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Praying for Heirs 1) : The Diffusion and Transformation of Hāritī in East and Southeast Asia

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Praying for Heirs

1): The Diffusion and Transformation of Hāritī in East and Southeast Asia Yuan, Quan (中國 首都師範大學)

From Mainland or Maritime: A Study of the Diffusion Routes of Hāritī from India to East and Southeast Asia.

Ⅱ. One or Two: Differences in Identity of Hāritī’s Marriage

Relationship

Ⅲ. Daughters or Nannies:

Investigation of the Attributes and epresentations of Female Attendants of Hāritī

Ⅳ. Succession and Realignment: the Emergence of Hāritī and Other Indigenous Heir-bestowing Goddesses in East and Southeast Asia

Ⅴ. Epilogue: Mother Deities in Global Civilizations


Ⅵ. Conclusion


  • This research has been supported financially by the 2009 POSCO TJ Park Foundation’s Research Grants for Asian Studies, and the 2009

Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Fellowship for a junior researcher.

I am deeply indebted to a number of people for their contributions to this paper. I would particularly like to thank Dr. Tansen Sen (Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, ISEAS), Dr. Geoff Wade (Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, ISEAS), and Prof. John Miksic (NUS) for their encouragement and support of this study. I am also grateful to Ms. Chong-Yuan Jian and Mr. Xin Guangcan (NUS) for their enormous help and friendship during my field investigations in Southeast Asia. I also owe my gratitude to my Australian friend, Mr. Iain Clark for the many patient hours he spent in revising the English version. Ms. Ko Mi-Kyung (PKU) provided generous help in the process of making my contribution to The Journal of Chinese Historical Research, for which I am truly grateful.


Under the far-reaching influence of Confucianism, both civilians and noble men regarded lineage as quite an important issue in traditional China; while calling for more work forces to improve the family monetary situation, both Japanese and Southeast Asians make heavy demands on rich progeny. Thus, there have been numerous deities worshipped for their abilities to answer the prayers of the childless, as well as to protect the infants and mothers. Some of these deities originated in Hindu myths or Buddhist legends; while others sprang from the indigenous popular religions in East and Southeast Asia. Over the centuries, however, these varied traditions have interacted with each other, and many of the deities gradually came to share similar attributes and representations. Among these fertility deities, the goddess Hāritī is a good example of cultural merging and interaction. Hāritī was once well known in Buddhist scriptures as an evil deity who killed the children of human beings to feed her own sons. After her conversion to Buddhism, she transformed into a powerful guardian of childbirth and women’s healer. Translated into local names and portrayed in indigenous patterns, Hāritī has been gradually assimilated into the traditional cultures in wide regions of China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Focussing on her diffusion and transformation, we may get a glimpse of the communication of religion and the cultural interaction between East and Southeast Asia, which link the two regions into a whole world from ancient times to the present era.


Ⅰ. From Mainland or Maritime


A Study of the Diffusion Routes of Hāritī from India to East and Southeast Asia.


Via commercial communication and diffusion of religion in regions of the Asian world, Hāritī has stepped into the popular pantheon of South China and Southeast Asia, where she is widely worshipped as the guardian of children and mothers. Scattered across the continent and archipelago, the historical remains of Hāritī can be investigated as important transmitters of cultural traits. Focused on traces of her spread, this paper intends to demonstrate the feasibility that there have been both mainland and sea routes linking the traditional Asian world together before the European expansion.


1. Early Pilgrimage Routes between China to India


To some extent, the diffusion routes of Hāritī worship in East Asia and Southeast Asia have always coincided with the spread of Buddhism. The communication of religion and culture was developed and recorded by the celebrated monks who made arduous journeys to seek or preach Buddhism doctrine between India and China. From the fourth century onward, there was a regular flow of foreign monks from India or Serindia to China, devoting themselves to the sutras’ translation and Buddhism’s propagation. Meanwhile, this was the period when many Chinese monks also went to India for pilgrimages. Among them, I would like to bring attention to three Chinese Buddhist pilgrims: Fa-hsian(法顯), I-Tsing(義淨) and Hsuan Tsang(玄奘).


Fa-hsian started his pilgrimage from Xi'an in 399 C.E., going westward through Zhang-ye(張掖), Dunhuang(敦煌) and Khotan successively, then southward to Peshawar in Pakistan and finally on to Central India. After gathering a great many Buddhist sutras, he took the sea route back home. From Simhala(Sri Lanka), he passed through the Straits of Malacca, Sumatra, and steering northward to South China Sea, travelled along the southeast coast of China before landing in Qing-zhou in Shandong in 412 C.E. He recorded his pilgrimage experience along the mainland and maritime routes from China to India in a book named Fo-guo Ji(佛國記, A Record of Buddhist Kingdoms),1) an important record for research in the fields of cultural exchange and expansion of Buddhism in ancient Asia.


After Fa-hsian, the monks Hsuan Tsang and I-Tsing of the Tang dynasty followed in his footsteps one after another. Hsuan Tsang started out westward from Chang'an in 627 C.E. via Mount Tianshan. He then travelled southeast towards Gandhara and then continued south to Central India. After extensive travel and study of Buddhism, he started his journey back home from Southern India along the southern Silk Road, and reached Chang'an in 645 C.E. Different to Hsuan Tsang’s overland trip, I-Tsing took the maritime route back and forth from 671 to 695 C.E. He travelled along the southeast coast of China, called at Guangzhou(廣州), Jiaozhou(交州), Kedah, Srivijaya, and several ports in the Bay of Bengal. Hsuan Tsang and I-Tsing recorded their pilgrimage routes and the Buddhist remains discovered on their ways in two books, respectively named Da-tang Xi-yu Ji(大唐西域記, Pilgrimage to the West in the Tang Dynasty) and Nan-hai Ji-gui Nei-fa Zhuan(南海寄歸內法傳, A Record of Buddhist Practices Sent Home from South and Southeast Asia). These are invaluable records in the fields of mainland and maritime communication of the time.

The pilgrimage routes of these three Chinese monks can be considered as the pathways of Buddhism from India to the East and


1) Fa-hsian, translated by James Legge, Arecord ofBuddhistic Kingdoms (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1886). Southeast Asia. As a part of Buddhist culture, there is no doubt that the worship and iconography of Hāritī must have followed the same routes which the pilgrims had taken to medieval China, and thence to Korea and Japan.


Although there is no reference to Hāritī in Fo-guo Ji by Fa-hsian, however, it still can be confirmed that the spread of her cult spread to China with the Buddhist pilgrimages through oases of the Silk Road no later than the 5th century. Half a century after Fa-hsian’s pilgrimage, two monks from the western region introduced the Buddhist goddess Hāritī to Central China through their translation of Za-bao-Zang-jing(雜寶藏經, Sutra of Miscellaneous Treasures) and other Tantric sutras in 472 C.E.. ) It is the earliest extant sutra dwelling on the karma of Hāritī’s arrival in China; what’s more, it identified the indigenous name of Hāritī as Gui-zi-mu(鬼子母, Mother of Demons), which was associated with traditional Chinese culture and religions.


Later than Fa-hsian, both Hsuan Tsang and I-Tsing, in the accounts of their travels, mention the popularity of Hāritī in India. Hsuan Tsang reported on an ancient stupa erected at Peshawar in Gandhara by Asoka to mark the site of Hāritī’s conversion. When he visited this area in the 7th century, the Hāritī stupa was still being worshipped by local women for its child-giving powers. ) Even in the last century, the residents of this area still believed in the protective power of Hāritī to save infants from smallpox. ) I-Tsing’s invaluable reportage describes the dramatic conversion of Hāritī from ogress to guardian and the vivid representations of this fertility deity as well as her cult in Indian monasteries.5)


The iconography in India and Pakistan recorded by the early Chinese pilgrims probably provided typical examples of the diffusion of Hāritī along either land or maritime routes. While this remains a probability, much has been confirmed with archaeological remains from widespread historical sites, which precisely mark routes followed by the outward journeys of the pilgrims, as well as their return. Based on this, we may outline the diffusion and transformation progress of Hāritī in the wider regions of both the Java Sea and South China Sea. (Fig.1)


2. Traces of Hāritī’s Cult along the Mainland Silk Roads


There have been more and more cultural remains of Hāritī such as sculptures, relief works and murals found at sites in Central Asia, the western regions, and the central plains of China. The tradition of these remains has its origin in Hindu patterns and reaches all the way across the Taklamakan Desert, deep into the heart of China. From this visual material, it is possible to portray the outline of Hāritī’s diffusion with Buddhism eastward from India to East Asia along the mainland

Muslim women used to take earth from the site, praying for protective magic for their babies to ward off fatal smallpox. See Foucher, Beginnings of BuddhistArtand Other EssaysinIndianand Central AsiaArchaeology, (English ed., Varanashi: Indological Book House, 1972), pp.122, 282. 5) I-Tsing(义净), Nan-hai Ji-gui Nei-fa-zhuan(南海寄歸內法傳, A Record of Buddhist Practices Sent Home from the South and Southeast Asia), vol.1, (Taishoshinshu Daizokyo(1924-1935), vol.54), p.209.

Fig.1 Spread Routes of Hāritī scatted around East and Southeast Asia

Based on Archaeological work and Historical Recordings

Silk Roads through Khotan, Kucha, Turfan, Dunhuang, and into central China.


Khotan is the most important Buddhist centre on the southern silk route, which was the route taken on the outward journey by Fa-hsian and by Hsuan Tsang on his return. As to remains of Hāritī, at the Farhad Beg Yailaki Site, a brilliant mural was discovered by Stein at a 6thcentury temple site (named by Stein as F.XII) during his second exploration in Central Asia (1906-1908).6) This mural, decorating the southern side of the temple’s portal, shows the plump goddess surrounded by a group of naked boys, which was in accord with I-Tsing’s account (Fig.3-1). Dr. Foucher pointed out that the goddess is painted in a typical Indian style, with “perforated and frightfully distended earlobes”, voluptuous folds on her neck and “the triple circular orb of the nimbus.” Facing her,

although no longer there should be her partner, Panchika.7) If compared with Buddhist art in India, Pakistan and Central Asia,we may come to the conclusion that the representation of Hāritī in Khotan was heavily influenced by both Gandharan and Gupta styles. The iconography of goddess here, seated in a posture of royal ease, could be connected with the numerous images found among the regions of Ajanta (Fig.2-3 left) and areas under the control of the Kushan Empire from

the 5th to th centuries (Fig.2-4). While next to or opposite her consort, Hāritī and Panchika appeared frequently as the model of a fertile couple in both Gandhara n ) and Gupta Buddhist art ) (Fig.3-1, 3-2). Moreover, the gestures of Hāritī and her infants were clearly influenced by Greco-Buddhist art. In the mural of Khotan, Hāritī, described as a plump matron, is surrounded by several children: two have succeeded in climbing and riding on her shoulders, two are resting in her lap to play with her necklace or touch her breasts, and others are playing under her feet.


Such iconography of a seated mother and gathered children was once popular in Gandharan malmstone sculptures dating to the 2nd to 3rd centuries, especially in Peshawar, Pakistan (Fig3-4,3-5,3-6).


Furthermore, the fresco at the D.II Site in Dandan Oilik shows another pattern of Hāritī. During his first large scale excavation in Khotan, Stein discovered a small temple at this site. Near the eastern wall of the temple are three main characters: the Buddha, a goddess, and a little boy by her legs, ) which properly portrayed the famous scene mentioned in the Buddhist Nidana “the Conversion of Hariti.” According to a Tantric sutra Za-bao-Zang-jing, in order to teach her to refrain from eating human children, the Buddha hid Hāritī’s youngest boy, Pingala, in his alms bowl. Hāritī suffered a lot from losing her infant and finally

realized her former devilry. Thus she was converted to Buddhism, from ogress to goddess and worshipped as a protector of both children and mothers. ) The mural from the D.II Site presents all vital elements of this story: the Buddha with his alms bowl, the kneeling Hāritī, and little Pingala (Fig.2-2). Actually, the representation of Hāritī’s conversion had been portrayed at the Ajanta grottoes no later than the 5th century. ) On the top right corner of Hāritī shrine, we may recognize three characters: the Buddha, a praying female figure, and an infant, which no doubt represents the scene of Hāritī’s Nidana (Fig.2-3, top right).


