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The Shinzan-Shiki Ceremony for Great Acharya Zhiguang was Successfully Completed at the Kyoto Ichijio Temple

On October 15 to 17, 2019, the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony was held at the Kyoto Shimeisan Ichijo Temple for Great Acharya Zhiguang, the first abbot of this temple in its revitalization. Many eminent Buddhist masters and monks of the Theravada tradition, Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism gathered at the Ichijo Temple, and carried out their respective rituals to pray and bless for Great Acharya Zhiguang at the ceremony. More than 200 disciples of the four assemblies from Japan and the other parts of the world, together with people from all walks of life, witnessed the historical moment of this…

2019.12.01

On October 15 to 17, 2019, the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony was held at the Kyoto Shimeisan Ichijo Temple for Great Acharya Zhiguang, the first abbot of this temple in its revitalization. Many eminent Buddhist masters and monks of the Theravada tradition, Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism gathered at the Ichijo Temple, and carried out their respective rituals to pray and bless for Great Acharya Zhiguang at the ceremony. More than 200 disciples of the four assemblies from Japan and the other parts of the world, together with people from all walks of life, witnessed the historical moment of this remarkable event.

Great Acharya Zhiguang is the first Chinese person in history to be recognized as a Great Acharya of Sanbu-to-ho of the Japanese Tendai esoteric school, as well as a Daisojo and Great Acharya of Lamp Transmission of the Japanese Shingon Daigo-ha lineage. Over the past thirty years, he has received pure lineages in Chinese Buddhism, the Theravada tradition, Tibetan Buddhism, and Japanese Buddhism from more than ninety eminent teachers. He also restored this temple that was built over 900 years ago at Higashiura-cho, Daigogoryo, Fukumi-ku, Kyoto. Out of reverence for the teachings of the various lineages and adhering to the Buddha’s philosophy of “the single vehicle” (i.e., Ekayana in Sanskrit or Ichijo in Japanese), the Ichijo Temple successfully held the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony over three days by performing different rituals of the Japanese Tendai sect, Chinese Han Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, the Japanese Shingon sect and Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhism. In addition, a dialogue was organized to discuss the topic of “the Globalization of Buddhism and Dissemination of Esoteric Buddhism in Modern Society” among the representatives from the different Buddhist traditions and academic circles.

The first day of the ceremony: Shinzan-Shiki rituals of the Japanese Tendai sect and Chinese Han Buddhism

The ceremony started on October 15, which was also the birthday of Great Acharya Zhiguang. In the early morning, it rained and then the sky cleared up. The Ichijo Temple seemed to be extraordinarily cool and solemn after it was bathed.

At 10 o’clock in the morning, Great Acharya Zhiguang, dressed in his robes, led a group of monks and nuns of the Ichijo Temple and lined up in a row with Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo, the abbot of Enryaku-ji on Mount Hie of the Tendai school and Kanshu of the Ryukokuzan Mizumadera Temple, Abbot Fukue Zenkou of the Hieizan Gyoin (Practice Hall), Take Encho Daisozu from Shojuin, as well as the monks and nuns from the Xianyun Temple in Wuxi and the Maha Cundi Temple in Henan, China. Being warmly greeted by the guests on both sides, they walked through the courtyard of the temple and came to the main hall, where the ceremony was held in front of the yidams: the statue of Amitabha Buddha and the Lotus Sutra Mandala. 

Great Acharya Zhiguang, together with Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo, Abbot Fukue Zenkou and Take Encho Daisozu, entered the Ichijo Temple

Present at the ceremony were Rev. Nakata Junna Daisojo, the 11th Chief Priest of the Shingon Daigo-ha lineage, the 52nd Monzeki (Japanese Buddhist priest of imperial lineage) of the Daihonzan Sanbo-in Temple, the 103rd Zasu (head priest) of the Daigoji Temple, Rev. Shodo Habukawa Daisojo, the former chief executive of the Koyasan Kongobuji Temple, the 508th Hoin of the Koyasan Shingon sect, the former Director of Buddhist Affairs, the former abbot of Koyasan Muryokoin Temple, Kodama Yoshitaka Daisojo, Vice President of the Japan Shuchiin University, Master Shi Hongtao, Deputy Supervisor of the Daxingshan Temple in Xi’an, China and Ph.D. of the University of Koyasan, Geshe Sonam, the abbot of the Drol Kar Buddhist Centre in Australia, Master Shi Jihua, the abbot of the Wuxi Xianyun Temple and Hengshan Temple, Master Shi Wuran, the abbot of Henan Cundi Temple, Fabio Andrico, the senior instructor of Yantra Yoga of the Dzogchen Association in Italy, Prof. Wang Yiming of South China Normal University, and other representatives from all walks of life. 

The ceremony was initiated by Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo, a great mentor for the Ichijo Temple. He presided over the chanting of Buddhist scriptures by using the traditional method of the Japanese Tendai sect. Then, Master Shi Jihua led the Chinese monks of Han Buddhism to chant and pray for blessings.

Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo presided over the rituals by using the traditional method of the Japanese Tendai sect
Master Shi Jihua led the Chinese monks of Han Buddhism to chant and pray for blessings

Afterwards, Great Acharya Zhiguang delivered a speech, in which he briefly introduced the origin of the Kyoto Shimeisan Ichijo Temple. He said: “According to the ancient book Important Records of the Daigoji Temple, the Ichijo Temple was founded in the fourth year of the Kanji Era (1090), and the main yidam enshrined was the Lotus Sutra Mandala, with the Lotus Sutra ritual being practiced every day, one in the morning, the other in the evening. Knowing that we advocate the philosophy of ‘one vehicle’ (Ichijo), my teacher, Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna Daisojo, entrusted us with the restoration and revival of this 1,000 years old temple. This is the origin of the Shimeisan Ichijo Temple.”

Great Acharya Zhiguang was giving a speech

Since the thirtieth year of the Heisei Era (October 27, 2018), when the Nyuzan-Shiki was held at Ichijo Temple for Great Acharya Zhiguang, a team of monks has been diligently practicing day and night throughout this one year. Dharma talks, homa, and salvation rituals have been carried out at the Ichijo Temple. Moreover, various online activities have been conducted globally at the Ichijo Temple, such as Buddhist ceremonies, Dharma teaching, group practice and life release, to benefit all sentient beings. 

The Great Acharya said: “The Ichijo Temple advocates the philosophy of ‘the single Buddha vehicle’ to encourage the inheritance and spreading of Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism of different pure lineages, as well as the unity and exchanges among the various sects, especially for the return of Tangmi and its revival, to promote cultural exchanges between China and Japan to contribute to the friendship between the two nations and world peace.”

Next, Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo, Rev.Nakata Junna Daisojo, Rev. Shodo Habukawa Daisojo, Master Shi Hongtao, Geshe Sonam, Master Shi Jihua, Master Shi Wuran and Mr. Fabio Andrico also delivered their speeches. 

