Buddha represented as the sun. Dainichi is the Japanese translation of the Sanskrit Maha-Vairocana (Great Illumination), the central emanation of the universe.
Dainichi is often represented as seated at the heart of a red lotus with eight petals, representing the fount of all things. He is viewed in Shingon thought as the center of wisdom and mercy and the main (sometimes, sole) universal deity.
Dainichi is often identified in Ryobu (“both sects,” that is, Buddhist and Shintπ syncretism) with Amaterasu-o-mikami. He represents the ultimate reality of the world. He is often depicted holding a double-headed, three-pronged lightning bolt—a kongo—which emphasizes his role in sudden enlightenment.
- Joly, Henri L. 1967. Legend in Japanese Art. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co.
Handbook of Japanese Mythology written by Michael Ashkenazi – Copyright © 2003 by Michael Ashkenazi