Other remains of Hāritī painted on wooden panels were unearthed from the D.II Site as well. One of them depicted a goddess seated with her partner, holding a swaddled infant (Fig.6-1). ) This painting emphasized the most characteristic aspect of Hāritī in India and Pakistan: with her infant in arms and her consort Pancika beside her, this sculptural representation of Hāritī could be considered as the typical pattern in Gandharan and Gupta sculptural arts. In 1998, the Swiss journalist Ch. Baumer excavated two divine triad forms from the D13 Site (numbered by Stein as D. X.) in Dandan Oilik, both of which portrayed “a female

deity with one or two small children”(Fig.4-1, 4-2). ) According to her representation in Buddhist art, this female deity should undoubtedly be Hāritī. Other deities seated next to her belong to Nagas in the folk-lore of early India, who then became the staunchest guardians of the Buddha and his doctrine, and whose identities have been recently determined to be Mahesvara, Kumara and Vishnu. ) In 2002, the Sino-Japanese exploring association found several new murals from the CD4 temple. Among the unearthed Buddhist remains, the No.5 fresco bears an image of Hāritī with other Tantric gods around Buddha as guardians (Fig.4-3 ). ) Dated to the 7th century, the above mentioned remains in Dandan Oilik vividly reflect the popularity of Hāritī’s cult and the flourishing Tantric Buddhism (Fig.4-4, 4-5) in Tarim Basin states.

Summing up, we may come to the conclusion that the iconographies of Hāritī appeared in two scenes between the 5th and 7th centuries along mainland routes: in the preaching of Buddha and the conversion of Hāritī.


Similar to Dandan Oilik, Kucha enjoyed a special position both politically and culturally in the history of Central Asia. Among the numerous Buddhist remains, the Thousand Buddha Cave in Kizil is the most famous. As to murals in the Kizil grottoes, the representation of Hāritī dating to the 5th and 6th centuries also followed the patterns set in Khotan.


For one thing, the motif of Hāritī’s conversion flourished in Kizil during the 5th and 6th centuries and combined with Thousand Buddha images decorated in rhombic outlines.17) The typical examples of this pattern were found on walls in Cave 34, Cave 80 and Cave 171 (Fig.5-1).18) In these frescos, Buddha is seated in the middle; Hāritī is kneeling in front to pay homage, with her palms together; and Pingala is trapped in the alms bowl under Buddha’s feet. This scene, similar to the Khotan mural can also be traced back to Ajanta art in India. For another, as a guardian converted to Buddhism, Hāritī is frequently portrayed as a gentle mother nursing her baby. She is mostly seated beside her partner, Panchika at the Kizil grottoes


17) Emmanuelle Lesbre, “An Attempt to Identify and Classify Scenes with a Central Buddha Depicted on Ceilings of the Kyzil Caves” (ArtibusAsiae, vol.61, No.2, 2001), pp.305-352; 李翎, 以鬼子母圖像的流變看佛教的東傳 -以龜茲地區為中心 (美苑 2008-4; Li Ling, “The Transformation of Hāritī’s Iconographic during the Eastern Spread of Buddhism—Focused on Remains in Kucha”, MeiYuan, vol.4, 2008), pp.87-91.


18) The Institute of Kucha Arts, ACompleteRecordofKizilGrottoes (Urumqi: Art Photography Publishing House, 2000), pp.61-62, 132-133, 136-142.


(Fig.5-3 left), where both of them are found decorating the gateways or the arches of doors. This pattern is identical with that prevalent in Khotan, as well as the Gupta reliefs at Ajanta (Fig.3-2) and the Ellora grottoes (Fig.3-3). Moreover, other than Hāritī and Panchika, protective gods in Kizil normally appear in pairs, such as Mahesvara and Parvati (Fig.5-3 right), Indra and Indrani (Fig.5-4), and the couple of Maharaja (Fig.5-5). Furthermore, there are some animal-headed deities above arches as well (Fig.7-3).


Apart from her goddess-form, Hāritī at times presents as an ogress with an evil countenance. In the scenes of Buddha’s preaching, Hāritī was portrayed with double horns on her head (Fig.5-2), with other guardians such as Mahesvara, Mahoraga, Asura, Gandharva and Ganesa surrounding the Buddha as protectors. This demonic Hāritī (Kishimojin) still attracted a wide range of followers to protect infants from diseases, even in the Edo era (Fig.22-7).19) Another later

example lies in present day Alakawa, near Tokyo, where a shrine of Hāritī may be seen. On the tablet above the doorframe, the character鬼 (ogress) is written specially as instead, indicating Hāritī’s conversion from demon to deity by the removal of her horns.20) Thenceforward, this system of Buddhist guardians made a great impact on murals and carvings in western and Central China from the 5th to 8th centuries, and gradually transformed into two other groups: the Spirit Kings(神王) and the Eight Divine Beings(天龍八部).


Other than murals in Kizil, contemporaneous remains of Hāritī may be seen in the domain of the Northern Dynasties from the 4th to 6th centuries. The Yungang(雲岡) Grottoes are located west of Datong

19) A. Foucher, op.cit, PL.XLIX-1.

20) The photo of Hāritī shrine at Alakawa, Japan is provided by Shinohara Norio.


City, Shanxi Province, and the main caves are dated to the period of the Northern Wei Dynasty (385-534 C.E.). The early caves were under the charge of Tan Yao(曇曜), a famous monk and translator, who played a vital role in introducing Hāritī and other Tantric sutras from Chinese Turkistan to Central China. Thus both major iconographic and stylistic innovations can be traced back through Serindia to northwest India. Among the early grottoes, Caves 8 and 9 relate to Hāritī and Naga guardians. Cave 9, dated to the 5th century, is notable for reliefs of Jataka and Nidana. On the south wall of the back room, the relief of

Hāritī’s Nidana is carved, showing Hāritī and Panchika seated together in a posture of royal ease (Fig.6-2). ) This relief, similar to paintings in Khotan (Fig.6-1) and Kizil (Fig.5-3, left), shows the western impact from Serindia. However, Hāritī and Panchika here are shown with ambiguous genders and the images are hard to distinguish from each other. It is probable that during the chiselling course of Cave 9, craftsmen were only provided with abstract contents of the Nidana instead of detailed manuscripts(粉本). ) Cave 8 (460 C.E.) has Naga guardians beside the gateway. Decorated on either side of the panel, Mahesvara with eight arms and three heads is seated on a bull; and opposite is the multifaceted Kumara, perched on a peacock


(Fig.6-3). Scattered on panel walls, representations of Kumara, Vishnu, Mahesvara, and Brahma became widespread throughout the 6th century (Fig.6-4, 6-5, 6-6).23) In contrast, Hāritī, who had once flourished in Khotan and Kizil as a guardian deity, was no longer represented. Instead, this goddess joined the system of “the Spirit Kings” from the late Northern Wei Dynasty.


The earliest visual example of the Spirit Kings seems to appear on walls at Longmen(龍門) in Central Bin-yang(賓陽) Cave (505 C.E.).24) There is a group of deities carved at the bottom of the inner walls, below the famous relief of “the royal ceremony for Buddha”. Though these figures have no inscriptions, we are able to identify them by comparison with the collection in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (543 C.E.).25) They are respectively named as: Wind, Dragon, Pearl, Fire, Tree, Mountain, River, Elephant, Bird and Lion. Such figures, mostly appearing in groups of ten, are also found at T'ian-long-shan(天龍山, Shanxi) and Northern Xiang-tang Shan(響堂山, Hebei) Grottoes from the Northern Qi Dynasty (Fig.7-4).

23) Other than guardians painted above the arch in Kizil, such motifs in murals and reliefs were popular in Central and Western China. In Central Bin-yang Cave at Longmen (500 C.E.), there are two protective gods carved on gateway: on the right is Brahma with sword and opposite is Indra with bows and vajra. (Fig.8-5. Photo by the author). A latter example lies at Cave 285, Dunhuang (538 C.E.): Mahesvara and Vishnu are respectively decorated on the north and south walls of the arched door, and we can also recognize Kumara, Ganesha, Brahma, and Indra below them (See NewHistoryofWorldArt, vol.3, Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2000, p.206, PL.177, 178). This tradition had been kept in the late 6th century, Sui Dynasty. At Dazhu Grotto, Anyang, there are two warrior deities on both sides of the door: Kumara(迦毗羅) is on the left, while Vishnu (那羅延) is on the right (Photo by the author).


24) Nagahiro Toshio, AStudyofthe Buddhist Cave-templesatLung-men, (Honan, Tokyo, 1941), figs.18 and 19. The Spirit Kings carved on the Eastern Wei stele in Isabella Stewart Gardner museum are identified by names inscribed alongside them and their own special attributes. They are respectively named as: Wind, Dragon, Pearl, Fire, Tree, Mount, Fish, Elephant, Bird, and Lion.


25) Chavannes, “Une Sculpture Bouddhique de I’Annee, 543” (ArsAsiatica, vol.II, Aug. 1915).


There is another group of Spirit Kings carved at the base of the central pillar in Cave 3 and Cave 4 at the late Northern Wei site of Gong-yi(鞏義), dated to around 531 C.E.. ) Other than the ten deities mentioned above, Spirit Kings at Gong-yi seem to be more complicated since some new deities, such as the Double-headed King, the Bull King and the Deer King join the group. ) The Double-headed King, decorated at the bases of the central pillars in Cave 3 and Cave 4 has been identified as Hāritī on account of her appearance and gesture. ) The Two-headed King here was portrayed as a plump mother holding her baby in arms, seated next to the Bull King, Tree King and Fish King (Fig.7-5).


Both at Longmen and Gong-yi, the Spirit Kings comprise natural deities and Devas, whose origin seems to point to a derivation from Indian Nagas and Yakshas. As mentioned in the Sutra of Great Propitious Incantations, the iconography of Yakshas was mostly portrayed as animal-form deities or multi-headed figures with a sword, trident, or Vajra in hand. ) Thus the figures of two-headed Hāritī at Gong-yi, as a queen of Yakshini could be considered as a proper example to confirm the above sutra.


However, these Spirit Kings were “of little iconographic importance and mean almost nothing in the Buddhist art of China” after the Sui Dynasty. ) In contrast, another group of Buddhist protectors -the Eight Divine Beings gradually strutted upon the historical stage instead.


The Eight Divine Beings, also known as Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, consist of Deva, Naga, Yaksha, Gandharva, Asura, Garuda, Kinnara, and Mahoraga. First mentioned in the 2nd-4th century literature, ) the sculptures of this group of deities first appeared in the mid 5th century (439-472), ) and became popular at grottoes from the 7th to 9th centuries. Portrayed as Buddhist protectors, the murals of the Eight Divine beings flourished at Mogao Caves, although the number of these deities were not defined. At Cave 158, dating to the 9th century, we can recognize ten divine beings in the scene of mourning for Nirvana (Fig.7-1). ) Among them, the icon of Yaksha can be traced to the source of Hāritī’s representation in


Cave 171 at Kizil (Fig.5-2), whose former habit of eating children associates her with a demonic shape often shown grasping a child. Under the influence of Buddhist arts in the capital Chang’an長安, similar examples of demonic Hāritī as Yaksha prevailed at grottoes in Sichuan during the late 7th through the 9th centuries. ) On the right side of the entrance to Cave 8 at the Water Temple (Dazu大足), the sculpture of Hāritī is portrayed as an atrocious Yakshini ) with a baby in her arms. Beside and opposite her are standing De

va, Asura, and Gandharva (Fig.7-2).


Table.1. The correspondence of Naga deities,Spirit Kings, and Eight Divine Beings.


1 Indra Mahesvara Hāritī Panchi ka Mahora ga Gandhar va Naga Kumara —— Asura Ganesha

2 Wind Bull/Wind Two -head Pearl River Lion Dragon Bird Deer Fire Elephant

3 Deva Deva Yaksha —— Mahora ga Gandhar va Naga Garuda Kinna ra Asura ——


Based on the comparative study of Spirit Kings and the Eight Divine beings, we may come to a conclusion that both of them can be traced back to the system of Nagas and natural deities in traditional India ) (See table.1), which then diffused and transformed through Serindia to China between the 5th and 9th centuries. Hāritī, involved in all these three systems, thus has two patterns of representation: a gracious mother goddess and a demonic Yakshini. Focussing on the remains along mainland routes, it is obvious that the iconographies of Hāritī appeared as a Buddhist guardian in the 5th to 7th centuries, mostly holding one child in her arms.


