Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby thornbush » Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:30 am

This thread is looking at various links and discussions from resources on Shingon and anyone is open to add anything to further enhance our understanding of what Shingon is. Welcome to this discussion on Shingon 101.

Books recommended and those not on the subject in a thread by the Rev Eijo, a Shingon priest, of E-Sangha Forum:
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... t&p=713408
Short answer:read Hakeda's Kukai: Major Works several times. (see below)
Long answer: Some books to look at (there are a couple others I know of that I haven't been able to see yet):
Abe, Ryuichi. The Weaving of Mantra, Kukai and the Construction of Esoteric Discourse. Columbia University Press: New York, 1999.
Astley-Kristensen, Ian. The Rishukyo: The Sino-Japanese Tantric Prajnaparamita in 150 Verses (Amoghavajra's Version). The Institute of Buddhist Studies: Tring, UK, 1991.
Giebel, Rolf. Two Esoteric Sutras. Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 2001.
———— . et. al. Shingon Texts. Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 2004.
Hakeda, Yoshito. The Awakening of Faith. Columbia University Press: New York, 1967. (not exclusively a Shingon text, but key to Shingon)
———— . Kukai: Major Works. Columbia University Press: New York, 1972.
Hodge, Stephen. The Maha-Vairocana-Abhisambodhi Tantra: With Buddhaguhya's Commentary. Curzon Press, 2000.
Kiyota, Minoru. Shingon Buddhism: Theory and Practice. Buddhist Books International: Los Angeles-Tokyo, 1978.
———— . The Tantric Concept of Bodhicitta: A Buddhist Experiential Philosophy. Wisconsin-Madison, 1982.
Payne, Karl Richard. The Tantric Ritual of Japan. Aditya: New Delhi, 1991.
———— . ed. Re-Visioning "Kamakura" Buddhism. University of Hawaii Press, 1988.
———— . ed. Tantric Buddhism in East Asia. Wisdom, 2000.
Sawa, Takaaki. Art in Japanese Esoteric Buddhism. Weatherhill/Heibonsha: New York/Tokyo, 1972.
Snodgrass, Adrian. The Matrix and Diamond World Mandalas in Shingon Buddhism. Aditya: New Delhi, 1988.
Tanabe, George, Jr., ed. Religions of Japan in Practice. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1999.
Unno, Mark. Shingon Refractions: Myoe and the Mantra of Light. Wisdom Publications: Boston, 2004.
van der Veere, Hendrik. A Study into the Thought of Kogyo Daishi Kakuban. Hotei Publishing: Leiden, 2000.
Wayman, Alex & Tajima, R. The Enlightnment of Vairocana. Motilal Banarsidass: Delhi, 1992.
Yamasaki, Taiko. Shingon: Japanese Esoteric Buddhism. Shambhala: Boston & London, 1988.

Some books I don’t recommend:
Gibson, Morgan. Tantric poetry of Kukai (Kobo Daishi), Japan's Buddhist saint: With excerpts from the Mahavairocana sutra and I-Hsing's Commentary. Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, 1982
Miyata, Taisen. A study of the Ritual Mudras in the Shingon Tradition: A Phenomenological Study on the Eighteen Ways of Esoteric Recitation (Juhachido nenju kubi shidai, Chuin-ryu) in the Koyasan Tradition.
Oda, Ryuko. Kaji: Empowerment and Healing in Esoteric Buddhism.
Yamamoto, Chikyo. History of Mantrayana in Japan (Indian reprint)
———— . Mahavairocana-sutra: Translated into English from Ta-p'i lu che na ch'eng-fo shen-pien chia-ch'ih ching, the Chinese version of Subhakarasimha and I-hsing, A.D. 725 (Indian reprint)

History:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shingon_Buddhism
Shingon Buddhism (眞言, 真言 "true words") is a major school of Japanese Buddhism, and is the other branch of Vajrayana Buddhism besides Tibetan Buddhism. It is often called "Japanese Esoteric Buddhism". The word shingon is the Japanese reading of the kanji for the Chinese word zhen yan, literally meaning "true words", which in turn is the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit word mantra.

