The Prince and Monk: Shotoku Worship in Shinran's Buddhism by Kenneth Doo Young Lee

By Kenneth Doo Young Lee

How Shinran, a seminal determine in natural Land Buddhism, used to be guided by means of a imaginative and prescient of Shotoku, the imperial prince who was once either a political and spiritual determine.

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Give reverence to this statue, Which is the transformed body of Amida Tathagata! ” 44 Ilra of Silla proclaimed, “Give reverence to guze Kannon, The king of millet-scattered islands Who transmits the light of dharma to the east,” And prostrated before the Prince of eight ears. ” 46 In China, Prince Shotoku’s teachers Were Master Hui-ssu and Master Hui-wen. ”44 Interestingly, Shinran interprets this historical event as a spiritual battle between Prince Shotoku, who sought to spread the dharma, and Moriya, who sought to destroy the dharma in Japan: 62 In order to spread the Buddhist teaching and help people, Prince Shotoku left Mount Heng And appeared here in Japan where the sun rises.

Although this is a slight variation from Eshinni’s dream account, we may deduce that Eshinni’s recollection is likely to be more accurate than Kakunyo’s because she probably heard it firsthand from Shinran. Also, it is highly likely that Kakunyo had Eshinni’s letters as reference when he wrote the Honganji Shonin Shinran denne. Why, then, did Kakunyo change which person spoke to Shinran? Despite the fact that there is no conclusive evidence for this change, if one considers the purpose of Kakunyo’s version—to unify and strengthen Jodo Shinshu followers at Honganji—there is a more dramatic effect of bodhisattva Kannon appearing before Shinran rather than Prince Shotoku.

Hence, Jodo Shinshu gradually as– cended to become the most dominant Buddhist sect in Japan. O yama explains that traditional studies on Shotoku tend to focus on the fictitious history, but one cannot overlook how such creative narratives have strongly influenced the Japanese culture and philosophical development. 22 He explains that during the editing process, which 38 The Prince and the Monk took more than forty years, Japanese scholars gathered and incorporated various sources in their attempt to portray him as a true historical figure.

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