However, other than contemporary guardian icons, there was a special pattern of Hāritī in western and central China in the Tang Dynasty. To the east of the Tarim Basin, artworks of Hāritī were also discovered from later sites in regions of Turfan, which was an important staging point on the Silk Road skirting the northern oasis towns of the Taklamakan. In the early 20th century, a German expedition team to Turfan, during their time in the city of Jiaohe(交河), found a painting drawn on a piece of coarse canvas in one of the city’s Buddhist temples. ) The painting, dating to the 8th to 9th centuries, showed a seated mother goddess nursing an infant at her bosom, with another eight frisky children playing at her sides (Fig.8-1). Dr. Foucher first identified these figures on canvas

as Hāritī and her sons, ) while western scholars heretofore all assumed the depiction to be the Virgin Mary nursing the child Jesus. ) The icon of Hāritī here is portrayed in totally eastern style. The seated goddess is dressed in Khotanese style (Dunhuang was under the rule of the Khotan kingdom at that time) and all her children have Chinese-style toddler’s hair of the time, playing traditional Chinese games. Moreover, the icon of a mother with nine children (known as Jiu-zi-mu) also influenced west to Kucha in the 9th century. In Cave 85 at the Kumtula grottoes, we found a flaked fresco with a seated Hāritī and her nine children.40) Meanwhile, reliefs of Hāritī were carved in similar patterns at grottoes in Sichuan, decorated under the main niche of the Buddha (Fig.8-2) or at the walls of the entrance (Fig.8-3).41) The murals and reliefs of Jiu-zi-mu in Serindia and Sichuan were both under the influence of Buddhist art in Chang’an.42) However, the representation of Hāritī with nine children was not first established in Central China, but rather was a typical icon formed in southern China from the 4th century under the influence of maritime traffic instead.


3. Remains of Hāritī along Maritime Routes


I-Tsing described the popularity of Hāritī on his travels through the Southeast Asian kingdoms, which provided the basis for later Chinese representations of Hāritī. The record can be confirmed by various historical relics of Hāritī founded along maritime routes. Focussing on her visual representations scattered in regions of the Java Sea and the South China Sea, it will make sense to talk about the spread of the Hāritī cult from Southeast Asia to the south coast of China.


40) 劉銘恕, 龜茲庫木吐拉發現的鬼子母壁畫 (西北史地 1996-1; Liu Mingshu, “The Fresco of Hāritī discovered at Kumtula Grottoes”, Historical and GeographicalReviewofNorthwestChina, vol.1, 1996), p.38.

41) Sichuan Institute of cultural Heritage, BazhongGrottoes,op.cit, pp.102, 114.

42) See various citations in Julia K. Murray, “Representations of Hāritī, the Mother of Demons, and the Theme of ‘Raising the Alms-Bowl’ in Chinese Painting” (ArtibusAsiae, Vol.43, No.4, 1981-1982), pp.253-284; Zhao Bang-yan (赵邦彦) indicates that Jiu-zi-mu had no direct relationship with Nv-qi, see Zhao Bang-yan(趙邦彥), “Jiu-zi-mu kao”(九子母考, Research on Mother of Nine Children) (Li-shi yu-yan yan-jiu-suo ji-kan(历史语言研究所集刊, Institute of History and Philology Bulletin), Taipei, 1931), vol.2, no.3, pp261-274; A. Soper, “A Vacation Glimpse of the T’ang Temples of Chang’an” (ArtibusAsiae, vol.23, no.1, 1960), p.33.


Among these images of Hāritī, the earliest ones were found in Central Java. The most representative is a stone brief of Hāritī in Candi Mendut near Borobudur, which can date back to the early 9th century. ) The image of Hāritī guards the entrance to the cellar of the temple, surrounded by her children with curly hair (Fig.9-1, left). Opposite her is the stone brief of her partner Jambhala (Pancika) with his offspring (Fig.9-1, right). Similar reliefs (Fig.9-2), which are now almost entirely lost, once decorated the entrance of the restored Candi Banyunibo, dating to the mid 9th century ), near Ratu

Boku (Prambanan, modern Yogyakarta). This iconography of Hāritī and her consort (Fig.9-3), decorating each side of interior wall of temple’s portal, is quite similar to those of the Gupta and post-Gupta periods found in Orissa, Eastern India. ) Furthermore, apart from the representation of a seated figure, a drawing of a standing Hāritī has been discovered at Cebongan, near Yogyakarta in the early 20th century. An image of a standing mother and child engraved on a copper plate is also indicative of the identity of Hāritī, which is considered as the typical example of 8th to 9th century painting in Central Indonesia. ) It is

clear that the images in Central Java are greatly influenced by those of Indian style in terms of the relief sculptures’ location, the posture of their right hands, and the sitting position of royal ease. According to Fa-hsian’s record, the maritime routes from India to the Java Sea passed Sri Lanka (named as Simhala in ancient Chinese texts). This can be fully demonstrated by Buddhist remains extant in Ajanta, Sigiriya, and Borobudur. Taking the icon of Apsara or

Bodhisattva as an example, we can easily find the similarities between the reliefs of the goddess from Tirtomartani, Kalasan (Fig.10-4) ) and the Sigiriya frescoes in Sri Lanka (Fig.10-2 ). ) Both of them are half-naked, with high coronet, necklace and armlet, holding flowers in one hand,and with the distended lobes of the ears as well as aligned eyebrows. The entire image can be traced back to the fresco in the Ajanta caves in Aurangabad District, State of Maharashtra in India (Fig.10-1). Moreover, both Sri Lanka and Borobudur also share the same stupa Mandala (Fig.10-3, 10-5).


While in East Java, the spread of Hāritī cult is relatively later than Borobudur. There are two Hāritī niches on Bali Island, which provides evidence that the cult of Hāritī had spread to Bali no later than the late 10th century. One statue was found in a shrine located to the left of the Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah) in the Ubud area. This shrine still receives offerings nowadays. It represents the fertility goddess surrounded with seven chubby children: one in her arms, and others seated around her (Fig.11-1). ) Close to a Siva temple, the other 11th century (1091 C.E.) standing Balinese Hāritī statue ) from Candi Dasa at Pejeng, shows her with at least six children instead (Fig.11-2).51) In particular, the representation of Hāritī here carries a basket full of yarn, indicating the

association with Men Brayut,52) an indigenous legendary woman who worked hard to feed her lots of children as a weaver. While around Mojokerto, other later remains have been found in temple sites dating to the 13th - 15th centuries. They were supposed to be created in the period of the Majapahit kingdom. The majority of these Hāritī images are sculptures made of stone or terracotta. In 1915, a stone standing stature of Hāritī was excavated from a temple site in Mount Arjuna, Sikuning.53) She carries a baby in a sling on her left hip, leading a young boy by his hand (Fig.11-3). Meanwhile, some terracotta statues in Trowulan have been identified as representations of this fertility goddess, dating from the 14th or 15th century (Fig.11-4).54)


Kedah, separated from Sumatra by Malacca, was a vital communications hub linking the Java Sea and the South China Sea, even more a most important commerce seaport and Buddhist centre at that time. A stone standing sculpture of Hāritī was discovered at Candi Bukit Batu Pahat, a Vishnu temple in Kedah (Fig.12-1), Bujang Valley.55) Based on the Chinese Longquan celadon unearthed at this

51) John James, “Sacred Geometry on the Island of Bali” (TheJournalofthe RoyalAsiaticSocietyofGreatBritainandIreland, No.2, 1973), pp.141-154; A. Kempers, AncientIndonesianArt (Cambridge, Mass, 1959), p.39.

52) Brayut is a Javanese word meaning “a family burdened with many kids” (Bernet Kempers, AncientIndonesianArt, Cambridge, Mass, 1959, p.39, PL56). W. F. Stutterheim, OudhedenvanBali (Singapradja, 1930), fig.25, 38. 53) Jan Fontein, TheSculptureofIndonesia,op.cit., p.173.

54) A terracotta female figure cross legged and holding a child, typical Madjapahit clothing and hair. This sculpture is cited from http://www. basicelements. com.au/majapahitmother.jpg.

55) Kamaruddin b. Zakaria, “Bujang Valley: Sungai Mas Archaeological Exploration, Kuala Muda, Kedah Darulaman”, cited from web resource from http://www.mykedah2.com/e_10heritage/e101_2_p2.htm#sub4.


site, the temple and this Hāritī sculpture (Fig.12-2) can be dated to around the 12th century. Other than the Hāritī sculpture, a figure of Ganesa (Fig.12-3) has been excavated as well. ) There is a similar example in Bombay Museum, India where Hāritī is worshipped together with Vishnu as the second ranked deity (Fig.12-4). ) This cult pattern also exists in Bali, such as the Hāritī shrine next to Goa Gajah. Moreover, the posture of this Hāritī sculpture is quite similar to the stone statue of the 13th century unearthed in Sikuning, East Java. Thus it shows that though separated by the Malacca Strait, the Malay people had close communications with the Indonesia archipelagos in terms of Buddhist religion and art.


When it comes to Siam (Thailand), we have also discovered direct evidence of Hāritī’s cult from the 5th to 15th centuries. In Chansen, archaeologists have discovered numerous female terracotta figures from temples in the Gupta and post-Gupta periods, whose round “crocodile eyes” and sharp teeth are considered as the characteristics of an ogress (Fig. 13-1). Elizabeth Lyons has pointed out “The Chansen figurine must represent a female demon, perhaps a local phi, or bad spirit, perhaps Mara, temptress of the Buddha, or the ogre, Hāritī.”58) Furthermore, more seated mother and child figurines, definitely mass-produced from ceramic kilns at Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai, in the 14th to 15th centuries have been unearthed. ) These ceramic seated nursing goddesses were mostly broken off in order to ward off evil spirits (Fig.13-2),60) which were propitiatory offerings placed at shrines, spirit houses and temples to protect the real

mothers. These goddess figures with heads cut off are known as tuton sia kabarn, which means literally “doll that has lost its head.” These Thai ceramic figures were also exported to Indonesia. From a temple site in Banten Lama, northwest Java, discoveries on the site have included several artifacts datable to the 15th century, including Thai ceramic statues of tuton sia kabarn. According to John Miksic, these goddess statues, excavated from temple sites, may have been used in the same way as the terracotta figurines of Hāritī in east Java, as sacrificial objects.61) Other than these offering statues, Hāritī and Panchika were represented as guardians around Buddha decorated on the walls of temples. A typical example is the reliefs in Prasat Hin Phimai, north Thailand. Prasat Hin Phimai is the largest Khmer temple kept in present day Thailand, dating from 1082 C.E. (Fig.13-3). On the inner upper lintel of the central prang (marked with a red star in Fig13-3, left) ten Buddhas are represented. To the upper right corner, Hāritī carries five babies; while to her right, her partner Panchika bears fou r.62)

Northward along pilgrimage routes back to China, Champa (South Vietnam) played an important role in the process of Buddhism’s spread. It became a significant transfer point for maritime trade


60) TheArtsofThailandExhibitionCatalogue (Indiana University, 1960), p.120, fig. 91.

61) John Miksic, “Archaeological Studies of Style, Information Transfer and the Transition from Classical to Islamic Periods in Indonesia” (JournalofSoutheast Asian, Singapore University Press, 198), vol. 20:11, pp.6-7.

