Sanskrit Seed Syllable
courtesy of this J-Site
Deva of Hindu Origin. Alternate spellings 摩里支 or 摩利支 or 摩梨支 or 末利支. Transliteration of Sanskrit Marīci (Marici). In Japan, she is known as Marishiten, for the Sanskrit term "Deva" is translated as "TEN" in Japanese, meaning celestial being. She is also one of the 20 Celestials 二十天.
Below text from Soothill's
Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms:
"Marīci. Rays of light, the sun's rays, said to go before the sun; mirage; also intp. as a wreath. A goddess, independent and sovereign, protectress against all violence and peril. In Brahmanic mythology, the personification of light, offspring of Brahmā, parent of Sūrya. Among Chinese Buddhists Marishi is represented as a female with eight arms, two of which are holding aloft emblems of sun and moon, and worshipped as goddess of light and as the guardian of all nations, whom she protects from the fury of war. She is addressed as 天后 queen of heaven, or as 斗姥 (lit. Mother of the Southern Measure (Sagittarī), and identified with Tchundi and with Mahēśvarī, the wife of Maheśvara, and has therefore the attribute Mātrikā, mother of the Buddhas <Eitel>. Taoists address her as Queen of Heaven." <end Soothill quote>.
Soothill also mentions the following:
- 斗姥 Dame of the Bushel; queen of heaven 天后 or Marīci, 摩利支
- 準提 Candī, or Cundi; also 准胝; 尊提. (1) In Brahmanic mythology a vindictive form of Durgā, or Pārvatī, wife of Śiva. (2) In China identified with Marīci 摩里支 or 天后 Queen of Heaven. She is represented with three eyes and eighteen arms; also as a form of Guanyin, or in Guanyin's retinue. < end Soothill quote >
Below Text Courtesy JAANUS (outside site):
Marishiten is the name of a Buddhist goddess representing an amalgamation of several Hindu antecedents, primarily the god Marici, who is considered to have been a son of Brahma (Jp. = Bonten 梵天) or one of the ten patriarchs created by the first lawgiver Manu. The deity assumed female form on adoption into Buddhism.
Since Marici means "light" or "mirage," Marici was regarded as a deification of mirages and being thus invisible or difficult to see was invoked in order to escape the notice of one's enemies. This martial aspect has been carried over in the cult of Marishiten in Japan, where she came to be revered as a tutelary deity of the warrior class. Later she was also worshipped as a goddess of wealth and prosperity among the merchant class, being counted along with Daikokuten 大黒天 and Benzaiten 弁財天 as one of a trio of "three deities" (Santen 三天) invoked for such a purpose during the Edo period.
She assumes a variety of forms and may have one, three, five or six faces and two, six, eight, ten or twelve arms; in her many-faced manifestations, one of her faces is that of a sow, and she rides either a sow or a chariot drawn by seven pigs. Images of Marishiten are common in India, but there are few examples in Japan. Shoutakuin 聖沢院 (Kyoto) has a polychrome painting said to be of Korean provenance, while Tokudaiji 徳大寺 (Tokyo) is dedicated to a large image of her dubiously attributed to Shoutoku Taishi 聖徳太子 (574-622 AD). The Nispannayogavali also describes a mandala 曼荼羅 centered on Marishiten. < end JAANUS quote >
MANTRA IN JAPANESE (ご真言)
おん まりしえい そわか
Mantra courtesy of this J-Site
Marishiten stone marker in Nagano
Near Daiunji Temple (Japan)
Photo courtesy this J-site
LEARN MORE ABOUT MARISHITEN AT THE
A-TO-Z PHOTO DICTIONARY (SISTER SITE)
Who are the TENBU (Skt. = Deva) in Japanese Buddhism? (outside link)