Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

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Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Rakshasa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:57 am

So I was browsing through the Vairocanasambodhi Sutra (Mahavairocana Sutra) which is one of the main texts of esoteric Buddhist sects like Shingon and came upon chapter 14 "Eight Secret Seals". And to my surprise it explains eight Mudras of Buddhist practice which appear to be quite the same as the Kuji-In Mudras used by the ancient Ninjas for enhancing their martial and psychic power.

You can read the Sutra here
https://www.bdkamerica.org/digital/dBET ... a_2005.pdf

I have read a lot of articles about Ninja and usually the opinion of scholars, academicians and Ninja practitioners is that these Mudra practice originated from Taoist or Shinto or Shamanic elements from either Japan or China, but it seems to be directly taken from Buddhist sutra. Could it be that the Ninjas were influenced by Shingon Buddhists? I think it is very plausible that Ninjas took advice from Shingon monks in the military arts.

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Rakshasa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:03 pm


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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Doko » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:08 pm

I'm not sure if the Kuji-In is used in Shingon but we were recently watching a Shugendo documentary (Shugendo Now) and saw this being used.

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Rakshasa » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:16 pm


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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Doko » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:06 am

There are several schools in Japan that could be considered ninjutsu. The different schools have their own unique history. Kukisinden ryu may be of interest to you. Togakure Ryu has a connection to Tendai-shu. They say that the founder of Togakure Ryu was trained by So-O who is also credited with starting the Kaihogyo.

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby WuMing » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:39 pm

今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
- Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Śrī Singha said to Padmasambhava:
Since buddhas and sentient beings are inseparable and the same, it is necessary to respect all sentient beings as being on the same level with the buddhas. Can you?
- translated by Malcolm N. Smith

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby eijo » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:03 pm


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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Luke » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:20 am

I asked a similar question a long time ago and Ven. Eijo patiently answered me, as well.

Perhaps somebody should create a Shingon FAQ which could be stickied in the subforum and it could contain answers to commonly asked questions about Shingon, such as this one about Shingon and ninjas ("Dear reader, we Shingon Buddhists are not ninjas!" lol :D ).

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby lobster » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:13 am

You Chen yen vagabonds might be interested in this . . .

Nine Cutting Fingers of Ninjutsu ... Originally, these were Aryan Hindu ksatrian warrior methods ...

:namaste:

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby WuMing » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:35 pm

:alien: :shrug:
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
- Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Śrī Singha said to Padmasambhava:
Since buddhas and sentient beings are inseparable and the same, it is necessary to respect all sentient beings as being on the same level with the buddhas. Can you?
- translated by Malcolm N. Smith

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby acalasiddhi » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:47 am

One thing seldom mentioned about the Kuji-in is its relation to Qi Men Dun Jia (奇門遁甲), an ancient Chinese divination system which involves not only time but also one's surrounding space. It is a highly complex metaphysical art that was supposedly taught to the Yellow Emperor Huang Di by the Goddess Jiu Tian Xuan Nu (九天玄女) to defeat his nemesis Chi You (蚩尤). Supposedly, Zhuge Liang used it at the famous Battle of Red Cliff. Although its first usage was in war, its principles can be applied to almost any situation. Nowadays, it is mainly used in business. Qi Men Dun Jia divides one's surrounding space and into nine sectors. A skilled practitioner can supposedly divinate, for any chosen point in time, the most advantageous position, direction and escape route for a specific location. It definitely seems like a technique Ninjas would be interested in.

The Kuji-in was first introduced to Japan by either the Omyoji (陰陽師 Japanese Taoist priests) or Jodo-shu monks during the Tang Dynasty. It got mixed into esoteric Buddhism when Shugendo practitioners incorporated it as a protective ritual. Ninjutsu is heavily influenced by Shugendo so it's no surprise that Ninjas have embraced it.

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby eijo » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:14 pm


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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Luke » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:07 pm

The Shugendo page on wikipedia contains this sentence:
"In modern times, shugendō is practiced mainly by Tendai and Shingon sects, retaining an influence on modern Japanese religion and culture."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shugendo

I don't believe this is correct. Perhaps a knowledgeable person should edit that page so that fewer people get the erroneous "Shingon = Shugendo = ninja" idea in their heads! hehe

Tendai doesn't have anything to do with Shugendo and the ninjas either, right?

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Seishin » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:53 pm

I believe there are indeed Tendai Shugendo sects. Shugendo was forced to belong to either Shingon or Tendai temples. However, I haven't got great knowledge of such matters.

EDIT- But I would add, becoming a Tendai or Shingon priest doesn't mean you will learn Shugendo.

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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby DGA » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:25 am


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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Luke » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:53 pm


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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby DGA » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:03 pm


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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Luke » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:46 pm


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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby Seishin » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:17 pm


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Re: Ninja Kuji-In Mudra from Vairocanasambodhi Sutra?

Postby WuMing » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:57 pm

... it seems this is an never ending issue!

AFAIK, Shugendo borrowed practices from Shingon and Tendai and I would even go so far to say that Shugendo is not Buddhism, but a highly syncretic tradition. Although Kukai and Saicho did practice in the seclusion of the mountains they had nothing to do with Shugendo. Even though I am not entirely sure if even, what today is called and known as Shugendo, did exist those days, I doubt it.

Nowadays there might be people who practice Shingon/Tendai and Shugendo, but I guess it is good not to confuse the two and be aware of the syncretic nature of such an approach!So, Shingon/Tendai is not Shugendo and Shugendo is not Shingon/Tendai.

As far as Rev. Eijo is concerned, yes, he is the authority to answer such questions correctly, and he as done that often enough in the past.
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
- Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Śrī Singha said to Padmasambhava:
Since buddhas and sentient beings are inseparable and the same, it is necessary to respect all sentient beings as being on the same level with the buddhas. Can you?
- translated by Malcolm N. Smith


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