62) J. J. Boeles, The Buddhist Tutelary Couple Hariti and Pancika, Protectors of Children, from a Relief at the Khmer Sanctuary in Phimai, JournaloftheSiam Society, vol.56-2, 1968, pp.187-205; and the web rescues cited from http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prasat_Hin_Phimai


between East Asia and Southeast Asia by virtue of its favorable location. As I-Tsing records, numerous Vietnamese monks went to India for pilgrimages during the Tang dynasty, and they also played an essential role in translating and preaching Buddhist sutras in Srivijaya. Although we have not found any extant remains of Hāritī in South Vietnam (Ancient Champa), it confirmed that her worship had spread to North Vietnam and South China, especially the vital ports of Hue, Hanoi and Hepu no later than the 4thcentury. As Jiao-zhouJi


(localrecordsofJiao-zhou) recorded,63) there was a stone sculpture of Jiu-zi-mu (Mother of Nine Children) in a local temple, which had appeared in the East Jin dynasty (317-420) at the latest. This goddess, known as an exotic deity coming to Jiaozhou (North and Middle Vietnam) from overseas had an ability to answer the prayers of the childless. Judging by this reference, it is clear that the worship of Jiu-zi-mu was not an indigenous religion, but may have been introduced from Champa or more southerly regions, perhaps from Srivijaya or Java. This exotic fertility goddess, judging by her icon and cult pattern, can assuredly be confirmed as the identity of Hāritī. (The reason for the name transformation of Jiu-zi-mu will be discussed below). This is the first literary evidence of the diffusion of Hāritī from Southeast Asia to South China Sea, occurring as early as the 4th century.64)

63) Le Shi(樂史), Tai-pingHuan-yu-ji (太平寰宇記, The World-wide Record in Millenarianism), vol.170, collected in Si-ku-quan-shu (SKQS, 文淵閣四庫全書本, Complete Library in the Four Branches of Literature), vol.470, p.576.

64) Prof. Soper considered that in early medieval time, the Hindu Buddhist art had already spread to China via maritime routes through Indonesia and Malaya, see Alexander C. Soper, “South Chinese Influence on the Buddhist Art of the Six Dynasties Period,” BMFA, No. 32, 1960, pp. 47-112, which could be proved by the transmission of Hariti during the Southern Dynasties.

As to mainland China, in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River north to Jiaozhou, we can find more evidence in references of the Southern Dynasty to portray the worship of Hāritī in the early 6th century. For instance, it was popular to offer pancakes as sacrifices to an heir-giving goddess in Changsha(長沙), Hunan province, ) which was similar to the worship practice in India and the Southeast Asian kingdoms mentioned by I-tsing. More recordings of Hāritī’s cult in regions of the Jing-Chu(荊楚) culture (mainly including current Hubei, Anhui, and Hunan Provinces) was written in mythical stories about the Buddhism of the Six Dynasties period. The most famous story, mentioned in both Ming-xiang Ji (Buddhist auxiliary teaching) and Ling-gui Zhi

(Records of Mystery), represented the extraordinary power of Gui-zi-mu (Mother of Demons, the translation of Hāritī in China) as a women’s guardian to cure disease in Anhui Province (north to Hunan) exactly in the mid-4th century (333 C.E.). ) In this story, following the suggestion of an Indian monk, a man living in Wu-hu(蕪湖) carved a sculpture of Hāritī and worshipped her to pray for his wife’s recovery. The description here expressly tells us that Hāritī is a Buddhist goddess (introduced by an Indian monk), who was often worshipped to protect women in south China as early as the 4th century.


From these historical records, we may get a glimpse of Hāritī’s diffusion in South China along the Yangtze River, especially in regions of Jing-Chu: Hāritī was known as both Gui-zi-mu and Jiu-zi-mu (the former is based on her original identity of ogress, and the latter corresponds with her new image—a mother with nine children), worshipped in individual niches or temples as a women’s protector or child giver.


Then we are faced with a question: why Jiu-zi-mu was chosen as the rendered name of Hāritī in South China during her eastern diffusion? To find the answer, perhaps we should pay attention to the indigenous deity, Nv-qi(女歧), who had flourished in regions of Jing-Chu culture since the era of the Warring States. In view of the desirability of abundant heirs, the representation of Nv-qi as a host cultural element, provided an existing mode for the icon of Hāritī—a mother with nine heirs.67) Based on this, we may conclude that during the translation process of Buddhist scriptures, the Buddhist deities were given an expression conforming to the indigenous Chinese culture’s beliefs in order to broaden their influence.68)

Moreover, beside this literary evidence, we have discovered some visual remains to show the evidence pointing to a southern origin for

67) Zhao Bang-yan(赵邦彦) indicates that Jiu-zi-mu had no direct relationship with Nv-qi, see Zhao Bang-yan(赵邦彦), “Jiu-zi-mu kao(九子母考, Research on Mother of Nine Children)” (Li-shiyu-yanyan-jiu-suoji-kan, 历史语言研究所集刊, Institute of History and Philology Bulletin, Taibei, 1931), vol.2, no.3, pp261-274.

68) Kobayashi Tai’ichiro, “Concerning Hāritī in China: Beliefs and Images” (HistoriographyofChineseBuddhism, vol.2, no.3), pp.1-48. Hāritī during medieval times. Among the collection in the Cleveland Museum of Art, a head-less ivory sculpture (Fig.11-5) has been identified as Hāritī. ) Dating to the 7th or 8th century, this ivory figure “shows a distinctly solid female suckling a nude, curly headed child.” ) This half naked goddess is carved in quite un-Chinese style, which shows the influence of Southeast Asia obviously: her sarong, huge necklace, and the curler infant all could be found parallels in Hāritī sculptures discovered in Borobudur (Fig.9-1), Mojokerto (Fig.11-3), and Chansen (Fig.13-1). Though suggested by Laufer as a Chinese artwork, this ivory figure seems more likely to have come from Southeast Asia as a diplomatic gift or been brought back by pilgrims from India along maritime routes, which can be proved by historical documents dating to the Southern and Tang dynasties.


From the 5th century, China obtained ivory from its protectorates of Annan, Champa, Siam, Cambodia, and the Indies. ) These protectorates also sent envoys with tribute, among which ivory sculptures took an important role. For instance, in 484C.E. the king of Fu-nan sent an Indian monk as an envoy abroad to offer an ivory figure of an elephant to the Chinese emperor. ) Furthermore, during the Liang dynasty, two gifts of ivory images were sent to China respectively in 529 and 530C.E.. ) We can assume that “many other portable ivory icons, now lost, were sent to China as gifts and tribute or brought by foreign monks and returning pilgrims.”74)


Via these historical records, the representation of Hāritī in southern China during early medieval times seems to present her as a mother goddess with nine children named Jiu-zi-mu (mother of nine children). This iconography of Hāritī with nine children first appeared in the Yangtze River area in the 4th century and gradually impacted on central China, Sichuan, and the western regions. This then merged with the mainland routes pattern, and had a great effect on the Silla peninsula and Japan.


4. The Confluent Representation of Hāritī in East Asia since 8th Century


As an original Buddhist deity, Hāritī has preserved some elements of Buddhist tradition during its spread; otherwise, her representations must find a relevant expression conforming to the indigenous cultural tastes to broaden her appeal during its diffusion in East and Southeast Asia, where she was gradually welcomed into the popular pantheon as the guardian of mothers and children. The two systems of Hāritī along respective routes have established different traditions; however, they interacted with each other to form a mixture typical Chinese style, which thence spread east to the Korean peninsula and Japanese archipelago. 4

.1. A Loving Mother Appearing with Nine Children

West, n.s. xv), pp.211-225. 74) Martin Lerner, op.cit, p.296.


No later than the 8th century, Hāritī had become a common motif in Buddhist sculptures and paintings in both northern and southern China. According to her translated name, Jiu-zi-mu (Mother of Nine Children), the number of her infants was nine in Buddhist arts. In shrines and monasteries in the capital Chang'an, figures of Jiu-zi-mu or decorated murals of Hāritī’s conversion were worshipped; more reliefs in this style are still extant in Sichuan nowadays. These icons of Jiu-zi-mu had broken away from the Hindu traditional style and presented a totally localized expression conforming to Chinese cultural taste. The painted stone reliefs in Cave 68 and Cave 81 at Bazhong grottoes are typical examples for the indigenous representation of Hāritī as Jiu-zi-mu during the 7th to 8th centuries. ) In these two caves, Hāritī is portrayed as a plump matron dressing in Tang style, seated in a cross-legged posture and nursing her youngest infant at her bosom, with eight other cherub-faced children arranged around

her(Fig.14-1, 14-2). A similar stone sculpture of motherhood dating to the 8th century (era of Unified Silla) is now in the Soongsil University Museum of Christianity ) (Fig.14-4) and often mistaken for a statue of the Holly Madonna. While sharing the same iconography with reliefs at Bazhong, the identity of this statue is obviously the Buddhist Hāritī, under the influence of the Jiu-zi-mu pattern. Later examples of this iconography were usually decorated on exorcism coins as talismans in the Liao Dynasty (Fig.14-3). ) Though there are no known paintings or sculptures of the Song Dynasty representing this iconography of Hāritī, we can still find some clues from the literature of that time. There are unambiguous records of Jiu-zi-mu paintings in northern China from the 10th to 11th centuries. According to the Song record, Hāritī was described as an elegant lady in aristocratic dress, seated in the yard with her nine infants around her in the Famen monastery 法門寺 (1045 C.E.),78) which provided the details of their identities and gestures.


Merged with elements along both mainland and maritime routes, the mixed iconography of Hāritī transformed to local expressions with the rise of Esoteric Buddhism after the mid 8th century. During the establishment of Hāritī’s new form, Amoghavajra(不空), a monk from southern India took a vital role in introducing relevant Tantric sutras to China. Amoghavajra had spent five years travelling in India and Sri Lanka from 741 C.E, collecting new texts, especially tantric sutras, and brought them back to China through Southeast Asia in 746. He then devoted the rest of his life to translating these sutras. Among them were two important sutras of Hāritī: Sadhana of Yakshini Abhirati and

Pingala(大藥叉女歡喜母並愛子成就法) and the Kariteimo Sutra(訶利蒂母經).79) After Amoghavajra, these Hāritī sutras then spread to Japan by

我琨), Qian-tong(錢通, Comprehensive Study of Coins), vol.8, collected in SKQS, vol.662, p.503. 78) Zhang Shi(張奭), “Fa-men-si chong-xiu jiu-zi-mu ji(法門寺重修九子母記, The Record of Repainting the Mural of Hariti in Famen Temple)” ( Lu Yao-ju(陸耀遹), Jin-shi xu-bian (金石續編, Supplement to the Inscriptions), vol.14, collected in Xu-xiu Si-ku Quan-shu (XXSKQS, 续修四库全书, Revised Continuance of Complete Library in the Four Branches of Literature), vol. 893), p.730.

79) These two sutras have been translated in French by N. Peri (See Peri, Noel, “Hāritī la Mere-de-Demons”, Bulletin de l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme– Orient, vol.17), pp. 83-96, 96-99.


his disciples, along with the eastern transitional Esoteric teachings, which then became known as the Shingon school(真言宗) and Tendai sect(天臺宗). The scripture of Yakshini Abhirati and Pingala provides an elaboration of the representation: “to paint a portrait of her as a lovely goddess seated under a canopy on a dais with her right leg pendent. She is to wear a jewelled diadem, necklace and earrings, and hold a pomegranate in her right hand. With her left hand, she is to cradle her youngest child.” Following the representation mentioned above, there were numerous scrolls and murals of Hāritī from the Tang to Song Dynasties, though the majority of them have not survived. While none from the Tang period is known to remain in existence today, we can still study their reflections in the hand scroll paintings in the Da-li(大理) court in the far southwest of China, as well as Japanese woodcuts and drawings of the Heian and Kamakura periods.


Zhang Sheng-wen(張勝溫), an artist in the Da-li court, painted a colorful scroll named “A long roll of Buddhist Images” in the late 12th century (Fig.15-1).80) In this fantastic work, Zhang provided a far more graceful Hāritī, with more attendants and sumptuous clothing, crowned by nine infants in various postures in strict accordance with the representation provided by Yakshini Abhirati and Pingala.81) Known as Kishimojin, we can also find contemporary paintings of Hāritī in Japan as illustrations of Esoteric Sutras dating to the 13th century (Fig.15-2).82) Apart from illustrations, the appearance of this

80) Helen Chapin & Alexander Soper, “A Long Roll of Buddhist Images IV” (ArtibusAsiae, Vol. 33, No. 1/2, 1971), pp.75-140.

