Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat
Guanyin or Guan Yin is the most used Chinese translation of the bodhisattva known as Avalokiteśvara. In English usage, Guanyin refers to the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion and venerated chiefly by followers of Mahayana Buddhist schools as practiced in the sinosphere. Guanyin refers to the bodhisattva as adopted by other Eastern religions such as Taoism, where she is revered as an immortal, as well as Chinese folk religions, where the mythical accounts about Guanyin's origins do not associate with the Avalokiteśvara described in Buddhist sutras.. In English, she is known as the "Goddess of Mercy" or the Mercy Goddess; the Chinese name Guanyin, is short for Guanshiyin, which means " Perceives the Sounds of the World". In Nepal Mandal Guanyin is worshipeed as Jana Baha Dyah, Seto Machindranath; some Buddhists believe that when one of their adherents departs from this world, they are placed by Guanyin in the heart of a lotus, sent to the western Pure Land of Sukhāvatī. Guanyin is referred to as the "most beloved Buddhist Divinity" with miraculous powers to assist all those who pray to her, as is said in the Lotus Sutra and Karandavyuha Sutra.
Several large temples in East Asia are dedicated to Guanyin including Shitennō-ji, Sensō-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Sanjūsangen-dō, Dharma Drum Mountain. Guanyin is beloved by all Buddhist traditions in a non-denominational way and found in most Tibetan temples under the name Chenrezig, found in some influential Theravada temples such as Gangaramaya and Kelaniya in Sri Lanka. Statues are a depicted subject of Asian art and found in the Asian art sections of most museums in the world. Guānyīn is a translation from the Sanskrit Avalokitasvara or Avalokiteśvara, referring to the Mahāyāna bodhisattva of the same name. Another name for this bodhisattva is Guānzìzài, it was thought that the Chinese mis-transliterated the word Avalokiteśvara as Avalokitasvara which explained why Xuanzang translated it as Guānzìzài instead of Guānyīn. However, the original form was indeed Avalokitasvara with the ending svara, which means "sound perceiver" "he who looks down upon sound"; this is the exact equivalent of the Chinese translation Guānyīn.
This etymology was furthered in the Chinese by the tendency of some Chinese translators, notably Kumarajiva, to use the variant Guānshìyīn "he who perceives the world's lamentations"—wherein lok was read as meaning both "to look" and "world". Direct translations from the Sanskrit name Avalokitasvara include: Chinese: Guanyin, Guanshiyin The name Avalokitasvara was supplanted by the Avalokiteśvara form containing the ending -īśvara, which does not occur in Sanskrit before the seventh century; the original form Avalokitasvara appears in Sanskrit fragments of the fifth century. The original meaning of the name "Avalokitasvara" fits the Buddhist understanding of the role of a bodhisattva; the reinterpretation presenting him as an īśvara shows a strong influence of Śaivism, as the term īśvara was connected to the Hindu notion of Śiva as a creator god and ruler of the world. While some of those who revered Avalokiteśvara upheld the Buddhist rejection of the doctrine of any creator god, Encyclopædia Britannica does cite Avalokiteśvara as the creator god of the world.
This position is taken in the used Karandavyuha Sutra with its well-known mantra Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ. In addition, the Lotus Sutra is the first time. Chapter 25 refers to him as Lokeśvara and Lokanātha and ascribes extreme attributes of divinity to him. Direct translations from the Sanskrit name Avalokiteśvara include: Chinese: 觀自在. In Hokkien, she is called Kuan Im or Kuan Se Im In Japanese, Guanyin is pronounced Kannon Kan'on, or more formally Kanzeon; this rendition was used for an earlier spelling of the well-known camera manufacturer Canon Inc., named for Guanyin. When iconography of Kannon depicts her with the Nyoihōju wishing gem she is known as Nyoirin Kannon, the Japanese adaptation of the Hindu deity Cintamanicakra. In Korean, Guanyin is called Gwanse-eum. In Thai's pronunciation duplicate from Hokkien Kuan Im, Phra Mae Kuan Im or Chao Mae Kuan Im. In Burmese, the name of Guanyin is Kwan Yin Medaw meaning Mother Kwan Yin. In Vietnamese, the name is Quán Thế Âm. In Indonesian, the name is Dewi Kwan Im.
