Tag Archives: Buddhism

Saicho – Establisher of Tian Tai Buddhism

Also known as: Dengyo Born: 767 Died: 822 Occupation: establisher of Tian Tai (Tendai) Buddhism in Japan Sent to China by the emperor to study and observe Chinese Buddhism, Saicho later introduced the teachings of the Tian Tai school to Japan, founding the Tendai school. Saicho, the son of a Chinese family who had settled in Omi, Japan, entered the ...

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Mahayana Buddhism

Mahayana in Sanskrit is, literally, the “Great Vehicle.” As a school of thought it refers to the school of Buddhist practice and teaching that developed around 200 BCE, probably in northern India and Kashmir, and then spread east into Central Asia, East Asia, and parts of Southeast Asia. Mahayana is generally seen as one of the two main schools of ...

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Tian Tai Sect of Buddhism

Also known as: T’ien Tai Tian Tai developed as a distinct school or, perhaps more accurately, “flavor” of Chinese Buddhism, in the early Tang (618–907) Dynasty. This school created a wide-ranging and comprehensive philosophy from different elements of Buddhism. As such Tian Tai is a true native reaction to the many varieties of Buddhist doctrine available in China in that ...

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Gohonzon

Gohonzon, the Great Object of Devotion, was created by the Japanese prophet Nichiren (1222–82) as an expression of his devotion to the Lotus Sutra as the preeminent written text of Buddhism. The Gohonzon is a large mandala originally inscribed by Nichiren, before which believers repeat the mantra namu myoho renge-kyo, that is, “devotion to the marvelous Dharma of the Lotus ...

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Pure Land Buddhism

Also known as: Jingtu; Jingtu Zong; Ching-t’u; Pure Land Buddhism is a general name for a variety of Buddhist groups—for instance, Jingtu Zong in China, Jodo Shinshu in Japan—that focus upon the worship of Amitabha Buddha and express their faith in him through the recitation of the nembutsu. Amitabha Buddha is believed to inhabit a paradisiacal land located in the ...

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Soto Zen

Soto Zen is the Japanese form of the Chinese Caodong (Ts’ao-tung) meditational school of Buddhism. Along with Rinzai Zen, Soto is one of the two major Zen sects in Japan. In 1214 Dogen (1200–53), a Tendai monk, learned about Caodong in China. He studied zazen (sitting meditation) for two years, then returned to Japan to teach. Dogen opted for a ...

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Nichiren – Japanese Buddhist Monk

Born: 1222 Died: 1282 Occupation: Japanese Buddhist monk Nichiren, the founder of the Japanese Buddhist tradition named after him, emerged in the 13th century as an advocate of the superiority of the Lotus Sutra and the practice of calling upon the Buddha through the sutra by reciting the mantra nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nichiren believed that nam-myoho-renge-kyo was the essence of the Lotus ...

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Lotus Sutra

Also known as: Saddarma-pundarikia-sutra; “Lotus of the Superb Religion” The key idea in the Lotus Sutra is the existence of a single “vehicle,” the ekayano(Sanskrit, ekayana), which is the message of the Buddha that will transport cultivators to the final goal of liberation. Although there are three separate groups of followers of the Buddha, those who are disciples, pratyekabuddhas (those ...

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Eisai

Also known as: Yosai Born: 1141 Died: 1215 Occupation: Zen Buddhist monk Eisai was a Buddhist priest who visited China in 1168 and 1187 CE During his second visit, he received the “seal” (inkashomei) of Zen transmission from Xuan Huaichang. Eisai then established the Shofuku-ji in Kyushu, the first Rinzai temple in Japan. He was later, in 1204, appointed abbot ...

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Rinzai Zen

Rinzai Zen is one of the two main forms of Zen Buddhism to emerge in Japan in the 13th century, along with Soto Zen. During the Kamakura shogunate (1185–1333) Rinzai was the dominant school of Buddhism in Japan, largely because of its practices emphasizing sudden enlightenment and koan. It later declined but enjoyed a revival in the 18th century and ...

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