The guests who delivered their speeches (from left to right: Geshe Sonam, Master Shi Jihua, Master Shi Wuran and Mr. Fabio Andrico)

Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo said, “Tendai Esoteric Buddhism was transmitted to Japan from Chang ‘an, China, by the great master Ennin (also known as Jikaku Daishi) twelve hundred years ago. I sincerely admire Acharya Zhiguang for his goal of reviving Tangmi in China, and I think this is great. I really expect that after this ceremony, the Ichijo Temple, which serves as a base in Japan, will play an important role in the revival of Tangmi.”

“After this ceremony, the Ichijo Temple will continue to carry out activities as indicated by its name. By using the single-vehicle doctrines from the Lotus Sutra of the Tendai school as well as the Shingon school, Acharya Zhiguang has been conducting activities according to the ultimate teachings of the compassionate Buddha while centering on Ekayana Buddhism, so as to save beings to help them attain Buddhahood. Such activities have been carried out not only in the Chinese mainland, but also in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Europe and other parts of the world. I sincerely wish that these activities can be further developed in Japan after this Shinzan-Shiki ceremony of the Ichijo Temple.”

Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo was giving a speech

Rev. Nakata Junna Daisojo said in his speech, “Acharya Zhiguang has a wide range of learning experiences. First, he studied Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism, and then he came to Japan to study Tendai and Shingon esoteric Buddhism. Acharya Zhiguang not only has made an in-depth study of the teachings and knowledge in Tibetan Buddhism, Taimitsu, established by the Tendai school, and Tomitsu from Master Kukai, but also has done a good job in practicing to pray for the world.”

“Acharya Zhiguang is summarizing and integrating the comprehensive esoteric teachings, including the Shingon and Tendai teachings, and bringing them back to China. I am also full of expectations for this. I hope that these teachings can be recognized by the Chinese government and accepted by society, to become widespread in China.”

Rev. Nakata Junna Daisojo was giving a speech

In his speech, Rev. Shodo Habukawa Daisojo said: “Acharya Zhiguang has ‘universal compassion of oneness’ for all sentient beings, including not only those in China, but also in other Asian countries such as Malaysia, and even in European countries. He feels sorry for the sorrows of all beings, and happy for their happiness. The teachings of esoteric Buddhism are the most suitable doctrines to address the various needs of modern people. Acharya Zhiguang is the most qualified person in practicing these teachings. I have no doubt about this.”

      Rev. Shodo Habukawa Daisojo was giving a speech

In his speech, Master Shi Hongtao, who is also committed to the great cause of bringing Tangmi back to China, praised Great Acharya Zhiguang: “I am deeply impressed by Acharya Zhiguang’s vast compassion and wisdom, his complete virtue and merits, the arduous efforts he makes to spread the Dharma, and the sacrifice and hardships he endures only to benefit all beings. Thinking of this always touches me and reminds me of the verse in the Lotus Sutra: ‘His vow is as deep as the ocean.’ I sincerely wish that Shimeisan Ichijo Temple will transform sentient beings and spread the essence and traditions of the esoteric canon on a grand scale, like the universal gate of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and it will unite the three vehicles in one and employ the expanded repertoire of teachings and skillful means to lead more beings in the three states of existence to return to their original Buddha nature.”

Master Shi Hongtao was giving a speech

At the kind invitation of Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, the guests had lunch together in the Sanbo-in Hall of Daigoji Temple. Afterwards, the guests gathered in the Shushohden (Hall of Practice and Realization) of Daigoji Temple to listen to an open discussion on the subject of “the Globalization of Buddhism and Dissemination of Esoteric Buddhism in Modern Society”, hosted by Master Huibao, the secretary of the Ichijo Temple, attended by Zasu Nakata Junna, Abbot Fukue Zenkou, Great Acharya Zhiguang, Master Shi Hongtao, Geshe Sonam, Mr. Andrico, Professor Wang Yiming, and Acharya Huizhi, the Shuso of the Ichijo Temple. These eight eminent Buddhist monks and masters discussed about the trans-national, trans-regional and trans-sectarian development and dissemination of Buddhism in the context of today’s globalization, and conducted in-depth talks and exchanges on the communication between and integration of Buddhist sects, the dissemination of esoteric Buddhism in modern society, as well as other issues brought about by the globalization of Buddhism, presenting an enlightening feast of wisdom for the present Buddhist disciples of the four assemblies and attendants from all walks of life. Representatives from academic circles and various sects of Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Japanese Buddhism gathered on the stage to jointly demonstrate the Rimé philosophy that emphasizes the same destination of all the different paths of various Buddhist sects, and advocate the single Buddha vehicle that unites and integrates the three Buddhist vehicles.

A scene from the open discussion on the subject of “the Globalization of Buddhism and Dissemination of Esoteric Buddhism in Modern Society”

Guests participating in the open discussion on the subject of “the Globalization of Buddhism and Dissemination of Esoteric Buddhism in Modern Society” (from left to right): Professor Wang Yiming, Master Shi Hongtao, Abbot Fukue Zenkou, Great Acharya Zhiguang, Zasu (head priest) Nakata Junna, Geshe Sonam, Mr. Fabio Andrico, and Acharya Huizhi.

The discussion lasted for nearly four hours, both the guests on the stage and the present audience were joyously immersed in the cheerful and enlightening atmosphere of the discussion that symbolizes the flourishing of Buddhism and the harmonious unity of different Buddhist traditions. The inspiring symphony of transcendental wisdom played by the distinguished guests on the stage nourished the present audience like celestial nectar, filled them with delight in the Dharma, and left them wanting more.

The second day of the Dharma Assembly: the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

On October 16, Geshe Sonam, abbot of the Drol Kar Buddhist Centre in Australia personally presided over the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism for Great Acharya Zhiguang.

At 7 o’clock in the morning, Great Acharya Zhiguang started the ceremony by performing the Padmasambhava Dzogchen Homa offering at the Homa Hall of the Ichijo Temple to pray for blessings on benefactors. At 10:00 am, Geshe Sonam came with all the guests to the gate of the Ichijo Temple, where he joined Great Acharya Zhiguang in cutting the ribbon formed by Hada scarfs of five different colors. With the gate opening up gently, Great Acharya Zhiguang walked through a rain of flowers into Ichijo Temple and came to the Hall of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava and accepted the sutra-chanting prayers and blessings of Geshe Sonam, one of the prominent Buddhist masters of Tibetan Buddhism, joined by the guests and benefactors. There he also accepted the offering of mandala and the embodiments of the Buddha’s body, speech and mind, namely, Buddha statues, tantra scriptures and Buddha stupas, presented by Master Wuran, Master Miaoshan, Master Huizhi and Master Huibao as the representatives of disciples of the four assemblies.

