|The Akafudō, Myō-ō'in temple, Mount Kōya, Heian period. Unknown artist.|
Achala, Wisdom King Immovable, his right hand wields a sword as his left makes the gesture of menace (tarjani mudra) while holding a lasso. He bites his lower lip, exposing sharp fangs, which together with his bloodshot eyes suggest his wrathful nature. Achala is one of a group of wrathful deities (krodha vighnantaka) who enable practitioners to overcome obstacles; he may be invoked to eliminate both "inner" (e.g., negative mental tendencies) and "outer" (e.g., enemies) hindrances. Achala's chief role, however, is to awaken the initiate to his or her own negative aspects and "to transform these into compassion and wisdom."
In some Buddhist texts such as the Sādhanamālā, the Hindu gods Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma and Kandarpa (god of love) are said to be "wicked" because they cause endless rebirth, and these gods are terrified of Achala because he carries a rope to bind them.
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