Shingon Buddhism arose in Japan's Heian period (794-1185) when the monk Kūkai went to China in 804 and studied tantric practices in the city of Xian and returned with many texts and art works. In time, he developed his own synthesis of esoteric practice and doctrine, centered on the universal Buddha Vairocana (or, more accurately, Mahavairocana Tathagata). He established a monastery on Mount Koya, which became the head of the Shingon sect of Buddhism.

Shingon enjoyed immensely popularity during the Heian Period, particularly among the Heian nobility, and contributed greatly to the art and literature of the time, as well as influencing other communities, such as the Tendai sect on Mt. Hiei.[1]

Also, Shingon's emphasis on ritual found support in the Kyoto nobility, particularly the Fujiwara clan. This favor allotted Shingon several politically powerful temples in the capital, where rituals for the imperial family and nation were regularly performed. Many of these temples such as Toji and Daigoji in the South of Kyoto and Jingoji and Ninnaji in the Northwest became ritual centers establishing their own particular ritual lineages.

http://www.shingon.org/history/history.html
SHINGON BUDDHISM is a religion that was established by Kôbô Daishi (Kûkai) at the beginning of the Heian period (9th century), and its teachings are known as Shingon Esoteric Buddhism (Shingon Buddhism).

This form of Buddhism is also known in Japanese as mikkyô, meaning "secret teaching". Mikkyô is one of several streams of practice within the Mahâyana Buddhist tradition. Mikkyô blends many doctrines, philosophies, deities, religious rituals, and meditation techniques from a wide variety of sources. Assimilation of Hindu and local deities and rituals was especially marked in the Buddhism that became Mikkyô. Such diverse elements came together over time and, combining with Mahâyåna philosophical teachings, formed a comprehensive Buddhist system of doctrine and practice.

Shingon represents the middle period of esoteric Buddhist development in India. This, extending from the seventh into the eighth century, was the time when the Mahâvairocana Sutra and Vajra Sekhara Sutra were compiled. Esoteric Buddhist history was practiced from India to Central Asia, Ceylon, China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and Tibet. The Mikkyô tradition continues in Japan today, but in other lands where the Indian source tradition developed in varying ways, the esoteric Buddhist teachings have mostly declined, some to the point of extinction.

http://www.koyasan.org/nckoyasan/introduction.html
Shingon is a form of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, it is also called Shingon Mikkyo. This school was founded in 804 AD by Kukai (Kobo Daishi) in Japan.

http://www.buzan.or.jp/eng/q2.htm
...in the early Heian Period (ninth century), Kobo Daishi was initiated into all the secrets of the esoteric teachings by the great master Hui‐kuo(746‐805)during his studies in China.
After returning to Japan, he founded the S hingon Sect, which then set up its center on Mt.Koya in present‐day Wakayama Prefecture and propagated its teachings from there.
In the late Heian Period (12th century), however, it temporarily fell into decay.It was Kogyo Daishi who revived the teachings o f Kobo Daishi and threw new energy into the Shingon Sect.
He founded Negoro-Ji Temple near Mt.Koya as a new center, where the teachings of Kogyo Daishi were kept alive.

