Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Carpe Diem #392, Anrakuji (Temple 6)

Dear O-Henro ... Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... here it is our 392th episode which was delayed. It will not become a very long episode, because time is not at my side, but I had to go on with our pilgrimage along the 88 temples of Shikoku Island.

Today we visit Anrakuji.Anraku-ji (安楽寺?) is a Kōya-san Shingon temple in Kamiita, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. Temple 6 on the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage, the main image is of Yakushi Nyorai. The temple is said to have been founded by Kōbō Daishi, who carved the image. The Hōjō (1751–1829) has been placed on the cultural properties register. Anraku-ji has played an influential role in the Shikoku Reijōkai (Shikoku Pilgrimage Association), providing its first head in 1956.

This temple is in honor of Bhaisajyaguru, or the Buddha of healing and medicine. He is described as a doctor who heals through the medicine of his teachings, in other words: Bhaisajyaguru heals through chanting mantras, as we know for example in shamanism and tengrism. 
Anrakuji Temple

Bhaisajyaguru is described in the so called Medicine Buddha Sutra in which his 12 great vows are mentioned. These 12 vows are:

The Twelve Vows of the Medicine Buddha upon attaining Enlightenment, according to the Medicine Buddha Sutra are:

1.    To illuminate countless realms with his radiance, enabling anyone to become a Buddha just like him.
2.    To awaken the minds of sentient beings through his light of lapis lazuli.
3.    To provide the sentient beings with whatever material needs they require.
4.    To correct heretical views and inspire beings toward the path of the Bodhisattva.
5.    To help beings follow the Moral Precepts, even if they failed before.
6.    To heal beings born with deformities, illness or other physical sufferings.
7.    To help relieve the destitute and the sick.
8.    To help women who wish to be reborn as men achieve their desired rebirth.
9.    To help heal mental afflictions and delusions.
10. To help the oppressed be free from suffering.
11. To relieve those who suffer from terrible hunger and thirst.
12. To help clothe those who are destitute and suffering from cold and mosquitoes

Buddha of Healing and Medicine

Buddhism one of the ''roots'' of haiku, we have already seen the ''emptiness'' in haiku, but is it possible to write a haiku referring to this Buddha of Healing and Medicine? I have to try ...

after the long winter
nature is healing again -
young green leaves

Or maybe this is more in the healing and medicine thought:

a fallen cocoon
in the first rays of the morning sun -
a butterfly rises

a butterfly rises
drying it's young blue wings
to live fully

All ... are in my opinion in some way connected to healing and medicine, but that's just my idea. What do you think?

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 7th 11.59 AM (CET). I hope to publish our next stop on our pilgrimmage later on today, but I can't promise that ... that new episode will be, Kumadaniji (temple 8).

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