Mārīcī (मारीची / ऋषि मरीचि, Öser Chenma) in Sanskrit means "Ray of Light".
The origins of Marici (मारीची / ऋषि मरीचि, Öser Chenma) are obscure.
However, she appears to be an amalgamation of Indic, Iranian and non-Indo-Iranian Antecedents, spanning 1500 years.
Mārīcī (मारीची / ऋषि मरीचि, Öser Chenma) is worshipped in India, Tibet, China, Japan and other Asian countries.
In Mahayana (महायान) and Vajrayana (वज्रयाना) Buddhism (बौद्ध धर्म), Mārīcī (मारीची / ऋषि मरीचि, Öser Chenma), is a Deva (देव) or a Bodhisattva (बोधिसत्त्व), associated with Light and the Sun.
- Deva (देव / Deity) is a non-human being, who share the godlike characteristics of being more powerful, longer-lived, and, in general, much happier than humans, although the same level of veneration is not paid to them as to Buddhas (बुद्ध).
- Bodhisattva (बोधिसत्त्व) is a person who is on the path towards Buddhahood (बुद्धत्व), the condition or rank of a Buddha (बुद्ध) "awakened one".
Mārīcī (मारीची / ऋषि मरीचि, Öser Chenma) is one of the Guardian Devas (गार्जियन देवास / Guardian Deities).
In Tibet, Marici (मारीची) is known as Öser Chenma (ऋषि मरीचि), the "Endowed with Rays of Light".
Öser Chenma (ऋषि मरीचि) is a Yidam (यिदाम / Personal Deity), the physical symbol of the influence of the Gods.
She is the Goddess of the Dawn.
Furthermore, Marici (मारीची) is a Yakṣī (यक्षी) or Yakshinī (यक्षिणी).
- Yaksha (यक्ष) is the name of a broad class of Nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots.
They appear in Hindu (हिंदू), Jain (जैन) and Buddhist (बौद्ध) Literature.
The feminine form of the word is: Yakṣī (यक्षी) or Yakshinī (यक्षिणी).
In Buddhist (बौद्ध) Literature, the Yaksha (यक्ष) are the attendants of Vaiśravaṇa (वैसरावना), the Guardian of the Northern Quarter, a beneficent God who protects the righteous.
Marici (मारीची) has also sometimes included as one of the Twelve Heavenly Generals, associated with Bhaiṣajyaguru (भैय्यागुरु), the Buddha (बुद्ध) of Medicine.
In general, Sanskrit "Marici" (मारीची) is the name of a Buddhist Goddess (बौद्ध देवी), representing an amalgamation of several Hindu (हिंदू) Antecedents, primarily the God Marici (मारीची), who is considered to have been a son of Brahma (ब्रह्मा / 梵天, Bonten) or one of the Ten Patriarchs created by the First Lawgiver, Manu (मनु).
The Deity assumed female form on adoption into Buddhism (बौद्ध धर्म).
In China, Marici (馬里奇 / मारीची) is known as Molizhitian (摩利支天) or Molizhitian Pusa (摩利支天菩萨) and she is worshipped as both a Buddhist (佛教) and a Taoist (道教) Deity.
She is highly revered in Esoteric Buddhism (深奧佛教).
She is celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th Lunar month.
Among Chinese Buddhists (佛教), she is worshipped as the Goddess of Light and as the Guardian of all nations, whom she protects from the fury of war.
In Taoism (道教), she is known under the epithet of the "Dipper Mother" (斗母元君 / Dǒumǔ Yuánjūn), a name also used by Buddhists (佛教).
Dou Mu (杜穆) remains a popular Deity and is often referred to as Queen of Heaven (天后 / Tiān Hòu) and is widely worshipped as the Goddess of Beidou (北斗/ the Chinese equivalent of Ursa Major except that it also includes 2 "attendant" stars).
She is also revered as the Mother of the Nine Emperor Gods, who are represented by the nine stars in the Beidou (北斗) constellation.
Furthermore, she is called Mother of Stars, or the Lord of Stars (斗母元君 / Dau Mo Yuen Gwun), as the Goddess that governs all the Tai Sui (太穗) Deities.
Marici (馬里奇 / मारीची) came to China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).
In Japan, Marici (マリシテン, Marishiten / मारीची) is an important Deity in the Shingon (真言宗) and Tendai (天台) Buddhist Schools.
She was adopted by the Bujin (ブジン) or Samurai (武士) in the 8th century CE as a protector and patron.
While devotions to Marici (マリシテン, Marishiten / मारीची) predate Zen (禅), they appear to be geared towards a similar meditative mode in order to enable the warrior to achieve a more heightened spiritual level.
The worship of Marici (マリシテン, Marishiten / मारीची) was to provide a way to achieve selflessness and compassion through Buddhist (仏教) training by incorporating a passion for the mastery of the self.
Samurai (武士) would invoke Marici (マリシテン, Marishiten / मारीची) at sunrise to achieve victory.
Since Marici (マリシテン, Marishiten / मारीची) means "light" or mirage, she was invoked to escape the notice of one's enemies.
She was also later worshipped in the Edo Period (江戸) as a Goddess of wealth and prosperity by the merchant class, alongside Daikoku-ten (大黒天) and Benzaiten (弁財天) as part of a trio of Santen (三天 / "Three Deities").
Marici (マリシテン, Marishiten / मारीची) is also believed to be a non-standard member of the Seven Lucky Gods (七福神, Shichifukujin) who is largely supplanted by Benzaiten (弁財天 / Japanese Buddhist Goddess who originated from the Hindu goddess Saraswati).
She is also believed to be the consort of Dainichi Nyorai (木造大日如来坐像 / the Primordial or Cosmic Buddha) and the harbinger of Dainichi (大日/ Celestial Buddha), associated with the blinding rays and fire of the rising sun, and thus with the power of mirage and invisibility.