Great Acharya Zhiguang performing the Padmasambhava Dzogchen Homa offering at the Homa Hall of Ichijo Temple

When the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism was completed, Great Acharya Zhiguang said, “It may be said that the representatives from the most influential Buddhist traditions are all present at Ichijo Temple for today’s Shinzan-Shiki ceremony. This symbolizes a very auspicious origination of our undertaking to carry forward the philosophy of “the single Buddha vehicle.” I earnestly hope that the Ichijo Temple will be developed into a non-sectarian Dharma center and all Buddhist teachings of pure lineages will be spread around the world.”

“The ultimate goal for everything we do is to benefit sentient beings. But how can we do that? We must practice in accordance with the integrated exoteric and esoteric teachings, so that we can attain Buddhahood in the quickest way and have more abilities and capacity to benefit all other living beings who have been our parents in the past. That is one of the most fundamental thoughts we follow. I hope all practitioners can enlighten themselves first before they can awaken others and finally achieve the perfect enlightenment—the common goal of all Buddhists.”

Finally, Geshe Sonam and Acharya Zhiguang blessed the participants with scattered flowers, and the ceremony of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition was successfully concluded in a light -hearted mood and auspicious atmosphere.

The third day of the Dharma Assembly: the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony in the tradition of the Japanese Shingon Sect and Theravada Buddhism.

October 17, or the nineteenth of the ninth month on the lunar calendar, coincided with the date when Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara renounced the world and became a monk. At 9:45 a.m., Archarya Zhiguang, dressed in a robe, led the line formed by the sanghas of the Daigoji Temple, the Xianyun Temple, the Maha Cundi Temple and the Ichijo Temple, walked from the north gate of the Daigoji Temple towards the Ichijo Temple, and commenced the third day of the Assembly.

Acharya Zhiguang entered the Ichijo Temple, together with the sanghas of the Daigoji Temple, the Xianyun Temple, the Maha Cundi Temple and the Ichijo Temple

At 10:00 a.m., the ceremony officially started in the Hondo (Main Hall) of the Ichijo Temple. At first, Acharya Zhiguang performed the ceremony to pray for the prosperity of the Buddha-Dharma, the happiness of people, national stability and world peace, with sutras jointly chanted by the sanghas of the Daigoji Temple and the Ichijo Temple according to the tradition of the Japanese Shingon Sect. Then, Master Dhammakitthi, the abbot of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Sri Lanka, chanted sutras to bless the ceremony and presented to Acharya Zhiguang a precious gift, a solemn light stupa decorated with flowers.

Great Acharya Zhiguang performed the rituals, with joint sutra chanting by the sangha in the Shingon tradition
Master Dhammakitthi chanted sutras and prayed for the ceremony

Acharya Zhiguang, as a representative of the Ichijo Temple, and Master Dhammakitthi, as a representative of Theravada Buddhism, were the first to light the candles on the stupa, followed by the representatives of different Buddhist traditions and sects, including Mr. Kabese Yuga, Director of Religious Affairs of the Daigoji Temple from Japanese Buddhism; Geshe Sonam and Mr. Fabio Andrico from Tibetan Buddhism, Master Shi Jihua, Master Shi Jingmin and Master Shi Wuran from  Chinese Buddhism, representatives of scholars such as Prof. Wang Yiming, Prof. Xing Dongfeng and Mr. Zhang Shunping, as well as the chairmen of ESTB Centers and people from different circles both home and abroad. The light stupa is a symbol for the bright future, unity, prosperity and continuity of Buddhism.

Master Dhammakitthi lit the candle

Great Acharya Zhiguagn lit the candle

In his address at the ceremony, Great Acharya Zhiguang expressed his gratitude to the monks from the Daigoji Temple and Master Dhammakitthi. He said, “Sri Lanka is the place where Amoghavajra, a fundamental lineage master in Tangmi, learned esoteric Buddhism from Acharya Samantabhadra. Therefore, it is a supreme causal condition that Master Dhammakitthi came here from Sri Lanka and brought to us this supreme and solemn light stupa from his home country.”

Mr. Kabese Yuga, Director of Religious Affairs of the Daigoji Temple, also gave a speech and issued a letter to certify Acharya Zhiguang as a Great Acharya of Lamp Transmission. He expressed his best wishes and said, “I am most impressed by Acharya Zhiguang’s aspiration for world peace and his efforts in building a Stupa of the Treasure Chest Seal in the Daigoji Temple. As far as I know, he has studied and learned Buddhist teachings in many countries before he came to our temple. Due to his destined close relationship with Rev. Nakata Junna Daisojo, Zasu of the Daigoji Temple, he learnt and mastered Shingon esoteric teachings at the Daigoji Temple. I hope that, through the relentless efforts of Acharya Zhiguang, the Ichijo Temple can fully play its role as the root monastery to bring back to China and spread to the world the precious teachings introduced to Japan, passed down and protected by Master Kukai.” Speeches were also delivered by Master Dhammakitthi, and Master Shi Jingmin, the abbot of the Luoxi Temple of Mount Putuo and the 47th lineage master of the Tiantai Sect.

Mr. Kabese Yuga, Director of Religious Affairs of the Daigoji Temple,  issued a letter of certification to Great Acharya Zhiguang as a Great Acharya of Lamp Transmission

Mr. Kabese Yuga was delivering a speech

Though not being able to make it to the ceremony in person, many great masters sent voice mails to express their congratulations to Acharya Zhiguang, such as H. H. Kathok Moktsa Rinpoche, one of the “Golden Throne Holders”, the 5th Patrul Rinpoche of the Dzagyal Monastery, the root monastery of the Longchen Nyingtik; Khenpo Tenzin Lhakpa, Denkhe Rinpoche and Khenpo Jigme Dropan of the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, Tsothen Rinpoche of the Yarchen Monastery, Pema Trinley Rinpoche of the Garong Monastery, Tsingze Nyima Rinpoche of the Sertar Karchu Monastery, Yenphun Rinpoche and  Chime Rinpoche of the Jamdu Monastery and  Phuntsok Rinpoche of  Tege Magen Monastery.

Remarks of congratulations were also made by Prof. Wang Yiming from South China Normal University, Mr. Zhang Shunping, President and Director General of Beijing Mingde Academy, Mr. Quek Ser Juay, Chairman of ESTBC (Singapore), Ms. Ying Yulu, representative of ESTBC (Australia), Ms. Rong Qianting, Secretary General of ESTBC (Hong Kong), Mr. Liu Xiaobin, Chairman of ESTBC (Austria), as well as representatives of Chinese Ekayana Sutra and Tantra Cultural Exchange Association (Taiwan) and Malaysian Butterworth Lay Buddhist Society. 

