A syncretic mountain religion of Japan blending the Mikkyo teachings of esoteric Buddhism (Shingon and Tendai sects), Tibetan Mysticism, and indiginous Japanese Shinto and folk religions emphasizing Nature worship. The religion has its earliest inception in the 7th century by En no Gyoja (En the Ascetic). Followers are called Shugenja and often synonymous with ascetic mountain warriors called yamabushi, "those who dwell in the mountains". As well, because of their garb and historically secretive lifestyle, they are frequently associated with the infamous Ninja.more...
Shugenja and Yamabushi (often incorrectly translated as "mountain warriors") were frequently very adept fighters. The history of Shugenja's and yamabushi's fighting ability and secretive lifestyle, as well as the ninja's use of yamabushi religious garb to travel in disguise have blurred the lines between ninja, yamabushi, and Shugenja.
Modern day Shugenja still exist in Japan and throughout the world. Pilgrimages involving mountain treks and performance of austere faith-testing rituals such as walking across burning coals and prolonged cold water immersion while reciting Sutras and confessing sins and weaknesses are still pe...
Statues of this deity are already prominent in Japan by the 7th century. By the 9th century, Miroku Bosatsu becomes extremely popular among believers of the Shingon Sect, a form of Esoteric Buddhism. Founded by Kobo Daishi (774 to 835 AD), the Shingon sect believes that, far in the future, the Miroku Bosatsu will become a Nyorai (Buddha), and then appear on earth to save those unable to achieve enlightenment. Even today, Shingon followers are awaiting Miroku's return, scheduled to occur about 5.6 billion years from now.more...
Miroku Bosatsu - Hakuhou Period, Treasure of Kouryu-jiAccording to Buddhist lore, the Days of Dharma (Buddhist Law) are divided into three periods:
1. First phase lasts 500 years; called the Turning of the Wheel of the Law (itself a metaphor for teaching the way to enlightenment), it refers to the spread and acceptance of Buddhist philosophy
2. Second phase lasts 1,000 years; during this period the practice of the Law begins to deteriorate
3. Last phase lasts 3,000 years; during this period, no one practises the Law
In the very last period, Buddhism will weaken and fade, but a new Buddha will then appear to once again "turn the wheel of the law." This Buddha is Maitreya (Miroku). Technically speaking, Miroku is a Bosatsu who resides in the Tusita heaven -- the place where Bosatsu dwell before incarnation -- but Miroku is still considered a Buddha in light of his impending arrival. This explains why Miroku can be represe...
The third eye (also known as the inner eye) is a mystical and esoteric concept referring in part to the ajna (brow) chakra in certain Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. It is also spoken of as the gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. In New Age spirituality, the third eye may alternately symbolize a state of enlightenment or the evocation of mental images having deeply-personal spiritual or psychological significance. The third eye is often associated with visions, clairvoyance (which includes the ability to observe chakras and auras), precognition, and out-of-body experiences, and people who have allegedly developed the capacity to utilize their third eyes are sometimes known as seers.
In Hinduism and Buddhism, the third eye is a symbol of enlightenment (moksha and nirvana). In the Indian tradition, it is referred to as the gyananakashu, the eye of knowledge, which is the seat of the 'teacher inside' or antar-guru. The third eye is the ajna chakra (sixth chakra) also known as brow chakra or brow centre. This is commonly denoted in Indian and East Asian iconography with a dot, eye or mark on the forehead of deities or enlightened beings, such as Shiva, Buddha, or any number of yogis, sages and bodhisattvas. This symbol is called the "Third Eye" or "Eye of Wisdom," or, in Buddhism, the urna. In Hinduism, it is believed that the opening of Shiva's third eye causes the eventual destruction of the physical universe.