Introduction of the Shingon Sect
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Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Shinkoku-O Gosho - Part 5
Introduction of the Shingon Sect
During the same reign Emperor Kammu, a monk named Kukai (Grand Master Kobo) went to China to study Shingon Buddhism. Not returning to Japan during Kammu's reign, Kukai, however, returned in the first year of the Daido Period (806) during the reign of the fifty-first sovereign, emperor Heizei. On the 19th day of the first month in the 14th year of the Konin Period (823) during the reign of the 52nd Emperor Saga, Kukai was granted the Toji Temple in Kyoto as the headquarters of the Shingon esotericism, which was named Kyoo Gokoku-ji Temple. It was a year after the death of Grand Master Dengyo.
In the fifth year of the Jowa Period (838) during the reign of the 54th sovereign, Emperor Nimmei, Venerable Priest Ennin (Grand Master Jikaku) went to China for further study of Tendai-Lotus and Shingon teachings, returning to Japan in the 14th year of Jowa (847). During the Ninju and Saiko Periods (851-857), in the reign of the 55th sovereign, Emperor Montoku, Ennin wrote commentaries on the Diamond Peak Sutra and the Sutra of the Act of Perfection, totaling 14 fascicles, calling them, together with the Annotations on the Great Sun Buddha Sutra (Dainichi-kyo gishaku), the "triple works of Shingon Sect", built the Sojin Temple on Mt. Hiei, and began spreading Shingon Buddhism. Thus Shingon Sect was permitted to spread on Mt. Hiei, and it became customary that the chief ministers of the Tendai Sect, thereafter, concurrently studied both Lotus and Shingon doctrines. Nevertheless, as the Lotus Sect was compared to the moon while the Shingon Sect to the sun, people as a whole assumed that the Shingon teaching was superior. At any rate, the head priests of Mt. Hiei studied both Tendai and Shingon Buddhism and so did all other priest on the mountain.
During the same reign of Emperor Montoku, Venerable Enchin (Grand Master Chisho) went to Tang China. Studying both the Lotus and Shingon schools of Buddhism, he returned to Japan in the second year of the Ten'an Period (858). Venerable Enchin and mastered in Japan not only the Lotus and Shingon Buddhism under the guidance of Gishin (first Chief Priest of Mt. Hiei), and Encho (the second Chief Priest), Grand Master Betto (Kojo), and Ennin (the third Chief Priest), but also the Shingon doctrine of Toji temple. Therefater, he ventured to China, to study both the Lotus and Shingon teachings further. He is the Grand Master Chisho who found the Tendai-esoterism of the Miidera Temple today.
These are the so called four grand master of Shingon Budhism in Japan. Generally speaking, eight streams exist within Japanese esotericism, of which five belonging to the Toji were founded by Grand Master Kobo and three belonging to the Tendai Sect were originated by Grand Master Jikaku.
Due to this merits,
May I soon,
Attain the enlightened state of Guru Buddha,
That I may be able to librate all sentient beings from their suffering.
May the precious bodhi mind, Not yet been born in me, will arise and grow.
May the birth have no decline, and will increase forever more.
Namu Myo Ho Renge Kyo