Dai Jikoku-tenno (Sanskrit
Translated as "Great Heavenly King Upholder of the Nation" or "Kingdom-Keeper Heavenly King," Dai Jikoku-Tenno is one of the Four Heavenly Kings. He lives halfway down the eastern side of Mount Sumeru and protects the eastern quarter.
Dai Jikoku is the most powerful of the four guardians. He functions to protect the world and he embodies a stalwart person who comforts those around him. He teaches us to be responsible and dutiful when administering a country and managing familial matters.
The stringed instrument he carries reminds us to seek the Middle Way — if the strings are too tight, they will break; if the strings are too slack, no sound is produced.
From the Flammarion Iconographic Guide to Buddhism:
"This guardian king governs in the east and presides over the spring. He is 'He who maintains the kingdom (of the Law),' 'the maintainer of the state.' He commands an army of celestial musicians (Gandharvas) and vampire demons (Pisaca)." (p. 246)In the 26th Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Dai Jikoku pledges to protect those who embrace the sutra and he offers dharanis for the benefit of the teachers of the Lotus Sutra. Dai Jikoku uses music to help spread the dharma and subdue evil forces.
Attendants: The Gandharvas are one of the eight kinds of supernatural beings, who are said to revere and protect the Dharma.
helmeted warrior wearing armor and wind-blown scarves. He has a green complexion
and a wrathful expression. He may hold a sword or a musical instrument
and his closed left hand rests on his hip.