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Four guardians of the night in Montreal

작성일
2023.09.08
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Hyesun Ko
 
Canada

In Buddhism, the Four Heavenly Kings are powerful deities who act as guardians of the world and protectors against evil. In South Korea, the four guardians are portrayed as warriors holding weapons that trample demons. Temples install their statues at the gates to protect the temple and evoke awe and respect. 
Each of them guards one of the cardinal points carrying weapons or symbolic objects. The guardian of the East always has a blue face and carries a pipa. The southern guardian bears a red surface and grips a sword in his hand. The Western guardian features a white countenance and is escorted by an Asian dragon and its magic pearl. Lastly, the guardian of the North possesses a black appearance and clutches a small stupa in his hand.
At present, the four guardians of the night masquerade as urban wild animals, struggling to coexist with humans while showcasing significant modern symbolic objects before Montreal's inhabitants.
Who would have thought that one day these starved, jeered, hunted, and killed creatures would metamorphose into the four divine gatekeepers at the pearly gates of paradise, as well as the arbitrators of humans' karma trying to cross it?

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