81) This illustration of Hāritī portrayed by Zhang Sheng-wen is a part of a long scroll of Buddhist images collected in the National Palace Museum, Taipei. See Helen B. Chapin, “A Long Roll of Buddhist Images,” revised and supplemented by A. C. Soper, ArtibusAsiae, vol.33 (1971), p.l44.

protective goddess in art was also popularized in the Heian and Kamakura periods by Nichiren, worshipped in monasteries as woodcut sculptures or hanging scrolls. The most important remains of Kishimojin from that time are in current Kyoto, Ōtsu, and Nara, where she has been enjoying her cult in a late-Heian painting in Daigoji(醍醐寺) (Fig.15-4), a Kamakura-period sculpture in Onjouji(園城寺) (Fig.15-3), and a late Heian-to-Kamakura-period sculpture in Toudaiji(東大寺) for hundreds of years.


Instead of the portrait-like icon surrounded by female attendants, the representation of Hāritī gradually chose another iconography, visualized in the moment of a suspenseful confrontation in late imperial China named as “Raising the Alms-bowl (Jie-bo Tu, 揭缽圖).” ) As Zhao Bang-yan indicates, “the theme of raising the alms-bowl as the illustration of her dramatic encounter with the Buddha had become the main representation of Hāritī since Yuan Dynasty.” ) Meanwhile, there was yet another iconography for Hāritī as a Buddhist defender in Ming and Qing Dynasties. After her conversion by Buddha, the repentant Demon Mother Hāritī had become one of the Deva-lokas(諸天).


4.2. Hāritī’s Conversion: The Theme of Raising the Alms-bowl(揭缽圖)


“Raising the Alms-bowl” is a dramatic scene in the story of Hāritī Nidana. The earliest examples are from Cave 2 at Ajanta in the 5th century, which created another iconography for Hariti, “taking the form of an epic contest between her demonic forces and the superior powers of the Buddha, which led directly to her conversion to Buddhism.”85) The representation of this motif flourished in Khotan and Kucha from the 5th to 6th centuries, presenting Hāritī and Pingala kowtowing in front of Buddha to pay homage. As to its description in China, the earliest text lies in Za-bao-Zang-jing by Tan Yao. Similar records are mentioned in Nan-hai Ji-gui Nei-fa-zhuan and the LegendforGodsofDeva-lokaintheSongDynasty, as well before the 7th century.86)


Since the Tang Dynasty, the theme of “Raising the Alms-bowl” had “elaborated upon a biographical detail with narrative potential”87) focussing on the dramatic scene of confrontation between Hāritī and Buddha. There are a great number of Chinese paintings representing “Raising the Alms-bowl” scattered in collections around the world. One in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a hand scroll in ink and color from the Five Dynasties period purports to be one of the earliest illustrations of “Raising the Alms-bowl” extant 88). This painting is conceived as a tripartite composition: Sakyamuni, Hāritī and the demons. Hāritī, as an aristocratic lady in Chinese dress, stands among

85) Julia K. Murray, op,cit, p.256.

86) Xing Ting(行霆), Zhu-tian zhuan (諸天傳, The Legend for Gods of Deva-loka),collected in Yong-leda-dian (永樂大典, The Yongle Canon), 8: 7311.

87) Julia K. Murray, op,cit, pp.266-267.

88) Acc. no.27.24, published in Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol.22 no.3 (Mar. 1927). This material is also mentioned in Julia K. Murray, op.cit, pp.257-559.


her female attendants, worryingly watching the demon army which tries its best to raise the alms-bowl. Besides the scroll paintings, many murals were painted with this theme in the main halls of Song temples. Focussing on her confrontation with Sakyamuni, the earliest unambiguous record of such murals is in the text of Dongjing MengHua Lu (東京夢華錄, Recollections from the Northern Song Capital) by Meng yuan-lao(孟元老). According to this text, there was a famous mural called “Raising the Basin: Sakyamuni’s Subjugation of the Mother of Demons” painted on the right wall of the portico in Da-xiang-guo Temple (大相國寺), portraying the scene of confrontation between the Buddha and the demon army led by Hāritī.89)

In dramas of the Yuan Dynasty, we can also find plentiful references to the theme of “Raising the Alms-bowl.” For example, in TheDramaofPilgrimagetotheWest by Yang Jing-xian(楊景賢), there is a vivid episode for the story of Hāritī’s conversion by Sakyamuni. Evidence from another text can be seen in Lu-gui-bu(錄鬼簿, The Record of Ghost Book), with the episode entitled “Account of the Mother of Demons Raising the Alms-bowl.” ) Under the influence of literary works, there are many drawings on the theme of “Raising the Alms-bowl” in the Yuan Dynasty. For instance, some examples may be seen in the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Fig.16-1), ) the Beijing Palace Museum and the Zhejiang Provincial Museum.

Meanwhile, this representation of Hāritī was sometimes decorated on both sides of talisman coins recovered from burial sites of the Song Dynasties (Fig.16-2). Even in brief works of the Western Xia Dynasty, we can still recognize the heavy influence of this representation. It seems that interest in the theme of “Raising the Alms-bowl” continued during the Ming Dynasty. Painted in ink and colors on silk, a scroll with this theme and signed by Qiu Ying(仇英) is obviously influenced by the former styles of Song and Yuan paintings. However, there is no further development in this direction. In her later representations, Hāritī was portrayed as a defender of Buddhism in the Deity System of Deva-loka instead of the dramatic scene of “Raising the Alms-bowl.”


4.3. A Buddhist Protector: Hāritī as a member of Deva-loka(諸天)


Deities of Deva-loka take an important role in late imperial Buddhist art in China and can be traced back to the former guardian gods like the Spirit Kings and the Eight Divine Beings in medieval China. Actually, as a Deva-loka deity, Hāritī demonstrates a close relationship with her identity mentioned in the theme of “Raising the Alms-bowl.” In TheDramaofaPilgrimagetotheWest by Yang Jing-xian, we can find the record of Hāritī as a Buddhism defender: “Buddha said ‘This woman, whom I conformed as a defender, is named Hāritī. She will be one of the Deva-loka deities from now on.”92) Based on this

92) Yang Jing-xian(楊景賢), Xi You Ji Za Ju (西遊記雜劇, The Drama of Pilgrimage to the West), vol.3, collected in Sui Shu-sen(隋樹森) edit., Yuan-qu-xuanwai-bian (元曲選外編, A Supplement to the Yuan Songs and Dramas) (Beijing:Chinese Publishing House, 1959), vol.2, p.663. reference, we can make out the logical sequence that Hāritī is antecedently subjugated by the Buddha, and then she is converted to be a Buddhist defender. When

it comes to the vernacular novel The PilgrimagetoWest by Wu Cheng’en(吳承恩), Hāritī is described as one of Deva-loka deities in her first appearance: “The Monkey King arrived at Chao-yin Dong (潮音洞, Tide-Sounding Cave) and inquired after the Bodhisattva. As defenders, the deities of Deva-loka told him to wait until they sought the permission of the Bodhisattva. A few minutes later, one of them, Hāritī came back to invite the Monkey King to come in.” ) Judging by these literary works during the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, we may conclude that the representation of Hāritī has diverted from the theme of “Raising the Alms-bowl” to the deity system of Deva-loka based on the transformation of her identity.


Since the 15th century, Hāritī, as one of Deva-loka deities, usually appears with her youngest child Pingala defending the Buddha. For instance, in Manes Hall(摩尼殿) of the Long-xing Temple(龍興寺) in Zheng-ding(正定), there is a mural portraying the image of Hāritī caressing her beloved son while holding a lotus in the other hand (Fig.16-3). Furthermore, the mural on the northern wall of the main hall in Fa-hai Temple(法海寺), Beijing, shares many similarities with the images in Long-xing temple; while Hāritī here holds a precious fan instead of a lotus flower. ) The identical representations are also figured as

sculptures or relief works, such as the clay sculpture of Hāritī and her son in Da-hui Temple(大慧寺), Beijing (Fig.16-4), which was donated in 1513 by Zhang Xiong(張雄), a eunuch from the Ritual Ministry. The colored glaze brief of the same theme is decorated in the Iron-Buddha Temple(鐵塔寺), Lin-fen(臨汾), Shan-xi Province (Fig.16-5). When representing Hāritī as a deity of Deva-loka, the folk artists freed themselves from the straitlaced rules of iconography mentioned in Buddhist classics; instead, they enriched the image of Hāritī with touching affections: the Buddhist goddess looks exactly like any loving mother nurturing her little child with tender affection.


The two systems of representing Hāritī along the respective diffusion routes have differences: murals of Hāritī’s Nidana and icons of Buddhist guardians were widespread along mainland roads from northern India to Dunhuang; while the sculpture of a mother goddess with nine children could be considered as the typical image of Hāritī throughout the maritime routes. However, tracing back to Gandharan and Gupta art, though the representation of Hāritī seated by Panchika as a guardian couple flourished in both Chinese Turkistan and Southeast Asia, the couple were rarely portrayed together in the heartland of East Asia. In contrast, the individual goddess of motherhood surrounded by nine infants seems to be the major representation of Hāritī instead. Thus, there is a remaining question: why are iconographies of Hāritī in East and Southeast Asia portrayed in different patterns? What kind of social traditions are behind the representations of Hāritī and her marriage relationship?


II. One or Two : Differences in Identity of Hāritī’s Marriage Relationship


Hāritī was portrayed in various iconographies along the respective routes, successively as guardian deity, Spirit King, symbol of Yaksha, child-giver, and Deva-loka. However, these various representations could be divided into two systems: the goddess in a pair or as an individual.


1. The Blank of her Spouse


the Pattern of Jiu-zi-mu Flourished in East Asia


In early Buddhist sculptures, Hāritī was often represented together with her spouse in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara. The earliest extant examples are Gandharan stone sculptures of the 2nd century excavated in Pakistan (Fig.3-1). ) These figures typically portray Hāritī as a plump matron surrounded by her children, seated with her consort, Panchika. With children around her and Panchika beside her, this iconography of Hāritī also flourished in Mathura (Fig.3-2) and Gupta (Fig.3-3) sculptures till the 6th century, especially at the Ajanta and Ellora grottoes. ) During its eastern spread along mainland routes, the iconography of the couple-form had diffused to Khotan and Kucha during the 5th to 6th centuries, and even extended deep into the central regions in the Northern Wei Dynasty. However, influenced by the iconography of Jiu-zi-mu, Hāritī was rarely portrayed in a pair with her consort after the Tang Dynasty. In regions of southern China, where Hāritī began to be worshipped as Jiu-zi-mu as early as the 4th century, it seems that her consort Panchika had never been portrayed. Instead, corresponding with her Chinese name, the individual statue of Hāritī with nine infants became widespread during the Southern Dynasties, and then spread to northern China, merging with the mainland pattern in the Tang Dynasty.


During Hāritī’s diffusion in China, a local goddess Nv-qi played a vital role in shaping her sinicization. Regions of Jing-Chu were the earliest confirmed areas of Hāritī’s transmission, where the traditional religion already had the multiple-child deity, Nv-qi. In order to broaden her appeal, the Buddhist Hāritī chose to borrow some elements from the indigenous goddess Nv-qi to conform to Chinese cultural concepts. Besides the same number of children, the important

common point between these two goddesses is their marriage relationship. Both of them were worshipped as a symbol of pure motherhood, neglecting their roles as wives. Spread as Jiu-zi-mu through medieval and late imperial China, Hāritī was always separated from Panchika in all forms of artistic expression. We can find more literary examples to show the absence of her spouse as evidence in support of the visual material. In literary sketches of the Song Dynasty, we have found an interesting example of the absence of Hāritī’s consort: “Qian-mu-fu(錢

Archaeology, vol.36, No.3, 2004), pp.378-398. 穆父 ), a handsome gentleman with nine male offspring was considered as the best candidate to become Hāritī’s spouse by residents in the capital, since both of them share the same number of children.” 97) Better evidence is provided later in the novel of Jin-ping-mei (金瓶梅, The Golden Lotus). This fiction vividly

describes the pimp Wang Po (王婆), who can “induce Arahan to flirt with Bhikkhuni, and instigate the Heavenly King Li to hug the Demon Mother.” ) Here, “the Heavenly King Li(李天王)” is another name of Li-jing(李靖), who is the Chinese variant of Panchika or Vaisramana, ) and the Demon Mother is undoubtedly the goddess Hāritī. Judging by this record, we may come to the conclusion that no later than the Ming Dynasty, the image of the individual goddess without her spouse eventually became the main representation of Hāritī instead of the couple seated as a pair.


