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Jizo Bodhisattva

  • Chinese Empress Wu Zetien (624-705) Learned there was a longer version of the Avatamsaka Sutra (Flower Adornment S.).  A Khotanese translator Master Shikshananda procured it.
  • On his way out the door, he said, by the way...
  • Brought out the "Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva"  and the tradition surrounding Jizo Buddha.
  • Kshitigarba  in Sanskrit (for Earth Store or Earth Treasury), Jizo in Japanese, Ti-tsang in Chinese.
  • His two unforgetable vows:
    • "only after the Hells are empty will I become a Buddha"
    • "Only after all beings are taken across to Enlightenment will I myself realize Bodhi."
  • "I had always thought, no more books.  Bookstores are already full of Buddhist books; there are too many words already, like muddy boot prints all over the simple truth of the Dhamma." (xv)
  • Jizo has both male and female aspects...
  • "In 1993 thirty-two child-abuse deaths occurred in Oregon.  I had known most of these Children  I had examined their limp pale bodies in the pediatric intensive care unit.  I had gently run my fingers through downy soft hair, turned back ear folds, opened unresisting mouths and eyelids, looking for subtle bruises.  I had turned their bodies over, careful not to pull out tubes that pumped air into thier lungs and infused intravenous fluid into their veins.  I had talked as gently as I could to frightened and aggressive parents, parents whom I knew had smashed, shaken, and beaten these infants, and also to the nurses who were angry with these parents.  When the nurses were busy and no one was looking, I held each baby's hand for a moment to pray for its transition out of suffering and into peace." (xxvi)
  • Kyoto; Nail-Pulling Jizo;  Kugi-Nuki temple. 
    • two images.  One used to be red laquered, which is worn away; it originally was Bodhisattva Pindola
  • "In Japan, Jizo Bodhisattva is like a comfortable, country style general practicioner.
  • Shinto presents the 'Kami' or spirits whom one petitions from a perspective of animism. No statues, just phalic stone rods, and female fecundity figures
  • Chinese culture was brought to a largely primative society in Japan circa 500 AD.  No money, cities, schools, written language, etc...
  • The oldest Jizo dates from 557.
  • Chinese conception of Jizo was to ward off death.  Japanese adapted him to appeal to more mundane matters.
  • Jizo Bodhisattva was adopted by Shinto, as well as all sects of Buddhism...
  • [what is Jodo buddhism?]
  • Shinran said that Jizo's mercy was universal and not dependant on the sinner's readiness, prior spiritual practice, or even upon prior belief in Jizo.
  • hmm... Prince Shotoku was trained by Korean monks; he instructed ministers to "pray to the Kami in order to maintain the natural order of the world." (26)
  • Gyogi Bosatsu (670-749) - charismatic teacher, credited with the first map of Japan, and the first census.  many public works projects, mobilizing believers to build a major road, six bridges, three aqueducts, fifteen resevoirs, fortynine chapels and nine charity houses.
  • Shrine of the sun goddess in Ise existed at this time.  Gyogi mitigated conflict between shinto and upstart new religion.  The Emperor proclaimed the Sun  and Buddha were the same...  [?] and they all lived happily ever after...
  • Shingon practices with two primary mandala.  Vajradhatu (diamond realm) and garbhadhatu (womb).  Jizo is in both mandala.
  • The "Six Jizo" or "Roku Jizo" are often found at the entrance to cemetaries; likely came from China and the Sutra of the Ten Kings which describes six Ti-tsang. 
  • Koretaka in the tenth century, died, in death saw six jizo, explained that they manifested in 100,000 according to the needs of people.  He came back to life and built a temple with six Jizo as they occurred to him in the dream.  In the 12th century  Roku Jizo were placed at the six entry roads to Kyoto.
  • Here's a list of Jizos...
    • Aburakake Jizo - jizo that worshipers paint with oil
    • Amagoi Jizo - asks the sky for rain
    • Ashi-arai Jizo - washes his feet after helping peasants in the rice paddies
    • Atago Jizo - a warrior Jizo on horseback who rescues warriors in difficulty and puts enemies to flight.
    • Doro-ashi Jizo - Jizo who gets his feet muddy helping in the fields
    • Emmei Jizo - the Jizo who prolongs life and provides many benefits including watching over children, curing illnesses, preventing accidents, and granting success in business or school (also Enmei)
    • Hanatori Jizo - Leads horses or cattle
    • Hara obi Jizo - stomach wrapper Jizo who protects women during pregnancy
    • Hikeshi Jizo - protects houses and harvests from fire
    • Hoshu Jizo - jewel-holding jizo
    • Hoshu Shaku Jizo - jewel and staff holding jizo
    • Hoyake Jizo - Jizo who burned his cheeks rescuing someone from hell
    • Indo Jizo - saves humans after death and leads them to enlightenment
    • Kara Te Jizo - empty-handed Jizo
    • Kosazuke Jizo - child-granting Jizo
    • Kosodate Jizo - Helps with child rearing
    • Koyasu Jizo - easy childbirth Jizo
    • Kugi Nuki Jizo - pulls out pain (nail pulling J.)
    • Meyame jizo - restores eyesight
    • Migawari Jizo - surrogate, or body exchanging Jizo who helps peasants in their work, or substitutes for someone in danger.
    • Miwari Jizo - protects villiages
    • Mizuhiki Jizo - brings water to the rice paddies
    • Mizuko Jizo - water-child Jizo who protects children, also aborted and miscarried fetuses.  Most popular in Japan, has two children tugging at his robes, and/or an infant in his arms, etc.
    • Neko Jizo - cat Jizo
    • Nuri Kobe Jizo - cures dental problems
    • Omukai jizo - Greets you upon death, takes you to Amida's heaven.
    • Otsukiyare Jizo - inspired oracle Jizo to whom questions are posed.
    • Roku Jizo - the six, one for each realm of existence; groups of six holding: incense burner, a mallah, a pearl, a six-ringed staff, a flower basket, a jeweled banner.
    • Sentai Jizo - one-thousand bodies of Jizo
    • Tachiyama Jizo - a Jizo who takes the place of a woman devotee so she can rest once a month.
    • Tagenuki Jizo - removes splinters or thorns
    • Tai-San Jizo - prosperous-birth Jizo
    • Taue Jizo - helps farmers plant rice
    • Toge Nuki Jizo - pulls out thorns
    • Tsunbo Jizo - deaf Jizo to whom letters must be written
    • Yume Jizo - dream or sleep Jizo
  • In 1960 two in three pregnacies ended in abortion.  In 1989, 1 in 3.
  • Mizuko Jizo rites appeared in post-war japan to address this.
  • 42 percent of temples perform the ceremony, 
  • Renzai is least likely to perform it; 4 percent reported practicing this.  Jodo Shinshu formally prohibited it (by faith alone they teach, not by rite.)
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