Kenninji Temple is the grand headquarters of the Kenninji school of Zen Buddhism, and its name is derived from the year of its foundation, the second year of Kenren (1202, the second year of the reign of King Ning of the Southern Song Dynasty of China). The founder of the temple was Gen Yorika, the second Shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate, and the founder of the temple was Zen Master Myoan Eisai, who studied twice in the Song Dynasty. The temple’s halls were built in imitation of Chinese Buddhist architecture during the Song Dynasty, and the Dharma Hall is a specimen of Japanese Zen-like architecture. At the beginning of the temple, Eisai practiced a combination of Tendai, Tantric Buddhism and Zen Buddhism, but later it became a pure Rinzai Zen dojo under the promotion of the 11th abbot of K Kenninji, the Southern Song monk Lanxi Dotaka (1213-1278), who crossed over to Japan.
Kenninji Temple Zenjuan – An important temple of Morichiten belief
The origin of Morichtian is very obscure, with the earliest records dating from between the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. It seems to be a deity jointly devised by Zoroastrianism (also known as Zoroastrianism, which later developed into Mingism) in Persia and Brahminism in India (the two religions are entangled), and became a goddess in Hinduism and Hindu mythology, which was absorbed into Hindu Buddhism and spread to Tibet and China through Brahminism, Hinduism or Buddhism, and then to Korean Peninsula and Japan. In China, Morichtian is the Buddhist name for the goddess, but Taoism has absorbed and localized it as Doumu Yuanjun.
In either mythology and religion, Morichtian/Doum is a female figure, made in heaven, invisible, of great status and power, always mounted on a pig, and both are depicted sitting on a heavenly chariot or lotus seat pulled by seven pigs. In ancient China, the pig represented the north, and the people of the Tang Dynasty often used the pig to symbolize the Big Dipper, and the seven stars of the Big Dipper corresponded to the seven pig carriages driven by Morichtian. The Indian and Chinese images of the seven pigs reflect the ancient worship of the celestial symbols, which, in the case of Morichtian and the seven pigs, translates into the worship of the seven stars of the Big Dipper.
In a late Yuan Dynasty miscellaneous drama script preserved in China, the Eight Pigs in the Journey to the West introduce themselves as follows: “I am the General of the Chariot under the Ministry of Molech Heaven. I was born in the land of Hai and grew up in the palace of Qian.” This text indicates that, in view of the fact that Tibetan Tantric was quite popular among the Mongolian nobles during the Yuan Dynasty, and that Moli Zhi Tian, who protected the generals from a hundred battles, was highly respected in Tibetan Tantric, the characterization of Pig Bajie was mostly designed to be the mount of Moli Zhi Tian.
By the time Wu Chengen finished the story of the Journey to the West in the Ming Dynasty, the Tibetan secret had already retreated to the Tibetan lands, and the name of General Moli Zhi Tian was obviously lacking in the mass base, so in order to promote the market in the Ming Dynasty (universal), it was changed to the post of Tian Peng Yuan Shuai in keeping with the times. This change is also interesting, because the word “Tian Peng” originates from the Taoist saying of the Big Dipper, which is the head of the nine stars of the Big Dipper (the seven stars of the Big Dipper plus two hidden stars), so although it is a change of vest, it is not yet separated from the Big Dipper system.
After it was introduced to Japan from the Tang Dynasty, Morichiten was called the Goddess of Yang Yan. Japanese samurai believed in Morichiten because it could protect them in battle, Japanese ninja worshiped it because it was the ancestor god of Tantra and could be invisible, and the people worshiped it because of its divine power of “no one can pay their debts”, which means that believing in Morichiten could prevent people from not paying their debts, so it was worshiped and called “Morichiten”.
In the main hall, there is a statue of Morichiten, but since there is a sign prohibiting photography, I will not disturb the gods and goddesses.
Among the Morichiten beliefs that have come to Japan, the three most famous are Deodaiji (Nichiren Buddhism), Zenjuan (Rinzai Buddhism), and Hozenji (Zen Buddhism). The importance of Zenjui-an in the Morichiten faith originated from a great monk from China, Zen Master Seizo Masumi, who crossed over to Japan in the Yuan Dynasty.
The story of the origin of the Morichtian religion at Kenninji Temple
Before Zen Master Ching Ch’uan went to Japan to teach Dharma, he stood on the coast. At that time, Morichitian came on a pig and said to the Zen master, “There is a destiny in the east, please cross over to Japan. I will walk with you and bless you and all beings. The Zen master then made a statue of Morichitian out of clean clay, wrapped it in a robe, and took a boat to Japan. On the way, he encountered wind and waves, sat down and chanted the Buddha’s name, arrived safely, and landed at Hakata.
The story of the origin of the statue of Morichiten at Kenninji Temple.
Before Zen Master Ching-shu Ching Ching went to Japan to teach, the emperor gave him the statue of Morichiten, which he worshipped every day, in the hope that the bodhisattva would bless his safe arrival. After arriving safely in Japan, the Zen master gave the statue of Morichiten to Emperor Goudaigo, who believed in the Bodhisattva.
The story of the origin of the statue of Morichiten in the Kaisen-permanent Record of the Kaisenji Temple in Iida City.
Zen Master Ching-shu Jung-ching received the robe of the founder of the temple before he went to Japan to teach the Dharma and left it at Mt. He left the robe at Jingshan and chased after the boat the Zen master was on and returned the robe to him. (Jingshan is the location of Jingshan Temple in the northwest of Hangzhou now. Jingshan Temple is the first of the five great Zen monasteries of the Southern Song Dynasty, the origin of the Japanese tea ceremony, and is described in detail in the subsequent Uji travelogue)
In the Kaisen Changzhu, it is specifically stated that Moriji Tian was the guardian of Kaisen, “The Master’s everywhere, Moriji Tian Zhen Feng protects the Dharma.” It can be seen that Zen Master Cheng Cheng had a profound relationship with Morichiten, which greatly contributed to the prevalence of Morichiten belief. In addition, the two wars waged against Japan during the Yuan Dynasty were both defeated, and it is also said that the protection of Morichitian was due to the fact that Morichitian was also the god of wind, blowing a divine wind to defuse the Yuan attack. The infamous “Kamikaze Death Squad” during World War II was derived from this allusion.
The three origin stories recorded above are all about monasteries presided over by Zen masters or with deep karmic roots.