Why do the four heavenly kings serve both heaven and Buddhism in myths and legends?

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Why do the four heavenly kings serve both heaven and Buddhism in myths and legends? This is a problem that many readers are concerned about. Next, China story net will work with you to learn about it and give you a reference.

Before answering this question, I would like to introduce the four heavenly kings to you. They are the eastern Heavenly King holding the Kingdom, the southern growth heavenly king, the Western wide eyed heavenly king, and the northern world.


Yes, their predecessor was the four generals of the demon family in the legend of gods. After the end of gods, they were granted the title of four heavenly kings, responsible for guarding the gate to the heaven, the South heavenly gate. They were called the “Four Heavenly Kings” by the immortals, and they were also one of the most famous Dharma protectors in Taoism.

Then why are they the same as the four heavenly kings of Buddhism? This is actually due to some misunderstanding. In fact, the term “the four heavenly kings” originally originated from Indian Buddhist myths, not Chinese myths.

In Indian mythology, the world is divided into four states, and the four heavenly kings are the four gods in the twenty-four heavens of Buddhism. They are located in the first important heaven and live on Gandhara mountain in the hinterland of Xumi mountain, the holy land of Buddhism. There are four peaks in Gandhara mountain. Each of them has one peak and one direction, guarding a large part of the state. Therefore, they are also called the four heavenly kings of protecting the world.

At that time, the four heavenly kings of Buddhism had no specific images, only conceptual descriptions. When Buddhism entered eastern China to preach, it took root and sprouted in the Central Plains. In order to quickly integrate into eastern China and remove the cloak of foreign sects, Buddhism borrowed a lot of Confucian and Taoist culture, which has a strong color of Han culture.

Therefore, many Buddhists and Bodhisattvas can find the shadow of Taoist immortals, because all the figures in Buddhist and Taoist myths are actually Taoist myths themselves. It can’t be said that Buddhism has borrowed from the Taoist myth system, but in the long years, Buddhism and Taoism have been integrated to a certain extent.

Well, as mentioned earlier, after Buddhism was introduced into China, it has merged with the local Taoist myths to a certain extent, and the image of many Bodhisattvas and Buddhas has has also changed greatly, with a strong Han mythological color.


The four heavenly kings who protect the world symbolize protection in Buddhism and have basic conceptual images; When it was introduced into middle earth, they became more involved in the concept of “good weather”. The four heavenly kings held pipa, sword, dragon and umbrella respectively, symbolizing good weather.

However, in this way, the four heavenly kings of Taoism and the four Vajra heavenly kings of Buddhism are surprisingly consistent. Except for the details, the images are very similar.

If you don’t look carefully, most people will classify it as the same person. This leads most people to have a wrong understanding: the four heavenly kings of Taoism and the four heavenly kings of Buddhism are the same four people. Disclaimer: the above content originates from the Internet, and the copyright belongs to the original author. Please inform us if your original copyright is infringed, and we will delete the relevant content as soon as possible.

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