Older than the history of Buddhism
God of treasure, warfare, and punishing evil
Half way down Mount Sumeru
Bishamonten (毘沙門天), also known as Vaiśravaṇa or Jambhala, is an actual god in Buddhist mythology with many depictions in different areas of Asia. He is the guardian of the northern direction, and his home is in the northern quadrant of the topmost tier of the lower half of Mount Sumeru. He is the leader of all the yakṣas who dwell on the Sumeru's slopes. In Japan he is thought of as an armor-clad god of warriors and warfare, and punisher of evildoers. Bishamonten is portrayed holding a spear in one hand and a small pagoda in the other hand, symbolizing the divine treasure house whose contents he both guards and gives away. In Japanese folklore, he is one of the Seven Gods of Fortune.
The name Bishamonten (毘沙門天) is comprised of 毘沙門 bishamon, an approximation of the original Sanskrit name (Vaiśravaṇ) and the suffix 天 ten meaning "heaven" or "god." He is also sometimes called Tamonten (多聞天), which means "listening to many teachings".
Byakuren has long been devoted to Bishamonten and she decided to summon Bishamonten to her temple. However, he was very busy and, thus, never came. Byakuren realized that the youkai around her temple were fearful of Bishamonten, thinking that he would exterminate them. Bishamonten was around the temple most of the time, which made the youkai scared of going to the temple. Byakuren came up with a plan. She introduced the most straightforward and honest youkai to Bishamonten on the mountain and in exchange, to gather faith. The chosen youkai was Shou Toramaru. Bishamonten quietly took Shou as his disciple. However, she did not get his full trust, so he assigned Nazrin (who was Bishamonten's helper) to keep watch on Shou. Despite Bishamonten's worries, Shou didn't cause any problems at all.
Byakuren is his devotee.
Shou is his disciple and avatar.
Nazrin is his helper.
- Bishamonten is said to have aided Prince Shotoku against the Mononobe clan; it is unknown whether this is true in the Touhou canon.
- Wikipedia entry for Bishamonten
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