Spiritual site of Sensouji-Temple Complex in Asakusa

A statue, called “Obinzuru-Sama”, is sitting on the pedestal stone in the posture of folding up right leg and left leg resting on a small pedestal down below in front of Daigyou-In prayer’s hall which is located on the left side of Hozoumon-gate of Sensouji Temple in Asakusa area.

“Obinzuru-Sama” is a real person who lived as one of 16 disciples under Buddha in the middle reaches of the Ganges River in the northern part of India in about 450 B.C..
He is called “Pindolabh-Aradvaja” in Sanskrit. He was an arhat (Buddhism saint) who attained a state of enlightenment after severe asceticism.

Stroked statue to give us curing and healing

Buddhism was propagated from India through Korean peninsula to Japan in the mid-6th century and then it was gradually syncretized with Japanese indigenous religion, Shintoism.

In the process of the propagation, Buddha and its disciples were introduced to Japanese in the form of various images.
Among these images, “Pindolabh-Aradvaja” appeared to be called adorable “Obinzuru-Sama” who had a supernatural power and became familiar to many of Japanese people.
It has been said for a long ago that an afflicted part is cured if you stroke the part of your body and then the corresponding one on the statue of “Obinzuru-Sama”.

I sometimes visited Daigyou-In prayer’s hall where my guardian deity named Acala (Wisdom King) is being worshipped. This deity is designated by the twelve horary signs of oriental zodiac based on my birth year.
Every time I observed many believers were forming a line towards the statue of Obinzuru-Sama in front of Daigyou-In prayer’s hall. And they were piously stroking shoulder, head, arm and other parts of the statue, wishing their afflicted parts to be cured.
Since so many people stroked it, the bronze statue is glittering in a divine light.
Some of foreign tourists are watching the believers’ praying manners with curiosity.

When I went there to pray to my guardian deity last week, I found out that one foreign tourist was stroking his bald slippery head with his left hand and the shiny head of Obinzuru-Sama’s statue with his right hand.
I was wondering if he wished to be blessed with a supernatural power of “Obinzuru-Sama” or the glossy head of the statue.

The Obinzuru-Sama has been loved by men and women of all ages as a well-disposed and friendly deity through their skin contact in Japan.