Buddhist Worldly Protector: Virupaksha, Guardian of the West

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Virupaksha (Tibetan: chen mi zang): Guardian of the Western Direction and King of the Nagas.

"Well protecting the Buddha's Teachings with heroic strength of arms; homage to the Kings of the Four Directions, North, South, East and West." (Sakya liturgical verse).

From the set of the Four Guardian Kings of the Directions the other three are Vaishravana - the leader, Virudhaka and Dhritarashtra. Traditionally painted in association with the Buddha and 16 Great Arhats the full group would comprise a total of 25 figures: the buddha Shakyamuni together with the two foremost disciples - Shariputra and Maudgalyayana, the 16 Arhats, the attendant Dharmata and the patron Hvashang, together with the Four Kings

Jeff Watt 9-99