JōDO-SHū (浄土宗, "The Pure Land School"), also known as JōDO
BUDDHISM, is a branch of Pure Land
* 1 History
* 2 Doctrine * 3 Sub-sects * 4 Geographic distribution * 5 References * 6 Literature * 7 External links
THE FOUNDER: HōNEN
Hōnen was born in 1133, the son of a prominent family in Japan whose ancestry could be traced back to silk merchants from China. Hōnen was originally named Seishimaru after the mahāsattva Seishi (Sanskrit Mahāsthāmaprāpta ). After a rival official assassinated his father in 1141, Hōnen was initiated into his uncle's monastery at the age of 9. From then on, Hōnen lived his life as a monk and eventually studied at the famous monastery of Mount Hiei .
Hōnen was well respected for his knowledge and for his adherence to
Five Precepts , but in time,
Hōnen became dissatisfied with the
Hōnen gathered disciples from all walks of life, and
developed a large following, notably women, who had been excluded from
serious Buddhist practice up to this point. This included fishermen,
prostitutes and fortune tellers.
Hōnen also distinguished himself by
not discriminating against women who were menstruating, who were
thought at the time to be unclean. All of this caused concern among
the religious and political elite of
Hōnen and his disciples were largely exiled to remote
provinces, and due to differences in background and monastic training,
the teachings began to take on regional differences. Some sub-sects
died out quickly, while others survive through the modern era. The
main branch of Jōdo Shū started under Hōnen's disciple Benchō, who
was exiled to Chinzei on the island of
Another monk named Ryōchū became his disciple for a year, and then spread Benchō's and Hōnen's teachings throughout Japan before reaching the capital at Kamakura . Ryōchū helped to legitimize the "Chinzei branch" of Jōdo Shū as the mainstream one, and is credited as the 3rd Patriarch accordingly. He also referred to Benchō, his teacher, as the 2nd Patriarch after Hōnen. Ryōchū also met with Renjaku-bo, whose own teacher Genchi, had been another disciple of Hōnen. Renjaku-bo felt that Genchi and Benchō had been in complete agreement, so he willingly united his lineage with Ryōchū's, helping to further increase its standing.
Jōdo Shū through the Chinzei lineage continued to develop until the
8th Patriarch, Shōgei (聖冏, 1341-1420) who formalized the training
of priests (rather than training under
Hōnen did not believe that other Buddhist practices were wrong, but rather, they were not practical on a wide-scale, especially during the difficult times of the late Heian.
Repetition of the nembutsu is the most fundamental practice of Jōdo-shū, which derives from the Primal Vow of Amitābha. In home practice, or in temple liturgy, the nembutsu may be recited in any number of styles including:
* JūNEN (十念, "Ten Recitations") - reciting the nembutsu ten times, with the last drawn out. * NEMBUTSU ICHIE (念仏一会, "Nembutsu Gathering") - reciting the nembutsu as many times as possible in a sitting, regardless of number. * NEMBUTSU SANSHōRAI (念仏三唱礼, "Three Intonations of Praise") - a style involving three drawn-out recitations of the nembutsu, follow by a bow. This is repeated twice more for a total of nine recitations.
However, in addition to this, practitioners are encouraged to engage
in "auxiliary" practices, such as observing the Five Precepts,
meditation, the chanting of sutras and other good conduct. There is no
strict rule on this however, as
Infinite Life Sutra
Jōdo-shū, like other Buddhist schools, maintains a professional,
monastic priesthood, who help to lead the congregation, and also
maintain the well-known temples such as
The main 'Chinzei' branch of Jodo Shu was maintained by the so-called "Second Patriarch" and disciple of Honen, Benchō. However, other disciples of Hōnen branched off into a number of other sects and interpretations, particularly after they were exiled in 1207:
* Shoku founded the
* ^ "Nyorai-in in Settsu". Retrieved 2008-11-23. * ^ "About Honen Shonin". Retrieved 2008-11-23. * ^ Traversing the Pure Land Path: A Lifetime of Encounters with Hōnen Shonin. Jodo Shu Press. 2005. pp. 152–153. ISBN 4-88363-342-X . * ^ A B Hattori, Sho-on (2001). A Raft from the Other Shore : Honen and the Way of Pure Land Buddhism. Jodo Shu Press. pp. 16–19, 52. ISBN 4-88363-329-2 . * ^ "Teachings and Practice". Retrieved 2011-10-17. * ^ "The 4 Eras of Honen\'s Disciples". Retrieved 2008-11-23. * ^ Traversing the Pure Land Path: A Lifetime of Encounters with Honen Shonin. Jodo Shu Press. 2005. pp. 89–94. ISBN 4-88363-342-X . * ^ Traversing the Pure Land Path: A Lifetime of Encounters with Honen Shonin. Jodo Shu Press. 2005. pp. 124–131. ISBN 4-88363-342-X .
* Matsunaga, Daigan, Matsunaga, Alicia (1996), Foundation of Japanese buddhism, Vol. 2: The Mass Movement (Kamakura and Muromachi Periods), Los Angeles; Tokyo: Buddhist Books International, 1996. ISBN 0-914910-28-0 * Hisao Inagaki, Harold Stewart (transl.): The Three Pure Land Sutras, Berkeley: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research 2003. ISBN 1-886439-18-4 PDF
* English Language Site for Jodo Shu - The official website for Jodo
Shu. Also contains information on Pure Land