Thus Shingi Shingon Sect came to be founded by Raiyu Sojo(Archbishop Raiyu) on the basis of "a new interpretation of Shingon(true words or mantras)" in the Kamakura Period(1192-1333).
Shingi Shingon Sect flourished, centering around Negoro-ji temple, which was unfortunately set on fire in the Sengoku Period (from about mid-15th century to about the mid-16th century)and thus thrown into a state of total destruction. As a result,two prominent learned priests, Senyo Sojo and Genyu Sojo left the temple.
The latter founded Chizan‐ha(Chizan Division) at Chishaku‐in temple in Kyoto, while the former founded Buzan‐ha at Hase dera temple in Nara.The name of Buzan-ha derives its origin from the name of the mountain where Hase‐dera Temple was built. In the Edo Period (1603‐1867), Hase‐dera Temple flourished very much as the head temple of Buzan‐ha and also as a place of learning. In the Cantou district, Ryuko Sojo(Archbishop Ryuko) of Buzan‐ha won the strong confidence of the Tokugawa government and founded Gokoku‐ji temple as a big base of religious activities and constructed many other subordinate temples around the district, thereby building up the prosperity of the Buzan‐ha temples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shingon_Buddhism
Like the Tendai School that branched into the Jōdo, Zen and Nichiren Schools in the Kamakura period, Shingon also divided into two major branches: Kogi Shingon (古儀真言宗 ,Old Shingon?) and Shingi Shingon (新義真言宗 ,New Shingon?).
This division primarily arose out of a political dispute between Kakuban and his faction of priests centered at the Denbō-in Hall (伝法院) and the leadership at Kongōbuji, the head of Mt. Kōya. Kakuban, who was originally ordained at Ninnaji in Kyoto, studied at several temple-centers (including the Tendai temple complex at Onjiyōji) before going to Mt. Kōya.
Through his connections, he managed to gain the favor of high ranking nobles in Kyoto, which helped him to be appointed abbot of Mt. Kōya. The leadership at Kongōbuji, however, opposed the appointment on the premise that Kakuban had not originally been ordained on Mt. Kōya.
After several conflicts Kakuban and his faction of priests left the mountain for Mt. Negoro to the northwest, where they constructed a new temple complex, now known as Negoroji.
After the death of Kakuban in 1143, the Negoro faction returned to Mt. Kōya.
However in 1288, the conflict between Kongōbuji and the Denbōe came to a head once again. Led by Raiyu, the Denbōe priests once again left Mt. Kōya, this time establishing their headquarters on Mt. Negoro.
This exodus marked the beginning of the Shingi Shingon School at Mt. Negoro, which was the center of Shingi Shingon until sacked by Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1585.

During the initial stages of his predication in Japan, the Catholic missionary Francis Xavier was welcomed by the Shingon monks since he used the word Dainichi for the Christian God. As Xavier learned more about the religious nuances of the word, he changed to Deusu from the Latin and Portuguese Deus. The monks also realized by that point that Xavier was preaching a rival religion.

Namo Amida Butsu!
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby thornbush » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:57 am

Teachings
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shingon_Buddhism
The teachings of Shingon are based on esoteric Vajrayana texts, the Mahavairocana Sutra and the Vajrasekhara Sutra (Diamond Crown Sutra). These two mystical teachings are shown in the main two mandalas of Shingon, namely, the Womb Realm (Taizokai) mandala and the Diamond Realm (Kongo Kai) mandala. Vajrayana Buddhism is concerned with the ritual and meditative practices leading to enlightenment. According to Shingon, enlightenment is not a distant, foreign reality that can take aeons to approach but a real possibility within this very life, based on the spiritual potential of every living being, known generally as Buddha-nature. If cultivated, this luminous nature manifests as innate wisdom. With the help of a genuine teacher and through properly training the body, speech, and mind, we can reclaim and liberate this enlightened capacity for the benefit of ourselves and others.

