Saturday, February 15, 2014

Carpe Diem #401, Kongochoji (Temple 26)

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

Another day has started ... we are on a pilgrimage along the 88 temples on the Island Shikoku. A pilgrimage in which we are trodding in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism, and once born on the Island of Shikoku.
Today we are walking from our yesterday's goal to temple 26, Kongochoji. This temple is devoted to Yakushi Nyorai who is typically depicted seated, wearing the three robes of a Buddhist monk, holding a lapis-colored jar of medicine nectar in his left hand and the right hand resting on his right knee, holding the stem of the Aruna fruit or Myrobalan between thumb and forefinger. In the sutra, he is also described by his aura of lapis lazuli-colored light.
In Chinese depictions, he is sometimes holding a pagoda, symbolising the ten thousand Buddhas of the three periods of time. He is also depicted standing on a Northern Wei stele from approximately 500 AD now housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accompanied by his two attendants, Suryaprabha and Candraprabha. Within the halo are depicted the Seven Bhaiṣajyaguru Buddhas and seven apsaras.

Yakushi Nyorai
Starting in the 7th century in Japan, Yakushi was prayed to in the place of Ashuku (Akshobhya). Some of Yakushi's role has been taken over by Jizō(Ksitigarbha), but Yakushi is still invoked in the traditional memorial services for the dead.
The practice of Medicine Buddha, the Supreme Healer (or Sangye Menla in Tibetan) is not only a very powerful method for healing and increasing healing powers both for oneself and others, but also for overcoming the inner sickness of attachment, hatred, and ignorance, thus to meditate on the Medicine Buddha can help decrease physical and mental illness and suffering.

Yakushi Nyorai along the road

The Medicine Buddha mantra is held to be extremely powerful for healing of physical illnesses and purification of negative karma. One form of practice based on the Medicine Buddha is done when one is stricken by disease. The patient is to recite the long Medicine Buddha mantra 108 times over a glass of water. The water is now believed to be blessed by the power of the mantra and the blessing of the Medicine Buddha himself, and the patient is to drink the water. This practice is then repeated each day until the illness is cured.
Well ... I hope you did enjoy the read and that it will inspire you to write a new haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka of haibun. I however wasn't inspired enough to write a haiku, maybe that's because I write this post in the nightshift and I am a bit tired ... so my mind 'drops dead' so to say.
This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until Fevruary 17th 11.59 AM (CET). I will (try to) post our new episode, Kokobunji (Temple 29), later on today. For now .... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us.

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