This is a statue of Kannon Bodhisattva outside the Zenshuhi Zen temple in downtown Los Angeles. Once a week I visit Kannon here at Zenshuji.
Kannon is the Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion or goddess of mercy. Kannon is often pictured next to Amida Buddha. In the crown on Kannon can be seen an image of Amida Buddha who was Kannon's spiritual teacher before Kannon became a Bodhisattva. Amida Buddha is the principal Buddha of the Pure Land sect
Above are six Jizo statues outside Zenshuji. Jizo is also a Bodisattva and the name is translated as "Earth Treasury", "Earth Store", or "Earth Womb". Jizo is known for his vow not to achieve Buddhahood until all the various hells are emptied. In Japan, Jizo is one of the most beloved of deities and you will see Jizo statues all over Japan. Jizo is considered the guardian of children and travelers but there are actually dozens of other various Jizo's who provide protection for many different people. Since Jizo is the savior of souls, you will often find him in cemeteries in Japan. Also, since he provides protection to travelers, Jizo is a common site along the roadsides of Japan.
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