Mr. Liu Xiaobin, Chairman of ESTBC (Austria), was delivering a speech

Mr. Quek Ser Juay, Chairman of ESTBC (Singapore), was delivering a speech

Ms. Ying Yulu, representative of ESTBC (Australia), was delivering a speech

Ms. Rong Qianting, Secretary General of ESTBC (Hong Kong), was delivering a speech

Mr. You Jitian, representative of Chinese Ekayana Sutra and Tantra Cultural Exchange Association (Taiwan), was delivering a speech

Mr. Wang Yiming said in his speech that both the Esoteric lineages of Master Saicho and Master Kukai came from Master Amoghavajra, and he hoped that Acharya Zhiguang would be able to gather all the esoteric traditions as Master Amoghavajra had done, so as to spread Esoteric Buddhism widely.

Professor Mr. Wang Yiming from South China Normal University was giving a speech

In his speech, Mr. Zhang Shunping said, “Acharya Zhiguang has studied with Zasu (head priest) Nakata Junna and established the Ichijo Temple. This is just like the recurrence of the karmic event one thousand years ago, and also the realization of the prediction one thousand years ago.” He also wrote the following three Chinese-style Haiku poems to express his blessings.

The Ichijo Temple promotes the Lotus Sutra,

So that the poor son can recognize the pearl and ride the three vehicles,

To save sentient beings equal in number to the sands of the Ganges River by means of the Universal Gateway.

The Matrix and Diamond World Mandalas have shone for one thousand years.

To protect and help the world,

The footsteps of the ancient masters are followed,

To pass on the flame of the Dharma forever.

The leaves of trees are bright red in early autumn.

The poet is filled with happiness, like a rich wine,

So is the Dharma friendship between the two nations.

Mr. Zhang Shunping, Director and President of Beijing Mingde Academy, was giving a speech

All the participants took a group photo in front of the Tang-style gate of the Daigoji Temple after the ceremony.

At noon, Acharya Zhiguang had lunch with Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, Master Dhammakitthi, Geshe Sonam and other guests. During the lunch, Acharya Zhiguang expressed his deep gratitude to his teacher Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna and all the priests of the Daigoji Temple. He said: “I am an ordinary person without much merit. How could I have attained some small achievements? It is not because of my capability, but because of the great support from my teacher, Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, many other eminent masters, all the priests of the Daigoji Temple, people in different circles, and all our Dharma friends. So, the merits are due to you all.”

“My heart is full of gratitude on this day of the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony, especially for my teacher Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna. Without him, the Ichijo Temple would not exist. I’m also grateful to the priests of the Daigoji Temple. Without them, the Ichijo Temple would not be established. Thanks again to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna and all the priests of the Daigoji Temple for their great support over the past seven years. Thanks again!”

Great Acharya Zhiguang was giving an address at the Shushohden Hall of the Daigoji Temple

In remembrance of the kindness of Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, Great Archarya Zhiguang launched the global group practice of one hundred million Cundi Mantra recitations to pray for his health and longevity. He specially wrote a prayer for the long life of Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna as follows:

Embodiment of the pure Dharmakāya (Buddha nature) of Vairocana, he manifests in this world to pass on the profound vajra teaching of the One Vehicle;

Distinguished noble holder of the thousand-year-old Shingon Daigo-ha lineage, he wholeheartedly supports the return of Tangmi to China to repay the indebtedness to the lineage masters.

An outstanding teacher like the venerable Acharya Huiguo, a great master dedicated to Tangmi’s return, may he remain in the Saha world till the end of existence.

Maha Cundi Bodhisattva, Avalokiteshvara, the Medicine Buddha, Amitāyus, and all other Buddhas, we entreat you to shower down great blessings of everlasting immortality, here and now!

May Great Acharya Nakata Junna enjoy longevity, and may his enlightened activities for the benefit of the Dharma and all beings increase and spread!

Great Acharya Zhiguang humbly said that this prayer had little literary grace, but represented his heart. Then, he explained the prayer sentence by sentence. All the attendees were deeply moved by Acharya Zhiguang’s deep gratitude for his teacher, the aspiration of Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna to repay China’s kindness, and the joint efforts made by all Chinese and Japanese people for bringing Tangmi back. Many Dharma friends clearly couldn’t hold back their tears.

Great Acharya Zhiguang specially offered a statue of Amitayus Buddha to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, and prayed for the long life of his teacher.

Great Acharya Zhiguang offered a statue of Amitayus Buddha to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna

Then, Great Acharya Zhiguang declared the establishment of the Ekayana Friends Society. He said that the goal of the society was to promote world peace and cultural interactions, doing meaningful things for different countries, societies and the whole world. He invited Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna to serve as a mentor of the Ekayana Friends Society.

After then, Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna gave a speech to express his great kindness to Great Acharya Zhiguang and his students, and exhorted everyone to closely follow Great Acharya Zhiguang to study. He said: “I sincerely wish more Chinese young people, especially young dharma masters, come to Japan to study and practice at the Daigoji Temple. Great Acharya Zhiguang and I are ready to create a relatively good environment. Now that the bridge has been built with Shuchiin University of the Shingon tradition, several students have been studying there. The practice of the monks or nuns could be arranged at Tango-ji Temple including chado or kado (ikebana). In this way, young people could bring things they learnt back to China, and spread them in China widely. I am willing to create all the conditions in order to build such a complete process.

“In addition, the Daigoji Temple will provide a guarantee for the identity of Acharya Zhiguang. Acharya Zhiguang is not a travelling monk, but a real Buddhist practitioner. The Daigoji Temple can assure you of that, to avoid incorrect comments from others. I believe that all the priests of the Daigoji Temple, who have been providing assistance to you, will continue to support Acharya Zhiguang. I’d appreciate your help.”

Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna was giving an address at the Shushohden Hall of the Daigoji Temple

Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna also prepared precious gifts for all the guests – the commemorative coins dedicated to the 900th anniversary of the Sanbo-in of the Daigoji Temple. The students of Acharya Zhiguang performed a Vajra dance and musical offering to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna to express their gratitude and blessings.

The students of Acharya Zhiguang making an offering to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna by performing a Vajra dance

Finally, a signing session was held for Great Acharya Zhiguang’s books. In signing his name on the books sold to the participants, the Great Acharya carefully wrote each and every stroke, showing his great compassion and wish for all beings to be freed from suffering and attain Buddhahood. 

Great Acharya Zhiguang was signing his name on the books sold to the participants

The Shinzan-Shiki ceremony of the Ichijo Temple not only marked a milestone in the Great Acharya Zhiguang’s efforts for the return of Tangmi, but also a gathering for promoting the communication and solidarity of different Buddhist traditions. The auspicious completion of this ceremony is also a new start of Great Acharya Zhiguang’s work of leading all disciples of the four assemblies to spread the Dharma to benefit all sentient beings. May Great Acharya Zhiguang’s career of spreading the Dharma be successful! May all nations be prosperous and peaceful! May the Dharma teachings flourish and all sentient beings attain Buddhahood!

