19. Bishamon

 They are appointed to watch over your happiness and prosperity. They appear mostly in a guise of a centipede. They are different from ordinary ones. There is something glossy and noble about them, and they appear in a drawing room, sitting room, and in the places Kohjins and water-gods preside over. You must not kill them by mistaking them for common centipedes. You may take their appearance for a sign of some change in your happiness and prosperity. A spider, an ant, and a dragon-fly besides a centipede are sometimes sent, too. If you kill or injure them, you will be down your luck little by little periodically, and in the end will be brought to ruin. Therefore, you should not kill or injure such centipedes that appear in your house. When you see them, you say "Thank you for your trouble.", and set it free outdoors chanting (Namu Chuh Koh Miyoh Hoh Ten Quay I be an exemplary person with the best of balance in all respects, full of affection and spirit of co-operation, and in accordance with truth, reason, and law.)'. If you are punished for having killed or injured a Bishamon or his dependants, you will not be able to do anything for your pains. Even though you are very busy with business, your expenses will be more than your income. Prosperous trade will fail, and only faithless friends will surround you. Once you fall low or are ruined, they will give you a wide berth. I recommend that you apologize to a Bishamon when you are aware of having committed such a sin against him, saying "Honarable Bishamon, I'm to blame for my having wounded your dependant. I won't fail to do the Kuyoh for their Johbutsu (the Heavenly rule to send off spirits and help them to get to the blissful and peaceful state in the spirit world after death). I beg your pardon." Then you should help them to get to Johbutsu with the Mukade Taisan Kuyoh-Hoh (the Heavenly rule for centipede-souls). If you do this, I am sure that you will see a change in friends who surround you, that is, strangely enough, bad companions leave you, and good friends approach you. You can see money without feeling in a spending mood, and you can possibly save money. When you chant our Kyohtens (canons) from your heart, his figure sometimes becomes smaller or bigger, and then, suddenly vanish, and only the Bishamon's cast-off skin remains.

 A certain mistress said that her business was failing. Wren I taught her that it was due to a Bishamon's punishment, she said "Just three years ago, I visited a temple where a Bishamon had been enshrined, and at that time I said to the Bishamon (Thanks to your protection for me, my shop is doing a flourishing business. Please show yourself to me at least once. Since I have been so faithful, you might at least show yourself.' " She went home after saying such a rude thing.
Just when she arrived home, she saw her maid killing a centipede nearly ten inches long by cutting it in two with tongs in the sitting room. She was not aware that a Bishamon's body can be a centipede. After that, her situation reversed itself, and three years later, she was ruined.

 A certain person had a bad pain in his legs and was seriously ill. Though he took all possible care - medicines, X-ray, and so on, he did not get well. However, he got better after many spiritual causes [possession, curse, Nenryoh (grudge), etc.] of his disease had been removed, but felt pain again after a while. When I said to him that a servant of Bishamon came yesterday and said "I was injured in the leg.", and asked him if he did not see a centipede quite recently, his daughter sitting near him replied "I dreamed a centipede was on my chest, and as I brushed it away with my hand, I broke one of its leg." At the same time, his maid said "As for a centipede, I saw it yesterday. I found it on the bed-cover just as I opened it to deal with my master's feces, I put the centipede on a holding fan, and went and threw it away. I think the leg was broken at that time. Oh, how fearful !" After he begged pardon of the Bishamon, his leg-ache stopped immediately, and he, who suffered from such a serious illness, was able to squat on Tatami, straw mat in a week. After a while he got completely well.

 A Spider that spins its web scarcely haunts you, but one that comes down quietly from above or suddenly comes in sight in your house often haunts you if it is killed or injured by you. Therefore, you must take care not to kill or injure it. As for ants also, the same can be said in case of the big ones and strange ones that appear in your house. The ordinary small worms have very little Tsuhriki (personal power) of their own but if you have killed many of them, you should occasionally hold the Kuyoh (the Heavenly rule for saving spirits: Ref. Chapt. 25) for them so that they can rest in peace. They can even disturb your discipline as a human if they are all united against you by having your will under their control, though individually they may have little power.