Kūkai also systematized and categorised the teachings he inherited into ten stages or levels of spiritual realisation. He wrote at length on the difference between exoteric (both mainstream Buddhism and Mahayana) and esoteric (Vajrayana) Buddhism. The differences between exoteric and esoteric can be summarised as:
1. Esoteric teachings are preached by the Dharmakaya Buddha (hosshin seppo) which Kūkai identifies with Mahavairocana. Exoteric teachings are preached by the Nirmanakaya Buddha, also known as Gautama Buddha, or one of the Sambhoghakaya Buddhas.
2. Exoteric Buddhism holds that the ultimate state of Buddhahood is ineffable, and that nothing can be said of it. Esoteric Buddhism holds that while nothing can be said of it verbally, it is readily communicated via esoteric rituals which involve the use of mantras, mudras, and mandalas.
3. Kūkai held that exoteric doctrines were merely provisional, skillful means (upaya) on the part of the Buddhas to help beings according to their capacity to understand the Truth. The esoteric doctrines by comparison are the Truth itself, and are a direct communication of the "inner experience of the Dharmakaya's enlightenment".
4. Some exoteric schools in late Nara and early Heian Japan held (or were portrayed by Shingon adherents as holding) that attaining Buddhahood is possible but requires a huge amount of time (three incalculable aeons) of practice to achieve, whereas esoteric Buddhism teaches that Buddhahood can be attained in this lifetime by anyone.

Kūkai held, along with the Huayan (Jp. Kegon) school that all phenomena could be expressed as 'letters' in a 'World-text'. Mantra, mudra, and mandala are special because they constitute the 'language' through which the Dharmakaya (i.e. Reality itself) communicates. Although portrayed through the use of anthropomorphic metaphors, Shingon does not see the Dharmakaya Buddha as a god, or creator. The Dharmakaya is in fact a symbol for the true nature of things which is impermanent and empty of any essence. The teachings were passed from Mahavairocana.

In Shingon, Mahavairocana Tathagata is the universal or primordial Buddha that is the basis of all phenomena, present in each and all of them, and not existing independently or externally to them. The goal of Shingon is the realization that one's nature is identical with Mahavairocana, a goal that is achieved through initiation (for ordained followers), meditation and esoteric ritual practices. This realization depends on receiving the secret doctrine of Shingon, transmitted orally to initiates by the school's masters. Body, speech, and mind participate simultaneously in the subsequent process of revealing one's nature: the body through devotional gestures (mudra) and the use of ritual instruments, speech through sacred formulas (mantra), and mind through meditation.

Shingon places special emphasis on the Thirteen Buddhas[2], a grouping of various Buddhas and boddhisattvas:

* Acala Vidyaraja (Fudō-Myōō)
* Akasagarbha Bodhisattva (Kōkūzō)
* Akshobhya Buddha (Ashuku Nyorai)
* Amitabha Buddha (Amida Nyorai)
* Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Kannon)
* Bhaisajyaguru Buddha (Yakushirurikō Nyorai)
* Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva (Jizo)
* Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva (Seishi)
* Manjusri Bodhisattva (Monju)
* Maitreya Bodhisattva (Miroku)
* Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (Fugen)
* Shakyamuni Buddha (Shaka Nyorai)

Mahavairocana is the Universal Principle which underlies all Buddhist teachings, according to Shingon Buddhism, so other Buddhist figures can be thought of as manifestations with certain roles and attributes. Each Buddhist figure is symbolized by its own Sanskrit "seed" letter as well.

Practices and features
A typical Shingon shrine, with Mahavairocana at the center of the shrine, and the Womb Realm (Taizokai) and Diamond Realm (Kongokai) mandalas.

One feature that Shingon shares in common with the other surviving school of Esoteric Buddhism (Tendai) is the use of seed-syllables or bija (bīja) along with anthropomorphic and symbolic representations, to express Buddhist deities in their mandalas. There are four types of mandalas: mahā-maṇḍala (大曼荼羅, anthropomorphic representation), the seed-syllable mandala or dharma-maṇḍala (法曼荼羅), the samaya-maṇḍala (三昧耶曼荼羅, representations of the vows of the deities in the form of articles they hold or their mudras), and the karma-maṇḍala (羯磨曼荼羅 ) representing the activities of the deities in the three-dimensional form of statues, etc. An ancient Indian Sanskrit syllabary script known as siddham (Jap. shittan 悉曇 or bonji 梵字) is used to write mantras. A core meditative practice of Shingon is ajikan (阿字觀), "Meditating on the Letter 'A'", which uses the siddham letter representing that sound as a. Other Shingon meditations are Gachirinkan (月輪觀, "full moon" visualization), Gojigonjingan (五字嚴身觀, "visualization of the five elements arrayed in the body" from the Mahāvairocanābhisaṃbodhi-sūtra) and Gosōjōjingan (五相成身觀, pañcābhisaṃbodhi "series of five meditations to attain Buddhahood" from the Sarvatathāgatatattvasaṃgraha).

