Kusō-shie - The image and verses on the Nine aspects
Type of Spiritual Experience
The drawing shows a young woman fallen and being devoured by dogs and crows. It is to be found as an illustration in the Kuso-gan, but it has been frequently misinterpreted by both westerners and Buddhists!
The drawing is intended to show rebirth and one of the apects of rebirth which is being devoured or consumed. The nature of the devourers - although they look fierce says it is more than just a picture of a corpse being consumed. Both the dog and the crow are positive animals in spiritual practise.
The Kuso-gan is thought to have originated in the Great Wisdom Commentary. The Commentary on the Great Perfection of Wisdom (Ch: Dàzhìdù Lùn) is a voluminous book on The Discourse on the Great Perfection of Wisdom (Skt: Mahāprajñāpāramitā Sūtra), purportedly composed by Nāgārjuna, and translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva in 402-6 CE. Aside from acting as one of the most definitive texts elucidating Indian Buddhism for the Chinese in general, it was more specifically the inspiration for the 6th century meditation adepts (chánshī) Huìwén and Huìsī.
A description of the experience