The Japanese name for the Hindu warrior deity Mahākāla, “Great Black Deva,” the Buddhist name for Shiva. Daikokuten belongs to the group of Mahâdevas. He is very kindly disposed toward the Three Treasures (triratna) and protects the five multitudes (of Buddhists) against destruction.
Whoever asks Daikokuten for favor will find their wishes granted. At meal time incense, fire, food, and drink are offered on his altar.
The magic mallet in his right hand can miraculously produce anything desired when struck. It is decorated with the sacred wish-granting jewel which represents the themes of wealth and unfolding possibility.
This jewel, of great importance to Buddhist tradition, is said to grant the wishes of its holder, to pacify desires, and to bring clear understanding of the Dharma. It is one of the seven symbols of royal power in Buddhism and is shown on his chest, here.
Daikokuten’s magic mallet is sometimes also inscribed with icons symbolizing the male and female principles, and at other times with a pear-shaped insignia consisting of three rings, one atop each other. These symbols suggest that sexual energy can be a powerful source of wealth and prosperity.