Skanda Buddhism


Skanda is regarded in Chinese Buddhism as a consecrated guardian of the Dharma and a Bodhisattva. He is one of the twenty-four heavenly guardians. Skanda is the head of these twenty-three heavenly guardians. He serves the Four Heavenly Kings.

In most Chinese temples, an image of Skanda stands next to a Guanyin or Buddha image. He stands to the left of the image. Sangharama's image then stands to the right of the Guanyin or Buddha image.

In Chinese sutras, an image of Skanda is at the end of the sutra. It reminds people that Skanda protects and preserves Buddhist teachings.

According to legends, Skanda was the son of a virtuous king who believed strongly in Buddhist teachings. When Gautama Buddha attained nirvana, Skanda was given the task of protecting the Dharma. Skanda had to protect the members of the Sangha when they were disturbed by a mara. Skanda also resolved conflicts between members of the Sangha.

A few days after the death and cremation of Buddha, evil demons came to steal the relics of Gautama. Skanda immediately intervened, chased away the demons and returned the relics.
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