world seems to be enamored by the number seven. The
wonders of the world are seven and so are the seas that
travelers crossed in ancient times. The seven seas.
In Christianity it is the seven deadly sins and
today we have seven days of the week. When we are happy
we always say that “I am in seventh heaven”. What
does this mean? Is there a spiritual link to the number
seven? According to Hindu astrology number seven belongs
to “Ketu” who gives spirituality and makes a person
philosophical. Even Japanese beliefs are not far away
from the Indian beliefs. They have seven lucky Gods whom
they worship on a daily basis.
seven lucky gods bring good luck, health, wealth and
prosperity to one and all. People even keep their photos
under their pillow and go to sleep. Every household has
the figurines of seven lucky gods. Legend has it that
these Gods on New Year’s Eve enter the Japanese port
together and bring loads of happiness along. Each God
has a name and distinct specialty about themselves. Now
lets take a look at these seven lucky Gods.
is the deity of commerce and fishermen. Japanese origin.
The Mercury or Hermes of Japan. The statue holds a big
sea bream under his left arm and a fishing rod in his
right hand. He helps people to do well in business
and earn well. He also grants success to people in their
is the god of wealth and prosperity. He also is
associated with plenty as he is the giver of cereals,
pulses and a friend of farmers. The God of Five Cereals.
Also known as Mahakala in Sanskrit Daikokuten has his
origin in India. He wears a hood and holds a big bag
filled with treasures on his left shoulder. In his right
hand, he holds a lucky mallet. Often Daikokuten and
Ebisu are together and adorn the walls of shops and
merchant establishments. Symbol of prosperity, wealth
and abundance is welcomed by one and all and Japanese
are no different from others.
the god of treasure and warriors. Bravery and valour are
associated with this God. He has his origin in India and
is known as Vaisravana in Sanskrit.
He wears armor and carries a small pagoda with
treasures. Pigeon the bird of peace is his messenger.
This God gives strength and courage to people who
Hachimangu Shrine -- Hataage Benzaiten or Benzaiten,
goddess of eloquence, music and wisdom; education and
knowledge is associated with her. This Goddess is one of
the seven lucky gods worshipped by students to attain
knowledge and education. Art and culture are also a part
of creative pursuits that Japanese worship her for. In
India she is known as Goddess Saraswati who holds a
musical instrument, veena in her hand. Benzaiten plays
the biwa or Japanese mandolin.
is the god who gives contentment and happiness. He holds
a big bag containing goodies and money and also a fan.
He is said to be the only human being among the
Shichifukujin (the seven lucky gods) and thought to be a
Zen priest who was an incarnation of Bodhisattva
Maitreya. He has his origin in China and is supposed to
have attained enlightenment.
Jinja -- Fukurokuju, is the god of happiness,
longevity and wealth. He is also the giver of fertility
and virility. To beget children people pray to
Fukurokuju. He has an elongated face with a white beard
and carries a scroll that contains the secret for
longevity and also a bowl in his hand. He is basically
is the aged god who is the giver of Longevity. He along
with Fukurokuju also is the god of wisdom. He has
originated from China.