Buddhism During The Heian Period

1510 Words Apr 5th, 2016 7 Pages
Buddhism During the Heian period (745-1185AD) Buddhism spread throughout Japan and thrived in the imperial court in Heiankyo (Kyoto). There were two sects of Buddhism that were most popular during this time, one was Tendai and the other was Shingon. Both of these sects of Buddhism came from China and were brought over to Japan by two different people. Saicho or Dengyo Daishi brought over Tendai sect (767-822) and Kukai or Kobo Daishi brought over Shingon sect (774-835) known as Esoteric Buddhism. Tendai sect beliefs were also of Esoteric Buddhism, but Saicho teachings were based on Chih-I form inspired by the Lotus Sutra, the practice of Chines Ch’an, the commandments of the Mahayant, and part of the esoteric teaching of the “True Word” (History of Buddhism). Due to both Saicho and Kukai being introduced to Esoteric Buddhism, some might have thought there was a rivalry between them, but that was not so due to Kukai was consider an expert due to his training he had with his mentor. Out of the two sects it would be Kukai that would still have a strong hold in the Japanese culture today. It is important to understand how Kukai came to understand his beliefs and what Esoteric Buddhism was for him and the influence Kukai would have on Esoteric Buddhism. Esoteric Buddhism (Shingon in Japanese) “refers to the mantra words and syllables that convey the essence of the Buddha-teaching (Symbols).” Esoteric is about the word of presence, the word of God, a divine word, a…
Open Document