Taking a group photo in front of the Tang-style gate of the Daigoji Temple
 

The Shinzan-Shiki Ceremony for Great Acharya Zhiguang was Successfully Completed at the Kyoto Ichijio Temple

The Shinzan-Shiki Ceremony for Great Acharya Zhiguang was Successfully Completed at the Kyoto Ichijio Temple

2019-11-30

On October 15 to 17, 2019, the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony was held at the Kyoto Shimeisan Ichijo Temple for Great Acharya Zhiguang, the first abbot of this temple in its revitalization. Many eminent Buddhist masters and monks of the Theravada tradition, Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism gathered at the Ichijo Temple, and carried out their respective rituals to pray and bless for Great Acharya Zhiguang at the ceremony. More than 200 disciples of the four assemblies from Japan and the other parts of the world, together with people from all walks of life, witnessed the historical moment of this remarkable event.

Great Acharya Zhiguang is the first Chinese person in history to be recognized as a Great Acharya of Sanbu-to-ho of the Japanese Tendai esoteric school, as well as a Daisojo and Great Acharya of Lamp Transmission of the Japanese Shingon Daigo-ha lineage. Over the past thirty years, he has received pure lineages in Chinese Buddhism, the Theravada tradition, Tibetan Buddhism, and Japanese Buddhism from more than ninety eminent teachers. He also restored this temple that was built over 900 years ago at Higashiura-cho, Daigogoryo, Fukumi-ku, Kyoto. Out of reverence for the teachings of the various lineages and adhering to the Buddha’s philosophy of “the single vehicle” (i.e., Ekayana in Sanskrit or Ichijo in Japanese), the Ichijo Temple successfully held the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony over three days by performing different rituals of the Japanese Tendai sect, Chinese Han Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, the Japanese Shingon sect and Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhism. In addition, a dialogue was organized to discuss the topic of “the Globalization of Buddhism and Dissemination of Esoteric Buddhism in Modern Society” among the representatives from the different Buddhist traditions and academic circles.

The first day of the ceremony: Shinzan-Shiki rituals of the Japanese Tendai sect and Chinese Han Buddhism

The ceremony started on October 15, which was also the birthday of Great Acharya Zhiguang. In the early morning, it rained and then the sky cleared up. The Ichijo Temple seemed to be extraordinarily cool and solemn after it was bathed.

At 10 o’clock in the morning, Great Acharya Zhiguang, dressed in his robes, led a group of monks and nuns of the Ichijo Temple and lined up in a row with Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo, the abbot of Enryaku-ji on Mount Hie of the Tendai school and Kanshu of the Ryukokuzan Mizumadera Temple, Abbot Fukue Zenkou of the Hieizan Gyoin (Practice Hall), Take Encho Daisozu from Shojuin, as well as the monks and nuns from the Xianyun Temple in Wuxi and the Maha Cundi Temple in Henan, China. Being warmly greeted by the guests on both sides, they walked through the courtyard of the temple and came to the main hall, where the ceremony was held in front of the yidams: the statue of Amitabha Buddha and the Lotus Sutra Mandala. 

Great Acharya Zhiguang, together with Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo, Abbot Fukue Zenkou and Take Encho Daisozu, entered the Ichijo Temple

Present at the ceremony were Rev. Nakata Junna Daisojo, the 11th Chief Priest of the Shingon Daigo-ha lineage, the 52nd Monzeki (Japanese Buddhist priest of imperial lineage) of the Daihonzan Sanbo-in Temple, the 103rd Zasu (head priest) of the Daigoji Temple, Rev. Shodo Habukawa Daisojo, the former chief executive of the Koyasan Kongobuji Temple, the 508th Hoin of the Koyasan Shingon sect, the former Director of Buddhist Affairs, the former abbot of Koyasan Muryokoin Temple, Kodama Yoshitaka Daisojo, Vice President of the Japan Shuchiin University, Master Shi Hongtao, Deputy Supervisor of the Daxingshan Temple in Xi’an, China and Ph.D. of the University of Koyasan, Geshe Sonam, the abbot of the Drol Kar Buddhist Centre in Australia, Master Shi Jihua, the abbot of the Wuxi Xianyun Temple and Hengshan Temple, Master Shi Wuran, the abbot of Henan Cundi Temple, Fabio Andrico, the senior instructor of Yantra Yoga of the Dzogchen Association in Italy, Prof. Wang Yiming of South China Normal University, and other representatives from all walks of life. 

The ceremony was initiated by Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo, a great mentor for the Ichijo Temple. He presided over the chanting of Buddhist scriptures by using the traditional method of the Japanese Tendai sect. Then, Master Shi Jihua led the Chinese monks of Han Buddhism to chant and pray for blessings.

Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo presided over the rituals by using the traditional method of the Japanese Tendai sect
Master Shi Jihua led the Chinese monks of Han Buddhism to chant and pray for blessings

Afterwards, Great Acharya Zhiguang delivered a speech, in which he briefly introduced the origin of the Kyoto Shimeisan Ichijo Temple. He said: “According to the ancient book Important Records of the Daigoji Temple, the Ichijo Temple was founded in the fourth year of the Kanji Era (1090), and the main yidam enshrined was the Lotus Sutra Mandala, with the Lotus Sutra ritual being practiced every day, one in the morning, the other in the evening. Knowing that we advocate the philosophy of ‘one vehicle’ (Ichijo), my teacher, Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna Daisojo, entrusted us with the restoration and revival of this 1,000 years old temple. This is the origin of the Shimeisan Ichijo Temple.”

Great Acharya Zhiguang was giving a speech

Since the thirtieth year of the Heisei Era (October 27, 2018), when the Nyuzan-Shiki was held at Ichijo Temple for Great Acharya Zhiguang, a team of monks has been diligently practicing day and night throughout this one year. Dharma talks, homa, and salvation rituals have been carried out at the Ichijo Temple. Moreover, various online activities have been conducted globally at the Ichijo Temple, such as Buddhist ceremonies, Dharma teaching, group practice and life release, to benefit all sentient beings. 

The Great Acharya said: “The Ichijo Temple advocates the philosophy of ‘the single Buddha vehicle’ to encourage the inheritance and spreading of Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism of different pure lineages, as well as the unity and exchanges among the various sects, especially for the return of Tangmi and its revival, to promote cultural exchanges between China and Japan to contribute to the friendship between the two nations and world peace.”

Next, Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo, Rev.Nakata Junna Daisojo, Rev. Shodo Habukawa Daisojo, Master Shi Hongtao, Geshe Sonam, Master Shi Jihua, Master Shi Wuran and Mr. Fabio Andrico also delivered their speeches. 