The essence of Shingon Mantrayana practice is to experience Reality by emulating the inner realization of the Dharmakaya through the meditative ritual use of mantra, mudra and visualization of mandala (ie. the three mysteries). All Shingon followers gradually develop a teacher-student relationship, whereby a teacher learns the disposition of the student and teaches practices accordingly. For lay practitioners, there is no initiation ceremony beyond the Kechien Kanjō (結縁灌頂), which is normally offered only at Mt. Koya, but is not required. In the case of disciples wishing to ordain as priests, the process is more complex and requires initiations in various mandalas, rituals and so on. In either case, the stress is on finding a qualified and willing mentor who will guide you through Shingon practice at a gradual pace.

Esoteric Buddhism is also practiced, in the Japanese Tendai School founded at around the same time as the Shingon School in the early 9th century (Heian period). The term used there is Mikkyo.

http://www.shingon.org/history/history.html /
The teachings of Shingon are based on the Mahâvairocana Sutra (J: Dainichi-kyô) and the Vajrasekhara sutra (J: Kongôchô-kyô) , the fundamental sutras of Shingon. These sutras were probably written during the last half of the seventh century in India. They contain the first systematic presentation of Mikkyô doctrine and practice.
For more: http://www.shingon.org/teachings/Shingo ... ingon.html
The 13 Buddhas of Shingon School: http://www.shingon.org/deities/deities.html
Ritual: http://www.shingon.org/ritual/ritual.html

http://www.koyasan.org/nckoyasan/introduction.html
The teachings of Shingon are based on the Mahavairocana Sutra and the Vajrasekhara Sutra, the fundamental sutras of Shingon. Through the cultivation of three secrets, the actions of body, speech and mind, we are able to attain enlightenment in this very body. When we can sustain this state of mind, we can become one with the life force of the Universe, known as Mahavairocana Buddha. The symbolic activities are present anywhere in the universe. Natural phenomena such as mountains and oceans and even humans express the truth described in the sutras.

The universe itself embodies and can not be separated from the teaching. In the Shingon tradition, the practitioner uses the same techniques that were used over 1,200 years ago by Kukai, and have been transmitted orally generation after generation to the present. As Shingon Buddhists, there are three vows to observe in our lives:
May we realize Buddhahood in this very life.
May we dedicate ourselves to the well-being of people.
May we establish the World of Buddha on this earth.

Becoming a Buddha in This Very Life (Sokushin Jobutsu)
The unique feature of this Shingon Teaching is that one does not become a Buddha only in his mind, nor does one become a Buddha after one has died. It means one is able to attain perfection of all of the qualities of a Buddha while one is yet living in his present physical body. An essay on the Bodhicitta (Bodaishin-ron) says: "One speedily attained great Awakening in the very body born of mother and father." According to the Shingon tradition, all things in this universe -- both physical matter, mind and mental states -- are made up of some six primary elements. These six primary elements are: earth (the principle of solidity), water (moisture), fire (energy), wind (movement), space (the state of being unobstructed) and consciousness (the six ways of knowing objects). Buddha as well as ordinary human beings are made up of these six elements, and in this sense both Buddha and human beings are basically and in essence identical. When we realize this truth, then our actions, our words, and our thoughts will undergo and experience of faith which will cause them to be correct and purify their surroundings. This living, physical body will be able to achieve Buddhahood.