She is called Mak Kwan Im "Mother Guanyin". In Malaysian Mandarin, the name is Guan Shi Yin Pusa. In Khmer, the name is Preah Mae Kun Ci Iem. In Sinhalese, the name is Natha Deviyo. In Tibetan, the name is Chenrézik. In Hmong, the name is Kab Yeeb. In these same countries, the variant Guanzizai "Lord of Contemplation" and its equivalents are used, such as in the Heart Sutra, among other sources; the Lotus Sūtra
Festivals in Tokyo
Tokyo holds many festivals throughout the year. Major Shinto shrine festivals include the Sanno Festival at Hie Shrine, the Sanja Festival at Asakusa Shrine; the Kanda Matsuri in Tokyo is held every two years in May. The festival features a parade with thousands of people. More secular and seasonal festivals include cherry blossom, or sakura, viewing parties in the spring where thousands gather in parks such as Ueno Park, Inokashira Park, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden for picnics under the cherry trees. In the summer annual firework and dance festivals such as the Sumida River fireworks festival on the last Saturday of July, the Kōenji Awa Odori dance festival on the last weekend in August attract millions of viewers. Festivals in Nagoya Culture of Tokyo
A mikoshi is a divine palanquin. Shinto followers believe that it serves as the vehicle to transport a deity in Japan while moving between main shrine and temporary shrine during a festival or when moving to a new shrine; the mikoshi resembles a miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda and a railing. The Japanese honorific prefix o- is added, making omikoshi. Typical shapes are rectangles and octagons; the body, which stands on two or four poles, is lavishly decorated, the roof might hold a carving of a phoenix. During a matsuri involving a mikoshi, people bear the mikoshi on their shoulders by means of two, four poles, they bring the mikoshi from the shrine, carry it around the neighborhoods that worship at the shrine, in many cases leave it in a designated area, resting on blocks called uma, for a time before returning it to the shrine. Some shrines have the custom of dipping the mikoshi in the water of a nearby river or ocean. At some festivals, the people who bear the mikoshi wave it wildly from side to side to "amuse" the deity inside.
The most common method of shouldering in Japan is hira-katsugi "flat carry". Bearers may or may not toss and shake the mikoshi. Other methods include: Edomae "Edo style" is one famous way of shouldering observable at the Asakusa Sanja Festival; the shout is "say ya, soi ya, sorya... etc". The mikoshi is swayed up and down and a little to the right and left. "Dokkoi | ドッコイ " is seen in Shonan in Kanagawa Prefecture. This shouldering style uses two poles; the mikoshi is moved up and down rhythmically, more than in the "Edomae style". One shout is "dokkoi dokkoi dokkoi sorya" and there is a song called a "Jink | lively song." Another one is "Odawara style | 小田原担ぎ". This is a peculiar way of shouldering in which multiple mikoshis run; the shout is "oisah. The bearers do not sway the mikoshi. In this "united" style, the mikoshi uses the full width of the road, moving from side to side and turning corners at full speed. Honden Sokyo Ono, William P. Woodward, Shinto - The Kami Way, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo 1992, ISBN 4-8053-0189-9 Basic Terms of Shinto, Kokugakuin University, Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Tokyo 1985 Mikoshi Photos of Shinto shrine Mikoshi Festival Shin'yo, in the Encyclopedia of Shinto by the Kokugakuin University
A kannushi called shinshoku, is the person responsible for the maintenance of a Shinto shrine as well as for leading worship of a given kami. The characters for kannushi are sometimes read jinshu with the same meaning; the kannushi were intermediaries between kami and could transmit their will to common humans. A kannushi was a man capable of miracles or a holy man who, because of his practice of purificatory rites, was able to work as a medium for a kami; the term evolved to being synonymous with shinshoku, that is, a man who works at a shrine and holds religious ceremonies there. In ancient times, because of the overlap of political and religious power within a clan, it was the head of the clan who led the clansmen during religious functions, or else it could be another official; the role evolved into a separate and more specialized form. The term appears in both the Nihon Shoki. In them Empress Jingū and Emperor Sujin became kannushi. Within the same shrine, for example at Ise Jingū or Ōmiwa Shrine, there can be different types of kannushi at the same time called for example Ō-kannushi, Sō-kannushi, or Gon-kannushi.