2. Divine, Royal or Poor Couple: the Cult of Hāritī and Panchika in Southeast Asia


Compared with the pattern along mainland routes, the iconography of Hāritī with her consort Panchika was widespread and flourished around the Java Sea in local patterns, with various identities as a divine couple, a royal family or a poor pair.

Directly influence by Buddhist arts in the Gupta and post-Gupta era, Hāritī and Panchika were often portrayed as a pair of divine guardians on either side of the Buddha, or at temple entrances. The typical examples are reliefs in Prasat Hin Phimai, Thailand and Candi Mendut near Borobudur, Java. Moreover, the

iconography of this divine couple at Candi Mendut, decorated with heavy jewellery and surrounded with attendants, is considered to represent the image of the local royal tribal father and his wife. When worshipped as child-protectors in the Khmer civilization, their terracotta or ceramic figurines were kept as offerings at shrines or temples, presenting as a kneeling man and woman holding infants in their arms. ) Even at present, there are some ceramic sculptures from Sukhothai which have been placed in temples in Bangkok and Ayutthaya since the 14th century.

Apart from their holy identities, the couple has also absorbed some characteristics from common people in Javanese legends. In Bali, there are abundant images of Hāritī and Panchika (Kubera/Jambhala), though they are known by the indigenous names of Men Brayut and Pan Brayut. ) With regard to the Brayut, traditional imagery always portrays them as two poor, devout parents with their eighteen infants leaning on their recumbent bodies. Actually, the family name “Brayut” just means “a family burdened with many children” in Javanese. With the spread of Buddhism in Java, the story of Brayut couples was gradually represented in local Buddhist writings under the name of Hāritī and Panchika (Kubera).

Summing up, it would seem highly likely that the Balinese cult of Hāritī and her consort had its roots in Javanese tradition: that is to say, combined with royal and poor couples, their characters have merged with indigenous daily life or legendary traditions.


Ⅲ. Daughters or Nannies: Investigation of the Attributes and Representations of Female Attendants of Hāritī.


Whether her consort is absent or not, there is a common characteristic of Hāritī portrayed both in East and Southeast Asia: the female attendants. The images of female attendants, standing or kneeling on both sides of Hāritī, can be traced back to sandstone sculptures of Gandharan arts and reliefs at the Ajanta or Ellora grottoes (Fig.3-2, 3-3). They are usually called daughters or nannies of Hāritī in various regions during the progress of diffusion, and each of them is assigned a specific duty: some take charge of nursing infants, while others hold the ritual ornaments. This group could be considered as the typical expression of the local love of story-telling in East and Southeast Asia, instead of the sketchy descriptions mentioned in original Buddhist scriptures.


These female attendants of Hāritī are known by different names and attributes in different areas. In traditional China, they were often described as midwives and nannies. While in Japan, there was a totally different representation of these attendants: they became the ten female guardians around Hāritī. Otherwise, in regions of Nepal and Thailand, people always named these female midwives and healers as “the daughters of Hāritī” ), who take charge of childbirth. In

central Java, female attendants sometimes were portrayed as nannies to take care of Hāritī’s infants (Fig.17-1). The emergence of these female attendants is probably the result of expansion of Hāritī’s following. She is such a powerful fertility goddess, offering child-bestowal, easy delivery and parenting, and as the guardian of mothers and children, her abilities are so numerous and jumbled that they need to be shared by attendants. In this progression, Hāritī merged with other local goddesses.


Among these various attendants, the group of nannies and ten Yakshini are the typical examples bringing affection in religions in East Asia.


1. Nursing Children

The Group of Nanny Attendants


In the fantastic work “Long Roll of Buddhist Images”, Zhang Sheng-wen portrayed a group of nannies around Hāritī, and each of them is assigned a duty: some take charge of nursing infants, while others hold ritual ornaments for Hāritī, such as dusters and tasselled fans (Fig.15-1). This illustration from the Chinese western region of Da-li was probably influenced by a Song Dynasty prototype, since we have found more evidence in the domain of the royal court in the central plains.


Some descriptions of these nanny attendants are recorded in Song sketchbooks. It is said that “there is a hall of Hāritī in Chao-jue-si (超覺寺, the Transcendental Temple), which is located on the top of the mountain. The main statue of Hāritī was surrounded by dozens of attendants’ sculptures. Among these attendants, there is a clay sculpture of a nanny exposing her breast to nurse a baby.” ) Based on the reference above, we may conclude that Hāritī and her nanny attendants were usually arranged and worshipped together in the same hall in medieval China. There are more examples of this arrangement for Hāritī’s

worship found in relief works or sculptures in the Northern and Southern Song Dynasties, such as the statue in Cave 122 of Northern Mountain Grottoes at Da-zu. In this relief, Hāritī is seated in the center of the cave on a high backed chair, wearing a phoenix coronet and splendid costume. She holds a baby on her knee, with a young female attendant holding a duster on her left side. In front of Hāritī sits a nanny, cradling an infant in her arms to nurse it (Fig.17-2). ) Similarly, this representation in the An-yue(安岳) and Shi-zhuan Mountain(石篆山) grottoes demon -strates essentially the same arrangement as the sculptures at Da-zu, sharing almost all the details, such as the dressing style of Hāritī, the number of her infants and the nannies’ nursing poses (Fig.17-3, 17-4). On the other hand, reflecting other Buddhist references, there is a totally different representation of Hāritī and her acolytes in China’s neighboring country-Japan, with Kishimojin (the Japanese name of Hāritī) and the ten Yakshini.


2. The Acolytes of Hariti: the Assistant Group of Ten Yakshini


The LotusSutra (the Saddharma-pundarika) clearly records that “together with Hāritī, the ten Yakshini went to the Buddha, and promised to convert to Buddhism as the guardians of human children .”105) This record is regarded as a literary reference for representations of Hāritī in Japan since the 16th century. Led by Hāritī, these ten Yakshini gather as a fertility deity group (Table.2) became important and have been worshipped by Nichiren. In the silk paintings from the Japanese Warring States time, Hāritī carries her little baby in her arms stands in the center, and holds a pomegranate in her right hand; while the ten Yakshini are arranged at her sides as her acolytes (Fig.17-6, 17-7). Appearing with her ten daughters, this representation of Hāritī has been handed down till today, and the image is often presented in wooden sculptures (Fig.17-5).106)


Table 2. The Names of the Ten Yakshini


No. Sanskrit Chinese Japanese Reading English Translation

1 Lambā 藍婆 Ranba Trapped or Ensnared

2 Vilambā or Pralambā 毘藍婆 Biranba Biranpū or Violent Storm

3 Kūṭadantī, 曲齒 Kyōshi Crooked Teeth

4 Puṣpadantī 華齒 Keshi Flowery Teeth

5 Makuṭa 黑齒 Kokushi Black Teeth

105) translated by Kumarajiva(鳩摩羅什), Miao-falian-huajing (妙法蓮華經,The Lotus Sutra), Taishoshinshu Daizokyo(1924-1935), vol.9, p.9.

106) For more details, see the website http://www.nichirenscoffeehouse.net/ bodhisattva/Kishimojin.html.


6 Keśīnī 多發 Tahotsu Many Tresses or Locks, Long Haired

7 Acalā 無厭足 Muensoku Insatiable (Never Satisfied)

8 Mālādhāri 持瓔珞 Jiyōraku Necklace Holder

9 Kuntī 皐帝 Kōtai Sutra-box Holder

10 Sarvasattv ojahārī 奪一切眾生精氣 Datsu Issai Shōki Shūjō Spirit Snatcher


Along with her female attendants, Hāritī represents a new type of iconography other than the traditional patterns from Central Asia, which can be considered as a mixture of Buddhism and the indigenous cultures in East Asia.


Ⅳ. Succession and Realignment: the Emergence of Hāritī and Other Indigenous Heir-bestowing Goddesses in East and Southeast Asia


In the diffusion of religion, certain elements of the new, incoming religion must connect with corresponding elements of the host culture, so as to be absorbed by the latter. In this aspect, we could consider Hāritī as a typical example of cultural merging and interaction during Buddhism’s diffusion along both the mainland and maritime Silk Roads. Worshipped as a mother goddess and the deliverer of babies, she probably represents the succession and realignment of the indigenous fertility goddesses in traditional East and Southeast Asia. Meanwhile her multiple images could be seen as multi-religious and cross-cultural symbols with various attributes of local deities.


Based on fertility goddesses scattered in East Asia, especially in China, the author will comment upon the merging of Hāritī and the indigenous delivery goddesses both in their icons and veneration manner. How did the cult of Hāritī diffuse, transform, and merge with the indigenous religions in East and Southeast Asia? How did she finally accomplish her localization with indigenous names and representations in local styles? Did Hāritī directly transform to the child giving Guan-yin (known as Quan Am in Vietnam, and Jizo Kannon in Japan)?


1. Buddhism and Taoism: Hāritī with Her Attendants and the Empyrean Deities of Delivery


Surrounded by various female attendants, this new representation of Hāritī seems to gain some connection with the images in the deity group in Taoism—the Empyrean Deities of Delivery(九天監生司). Among the various deity systems in Taoist worship of the Song Dynasty, there is a specialized group in charge of human baby delivery. It is composed of eighteen Empyrean Deities, who respectively answer for child-bestowal, easy-delivery, baby-protection and so on.107) Several Taoist texts note that “the Empyrean Deities are a group of gods and goddesses living in heaven. No matter whether civilian or noble, when it comes to praying for heirs, all should worship the Empyrean Deities with sincerity.”108)

107) Ling Ling-zhen(林靈真), Ling-baoling-jiaoji-dujin-shu (靈寶領教濟度金書, The Salvation Scripture of Ling-bao Sect), vol.57, collected in Dao-zang (道藏,Taoist Scriptures) (Beijing: Culture Relics Publishing House, Shanghai:

Shanghai Bookstore, and Tianjin: Tianjin Ancient Books Press, 1988), vol.7, p.280. 108) Da-ci-hao-shengjiu-tianwei-fangsheng-mu-yuan-junling-yingbao-jian (大慈好生九天衛房聖母元君靈應寶簽, Efficacious Manifestations of Empyrean Fertility Mother), collected in Dao-zang (道藏, Taoist Scriptures) (1988), vol.32,

The stone sculptures of Cave 4 on South Mountain at Dazu represent the images of the Empyrean Deities for procreation (Fig.18-1). Completed before 1154, these sculptures contain five images of deities. On the main wall of the cave, there are three goddesses. In the centre sits the Heavenly Queen of Child-giving(注生後土聖母), with phoenix coronet and splendid costume; while at her sides, there are two fertility goddesses separately in charge of guarding families(衛房) and safe delivery(保產). On the left wall, we can see an armoured warrior inscribed as the Empyrean God for Child Birth(九天監生大神), who stands opposite a female attendant in a glowing skirt named as the Empyrean Lady for Child-bestowal(九天送生夫人).

Judging by the costume of Hāritī, the postures of the female attendants, and the functions of these nanny acolytes, it is interesting to notice that there are so many similarities between the images of the fertility deities in Cave 4 at Da-zu and the deity group of Hāritī with her female attendants. A later example of the Child-giving Lady is the 18th century woodcut worshipped in Fu-zhou (Fig.18-2), presenting the seated Empyrean Lady in royal custom with two nannies standing by.109) Based on the context of eager pursuit of fertility in Chinese traditions, these similarities are no doubt a result of the merging and interaction between Buddhism and Taoism. This mixed worship of delivery deities gradually connected with other Chinese indigenous gods, and finally became the popular worship of nanny goddesses in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. 2. Popular Religions

p.806.

109) Keith Stevens, ChineseGods:theUnseenWorldofSpiritsandDemons, (London: Collins & Brown Limited, 1997), p.119.


Worship of the Mother Goddess and Nanny Attendants


Since the Yuan Dynasty, the representation of Hāritī surrounded by numerous attendants has not been popular in literature or visual arts material. Moreover, this iconography has still had a profound influence on the worship of nanny goddesses in Chinese folk religions, which handed down to pre-modern China. In the colored ink paintings of the Heavenly Mothers in the 18th century, three royal mother goddesses of fertility are seated side by side behind the offering stages, which show the succession of the Empyrean Goddessesiconography in Cave 4 at Da-zu. In front of them, there are numerous nannies, responsible for more specific duties on the basis of their former identities in the Song and Yuan Dynasties.


