The Four Heavenly Kings are the guardian gods who watch over the four cardinal directions of the world. They are known collectively as “Feng Tiáo Yǔ Shùn” in Chinese, which means “good climate”. Each character in this mnemonic reflects the symbolic object carried by a Heavenly King. “Feng” is homonymous to the Chinese word for “sharp edge”, hence one of the Kings carries a sword. “Tiáo” sounds similar to “tune”, and so another King holds a musical instrument. “Yǔ ” means “rain”, and the corresponding symbol is an umbrella. The word “Shùn” is matched with a crimson dragon. The Four Heavenly Kings are the protectors of the world and fighters of evil. They each command a legion of supernatural creatures to protect the Dharma. Contributions made to the Four Heavenly Kings will protect us from evil and misfortunes. Businesses will run smoothly. For the sick or disadvantaged, the tide will turn for the better.
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