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Akasagarbha statue in Sing-ji Temple, 9th century.

Akashagarbha Bodhisattva ( Sanskrit : आकाशगर्भ बोधिसत्त्व, Ākāśagarbha bodhisattva , Chinese  虛空 藏 菩薩 , Pinyin Xū kōng zàng pú sà , Japanese 虚空 蔵 菩薩 , Kokūzō bosatsu , tib . : ནམ་མཁའི་ སྙིང་ པོ ། , nam mkha'i snying ), in English " Bodhisattva of space", so called because his wisdom and happiness reach as far as the infinity of the universe, is a central figure in Shingon Buddhism as well as Nichiren Buddhism and one of the eight great Bodhisattvas of Mahayana -Buddhism. He is also known as the twin brother of the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha and is often depicted with a crown studded with diamonds that represent the five wisdoms. In his right hand he holds the sword of justice, in his left hand a lotus flower and a precious stone. The lotus flower in this case stands for good circumstances and the gemstone for the fulfillment of wishes.


  • The Writings of Nichiren Shonin . University of Hawai'i Press, Vol. 1-4, ISBN 0824827333
  • A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts . Nichiren Shosho International Center, ISBN 4888720142
  • Visser, MW de. The Bodhisattva Akasagarbha (Kokuzo) in China and Japan, Amsterdam: The Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, 1931.