Another famous local goddess, Jin-hua Niang-niang (金花娘娘, the Golden Flower Mother) widespread in South China was also worshipped as a child-giver with her nanny attendants. The folk text from the Qing Dynasty, Fo-shanXian-zhi (佛山縣誌, County Annals of Fo-shan) leaves us a clue to know about this goddess. “Prevailing in cities of Canton (Guangdong) Province, the Gold Flower Sect usually chose women to introduce its disciplines. The members of this sect usually worshipped the statues of the Golden Flower Mother appearing with her twelve nannies in temples, each of them holding an infant in arms. Praying for heirs, childless women often tied red string on the figures of these infants. Until the present time, there are still some temples for the Golden Flower Mother in Hong Kong (Fig.18-3, 18-4, 18-5). ) Worshipped as the main deity, the Golden Flower


Mother is surrounded by nannies, which are also known as Offspring Mothers. The group of nannies is respectively in charge of foetus protection (white flower, red flower, or flower transposition), child-giving, baby-nursing, pox prevention and so on. “White flower” indicates a boy infant, “Red flowersymbolizes a girl, while “Flower transposition” just means the sexual transformation of the infants.


Meanwhile, in northern China, such as Hebei and Shandong, another important Taoist Mother Goddess, Bi-xia Yuan-jun(碧霞元君, Mother of Mount Tai or Lady of the Streaked Clouds) was sometimes represented with dozens of nanny attendants who help mothers and children through various stages of delivery and nursing. For instance, around Beijing, people offer sacrifices to the statue of Bi-xia Yuan-jun in the central hall of Easter Peak Temple(東嶽廟). Here, the goddess is surrounded by eight female attendants, who are respectively in charge of gravidity, child-giving, easy delivery, nursing, eyesight, smallpox immunity and enlightenment. Moreover, in the Temple of the Medicine King(藥王廟) outside the Chongwen Gate(崇文門) in the same city, there was a temple to worship indigenous fertility mother goddesses in a similar way.


The local child-giving goddesses have also diffused through Southeast Asia along with the Chinese migration since the 17th century. There are standing figures of nannies worshipped in both Potalaka Monastery (Fig.19-1) and Easter Peak Temple (Fig.19-2) near Chinatown in Singapore, with the typical gesture of breast-feeding. While under the influence of religions in Fujian and Guangdong, Jin-hua Niang-niang and her nannies called Bo-cheh(婆姐) are popular in Malaysia. For instance, in Singapore, a large group of twelve nannies is worshipped around the major figure Jin-hua Niang-niang at Fook Tuck Chee(福德祠), Mun San(萬山) (Fig.19-4).111) Similar woodcut sculptures are kept at Water-moon Monastery in Malaysia (Fig.19-3).112)


These mother goddesses, followed by dozens of nannies, gradually formed a new group of fertility deities in the Ming and Qing Dynasties; in contrast, the representation of Hāritī and her female attendants tended to fade from people’s minds. Based on the steps in the development of mother goddess worship, there is no doubt that the representation of Hāritī with her attendants seems to have a considerable influence upon the group of fertility mother goddesses. 3. The Connection between Hāritī and Baby-giving Guan-yin Apart from great nannies in local religions, the functions of Hāritī as the bringer of babies and protector of families have also been borrowed for the magic powers of Guan-yin.


3.1.The Development of Child-giving Guan-yin Worship


In medieval China in Buddhist art, the image of a goddess holding a baby was usually the iconography of Hāritī. Under the influences of indigenous Chinese scriptures, responsive manifestations and popular religions, Baby-giving Guan-yin, a new deity for child-bestowing gradually emerged on the historical stage, and increasingly became popular during and after the Song Dynasty. In the LotusSutra, there are references to efficacious manifestations following recitation of

111) 呂世聰, 洪毅瀚, 投桃之報: 萬山港福德祠歷史溯源 (新加坡: 石叻學會, 2008;


Lv Shi cong, Hong Yi han, Aboonreturned:thehistoryofMunSanFook TuckChee, Singapore, 2008).


112) The photos of statues kept in Singapore were all taken by the author. Guan-yin sutras, which became the scriptural basis of child-giving Guan-yin: “Due to the merit of this magical spell, if women pray for boy heirs and make offerings to Guan-yin Bodhisattva, they will give birth to sons of wisdom and blessedness. If instead they wish for daughters, they will bear gifted daughters.” ) Based on this scripture, similar manifestations had started to spread in various locations in China in the Southern Dynasties. ) Despite the popularity of chanting the Guan-yin scripture to pray for children, the iconography of the child-giving Guan-yin was not yet found at that time.


When it came to the Tang and Song Dynasties, the miracles of the white robed Guan-yin were frequently recorded. Manifestations of White-robed Guan-yin Sutra (白衣經紀驗) records such a miracle story happened in the Tang Dynasty, where “there was a gentleman scholar who lived in Heng-yang(衡陽). He was quite advanced in age but still had no heir. One day, he suddenly met an old monk who gave him the White-robed Guan-yin Sutra. The monk told him to chant this sutra sincerely, and he would be able to receive a son of great wisdom, who would be born miraculously in a white wrap. Following the monk’s words, he and his wife had three sons, who were all born in the same manner just as the monk said.” In other notes of the Song Dynasty, this kind of tale was frequently mentioned in

the same narrative pattern, such as “a childless woman worshipped White-robed Guan-yin, and soon had a lovely son”, ) and “people who desire to have an heir should continuously pray to White-robed Guan-yin, and their dreams will come true.” ) We can read similar descriptions in the sketches Yi-jian-zhi (夷堅志): “During the Song Dynasty, there was a man named Zhai Ji 翟楫living in Si-an Town of Hu-zhou(湖州). He still had no heir at forty. To pray for a son, he

worshipped the image of Guan-yin with sincerity. Before long, his wife dreamt of a white-robed lady delivering a boy infant to her, and she truly was pregnant when she woke up.” ) During that time, although the identity of the White-robed Guan-yin as the bringer of heirs gradually and indisputably made her appearance, there were no related paintings or sculptures known representing this form of Guan-yin. In medieval China, Hāritī’ still took the main part in the system of delivery deities, while the representations of the child-giving Guan-yin had not fully extended until then.


During and after the Yuan Dynasty, representations of the child-giving Guan-yin had finally integrated into the local religion. Chun-fang Yu has indicated, “It appears that it was during the years 1400 to 1600 that the cult of the white-robed Guan-yin as the giver of heirs became firmly established in China.” ) Since then, the child-giving Guan-yin replaced Hāritī’ to dominate as the most significant fertility goddess in popular religions. The representations of the child-giving Guan-yin, merging with images of the Water-moon Guan-yin, White-robed Guan-yin, Fish-basket Guan-yin, Guan-yin of the South Sea, and Guan-yin Riding on Hou吼diffusely appear in various visual works, such as paintings, sculptures, prints and ceramics119) (Fig.20). Gradually, the baby-giving Guan-yin took the place of Hāritī as the main goddess in the system of fertility deities. However, the venerable goddess Hāritī still had some connections with the worship of Guan-yin in Chinese folk religions.


3.2.The Merging of Worship of Hāritī and Guan-yin


During the Tang and Song Dynasties, a cult of Guan-yin as the bestower of heirs started in various locations in China. However, credit for answering the prayers of the childless is often shared with Hāritī. In the Guan-yin temples portrayed in Tang literature, “there were

(New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 2001), p.258.

119) In medieval and late imperial China, the image of Baby-giving Guan-yin usually merged with the representations of the White-robed Guan-yin and Water-moon Guan-yin. For instance, “there is a little niche to the north of the stage to worship White-robed Guan-yin, with the inscription of “Water-moon”(Xu Hong-zu(徐宏祖), Xu-xia-ke you-ji (徐霞客遊記, Travel Notes of Xu-xia-ke), vol.10), and “the White-robed Guan-yin is seated surrounded by calm water, with a full moon shining above.”(Hu Zhu(胡助), Chun-bai-zhai lei-gao (純白齋類稿, Manuscripts in White Room), vol.17, collected in SKQS, vol.1214, p.652l). During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Baby-giving Guan-yin was also accompanied by an animal mount, such as unicorn(麒麟) or hou(吼). Furthermore, the representation of Child-giving Guan-yin in the iconography of The Universal Gate of the Guan-yin


Bodhisattva is indistinguishable from the Fish-basket Guan-yin.


three halls with a statue of Guan-yin in them, and to their south were five rooms used as monks' dwelling houses. On the mountain top was a three storey chamber, with storeroom and kitchen besides. There were also some caves to offer sacrifices to Hāritī and Gao-mei(高禖) to pray for continuous generations.” ) In this record, we can get a glimpse of a cult of Guan-yin in medieval China: when praying for a child in the temple of Guan-yin, people should also worship the venerable goddesses, such as Hāritī and Gao-mei as well. This situation continued till the Yuan Dynasty, with records described in literary sketches of

that time. “In the temple, the statues of Buddhas of the Past, Present and Future were seated in the main chamber, while Guan-yin was worshipped in the front hall. To its left is the hall of Hāritī, which is also opposite the hall of Jizo Bodhisattva(地藏).” ) It is obvious that from the Tang to Yuan Dynasty, there was a combined relationship between Guan-yin and Hāritī. In other words, in Chinese folk religions, with the spread of Guan-yin worship, Hāritī, who was once offered sacrifices as the main deity, had gradually been debased to the adjuvant goddess of Guan-yin.


In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, this combination evolved further.


TheStatueofWhite-robedGuan-yininDa-jueTemple by Li Dai(李戴) in the Ming Dynasty provides a particular record for the deities combined portrayal in the Da-jue Temple(大覺寺, Mahabodhi Temple). “The sculpture of White-robed Guan-yin is set up in the middle of the temple…… There are three chambers on either side. The left ones are rooms worshiping baby-giving Guan-yin, while the right ones are chambers for eye-care Bodhisattva.” ) In the deity group worshipped in the Guan-yin temples of the Ming Dynasty, Hāritī’s position was replaced by the Delivery Bodhisattva (probably the baby-giving Guan-yin). We can find more evidence from

the historical relics of folk religions on Tai-xing Mountain(太興山) in Shan-xi dating from the Qing Dynasty to the period of the Republic of China. Among caves on Tai-xing Mountain, Avalokitesvara is usually worshipped as the main deity, with the child-giving Guan-yin on her left, and the Eye-care Bodhisattva on the right. Examples of this combination type are found in numerous caves, such as White-robed Cave, Rising-sun Chamber and Venerable Mother Temple. ) All these examples prove that Hāritī, who undertook the birth-sending function as an acolyte of Bodhisattva, had been completely replaced by child-giving Guan-yin and other delivery goddesses since the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Based on this transformation, the new combination of Guan-yin and other indigenous goddesses gradually became established and had prevailed since that time.


In fact, the fertility goddesses are quite a mixed and complicated group, and it is hard to distinguish them from each other. Wu-lin Fan-zhi (武林梵志, The Records of Buddhist in Hang Zhou) observes that: “In Pu-ji Temple(普濟寺), also called Guan-yin Temple, people usually mistook Guan-yin for Mother of Mount Tai.” 124) It shows evidence of confusion between child-giving Guan-yin and another delivery deity—Mother of Mount Tai in the Song Dynasty. County AnnalsofWu-shan(巫山縣誌) records that “there is an old hall on the mountain top originally worshipping the Mother of Tai Mountain. However, local people subsequently added two other sculptures: Guan-yin and Hāritī besides the original statue in the same hall, and worshipped the three fertility deities together to pray for offspring.” Judging by this reference, we may conclude that in the system of Chinese folk religions, Guan-yin, as the mother goddess of procreation was usually offered sacrifices with other fertility deities to answer prayers for heirs.


As a child-bestowal deity, Guan-yin is also worshipped in wide regions of Asia with related icons in China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and India.