Kannushi can marry and their children inherit their position. Although this hereditary status is no longer granted, it continues in practice; the clothes they wear, for example the jōe, the eboshi and the kariginu, do not have any special religious significance, but are official garments used in the past by the Imperial court. This detail reveals the figure of the Emperor. Other implements used by kannushi include a baton called shaku and a wand decorated with white paper streamers called ōnusa. Kannushi are assisted in their religious or clerical work by women called miko. To become a kannushi, a novice must study at a university approved by the Association of Shinto Shrines Tokyo's Kokugakuin University or Ise's Kogakkan University, or pass an exam that will certify his qualification. Women can become kannushi and widows can succeed their husbands in their job. Miko, female equivalent Norito Kannushi, Encyclopedia of Shinto
In Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is any person, on the path towards Buddhahood but has not yet attained it. In the Early Buddhist schools as well as modern Theravada Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has made a resolution to become a Buddha and has received a confirmation or prediction from a living Buddha that this will be so. In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has generated bodhicitta, a spontaneous wish and compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. In early Buddhism, the term bodhisatta is used in the early texts to refer to Gautama Buddha in his previous lives and as a young man in his current life in the period during which he was working towards his own liberation. During his discourses, to recount his experiences as a young aspirant he uses the phrase "When I was an unenlightened bodhisatta..." The term therefore connotes a being, "bound for enlightenment", in other words, a person whose aim is to become enlightened. In the Pāli canon, the bodhisatta is described as someone, still subject to birth, death, sorrow and delusion.
Some of the previous lives of the Buddha as a bodhisattva are featured in the Jataka tales. According to the Theravāda monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, the bodhisattva path is not taught in the earliest strata of Buddhist texts such as the Pali Nikayas which instead focus on the ideal of the Arahant; the oldest known story about how Gautama Buddha becomes a bodhisattva is the story of his encounter with the previous Buddha, Dīpankara. During this encounter, a previous incarnation of Gautama, variously named Sumedha, Megha, or Sumati offers five blue lotuses and spreads out his hair or entire body for Dīpankara to walk on, resolving to one day become a Buddha. Dīpankara confirms that they will attain Buddhahood. Early Buddhist authors saw this story as indicating that the making of a resolution in the presence of a living Buddha and his prediction/confirmation of one's future Buddhahood was necessary to become a bodhisattva. According to Drewes, "all known models of the path to Buddhahood developed from this basic understanding."The path is explained differently by the various Nikaya schools.
In the Theravāda Buddhavaṃsa, after receiving the prediction, Gautama took four asaṃkheyyas and a hundred thousand, shorter kalpas to reach Buddhahood. The Sarvāstivāda school had similar models about, they held it took him three asaṃkhyeyas and ninety one kalpas to become a Buddha after his resolution in front of a past Buddha. During the first asaṃkhyeya he is said to have encountered and served 75,000 Buddhas, 76,000 in the second, after which he received his first prediction of future Buddhahood from Dīpankara, meaning that he could no longer fall back from the path to Buddhahood. Thus, the presence of a living Buddha is necessary for Sarvāstivāda; the Mahāvibhāṣā explains that its discussion of the bodhisattva path is meant to “stop those who are in fact not bodhisattvas from giving rise to the self-conceit that they are.”The Mahāvastu of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottaravādins presents four stages of the bodhisattva path without giving specific time frames: Natural, one first plants the roots of merit in front of a Buddha to attain Buddhahood.