Salvation and Enlightenment.
Shingon Buddhism grants salvation and enlightenment to human beings who would otherwise be caught in the cycle of birth and death. Once a person is able to enter the gate of this faith, he/she will be able to receive that salvation and guidance of many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is a religion in which that person will be fortunate enough to be able to recite the mantras that are the Buddha's own words. Kobo Daishi explained two points as its special characteristics:
1. Attainment of enlightenment in this very body.
2. The present moment that clearly teaches the content of enlightenment.

He explained these two aspects throughout his writings like, "The Meaning of Becoming a Buddha in This Body," "The Ten Stages in the Development of the Mind," "The Meaning of the Secret Samaya Precepts of the Buddha." It is a blessings of Shingon Buddhism to make it possible to come into direct contact with the practices leading to salvation. Shingon discipline The Shingon Teachings are broad and profound, and require strict discipline to put into practice. If we do not personally practice them in our daily lives of faith, then this treasure will become a useless possession. In actuality, we must manifest the teachings and practice of becoming a Buddha in this body in concrete form. The form of this faith is the developing one's mind into higher stage and engaging in discipline. There are various meditation techniques in Shingon traditions including the practice for gaining secular benefits for others by using mantra chanting and mudra hand signs as well as seeking enlightenment in this very body for oneself.

Shingon Discipline
The followings are some of the major forms practiced by many practitioners: Susokukan (Basic meditation to find one's own breathing pace) Gachirinkan (Moon Disc meditation) Ajikan (A syllable meditation) These practices are gateways into understanding the nature of Reality. Through these gateways we can experience many states of consciousness and as our skill develops we begin to have real insight into the nature of the unproduced state. Through these meditations we can experience the flow of energy from this state into this physical plane of existence. However, this state cannot be experienced without correct understanding of its doctrine and the guide by an authentic teacher.
More here: http://www.koyasan.org/nckoyasan/discipline.html

Other discussions:
Fundamentals of Shingon & The Present State of Mind
Buddhahood
Shingon Shu Texts
Meditation in Shingon
'Female Buddhas' in Shingon
Shingon and Kuji Kiri
Shingon Ritsu/Vinaya
Shingon Mantra: An academic question
Shingon & Tibetan Vajrayana: How different?
Ajikan: Practice and Theory
Shingon, Yogacara & Madyamika
Refuge/Dharma Name
Samaya/Shingon Precepts
35 Buddhas Confession in Shingon
Numbers in Shingon Mantra Recitation
The Vajrasekhara Sutra
Garbhadhātu and Vajradhātu Mandala
Home Practice
The Authority of Esoteric Sutras
Mahavairocana
Acalanatha
Preserving Living Tradition:Shingon?

Related topics:
Esoteric Buddhism: From Tang to Japan
Chinese Esoteric Buddhism
'Tang Mi' (Tang Esotericism)

Lineage Branches:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shingon_Buddhism
Branches of Shingon
Located in Kyoto, Japan, Daigo-ji is the head temple of the Daigo-ha branch of Shingon Buddhism.
* Kōyasan (高野山)
* Chisan-ha (智山派)
* Buzan-ha (豊山派)
* Daikakuji-ha (大覚寺派)
* Daigo-ha (醍醐派)
* Shingi
* Zentsuji-ha
* Omuro-ha
* Yamashina-ha
* Sennyūji-ha
* Sumadera-ha
* Kokubunji-ha
* Sanbōshū
* Nakayadera-ha
* Shigisan
* Inunaki-ha
* Tōji

Other references:
http://www.shingon.org/links.html
http://www.koyasan.org/
Differences of Schools
Shingon/Kyoto School
Lineage before Amoghavajra

Shingon Priesthood
http://www.buzan.or.jp/eng/q4.htm
http://www.shingon.org/sbii/training/Training.html
Significance of the White Scarf
Formal Education for Priests
Temple Collar
Shingon Kesa

Namu Amida Butsu!
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby thornbush » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:38 am