3.3. The Cult of the Child-bestower Guan-yin in East and Southeast Asia


In Japan, there is a feminine form of Guan-yin named Koyasu Kannon(子安觀音, Child-giving Guan-yin) who grants easy delivery and protects children. Her statue, portrayed as a deity of motherhood holding a baby, was first made in the 8th century and spread rapidly in Japan under the influence of the Nichiren sect. Even now, there are numerous extant sculptures of Koyasu Kannon (Fig22-1, 22-2, 22-3) worshipped inside or in front of temples in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nar a.125) Furthermore, some statues of Ksitigarbha (Jizo) share

124) Wu Zhi-jing(吳之鯨), Wu-inFan-zhi (武林梵志,The Records of Buddhist in Hang Zhou), vol.4, collected in SKQS, vol.588, p.81. overlapping functions with Koyasu Kannon 子安地藏in Japan. As one of the most popular modern deities in Pure Land sects(淨土宗), Jizo is worshipped as a patron of motherhood and children at numerous temples throughout Shikoku-Pilgerweges with an infant in his arms or with several children in his lap or at his feet (Fig.22-4, 22-5, 22-6)


While being worshipped as the fertility mother, Guan-yin has been venerated in Vietnam (Fig.21-1, 21-3, 21-4),127) Singapore (Fig21:2),128) and even in India (Fig.26)129) since the 17th century. There she was known as Quan Am (the pronunciation of Guan-yin in Ho-Chan), sharing the same representations popular in neighboring China. Since there are many white porcelain sculptures of child-giving Guan-yin scattered across Asia, it seems that the export of sculptures took an important role in the diffusion of religions. Meanwhile, as examples of classical Chinese architecture, many Guan-yin temples and pagodas in Hanoi and Singapore could find their inspiration in the folk religions of

125) Fig. 24:1-2 are cited from http://www.kms.ac.jp/~hsc/henro/FJK/kannon/ kannon.htm; Fig. 24:3, a Hirado ware influenced by Chinese Dehua ceramics is worshipped at Kinnsyou-ji(金勝寺), Fukushima, photo by team member Shinohara Norio.


126) Fig.24:4 is the statue kept in Shiroyama-ji, cited from www.japanwindow.com; Fig.24:5 & Fig.24:6 relatively show the sculptures in Kōnomine-ji and Hibudela-ji (see http://www.kms.ac.jp/~hsc/henro/FJK/ jizo/jizo.htm).


127) A woodcut of Quan Am is collected in Musée Guimet (http://www. guimet.fr/Bodhisattva-Avalokitesvara, 237); there are also some monasteries and stupa of Quan Am in Chinese style extant in Hanoi.


128) A ceramic figure of baby-bestowing Guan-yin is worshipped In Eastern Peak Monastery near Kreta Ayer (China town) in Singapore. Photos are taken by the author.


129) According to the investigation by Ms Zhang Xing, a Ph.D. candidate in PKU, there is a large Chinese monastery in Calcutta, India nowadays to worship Matsu(媽祖) and Guan-yin.


the southern coast of China, especially regions of Guangdong and Fujian. To some extent, the cult of child-giving Guan-yin is perceived as a result of cultural succession with migration; otherwise, the construction and survival of Guan-yin temples also holds a special significance for the Teochew community in traditional Asian societies.


V. Epilogue: Mother Deities in Global Civilizations


Besides the close relationship with Hāritī, Guan-yin seems to resemble the typical icon of the Virgin Mary nursing the Child Jesus. Otherwise, apart from Guan-yin and Madonna, representations of nursing mother deities are worshipped in various religions and their paintings or statues have been found all over the world.


1. East and West: Overlapping Icons of Guan-yin, Virgin Mary, and Hāritī


Many scholars have noticed the similarity between Guan-yin and the Virgin Mary in Christianity. Especially for western people, portraits of Guan-yin with an infant often bring back memories of some familiar picture of the typical Madonna nursing the Child Jesus. When Christianity spread in China during the 17th and 18th centuries, images of Mary and Jesus were usually described as the White-robed Guan-yin of Chinese origin (Fig.23-1, 23-2). ) Similar examples are popular in modern Korea. Holding a boy infant intimately on her knee, the portraits of the Korean Holy Mother seem to be exactly the same in gestures as the Chinese baby-bestowing Guan-yin, except for her traditional Hanbok (Fig.23-3, 23-4).131)


Moreover, Japanese Christians in the Nagasaki area also created representations of Maria Guan-yin during the dark years of anti-Christian persecution, chiefly in the 17th and 18th centuries. Some underground Christian groups venerated the Virgin Mary disguised as the Baby-giving Guan-yin, known as Maria Kannon. These secretive methods helped the Christians to keep their faith hidden and alive through the hard time when Christianity was banned and punishable by death. Portrayed as a mother holding her infant, the representations of Hāritī, Guan-yin, and the Virgin Mary can be divided into two patterns: seated and standing.

In Italy, a famous marble statue of the Virgin Mary by Jacopo Quercia has been preserved since 1406 (Fig.23-5).132) She is represented seated on a chair, holding a pomegranate in the right hand with little Jesus stand on her knee, which suggests the iconic traditional Hāritī in both Chinese and Japanese art. Similarly seated postures with an infant are also the main representations of Guan-yin in late imperial China (Fig.23-6)133) and Edo Japan (Fig.23-7).134) As to the standing images, we can trace

Shanghai: Shanghai People's Publishing House, 2000, p.4).

131) The paintings of Korean holy mother are relatively cited from http://www.maria21.net/? document_srl=7428&mid=arthall_sub_gallery_artists;http: //blog.chosun.com/blog.log.view.screen?blogId=3199&logId=3947141. 132) The photo of marble sculpture by Jacopo Quercia is cited from http://www.wga.hu/art/q/qu ercia/silvestr.jpg.

133) The woodcut of baby-giving Guan-yin is kept in Henan, China, and the photo is cited from http://www.ha.xinhuanet.com/fuwu/kaogu/2005-03/24/ content_3912350.htm.

them back to the stone sculptures of Hāritī in Gupta India (Fig.23-9), which then impacted on Javanese art (Fig.23-10). Presenting as a young mother leading one or two children, the standing icon has been borrowed for the artworks of the Virgin Mary both in Europe135) (Fig.23-8) and Southeast Asia (Fig.23-11).


2. Mother and Children: Images of Nursing Mothers in Various Religions.


The representations of a nursing mother can be found with new names attached to them in regions all over the world—Christian in Europe, Buddhist in Asia, Taoist in China, Hindu in India, and other indigenous religions all over the world. Seated and proffering her breasts to feed an infant, the icon of a mother and child was respectively worshipped as Isis (Fig.24-4),136) Hāritī (Fig.24-1, 24-3), Maria (Fig.24-5),137) heir-bestowing Guan-yin, Great nannies (Fig.24-8,24-9),Men Brayut, and other mother deities all sharing similar representations.

Apart from the religious imagery of a fertility goddess, depictions of

134) The painting of Maria is kept in Museum in Ikitsuki Town, Sasebo, Nagasaki Hirado Japan, Edo period. This photo is cited from http://homepage1.nifty.com/sawarabi/4kakurenoseibo.htm.

135) The photo of standing Maria by Jacopo Quercia is cited from http://www.wga.hu/art/q/quercia/11rhea.jpg. 136) Berlin, Staatliche Museen; in Alexander Badawy, Coptic art and archaeology:theartoftheChristianEgyptiansfromthelateantiquetothe MiddleAges (M.I.T.: Massachusetts, 1978) fig. 3.74, p.154; see also Klaus Wessel, KoptischeKunst:dieSpätantikeinAgypten (W. Germany, 1963) fig. 5. 137) This oil painting of the Madonna and Jesus by an anonymous Spanish artist is dated to the 17th century. nursing mothers also flourished in more mundane circumstances, such as woodcuts of maternity figures from West Africa, Senufo (Fig.24-6 ), ) the cliff relief of the Chinese mother at Dazu (Fig.24-7), ) and bronze sculptures of nursing mothers from India (Fig.24-2).140)


Ⅵ. Conclusion


Based on the wide variety of literary sources and visual arts, this research rests in finding out how the worship of Hāritī diffused and transformed from India to the wider regions of East and Southeast Asia. There have been two principal patterns and traditions of Hāritī in East and Southeast Asia since they diffused along different routes. However, these two traditions have been mutually influential with maritime commerce and regional migration within the Asian world, and they have merged from the 8th century.

As an originally Buddhist deity, Hāritī preserved some elements of Buddhist traditions during her spread. However, her representations have also found expressions conforming to the indigenous cultural tastes to broaden her appeal during this period, when she is gradually welcomed into the popular pantheon as the guardian of mothers and children.

Portrayed as a goddess of motherhood, the icon of Hāritī has been borrowed by other fertility female deities in Asia, such as the Heavenly Mother, Great Nannies, and the Child-bestowing Guan-yin. Actually, taking Hāritī as an example, representations of mother and child have flourished in both Eastern and Western worlds, which could be considered as evidence of a common motif in global arts as well as the commonality of diverse religions. 


(국문초록)

후사에 대한 기원(子嗣之禱)

귀자모(鬼子母), 동아(東亞)와 동남아 지역에서의 전파와 변천

유엔 츄엔 (袁泉)

유가이념(儒家理念)의 깊은 영향 아래서 중국 전통 사회는 일반 서 민이든 귀족 계층이든지 간에 모두 가족의 혈통을 잇는 것을 최고의 대사(大事)로 여겼다. 또한 일본과 동남아시아 지역에서는 풍부한 가정 노동력을 추구하여 다산(多産)에 대한 사회적인 요구가 존재하였다. 이 러한 배경 아래 동아시아와 동남아시아에는 광범위하게 송자신(送子神) 신앙 체계가 출현하여, 자식 낳기를 바라는 자의 소원을 들어주고, 임산부와 영아(嬰兒)의 보호신(保護神)으로서 널리 추앙받았다. 이러한 신령체계(神靈體系)의 기원은 각기 다른데, 오랜 인도교(印度敎)와 불 교(佛敎)로부터 전래되어 기원하였거나 또는 동아시아와 동남아 본토 의 토속 종교와 민간 신앙에서 탄생하였을 것이다. 장기간의 공존과 융합과정에서, 이들 각기 다른 연원의 송자신(送子神)은 점차 서로 같 거나 혹은 닮은 숭배 양식과 형상(形象)적 특징을 형성하게 되었다. 그 가운데 가장 대표성을 지니는 것이 귀자모(鬼子母)이며, 각기 다른 신 앙문화가 상호 융화되고 영향을 받은 중요한 사례이기도 하다. 귀자모(鬼子母)는 하리티(Hāritī, 訶利蒂 또는 訶梨帝母)고도 불린다. 가장 이른 사례로는 인도 신화 중에 영아(婴儿)를 잡아먹는 여자악귀 로서, 불교 설화에서 불조(佛祖)인 석가모니의 가르침을 받아 깊이 깨 우쳐 불교에 귀의하고, 널리 부녀자와 영아의 보호신이 되었다. 불교가 동아시아와 동남아시아 지역에 전파됨에 따라서 귀자모(鬼子母) 신앙 도 중국·일본·베트남·말레이반도와 인도네시아 등지에서 광범위하게 유행하였다. 이러한 전파 과정에서 귀자모 숭배는 점차 현지 문화 및 전통 요소와 상호 융합하며 호칭과 형상(形象) 역시 단계적으로 토착 화되어, 동아시아와 동남아시아의 ‘구자만신묘(求子萬神廟)’ 가운데의 중요한 일원이 되었다.

본 논문은 풍부한 역사 문헌과 시각 예술 자료에 기초하여, 귀자모 신(鬼子母神)의 전파와 변천 과정을 동태적인 시각에서 분석하고, 그 가운데 동아시아와 동남아시아 지역에서의 신앙적 융합과 문화적 영향 관계의 대체적인 면모를 훑어보았으며, 아시아 지역에서 오랜 세월을 거치며 이루어진 문화적 총체성과 내재 관계를 간략하게나마 엿보았 다.

주제어: 귀자모, 생육, 전파, 변천, 관음, 모성 關鍵詞: 鬼子母, 生育, 傳播, 演變, 觀音, 母性 Keywords: Hāritī, Fertility, Transformation, Diffusion, Guan‐yin, Motherhood (원고접수: 2011년 2월 24일, 심사완료 및 심사결과 통보: 4월 23일, 수정원고 접수: 10월 14일, 게재 확정: 10월 25일)





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