Friday, June 10, 2011

Pidgin Sanskrit

When I was in Japan I noticed that some of the Buddhist temples had symbols which didn’t look Japanese (see the picture below). My guess was that they are in Pali, but I am not sure and it would have been good to find out.
However, recently I came across another symbol (image 1 below). This time it was in a book which said that it is ‘yakushi’ - Sanskrit for ‘healing Buddha’. I think it is a distorted (images 2-4 below) Hindu and Buddhist OM’ incantation. Still don’t know how ‘OM’ became ‘yakushi’ in Japan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Figure 1 is not written in Sanskrit Devanagari script like figure 4. It's Sanskrit written in Siddham script, a script still used in Shingon. Those are also two different letters. Figure one is BAI, seed letter for Bhaisajyaguru (Yakushi). Figure 4 is Om.