On Kukai or Kobo Daishi, Founder of Shingon in Japan
Image
http://www.koyasan.org/nckoyasan/introduction.html
Kobo Daishi (Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism, was born in the town of Zentsuji in Kagawa Prefecture in Japan in 774. He became a monk when he was 19 years old and went to China to study Esoteric Buddhism when he was 31. He studied the Sanskrit language under Indian masters and mastered Esoteric teaching from the Chinese master Hui-kuo, the 7th patriarch of Esoteric Buddhist tradition. When he returned to Japan, he established Shingon Buddhism and propagated its teaching throughout his lifetime. The Emperor Saga granted him Koyasan (Mt. Koya) as a place to found a monastic center in 816.

Kukai wrote several influential teachings and commentaries such as, 'The Secret key to the Heart Sutra', 'The Difference Between Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism', 'Attaining Enlightenment in This Very Existence', and 'The Ten Stages of the Development of Mind'. Twelve hundred years later, these texts continue to enlighten seekers throughout the world.

Known by many as the father of Japanese culture, his contribution extended beyond the religious fields to cultural, academic and engineering spheres. He introduced a method of making and using an ink brush for writing; he created a phonetic alphabet of 47 letters referred to as the Japanese Kana, Iroha symbols; he opened a school for public in Kyoto and named it Shugei-shuchiin; he directed the construction of the Mannoike Dam to prevent floods in Sanuki on Shikoku Island.

As a living example of the three vows, Kukai entered eternal Samadhi on Mt. Koya on the 21st day of March, 835. Later, the Emperor Daigo granted him the honorific title 'Kobo Daishi' in 921. His teachings remain alive today in everyone's mind.

Other Sources:
Kukai
Kukai / Kobo Daishi:Founder of Shingon Japanese Esoteric Buddhism
Kūkai : 空海 - Kōbōdaishi : 弘法大師
2 Questions on Kukai
Did Kukai invent Hiragana from Sanskrit?
Kukai's Poem to a Friend

Image
More from Youtube on Kukai and Shingon
World Heritage Koyasan
Koyasan
Koyasan Temple Morning Ritual
Okunoin on Mount Koya
Goma: Fire Ritual
Amazing Fire Ceremony
Shingon Goma
Shingon Mantra
To-ji: The World of Kukai
Kukai and Japanese Tantra or Shingon
Tokushima: The Sacred Temples (4) - The Biography of Kukai
Buddhist Saint Kobo Daishi

Addendum:
A very rare footage of an Esoteric Chinese Buddhist Fire Ceremony here

Namu Amida Butsu!
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby tktru » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:38 am

A brief description of the training procedures for prospective priests courtesy of NorCal Koyasan
http://www.koyasan.org/nckoyasan/discipline.html
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby Greg » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:42 am

Perhaps this thread could get stickied? What a good resource.
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby ijika » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:26 pm

Unfortunately, a lot of the links are now non-existent or out-of-date. The shingon.org web site apparently hasn't been updated in three years; the costs quoted there for ordination in Japan seem to be over ten years old. I guess I should update my website (link removed).

If you're interested in the 88-temple pilgrimage on Shikoku, I've got a fair bit of information and photos on that...
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby Dhondup » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:23 am

Short answer:read Hakeda's Kukai: Major Works several times.
:twothumbsup:

I am in the process of reading this book right now and couldn't agree more, it is truly a gem.
No Distracted Thoughts!- Geshe Karag Gomchung
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:58 am

Do you know what Rev. Eijo is up to these days?
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby Indrajala » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:08 am

JKhedrup wrote:Do you know what Rev. Eijo is up to these days?


He co-authored (translated?) an interesting work on Kukai:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/Kukai-Philosoph ... 4766417577

Here's a review:

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=s ... anson.html
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:24 am

Glad to see the good Rev. continues to work hard in his dharma endeavours!
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: Japanese Vajrayana: Shingon 101

Postby Simon E. » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:13 am

A fascinating topic...I can add nothing except for my appreciation
:namaste: ..
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