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Photo: Songgwangsa Temple Virupaksa (www.koreatemple.net)
The Four Guardian
This structure enshrines four heavenly kings(四天王)
Defends the Western Quarter and holds a pagoda
They are said to dwell each on a side of Mt.Sumeru and serve King Sakra(제석천)residing in the Palace of Correct Vies, in Tusita at the summit of the mighty mountain.
The heavenly kings vow to protect the Dharma Truths as well as all who embrace the religion. Their ferocious looks reflect their duty to force unruly spirits into submission, or at least focus the minds of temple visitors