Sanskrit. ‘Immovable protector’. Name of a
deity that in the late 7th century was
incorporated into esoteric Buddhism as a servant of the
During the Tang Dynasty he became known in
‘Immovable [one]’, and was later imported
into Japan as
Fudo Myoo (fig.),
‘Immovable Bright King’, which is usually shortened to Fudo. Acalanatha is described to be a
powerful deity, who protects all the living by burning away all obstacles, thus
aiding them towards
Enlightenment. He is typically portrayed
with a blue complexion, holding a
vajra sword in
one hand and a lariat, i.e. a rope used as a lasso or for
tethering, in the other, which he uses to bind ghosts and evil spirits.
He is usually seated in the
lotus position, often in front of a
flaming nimbus and
sometimes on a rock, i.e. a symbol of his steadfastness, though he may also be
depicted in a standing pose (fig.),
with or without a flaming nimbus,
which is said
to be the flame of the
a savage, firebreathing, mythological bird.
the features of a bird can sometimes be discovered entangled in the flames (fig.).
sometimes portrayed with one fang pointing up and another pointing down, and a
braid on one side of his head.
In Japan, Fudo is descrbed
as having 8 to 48 boy servants, though he is usually portrayed with just 2 of
those boy servants in attendance (fig.), namely Kimkara or Kongara (矜羯羅
and Cetaka or Seitaka (制吒迦 -
Acalanatha is sometimes described as an emanation of
Akshobhya (fig.), who also has a blue complexion and whose name equally means the
However, he is also named as one of the Five Kings of Light or Five Kings of
Mystical Knowledge, i.e. wrathful deities who represent the power of the
i.e. the five
and in that role Acalanatha is described to correspondent to
Vairochana (fig.). In China, he is deemed the
protector of those born in the
Year of the Rooster. He is in short also referred to as Acala.