Dai Zojo-tenno (Sanskrit
Translated as "Great Heavenly King Increase and Growth," Dai Zojo-tenno is one of the Four Heavenly Kings. He lives halfway down the southern face of Mount Sumeru and guards the south.
Dai Zojo-tenno functions to relieve people of their suffering, symbolizing one who teaches moderation and gives hope and joy to the people. He is known as the Growth/Increase Deva King because he can increase people's wisdom. His sharp sword represents wisdom; consequently, it is wisdom that inspires us to seek improvement in our lives.
According to the Lotus Sutra, it is Dai Zojo-tenno who offers dharanis in Chapter 26 for the benefit of the teachers of the Lotus Sutra.
The Flammarion Iconographic Guide to Buddhism describes him as follows:
"This guardian king governs in the south and presides over the summer. He is 'He who enlarges the kingdom,' 'the powerful one'." (p. 246)Attendants consist of the kumbhandas and the pretas. The kumbhandas are spirit-eating demons who are known for their huge scrotums. They have human bodies and horses' heads. The pretas are the hungry ghosts. Since yakshas are classified as hungry ghosts, Dai Zojo's pretas are often considered yakshas as well.
A helmeted warrior wearing armor and wind-blown scarves. He has a blue
complexion and a wrathful expression. He holds a sword in his right hand
and his closed left hand rests on his hip.