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Term Definition
托塔天王《俗语佛源》
在“四大天王中”中,托塔天王最为中国民间所熟悉。梵名毗沙门(Vaisramana),即北方多闻天王。其形象一般为绿身。相传唐天宝年间,胡兵犯安西,托塔天王化身为金甲神人却退敌军(见《僧史略》卷下),朝廷敕寺院置别院供养。《陀罗尼集经》卷一谓该天王“左手执矟拄地,右手擎塔”。而不空译《北方毗沙门天王随军护法真言》则谓:“其塔奉释迦牟尼佛,即拥遣第三子那吒捧行,莫离其侧。”清·俞樾《茶香室三钞》卷十九指出:“《宣和画谱》:陆探微有《托塔天王图》。余于《曲园杂纂》三十六引《元史·舆服志》,见托塔天王之说有所本。今乃知六朝时早见于图画矣。”提到托塔天王,就会想起唐初名将李靖。元·杨暹《西游记》杂剧中已有“毗沙门下李天王”之说。明代小说《西游记》则把北方多闻天王和托塔天王分为两神。其第四回谓:“王帝封托塔天王李靖为降魔大元帅,那吒三太子为三坛海会大神。”托塔天王如何与李靖联系在一起,情况不详,或为民间讹传附会(参见《文献通考·郊社考》)。(李明权)
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