Monday, April 27, 2015

Well of Beauty

Just below Kongo-ji, the thirtieth temple on the Izumo Kannon Pilgrimage, is a pond-well known as the Well of Beauty. The story dates back to the 15th Century and the time known as "Warring States".

A local warlord, Saiga Yoshitomo, came to the temple and asked that the monk there  serve in his army. The monk refused. In retaliation the warlord gathered up all the statues of the temple and set fire to them. All the statues were destroyed except for one, a statue of Bato Kannon, the Horsehead Kannon.

The warlord had a beautiful, young daughter, and after her fathers sacrilegious act she suddenly became cursed with a disfiguring skin disease. The daughter came to the temple and for 7 days and nights prayed in front of the surviving Kannon statue but received no relief. An old hermit, with a long white beard, approached the girl and gave here a red cloth. He told her to take the cloth to the well below the temple and using the water there to bathe her skin.

She did as she was told and as she wiped her skin great blisters arose and then burst and underneath fresh, beautiful skin appeared.

 Small bottles of the water are on sale in a cabinet beside the well, but judging by the cobwebs I would say that sales are no longer brisk.

1 comment:

  1. This beautiful parable helps us to understand who the human being is
    Thank you very much