The Four Guardians
Martialarts Mascottes: The Four Guardians 👹👹👹👹 of the Tōdai Temple, Nara, Japan. Statue in dry clay. ‘Dit is Komoku-ten, the guardian of the west, symbolizes the un of A-un. His expression is that of the spirit of power in reverse.’ (Karate-Do Kyohan, Gichin Funakoshi, blz 246)
The Cosmic Dance
A & UN: Komoku-ten 👹 met zijn gesloten mond symboliseert de “UN” van “A-Un”. “Ah” is the first sound in the Japanese alphabet, while “N” (pronounced “un”) is the last. These two sounds symbolize beginning and end, birth and death, and all possible outcomes (from alpha to omega) in the cosmic dance of existence. The first letter in Sanskrit is “Ah” as well, but the last is “Ha.” Nonetheless, the first and last sounds produced by the mouth are “Ah” and “M.” The Sanskrit “m” and the Japanese “n” sound exactly the same when hummed with mouth closed. The spiritual Sanskrit terms AHAM and AUM thus encapsulate the first letter-sound (mouth open) and the final sound (mouth closed). Others say the open mouth is to scare off demons, and the closed mouth to shelter and keep in the good spirits.
Feel the “Aaa” sound
Chant A-U-M: Take a deep breath in. As you exhale, in the same breath chant Aaa-Uuu-Mmm. Feel the “Aaa” sound in your belly, “Uuu” in your chest area, and “Mmm” in your head. Breathe in again and continue at your own pace for 2-3 minutes.