Spreader of Light in All Directions; The Great Illuminator

Also known as: Dai Nichi

Classification: Buddha

Dainichi is the Japanese name and manifestation of Mahavairocana, the Great Sun Buddha, Lord of the Cosmos, venerated in the Shingon esoteric Buddhist tradition.

Favored people: Dainichi is guardian of those born in the years of the monkey and sheep.

Iconography: Dainichi, his hair in a top-knot, is enthroned on a lotus. He wears the crown and jewelry of royalty. One hand forms gestures of blessing (mudra).

In March 2008, a twelfth-century wooden statue of Dainichi was auctioned for $14,377,000 by Christie’s New York auction house, setting a record for Japanese art.

Attribute: A medicine jar

Planet: Sun

Direction: Southwest

See also: Buddha