The guests who delivered their speeches (from left to right: Geshe Sonam, Master Shi Jihua, Master Shi Wuran and Mr. Fabio Andrico)

Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo said, “Tendai Esoteric Buddhism was transmitted to Japan from Chang ‘an, China, by the great master Ennin (also known as Jikaku Daishi) twelve hundred years ago. I sincerely admire Acharya Zhiguang for his goal of reviving Tangmi in China, and I think this is great. I really expect that after this ceremony, the Ichijo Temple, which serves as a base in Japan, will play an important role in the revival of Tangmi.”

“After this ceremony, the Ichijo Temple will continue to carry out activities as indicated by its name. By using the single-vehicle doctrines from the Lotus Sutra of the Tendai school as well as the Shingon school, Acharya Zhiguang has been conducting activities according to the ultimate teachings of the compassionate Buddha while centering on Ekayana Buddhism, so as to save beings to help them attain Buddhahood. Such activities have been carried out not only in the Chinese mainland, but also in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Europe and other parts of the world. I sincerely wish that these activities can be further developed in Japan after this Shinzan-Shiki ceremony of the Ichijo Temple.”

Rev. Take Kakucho Daisojo was giving a speech

Rev. Nakata Junna Daisojo said in his speech, “Acharya Zhiguang has a wide range of learning experiences. First, he studied Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism, and then he came to Japan to study Tendai and Shingon esoteric Buddhism. Acharya Zhiguang not only has made an in-depth study of the teachings and knowledge in Tibetan Buddhism, Taimitsu, established by the Tendai school, and Tomitsu from Master Kukai, but also has done a good job in practicing to pray for the world.”

“Acharya Zhiguang is summarizing and integrating the comprehensive esoteric teachings, including the Shingon and Tendai teachings, and bringing them back to China. I am also full of expectations for this. I hope that these teachings can be recognized by the Chinese government and accepted by society, to become widespread in China.”

Rev. Nakata Junna Daisojo was giving a speech

In his speech, Rev. Shodo Habukawa Daisojo said: “Acharya Zhiguang has ‘universal compassion of oneness’ for all sentient beings, including not only those in China, but also in other Asian countries such as Malaysia, and even in European countries. He feels sorry for the sorrows of all beings, and happy for their happiness. The teachings of esoteric Buddhism are the most suitable doctrines to address the various needs of modern people. Acharya Zhiguang is the most qualified person in practicing these teachings. I have no doubt about this.”

      Rev. Shodo Habukawa Daisojo was giving a speech

In his speech, Master Shi Hongtao, who is also committed to the great cause of bringing Tangmi back to China, praised Great Acharya Zhiguang: “I am deeply impressed by Acharya Zhiguang’s vast compassion and wisdom, his complete virtue and merits, the arduous efforts he makes to spread the Dharma, and the sacrifice and hardships he endures only to benefit all beings. Thinking of this always touches me and reminds me of the verse in the Lotus Sutra: ‘His vow is as deep as the ocean.’ I sincerely wish that Shimeisan Ichijo Temple will transform sentient beings and spread the essence and traditions of the esoteric canon on a grand scale, like the universal gate of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and it will unite the three vehicles in one and employ the expanded repertoire of teachings and skillful means to lead more beings in the three states of existence to return to their original Buddha nature.”

Master Shi Hongtao was giving a speech

At the kind invitation of Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, the guests had lunch together in the Sanbo-in Hall of Daigoji Temple. Afterwards, the guests gathered in the Shushohden (Hall of Practice and Realization) of Daigoji Temple to listen to an open discussion on the subject of “the Globalization of Buddhism and Dissemination of Esoteric Buddhism in Modern Society”, hosted by Master Huibao, the secretary of the Ichijo Temple, attended by Zasu Nakata Junna, Abbot Fukue Zenkou, Great Acharya Zhiguang, Master Shi Hongtao, Geshe Sonam, Mr. Andrico, Professor Wang Yiming, and Acharya Huizhi, the Shuso of the Ichijo Temple. These eight eminent Buddhist monks and masters discussed about the trans-national, trans-regional and trans-sectarian development and dissemination of Buddhism in the context of today’s globalization, and conducted in-depth talks and exchanges on the communication between and integration of Buddhist sects, the dissemination of esoteric Buddhism in modern society, as well as other issues brought about by the globalization of Buddhism, presenting an enlightening feast of wisdom for the present Buddhist disciples of the four assemblies and attendants from all walks of life. Representatives from academic circles and various sects of Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Japanese Buddhism gathered on the stage to jointly demonstrate the Rimé philosophy that emphasizes the same destination of all the different paths of various Buddhist sects, and advocate the single Buddha vehicle that unites and integrates the three Buddhist vehicles.

A scene from the open discussion on the subject of “the Globalization of Buddhism and Dissemination of Esoteric Buddhism in Modern Society”

Guests participating in the open discussion on the subject of “the Globalization of Buddhism and Dissemination of Esoteric Buddhism in Modern Society” (from left to right): Professor Wang Yiming, Master Shi Hongtao, Abbot Fukue Zenkou, Great Acharya Zhiguang, Zasu (head priest) Nakata Junna, Geshe Sonam, Mr. Fabio Andrico, and Acharya Huizhi.

The discussion lasted for nearly four hours, both the guests on the stage and the present audience were joyously immersed in the cheerful and enlightening atmosphere of the discussion that symbolizes the flourishing of Buddhism and the harmonious unity of different Buddhist traditions. The inspiring symphony of transcendental wisdom played by the distinguished guests on the stage nourished the present audience like celestial nectar, filled them with delight in the Dharma, and left them wanting more.

The second day of the Dharma Assembly: the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

On October 16, Geshe Sonam, abbot of the Drol Kar Buddhist Centre in Australia personally presided over the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism for Great Acharya Zhiguang.

At 7 o’clock in the morning, Great Acharya Zhiguang started the ceremony by performing the Padmasambhava Dzogchen Homa offering at the Homa Hall of the Ichijo Temple to pray for blessings on benefactors. At 10:00 am, Geshe Sonam came with all the guests to the gate of the Ichijo Temple, where he joined Great Acharya Zhiguang in cutting the ribbon formed by Hada scarfs of five different colors. With the gate opening up gently, Great Acharya Zhiguang walked through a rain of flowers into Ichijo Temple and came to the Hall of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava and accepted the sutra-chanting prayers and blessings of Geshe Sonam, one of the prominent Buddhist masters of Tibetan Buddhism, joined by the guests and benefactors. There he also accepted the offering of mandala and the embodiments of the Buddha’s body, speech and mind, namely, Buddha statues, tantra scriptures and Buddha stupas, presented by Master Wuran, Master Miaoshan, Master Huizhi and Master Huibao as the representatives of disciples of the four assemblies.

