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Dainichi Buddha

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Dainichi Buddha

Postby Bodhidharma on Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:43 pm

Who is Dainichi Buddha and why did ancient Japan replace Siddhartha Guatama with Dainichi?
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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby Caodemarte on Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:15 am

AFAIK, Dainichi Nyorai is the Japanese name for Vairocana and probably most prominent in Shingon, the Japanese form of Tantra. In Tantric Buddhism, Adi-Buddha, or Adibuddha is the "Primordial Buddha." The term refers to a self-emanating, self-originating Buddha, present before anything else existed. Samantabhadra, Vairocana, and Vajradhara are the best known names for Adi-Buddha. You will statues of Samantabhadra in Zen temples, but Vairocana does not replace the historical Buddha in any form of Buddhism.
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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby Meido on Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:17 am

Just to add that the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (Jp.: Fugen) commonly found in Zen temples is not the same figure as the primordial Buddha Samantabhadra found in some Tibetan traditions. Same name, but unrelated iconography.

That being said, the Shaka Sanzon (trinity of figures centering on Shakyamuni) commonly found in Zen temples is of two types. The first is Shakyamuni flanked by his disciples Ananda and Mahakasyapa. The second is Shakyamuni flanked by the Bodhisattvas Manjusri (Monju) and Samantabhadra (Fugen). In the latter case, Shakyamuni can be considered to represent something more like Dainichi Nyorai (i.e. one's own Dharmakaya wisdom) than the historical personage Siddhartha Gautama.

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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby Bodhidharma on Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:40 am

Meido wrote:Just to add that the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (Jp.: Fugen) commonly found in Zen temples is not the same figure as the primordial Buddha Samantabhadra found in some Tibetan traditions. Same name, but unrelated iconography.

That being said, the Shaka Sanzon (trinity of figures centering on Shakyamuni) commonly found in Zen temples is of two types. The first is Shakyamuni flanked by his disciples Ananda and Mahakasyapa. The second is Shakyamuni flanked by the Bodhisattvas Manjusri (Monju) and Samantabhadra (Fugen). In the latter case, Shakyamuni can be considered to represent something more like Dainichi Nyorai (i.e. one's own Dharmakaya wisdom) than the historical personage Siddhartha Gautama.

~ Meido

Shakyamuni Buddha and Guatama/Historical Buddha are different?
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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby Caodemarte on Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:42 am

Fascinating. I thought Samantabhdra was the same. If anyone has the time, here's a question.


From Soto-Zen net: "Fugen means "widely" (fu 普) "virtuous," "worthy," or "able" (ken 賢). S. Samantabhadra. A bodhisattva who is often paired with Monju Bodhisattva as one of two attendant figures who flank an image of Shakamuni Buddha. In this arrangement, Fugen is said to represent the Buddha's compassion (jihi 慈悲), whereas Monju represents the Buddha's wisdom (chie 智慧), those being the two complementary virtues that all bodhisattvas should cultivate. When paired with Monju, Fugen is the active party, practicing morality and meditation, fulfilling vows (gyōgan 行願) to save all living beings, and appearing in all buddha lands. Monju, in contrast, passively surveys the emptiness (kū 空) of all dharmas and cuts off all attachments to them. Fugen, riding a white elephant with six tusks, attends the Buddha on his right side. Monju, riding a lion, attends the Buddha on his left side."

Assuming this is correct (of course, it is on the Internet so it must be true :) ), is this more or less iconographically correct for Rinzai as well?
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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby Meido on Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:55 am

Caodemarte wrote:Assuming this is correct (of course, it is on the Internet so it must be true :) ), is this more or less iconographically correct for Rinzai as well?


Yes, certainly.

Monju = wisdom, "seeing nature"
Fugen = function/activity of wisdom, compassion, vows, skillful means

Wisdom (Monju) without its creative expression (Fugen) is of course unbalanced, and doesn't go past the basic entrance gate of Zen. Compassionate activity (Fugen) without the upwelling of wisdom (Monju) is likewise unbalanced. Both of these in unity are embodied in the central image of the Buddha, which is our true potential: the union of wisdom and compassion, principle and function, kensho and its actualization in post-kensho practice, etc.

So a whole map of the path is right there whenever we light incense at the altar (though I like to add the Nio at the gate as well...) :)

~ Meido
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The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby Caodemarte on Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:34 am

Thanks Meido and thanks to the OP!
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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby Meido on Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:00 pm

We recently took a photo of the images discussed in this thread, thought I would share.

Shaka Sanzon: left to right, Fugen (Samantabhadra), Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni), Monju (Manjusri).

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The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
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http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby Carol on Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:45 pm

In the Diamond Sangha (offshoot of the Sanbo Kyodan) I was taught a meal chant that includes the following:

"Vairochana, pure and clear Dharmakaya Buddha;
Lochana, full and complete Sambogakaya Buddha;
Shakyamuni, infinitely varied Nirmanakaya Buddha;
Maitreya, Buddha still to be born;
All Buddhas everywhere, past, present, future;
Mahayana, lotus of the subtle law;
Manjusri, great wisdom Bodhisattva;
Samantabhadra, great action Bodhisattva;
Avalokitesvara, great compassion Bodhisattva;
All venerated Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas,
The great Prajna Paramita."
Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
~Lankavatara Sutra
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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby organizational on Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:41 pm

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Re: Dainichi Buddha

Postby Meido on Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:50 pm

Carol wrote:In the Diamond Sangha (offshoot of the Sanbo Kyodan) I was taught a meal chant that includes the following:


Nice. We use the same...

JYU BUTSU MYO
Names of the Ten Buddhas

(gassho)

Shin-jin-pa-shin-bi-ru-sha-no-fu.
En-mon-ho-shin-ru-sha-no-fu.
Sen-pai-kya-shin-shi-kya-mu-ni-fu.
To-rai-a-san-mi-ru-son-bu.
Ji-ho-san-shi-i-shi-shi-fu.
Dai-shin-bun-ji-su-ri-bu-sa.
Dai-an-fu-gen-bu-sa.
Dai-hi-kan-shi-in-bu-sa.
Shi-son-bu-sa-mo-ko-sa.
Mo-ko-ho-jya-ho-ro-mi.
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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