Resolution, one makes their first resolution to attain Buddhahood in the presence of a Buddha. Continuing, one continues to practice. Irreversible, at this stage, one cannot fall back; the Sri Lankan commentator Dhammapala in his commentary on the Cariyāpiṭaka, a text which focuses on the bodhisatta path, notes that to become a bodhisatta one must make a valid resolution in front of a living Buddha, which confirms that one is “irreversible” from the attainment of Buddhahood. The Nidānakathā, as well as the Buddhavaṃsa and Cariyāpiṭaka commentaries makes this explicit by stating that one cannot use a substitute for the presence of a living Buddha, since only a Buddha has the knowledge for making a reliable prediction; this is the accepted view maintained in orthodox Theravada today. The idea is that any resolution to attain Buddhahood may be forgotten or abandoned during the aeons ahead; the Burmese monk Ledi Sayadaw explains that though it is easy to make vows for future Buddhahood by oneself, it is difficult to maintain the necessary conduct and views during periods when the Dharma has disappeared from the world.
One will fall back during such periods and this is why one is not a full bodhisatta until one receives recognition from a living Buddha. Because of this, it was and remains a common practice in Theravada to attempt to establish the necessary conditions to meet the future Buddha Maitreya and thus receive a prediction from him. Medieval Theravada literature and inscriptions report the aspirations of monks and ministers to meet Maitreya for this purpose. Modern figures such as Anagarika Dharmapala, U Nu both sought to receive a prediction from a Buddha in the future and believed meritorious actions done for the good of Buddhism would help in their endeavor to become bodhisattas in the future. Over time the term came to be applied to other figures besides Gautama Buddha in Theravada lands due to the influence of Mahayana; the Theravada Abhayagiri tradition of Sri Lanka practiced Mahayana Buddhism and was influential until the 12th century. Kings of Sri Lanka
The Hōzōmon is the inner of two large entrance gates that leads to the Sensō-ji in Asakusa, Tokyo. A two-story gate, the Hōzōmon's second story houses many of the Sensō-ji's treasures; the first story houses three lanterns and two large sandals. It stands 22.7 metres tall, 21 metres wide, 8 metres deep. The Hōzōmon was first built in 942 AD by Taira no Kinmasa. Destroyed by fire in 1631, it was rebuilt by Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1636, it stood for 300 more years until it was once again burned down during the Tokyo air raids of 1945. In 1964, the present steel-reinforced concrete structure was built with a donation of ¥150 million from Yonetarō Motoya. Since the gate was reconstructed using flame-resistant materials, the upper story of the Hōzōmon stores the Sensō-ji's treasured sutras; these treasures include a copy of the Lotus Sutra, designated a Japanese National Treasure and the Issai-kyō, a complete collection of Buddhist scriptures, designated an Important Cultural Property. Unlike the Kaminarimon, which houses four different statues, the Hōzōmon houses two guardian statues that are located on either side of the gate's south face.
These 5.45-metre-tall statues represent the guardian deities of the Buddha. Because of these statues, the gate was called the Niōmon before it was renamed the Hōzōmon; the gate features three large lanterns. The largest and most prominent lantern is a red chōchin that hangs under the center of the gate's opening. With a height of 3.75 m, a diameter of 2.7 m and a weight of 400 kg, the lantern displays the name of the town Kobunachō. The current iteration of the lantern dates back to 2003 when ¥5 million was donated by the people of Kobunachō, its donation commemorated the 400th-year-anniversary of the start of the Edo period. On either side of the chōchin hangs two 2.75 metre-tall copper tōrō weighing 1000 kg each. All three lanterns are removed during festivals such as Sanja Matsuri. On the Hōzōmon's north face are the waraji, two 4.5 m long, 1.5 m wide straw sandals that weigh 400 kg each. Asakusa Shrine Traditional lighting equipment of Japan