands) Myoken (Pole Star) Myo-o Nara Era Art Tour Newsletter Sign Up Nijuhachi Bushu Nikko & Gakko Ninpinin Nio Protectors Nyorai Group Objects & Symbols Onigawara Phoenix (Ho-o) Pilgrimage Guide Pottery Protective Stones Raigo Triad Raijin (Thunder God) Rakan (Arhat) Red Clothing Reincarnation Robes (Drapery) Rock Gardens Sanbo Kojin Sanno Gongen Sarutahiko Sculptors (Busshi) Seishi Bosatsu Sendan Kendatsuba Seven Lucky Gods Shachi, Shachihoko Shaka Nyorai Shape Shifters Shichifukujin Shijin (Shishin) Shinra Myoujin Shinto Clergy Shinto Concepts Shinto Kami Shinto Main Menu Shinto Sects Shinto Shrines Shishi (Lion) Shitenno Shoki Shomen Kongo Shotoku Taishi Shrines Shugendo Siddhartha Six States Star Deities Stone Gardens Stone Graves Stone Lanterns Stones (Top Menu) Suijin (Water Kami) Symbols & Objects Tamonten Taishakuten Tanuki Temples Temple Lodging Tenbu Group Tengu Tennin & Tennyo Tentoki or Jyaki Terminology Tiantai Art Tour Tibetan Carpets Tibet Photos Tibetan Tanka Transmigration Ungyo Unkei Busshi Videos on Buddhism Water Basin Weapons Wheel of Life Yakushi Nyorai Yasha (Yaksha) Zao Gongen Zen (Daruma) Zen Art Tour Zodiac Calendar Zochoten This report catalogs over 100 forms of Kannon in Japan.
It features nearly 130 photos, copious reference notes, spellings in multiple Asian languages, and a handy A-to-Z List of Kannon Forms.
"Horse-shaped") shrines, which are found all over Japan. She is especially honored by the horse breeders in northern Japan.
Nowadays you even find bicycles in front of the many stone votive statues to Batō on waysides.
The Kannon Notebook is an ongoing project aimed at scholars, art historians, practitioners, and laity alike. (Horse Headed)Byakue Kannon (White Robed)Esoteric (Tantric) Forms of Kannon Feminized Forms of Kannon Fudarakusen (Kannon’s Paradise)Fukūkenjaku (Never Empty Lasso)Guze Kannon (Prince Shōtoku)Gyoran Kannon (Fish Basket)Hatakiri Kannon (Cloth Ripping)Henge Kannon (Esoteric Forms)Hitokoto Kannon (One Prayer)Jibo Kannon (Loving Mother)Juntei Kannon (Mother of All Deities)Jūichimen Kannon (Eleven-Headed)33 Forms of Kannon)Senchū Yūgen Kannon (Calms Raging Sea)Senju Kannon (1000 Armed)Shō Kannon (Sacred, Non-Esoteric)Six Kannon (Esoteric)Suigetsu Kannon (Water-Moon)Tara Bosatsu (Female Manifestation)Yakuō Kannon (Medicine King)Yōkihi Kannon (Feminine Ideal)Yōryū Kannon (Willow Kannon) Yume-Chigai Kannon (Dream Changer)Yumedono Kannon (Guze Kannon)28 Legions Serving Kannon Amida Triad (Kannon)Kannon Photo Tour Kannon Photo Tour (Asuka)Kannon Pilgrimage Kamakura Kannon Pilgrimages Nationwide Kannon Statues e Store Maria Kannon (Christianity)Objects / Symbols / Weapons Patrons of Motherhood11-Headed Kannon, Wood Hokkeji Temple 法華寺, Nara, H = 100 cm, First Half 9th Century Holds water jar containing Jōsui 浄水,a miraculous elixir that relieves thethirst of devotees; aurole depictslotus buds and lotus leaves. 20, 2005Nine-Headed Kannon Kumen Kannon 九面観音, 8th century. National Treasure Photo: 日本の国宝, #002, March 1997Kannon’s Sanskrit Seed Pronounced SA in Japaneseおん あるりきゃ そわかOn Arurikya Sowaka(also Om Arurikya Sowaka) Kannon’s Shingon Mantra Oṃ Maṇi Padme HuṃLit.
“the jewel in the lotus”Tibetan Mantra for Avalokitêśvara Comes in Many Forms, Many Manifestations. Assists People in Distress in Earthly Realmand in all Six Realms of Karmic Rebirth. Kannon worship remains non-denominational and widespread. Kannon is one of Asia’s and Japan’s most beloved deities.
Batō Kannon is invoked during the Jūhachidō 十八道 practice when closing the vajra net to seal the sacred space. He is distinguished by the white horse's head that he wears like a crown.