37. Takahiro Kitamura on Mike Rubendall – Gundari Myoo

37. Mike Rubendall 500x500

Hey, my name is Mike Rubendall. I’m a tattoo artist from New York, and this is a back piece I did in 2011. It took approximately 90 hours from start to finish, and this specific character that you’re looking at is a deity named Gundari Myo-o. And Gundari Myo-o is one of the five great wisdom kings – one of the five Myo-o, being associated with Fudo Myo-o, the most famous. And Myo-o is a group of war-like deities. They’re known as mantra kings, or wisdom kings, or knowledge kings. And typically you’ll see a Myo-o statue appear ferocious and menacing. You’ll see it with threatening postures and threatening and ferocious faces, and that’s basically designed to subdue evil and frighten unbelievers into accepting Buddhist law. They represent the luminescent wisdom of Buddhism, they protect the Buddhist teachings, remove all obstacles to enlightenment, and force evil to surrender.

Gundari Myo-o represents the South, and is called the enemy of devils, which is part of the reason for his fierce looks. You will often see Gundari Myo-o standing with his feet on lotuses. His left foot is sometimes raised and his body in the act of leaping. You can see here he has three eyes, fangs, he has a human skull within his headdress. He has eight arms, and you’ll often find serpents or snakes coiled around his ankles and wrists. If you look, he has two hands crossed upon his breast. The lower-right hand is open and pointing to the earth, the second is in a mudra position, and the third holds a vajra. One left hand near the knee holds a kind of an axe, if you’ll see, and the other holds a long stick and it has a trident on the end. The third one is holding a wheel right about the height of the head. Now these are all very important components that make up Gundari Myo-o. In my opinion, it’s also very important to study and research these subjects very thoroughly before tattooing them.

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