Great Acharya Zhiguang performing the Padmasambhava Dzogchen Homa offering at the Homa Hall of Ichijo Temple

When the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism was completed, Great Acharya Zhiguang said, “It may be said that the representatives from the most influential Buddhist traditions are all present at Ichijo Temple for today’s Shinzan-Shiki ceremony. This symbolizes a very auspicious origination of our undertaking to carry forward the philosophy of “the single Buddha vehicle.” I earnestly hope that the Ichijo Temple will be developed into a non-sectarian Dharma center and all Buddhist teachings of pure lineages will be spread around the world.”

“The ultimate goal for everything we do is to benefit sentient beings. But how can we do that? We must practice in accordance with the integrated exoteric and esoteric teachings, so that we can attain Buddhahood in the quickest way and have more abilities and capacity to benefit all other living beings who have been our parents in the past. That is one of the most fundamental thoughts we follow. I hope all practitioners can enlighten themselves first before they can awaken others and finally achieve the perfect enlightenment—the common goal of all Buddhists.”

Finally, Geshe Sonam and Acharya Zhiguang blessed the participants with scattered flowers, and the ceremony of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition was successfully concluded in a light -hearted mood and auspicious atmosphere.

The third day of the Dharma Assembly: the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony in the tradition of the Japanese Shingon Sect and Theravada Buddhism.

October 17, or the nineteenth of the ninth month on the lunar calendar, coincided with the date when Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara renounced the world and became a monk. At 9:45 a.m., Archarya Zhiguang, dressed in a robe, led the line formed by the sanghas of the Daigoji Temple, the Xianyun Temple, the Maha Cundi Temple and the Ichijo Temple, walked from the north gate of the Daigoji Temple towards the Ichijo Temple, and commenced the third day of the Assembly.

Acharya Zhiguang entered the Ichijo Temple, together with the sanghas of the Daigoji Temple, the Xianyun Temple, the Maha Cundi Temple and the Ichijo Temple

At 10:00 a.m., the ceremony officially started in the Hondo (Main Hall) of the Ichijo Temple. At first, Acharya Zhiguang performed the ceremony to pray for the prosperity of the Buddha-Dharma, the happiness of people, national stability and world peace, with sutras jointly chanted by the sanghas of the Daigoji Temple and the Ichijo Temple according to the tradition of the Japanese Shingon Sect. Then, Master Dhammakitthi, the abbot of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Sri Lanka, chanted sutras to bless the ceremony and presented to Acharya Zhiguang a precious gift, a solemn light stupa decorated with flowers.

Great Acharya Zhiguang performed the rituals, with joint sutra chanting by the sangha in the Shingon tradition
Master Dhammakitthi chanted sutras and prayed for the ceremony

Acharya Zhiguang, as a representative of the Ichijo Temple, and Master Dhammakitthi, as a representative of Theravada Buddhism, were the first to light the candles on the stupa, followed by the representatives of different Buddhist traditions and sects, including Mr. Kabese Yuga, Director of Religious Affairs of the Daigoji Temple from Japanese Buddhism; Geshe Sonam and Mr. Fabio Andrico from Tibetan Buddhism, Master Shi Jihua, Master Shi Jingmin and Master Shi Wuran from  Chinese Buddhism, representatives of scholars such as Prof. Wang Yiming, Prof. Xing Dongfeng and Mr. Zhang Shunping, as well as the chairmen of ESTB Centers and people from different circles both home and abroad. The light stupa is a symbol for the bright future, unity, prosperity and continuity of Buddhism.

Master Dhammakitthi lit the candle

Great Acharya Zhiguagn lit the candle

In his address at the ceremony, Great Acharya Zhiguang expressed his gratitude to the monks from the Daigoji Temple and Master Dhammakitthi. He said, “Sri Lanka is the place where Amoghavajra, a fundamental lineage master in Tangmi, learned esoteric Buddhism from Acharya Samantabhadra. Therefore, it is a supreme causal condition that Master Dhammakitthi came here from Sri Lanka and brought to us this supreme and solemn light stupa from his home country.”

Mr. Kabese Yuga, Director of Religious Affairs of the Daigoji Temple, also gave a speech and issued a letter to certify Acharya Zhiguang as a Great Acharya of Lamp Transmission. He expressed his best wishes and said, “I am most impressed by Acharya Zhiguang’s aspiration for world peace and his efforts in building a Stupa of the Treasure Chest Seal in the Daigoji Temple. As far as I know, he has studied and learned Buddhist teachings in many countries before he came to our temple. Due to his destined close relationship with Rev. Nakata Junna Daisojo, Zasu of the Daigoji Temple, he learnt and mastered Shingon esoteric teachings at the Daigoji Temple. I hope that, through the relentless efforts of Acharya Zhiguang, the Ichijo Temple can fully play its role as the root monastery to bring back to China and spread to the world the precious teachings introduced to Japan, passed down and protected by Master Kukai.” Speeches were also delivered by Master Dhammakitthi, and Master Shi Jingmin, the abbot of the Luoxi Temple of Mount Putuo and the 47th lineage master of the Tiantai Sect.

Mr. Kabese Yuga, Director of Religious Affairs of the Daigoji Temple,  issued a letter of certification to Great Acharya Zhiguang as a Great Acharya of Lamp Transmission

Mr. Kabese Yuga was delivering a speech

Though not being able to make it to the ceremony in person, many great masters sent voice mails to express their congratulations to Acharya Zhiguang, such as H. H. Kathok Moktsa Rinpoche, one of the “Golden Throne Holders”, the 5th Patrul Rinpoche of the Dzagyal Monastery, the root monastery of the Longchen Nyingtik; Khenpo Tenzin Lhakpa, Denkhe Rinpoche and Khenpo Jigme Dropan of the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, Tsothen Rinpoche of the Yarchen Monastery, Pema Trinley Rinpoche of the Garong Monastery, Tsingze Nyima Rinpoche of the Sertar Karchu Monastery, Yenphun Rinpoche and  Chime Rinpoche of the Jamdu Monastery and  Phuntsok Rinpoche of  Tege Magen Monastery.

Remarks of congratulations were also made by Prof. Wang Yiming from South China Normal University, Mr. Zhang Shunping, President and Director General of Beijing Mingde Academy, Mr. Quek Ser Juay, Chairman of ESTBC (Singapore), Ms. Ying Yulu, representative of ESTBC (Australia), Ms. Rong Qianting, Secretary General of ESTBC (Hong Kong), Mr. Liu Xiaobin, Chairman of ESTBC (Austria), as well as representatives of Chinese Ekayana Sutra and Tantra Cultural Exchange Association (Taiwan) and Malaysian Butterworth Lay Buddhist Society. 

