Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Forum for discussion of East Asian Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Post Reply
tingdzin
Posts: 1068
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 am

Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by tingdzin » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:21 pm

In Tibetan Buddhism, there is the idea of "emanations" -- that some people "emanate" from higher realms or states of beings into the human world (perhaps related to but not the same as the Tibetan tulkus, the human nirmanakayas who take successive births, seemingly a distinctive feature of Tibetan Dharma). It is said, for example, that Tsongkhapa was an emanation of Manjusri and Khenpo Ngawang was an emanation of Vimalamitra.

Does East Asian Buddhism (Chinese, Koreean, etc.) have similar usages? If so, how common are they?

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 6165
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by Queequeg » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:26 pm

Some great teachers in East Asia are said to be emanations of great beings. However, its a feature that as far as I know is not as developed as you find in the Indo-Tibetan traditions.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

Varis
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by Varis » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:27 pm

Buddhas emanate according to the needs of sentient beings, therefore all schools of Mahayana will have had emanations within them.
There is no institution for the recognition of emanations in EA Buddhism like in Tibetan Buddhism, but plenty of past masters have been regarded as emanations of Buddhas and reincarnations of past masters.

Varis
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by Varis » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:15 pm

It would appear I was beat to the punch! :tongue:

Sentient Light
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:40 pm
Location: Pacifica, California

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by Sentient Light » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:51 pm

Yes, there are emanations, but it's typically discovered post-humously, with a certain number of criteria for 'evidence,' one of which is the leaving behind of relics. I can't recall the other criteria. There are two kinds of nirmanakaya manifestations too, one where a being is purely an emanation, with no record of birth, and the other kind is an emanation that manifests the appearance of birth and death.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

SilenceMonkey
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:54 am

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by SilenceMonkey » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:49 am

Members of the Chinese traditions (especially Ch'an) tend to criticize Tibetans for the public recognition of reincarnations. I got the sense that doing such a thing will only lead to inflated egos, and so it is not often done publicly. Although often there are rumors within the inner circles that the master may be a reincarnation of such and such master from the past, but practitioners are taught not to dwell on such things as it will only breed delusion. (Also why people are discouraged from talking about practitioners who have attained siddhis.)

About emanations... I've never heard of this in Chinese tradition. But some people are said to have strong connection with a certain buddha or bodhisattva (or sutra) and express their buddha activity.

pael
Posts: 536
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:49 pm

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by pael » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:45 am

They celebrate parinirvana of Hsuan Hua and call him Bodhisattva.
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

Matylda
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by Matylda » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:39 pm

In Tibet indeed, some kids for any reason are recognized as nirmanakaya or tulku in Tibetan.. in Japan it is said about some masteres to be ikihotoke - living buddha, but they deserve it due to their achievments [it does not mean mundane achievments like position or abbotship etc.], merit, and power of guidance... so first they have to show some quality, then people will talk about them ikihotoke - living buddha.. but meaning is for sure different than tulku.

Sentient Light
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:40 pm
Location: Pacifica, California

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by Sentient Light » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:26 pm

SilenceMonkey wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:49 am
About emanations... I've never heard of this in Chinese tradition.
Budai being an emanation of Maitreya Bodhisattva is quite possibly the most famous emanation known the world over. I think it's also worth mentioning that the popular feminized version of Guanyin is at least partially based on the likeness of Princess Miao Shan, who was said to be one of her emanations. In Vietnam, a woman named Thi Kinh is also recognized as an emanation of Avalokitesvrara. I also believe Shandao was considered to be an emanation of Amitabha. There's definitely a handful more I know of, but can't quite recall off the top of my head.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1717
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:13 pm

Sentient Light wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:26 pm
SilenceMonkey wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:49 am
About emanations... I've never heard of this in Chinese tradition.
Budai being an emanation of Maitreya Bodhisattva is quite possibly the most famous emanation known the world over. I think it's also worth mentioning that the popular feminized version of Guanyin is at least partially based on the likeness of Princess Miao Shan, who was said to be one of her emanations. In Vietnam, a woman named Thi Kinh is also recognized as an emanation of Avalokitesvrara. I also believe Shandao was considered to be an emanation of Amitabha. There's definitely a handful more I know of, but can't quite recall off the top of my head.
When did Ven Zhiyi start becoming associated with one of the bodhisattva figures in the Lotus Sūtra? Is that strictly a Japanese belief?
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

PeterC
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by PeterC » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:23 am

Since bodhisattvas that have attained certain bhumis are capable of emanation, and since the system of bhumis is canonical in most East Asian systems (though not much discussed), then by definition there are practitioners out there who are emanations of arya bodhisattvas. The Tibetan system of recognition is a cultural artefact, which attracts a considerable amount of criticism. If no system of recognition existed you would still have exactly the same number of emanations in the world.

