Resident Shinto Deity
On October 25, 2023, Menla was honored to host the Eminent Seiji Yamamoto Sensei, a Japanese master of the sacred ways of the old Shinto masters, who flew in from Japan to conduct an ancient Shinto ceremony to invite and enshrine the Shinto deity, Sukuna Hikona, at Menla. The day was blessed with beautiful weather, and the ceremony was attended by over 30 guests and Menla staff in a serene atmosphere.
Sukuna Hikona (lit. “the small lord of renown”) is a dwarf deity of healing, medicinal plants, fermentation, agriculture, magic and the netherworld, and he is revered as one of the mythic founders of the nation of Japan. As a kami (god) of healing, he is credited with the invention of cures for several diseases of humans and animals. He was traditionally invoked for protection against “creeping things” and “calamities.” “Creeping things” refers to insects, snakes, and other pests that could damage crops. As a god of agriculture, farmers would pray to him for the protection of their crops. “Calamities” is a euphemism for unseen or spiritual forces. As a marebito—a supernatural being who comes from afar bringing gifts of wisdom, spiritual knowledge and happiness—and a son of the creation god, Kamimusubi, Sukuna Hikona is considered to be omniscient and highly proficient in magic, offering protection in the way of spells and incantations. His divine form is that of a blue dragon, which resonates auspiciously with the Dalai Lama’s recognition of a large naga (water serpent-dragon deity) abiding on the land, guarding the purity of Menla’s extraordinary cold springs which have long been considered sacred by local Native American tribes.
Sukuna Hikona now has his first North American residence in the natural boulder hokora (shrine) located by the side of the road below the Lhasa Inn and supports Menla’s healing activities to benefit many people in the wider community. The hokora is open to visitors who like to offer respects and make a connection with Sukuna Hikona, the tiny yet mighty deity with global reach who can benefit all in a multitude of ways. There is also an interior altar for Sukuna Hikona by the fireplace in the Lhasa Inn dining room.
We invite you to commune with our new divine friend on your next visit!