Mr. Liu Xiaobin, Chairman of ESTBC (Austria), was delivering a speech

Mr. Quek Ser Juay, Chairman of ESTBC (Singapore), was delivering a speech

Ms. Ying Yulu, representative of ESTBC (Australia), was delivering a speech

Ms. Rong Qianting, Secretary General of ESTBC (Hong Kong), was delivering a speech

Mr. You Jitian, representative of Chinese Ekayana Sutra and Tantra Cultural Exchange Association (Taiwan), was delivering a speech

Mr. Wang Yiming said in his speech that both the Esoteric lineages of Master Saicho and Master Kukai came from Master Amoghavajra, and he hoped that Acharya Zhiguang would be able to gather all the esoteric traditions as Master Amoghavajra had done, so as to spread Esoteric Buddhism widely.

Professor Mr. Wang Yiming from South China Normal University was giving a speech

In his speech, Mr. Zhang Shunping said, “Acharya Zhiguang has studied with Zasu (head priest) Nakata Junna and established the Ichijo Temple. This is just like the recurrence of the karmic event one thousand years ago, and also the realization of the prediction one thousand years ago.” He also wrote the following three Chinese-style Haiku poems to express his blessings.

The Ichijo Temple promotes the Lotus Sutra,

So that the poor son can recognize the pearl and ride the three vehicles,

To save sentient beings equal in number to the sands of the Ganges River by means of the Universal Gateway.

The Matrix and Diamond World Mandalas have shone for one thousand years.

To protect and help the world,

The footsteps of the ancient masters are followed,

To pass on the flame of the Dharma forever.

The leaves of trees are bright red in early autumn.

The poet is filled with happiness, like a rich wine,

So is the Dharma friendship between the two nations.

Mr. Zhang Shunping, Director and President of Beijing Mingde Academy, was giving a speech

All the participants took a group photo in front of the Tang-style gate of the Daigoji Temple after the ceremony.

At noon, Acharya Zhiguang had lunch with Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, Master Dhammakitthi, Geshe Sonam and other guests. During the lunch, Acharya Zhiguang expressed his deep gratitude to his teacher Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna and all the priests of the Daigoji Temple. He said: “I am an ordinary person without much merit. How could I have attained some small achievements? It is not because of my capability, but because of the great support from my teacher, Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, many other eminent masters, all the priests of the Daigoji Temple, people in different circles, and all our Dharma friends. So, the merits are due to you all.”

“My heart is full of gratitude on this day of the Shinzan-Shiki ceremony, especially for my teacher Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna. Without him, the Ichijo Temple would not exist. I’m also grateful to the priests of the Daigoji Temple. Without them, the Ichijo Temple would not be established. Thanks again to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna and all the priests of the Daigoji Temple for their great support over the past seven years. Thanks again!”

Great Acharya Zhiguang was giving an address at the Shushohden Hall of the Daigoji Temple

In remembrance of the kindness of Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, Great Archarya Zhiguang launched the global group practice of one hundred million Cundi Mantra recitations to pray for his health and longevity. He specially wrote a prayer for the long life of Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna as follows:

Embodiment of the pure Dharmakāya (Buddha nature) of Vairocana, he manifests in this world to pass on the profound vajra teaching of the One Vehicle;

Distinguished noble holder of the thousand-year-old Shingon Daigo-ha lineage, he wholeheartedly supports the return of Tangmi to China to repay the indebtedness to the lineage masters.

An outstanding teacher like the venerable Acharya Huiguo, a great master dedicated to Tangmi’s return, may he remain in the Saha world till the end of existence.

Maha Cundi Bodhisattva, Avalokiteshvara, the Medicine Buddha, Amitāyus, and all other Buddhas, we entreat you to shower down great blessings of everlasting immortality, here and now!

May Great Acharya Nakata Junna enjoy longevity, and may his enlightened activities for the benefit of the Dharma and all beings increase and spread!

Great Acharya Zhiguang humbly said that this prayer had little literary grace, but represented his heart. Then, he explained the prayer sentence by sentence. All the attendees were deeply moved by Acharya Zhiguang’s deep gratitude for his teacher, the aspiration of Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna to repay China’s kindness, and the joint efforts made by all Chinese and Japanese people for bringing Tangmi back. Many Dharma friends clearly couldn’t hold back their tears.

Great Acharya Zhiguang specially offered a statue of Amitayus Buddha to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna, and prayed for the long life of his teacher.

Great Acharya Zhiguang offered a statue of Amitayus Buddha to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna

Then, Great Acharya Zhiguang declared the establishment of the Ekayana Friends Society. He said that the goal of the society was to promote world peace and cultural interactions, doing meaningful things for different countries, societies and the whole world. He invited Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna to serve as a mentor of the Ekayana Friends Society.

After then, Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna gave a speech to express his great kindness to Great Acharya Zhiguang and his students, and exhorted everyone to closely follow Great Acharya Zhiguang to study. He said: “I sincerely wish more Chinese young people, especially young dharma masters, come to Japan to study and practice at the Daigoji Temple. Great Acharya Zhiguang and I are ready to create a relatively good environment. Now that the bridge has been built with Shuchiin University of the Shingon tradition, several students have been studying there. The practice of the monks or nuns could be arranged at Tango-ji Temple including chado or kado (ikebana). In this way, young people could bring things they learnt back to China, and spread them in China widely. I am willing to create all the conditions in order to build such a complete process.

“In addition, the Daigoji Temple will provide a guarantee for the identity of Acharya Zhiguang. Acharya Zhiguang is not a travelling monk, but a real Buddhist practitioner. The Daigoji Temple can assure you of that, to avoid incorrect comments from others. I believe that all the priests of the Daigoji Temple, who have been providing assistance to you, will continue to support Acharya Zhiguang. I’d appreciate your help.”

Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna was giving an address at the Shushohden Hall of the Daigoji Temple

Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna also prepared precious gifts for all the guests – the commemorative coins dedicated to the 900th anniversary of the Sanbo-in of the Daigoji Temple. The students of Acharya Zhiguang performed a Vajra dance and musical offering to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna to express their gratitude and blessings.

The students of Acharya Zhiguang making an offering to Rev. Zasu Nakata Junna by performing a Vajra dance

Finally, a signing session was held for Great Acharya Zhiguang’s books. In signing his name on the books sold to the participants, the Great Acharya carefully wrote each and every stroke, showing his great compassion and wish for all beings to be freed from suffering and attain Buddhahood. 

Great Acharya Zhiguang was signing his name on the books sold to the participants

The Shinzan-Shiki ceremony of the Ichijo Temple not only marked a milestone in the Great Acharya Zhiguang’s efforts for the return of Tangmi, but also a gathering for promoting the communication and solidarity of different Buddhist traditions. The auspicious completion of this ceremony is also a new start of Great Acharya Zhiguang’s work of leading all disciples of the four assemblies to spread the Dharma to benefit all sentient beings. May Great Acharya Zhiguang’s career of spreading the Dharma be successful! May all nations be prosperous and peaceful! May the Dharma teachings flourish and all sentient beings attain Buddhahood!

Taking a group photo in front of the Tang-style gate of the Daigoji Temple