April 05, 2012

Benzaiten


In chapter 21 of Serpent of Time, Ryô scales Mt. Benten (弁天岳). In chapter 1, she considers a visit to Chikubu Island at the northern end of Lake Biwa. The island is home to Hôgon-ji temple, devoted to the worship of Benzaiten (弁才天).

Benzaiten is the Japanese name for the the Hindu goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune (七福神).

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Benzaiten is often shortened to Benten, and is commonly affixed to places (geographical features) and things (shrines, stores, restaurants, hotels), though not so much people.

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