User avatar
Anders
Posts: 1145
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by Anders » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:10 am

Hanshan deqing is by many seen as having been an emanation of manjushri.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
Posts: 6132
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by kirtu » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:47 pm

The Reincarnation of Bodhisattva Jogyo and the Establishment of True Buddhism
From the time he was twelve until he turned thirty-two, Rencho strived to master the fundamental truth of Buddhism so that he could accomplish his conviction to save all living beings. He learned, as stated in the Daijuku Sutra, that:

…the first five hundred years after the Buddha’s passing will be the age of enlightenment, and the next five hundred years, the age of meditation (making one thousand years). The next five hundred years will be an age of reading, reciting and listening, and the next
five hundred years, the age of building temples and stupas (making two thousand years). Concerning the next five hundred years after that, he says, “Quarrels and disputes will arise among the adherents to my teachings, and the Pure Law will become obscured and lost.” (“The Selection of Time”, M.W., Vol. 3, p. 85)

He also became convinced that the “the Lotus Sutra is the greatest of all the Buddha’s teachings” as stated in the Hosshi (tenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Also Rencho realized that of all the teachings of Buddhism, the Law that should be propagated throughout Mappo is the five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo, the heart of the Lotus Sutra. These facts were clearly predicted and proven in the Lotus Sutra. It is through the propagation of this vital Law of Myoho-Renge-Kyo, where the mission of the True and Original Buddha and the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, Bodhisattva Jogyo, rests. Realizing that he had to save this corrupt world, he became convinced that he, himself, was Bodhisattva Jogyo.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
Posts: 6132
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by kirtu » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:01 pm

Naong Hyegeun (1320~1376)
Master Naong lived at a time of much upheaval at the end of the Goryeo Dynasty. Together with Taego Bou, he is regarded as a great Master who helped lay the foundation for the Buddhism in the Joseon era. His dharma name is Hyegeun, his ordination name is Naong, and he also went by the name Gangwolheon, following the name of the room where he stayed for many years. He had the title of “Bojejonja” when he served as a royal monk and was given the posthumous title Seongak.
.....
It is also important to note that Naong’s way was not to employ difficult dogma, but rather he pulled at heartstrings, appealing to people’s sensitivity using popular language through poems and songs in order to save all beings. This aspect of the Master’s spreading the strong feeling of enlightenment to the masses earned him great respect extending into the Joseon dynasty, and it was said that he must have been a reincarnation of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Although perhaps more poetic than spiritual or literal ....
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
Posts: 6132
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Emanations in East Asian Buddhism

Post by kirtu » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:12 pm

Prince Shotoku
The most important Asuka ruler was Shotoku Taishi (born in 574, ruled 593-622). Regarded as the "father of Japanese Buddhism," he made Buddhism the state religion by constructing major Buddhist temples such as Horyu-ji near Nara.
...
Shotoku Taishi (Prince Shotoku) is one of the best-know figures of Japanese history. Sometimes called the founder of the Japanese nation ....
...
“A key element that helped to effectively fallowed the smooth promotion of Shotoku worship as a Buddhist figure was through the honji sujaku context of the medieval period. Shotoku worship evolved further through the legends that now portrayed Shotoku not only as a powerful kami, but also as a reincarnation of Tendai Eshi, as a manifestation of bodhisattva Kannon, and later, as Amida Buddha and even Shinran himself(Shinran was a monk who spent twenty years of religious training at Mount Hiei after which he apprenticed under his master Honen, who took Shinran on as his apprentice to learn the senju nenbutsu teaching).
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Post Reply

Return to “East Asian Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 23 guests