Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sekizan-gu (Temple of Chih-shan)

When Ennin (posthumously known as Jikaku-Taishi) studied at the temple of Chih-shan in China, under the rule of the Tang Dynasty with Imperial sanction, he worshipped the deity of Shiragi-myojin (the gracious deity of Silla, one of the three kingdoms in Korea in the first millennium) to enhance his spiritual life and learn the teachings of Buddhism.

He was enshrined here at this temple after his return to Japan because he successfully finished the ten-year training program, thanks to his piety during his stay in China. Since then, at Buddhist temples in Japan, Jikaku-Taishi has been worshipped as the master of the doctrine of Tendai Buddhism, and Shiragi-myojin of Chih-shan has been deified as the guardian god of the teachings of the Tendai sect.

It is believed that this deity prevents disasters, guarantees longevity and drives away evil spirit - people chant his name Sekizan-Myojin (gracious deity of Chih-shan) as a sign of worship. The deity is also regarded as the incarnation of Ksitigarbha.

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