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Wirupak (วิรูปักษ์)

Thai. Name of a deity that appears in the Ramakien, where he is described as a king and the leader of the nagas, as well as the guardian of the West. A such, he is associated with the phayanaag on the one hand and with Guang Mu Tian (fig.), i.e. one of the Four Heavenly Kings, on the other hand, whom in turn is in Vietnamese known as the Judge of the Heavens, called Thien Khuyen (fig.). In the Ramakien, he is described as a deity with a white complexion and wearing a chadah-style crown, which is topped with the figure of a naga. He is usually referred to as Thao Wirupak or ‒occasionally‒ as Phra Wirupak, and his name may also be transcribed as Wiroopak or Wiruhpak. In Sanskrit, his name means ‘Having Deformed Eyes’ or ‘Diversely-eyed’, and is transliterated Virupaksa or Virupaksha. He is the Indian lokapala of the West. However, in southern India, Virupaksa is considered to be a form of Shiva. A large statue of Wirupak, as well as statues of the guardians of the other three directions, are erected at Wat Bang Khae Noi (วัดบางแคน้อย), located along the westbank of the Klong River in the amphur Amphawah (อัมพวา), in Samut Songkhram. As one of the Four Heavenly Kings from Mahayana Buddhism he is typically found at the entrance of Chinese-Taoist temples. See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS.