Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

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Queequeg
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Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

Post by Queequeg »

Reading Kakuban's The Illuminating Secret Commentary on the Five Cakras and the Nine Syllables (https://www.bdkamerica.org/product/shingon-texts/)

In Chapter 2, at p. 293-4, Kakuban is giving an explanation of syllable A of the Nine Syllables. Explaining A, he refers to the Three Truths (emptiness, existence, middle way) which is a uniquely Tiantai teaching. He elaborates on 10 interpretations, three of which are kengyo, and the rest mikkyo. I am curious to know how this teaching came to be integrated into Kakuban's explanation of Shingon teachings.

I suspect that this comes from the broad dialogue between Shingon and Tendai mikkyo traditions, but am curious if there are sources that can add color to this exchange.
There is no suffering to be severed. Ignorance and klesas are indivisible from bodhi. There is no cause of suffering to be abandoned. Since extremes and the false are the Middle and genuine, there is no path to be practiced. Samsara is nirvana. No severance achieved. No suffering nor its cause. No path, no end. There is no transcendent realm; there is only the one true aspect. There is nothing separate from the true aspect.
-Guanding, Perfect and Sudden Contemplation,
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Queequeg
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Re: Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

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For those interested - I found some explanation in "A study into the thought of Kogyo Daishi Kakuban" by Henny van der Veere.

Kakuban received transmission of the Jimonryu at Onjoji, and studied Tendai including writings by Tendai mikkyo teachers such as Ennin, Enchin, and Annen. He apparently used terminology from these Tendai teachers. There is an annotated translation of the "The Illuminating Secret Commentary on the Five Cakras and the Nine Syllables" in van der Veere's book and this discussion in terms of Three Truths is apparently Kakuban's own innovation and is his analysis Tendai kengyo teachings, Kegon, and Shingon.
There is no suffering to be severed. Ignorance and klesas are indivisible from bodhi. There is no cause of suffering to be abandoned. Since extremes and the false are the Middle and genuine, there is no path to be practiced. Samsara is nirvana. No severance achieved. No suffering nor its cause. No path, no end. There is no transcendent realm; there is only the one true aspect. There is nothing separate from the true aspect.
-Guanding, Perfect and Sudden Contemplation,
Meido
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Re: Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

Post by Meido »

I'd posted a reply earlier that Kakuban had, I'd read someplace, received Tendai (Jimon) denbo kanjo at Onjo-ji/Mii-dera. I deleted my post pending efforts to dig up confirmation. So, thanks for that!

A dharma brother of mine says he has a book from Mii-dera with photos revealing Kakuban's name in a hand-written list of kanjo recipients. I'm hitting him up for that now, and will share if he sends it over.
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Re: Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

Post by Meido »

According to him, this is it:
WhatsApp Image 2024-06-13 at 12.28.30_d04ed477.jpg
WhatsApp Image 2024-06-13 at 12.28.30_d04ed477.jpg (150.68 KiB) Viewed 477 times
Genjo Conan
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Re: Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

Post by Genjo Conan »

Thank you both, that's interesing. QQ, does the van der Veere book mention how these interpretations were received by other Shingon priests? Not to put too fine a point on it, but Kakuban's innovations often weren't looked at very kindly.
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Queequeg
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Re: Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

Post by Queequeg »

Thank you, Meido-sensei. I had seen your earlier post and it reminded me I had that book around somewhere. Very neat to see the kanjo list.

GC - I actually have not read much of the book, but the little I read I did get the sense he is seen as an outlier, maybe because he was so ... Ecumenical? Is that the word?

I became aware of Kakuban through the Mitsugonin confession which was recommended to me.
There is no suffering to be severed. Ignorance and klesas are indivisible from bodhi. There is no cause of suffering to be abandoned. Since extremes and the false are the Middle and genuine, there is no path to be practiced. Samsara is nirvana. No severance achieved. No suffering nor its cause. No path, no end. There is no transcendent realm; there is only the one true aspect. There is nothing separate from the true aspect.
-Guanding, Perfect and Sudden Contemplation,
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Re: Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

Post by Meido »

Queequeg wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 3:16 am I became aware of Kakuban through the Mitsugonin confession which was recommended to me.
:twothumbsup: Wonderful text. Recited in front of Kakuban's tomb at Negoroji.
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Queequeg
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Re: Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

Post by Queequeg »

Meido wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 5:49 am
Queequeg wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 3:16 am I became aware of Kakuban through the Mitsugonin confession which was recommended to me.
:twothumbsup: Wonderful text. Recited in front of Kakuban's tomb at Negoroji.
Nice! I recite it most weekdays for morning gongyo as part of sange, time permitting.
There is no suffering to be severed. Ignorance and klesas are indivisible from bodhi. There is no cause of suffering to be abandoned. Since extremes and the false are the Middle and genuine, there is no path to be practiced. Samsara is nirvana. No severance achieved. No suffering nor its cause. No path, no end. There is no transcendent realm; there is only the one true aspect. There is nothing separate from the true aspect.
-Guanding, Perfect and Sudden Contemplation,
VolkerK
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Re: Kakuban's Illuminating Secret Commentary and Three Truths

Post by VolkerK »

Selected Exegesis of the Illuminating Secret Commentary on the Five Chakras and the Nine Syllables
https://buddhism.lib.ntu.edu.tw/search/ ... seq=670628
https://scholar.archive.org/work/zalj4x ... jc3h3sagx4

A Study of Ryuyu’s [Gorin Kuji Myo Himitsu Shaku Shuuyoki] Compilation (6)
https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ch ... e/-char/en
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