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Old 07-17-2009, 12:38 PM   #37
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 532
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

I've copied from Kukai by Yoshito S. Hakeda available here:

to demonstrate that O-sensei's early Shingon influence may have led him to recognize, or attribute, a similar view to his understanding and practice of both Aikido and Kotodama.

"In the proposition that Mahavairocana is in a state of eternal harmony, the word "harmony is a translation of yuga, which in turn is a transliteration of yoga. The word yuga in Kukai's writings is interchangeable with dhyana (zen), samadhi (jo), or dhyana-samadhi (zenjo). That the universe is in a state of eternal harmony is the fundamental premise of Kukai's Esoteric Buddhist thought and practice. To the degree he appreaciated this basic intuition far more than he did intellectual devices can be seen in the following:

What kind of intellectual determinations can be made of the eternal Order that is naturally so (honi no dori)? Such terms as creating and the created are symbolic expressions fo Exoteric Buddhism, and we should not indulge in senseless speculation while clinging to the ordinary and superficial meanings of these words. The Existence consisting of the Six Great Elements, the essence of the World of Dharma, is free without any obstacle and is in a state of eternal harmony.

Since the macrocosmos is in a state of eternal harmony, it follows that any microcosmos homogeneous in its elements with the macrocosmos -men as well as all beings- is not outside of the harmony of the macrocosmos. The problem on the part of the microcosmos is how to become aware of that eternal harmony and to attune itself to it. To practice samadhi is to imitate the macrocosmic samadhi. the principle of Kukai's Esoteric Buddhist meditation comes ultimately from this basic intuition that the universe is in a state of eternal harmony."

I'm lazy and so only copied a little. I suggest that on read pp. 90 - 92 to get a better idea. Better yet, buy the book and read it. Nonetheless, I think the parallel is obvious.

Since Shingon is often times classified as "Mantrayana," I can see where individuals might see a ideological relation between it and Kotodama. However, when one reads the following it appears that their relationship may go beyond mere apparent similarity:

"However, in Japan just as in China the Indian varnapatha had considerable influence on Japanese native language studies.

Above mention was already made of the fact that the Japanese used Chinese characters phonetically in order to express in writing the sounds of their own language. In the 9th century this system had been developed into a simplified form. One abbreviated Chinese character was selected for reproducing each of the syllables the Japanese language consists of. The syllables were arranged in a diagram called Gojuon-zu "diagram of the Fifty Sounds."


"If due allowance is made for the differences in the Sanskrit and Japanese sounds, the Indian origin of the phonetic principles underlying this diagram will be evident. Later Japanese nationalist scholars such as Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843 A.D. (139) ascribed this diagram to the Japanese Mythical Age. But the Japanese learned Sinaologue Arai Hakuseki (140) (1656 - 1725 A.D.) recognized its Indian origin. Some other sources attribute the diagram to Kibi-no-mabi (141) an envoy who visited China in 716 and 751 A.D. and who is said to have been taught the phonetic classification of the Japanese syllables during his stay in the T'ang capital. However, no matter whether the diagram was evolved under the influence of Chinese monks in China or through the Siddham studies of Japanese monks, its derivation from varnapatha is evident.

(SIDDHAM, An Essay on the History of Sanskrit Studies in China and Japan by R.H. van Gulik)


(In the end I always find myself asking, "So what!?! Am I manifesting the qualities of an enlightened being now? Is my life a reflection of the principles of harmony, compassion, loving kindness and reconciliation that I so value?" And the answer invariably is, "Not so much." It seems there is always more work to do . . . Oh well, everyone needs a hobby! )

~ Allen Beebe
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