Hongaku thought in contemporary Tendai

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Hongaku thought in contemporary Tendai

Post by Yoshitsune » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:07 am

There are many scholarly works on hongaku thought in medieval Tendai, but how important is it for contemporary Tendai?

In his article "Critique of Original Awakening Thought in Shôshin and Dôgen" Tamura Yoshirô writes:
Later on, the affirmation of Original Awakening
thought was abused to the point that, at the end of the
Middle Ages, things like the Altar Society of Refuge in
Mystic Lore (Genshikimyôdan) originated with the intention
of praying for the fulfillment of one’s worldly cravings for
sensual gratification and possession. Against these abuses,
Myôryû Jizan (1637-1690) and Reikû Kôken (1652-1739)—the
latter especially in his Byakujahen (Chapters of Refuting
Unorthodoxy; text preserved at Otani and Taishô Universities)
of 1868—unleashed vigorous attacks. This, it is said,
signaled the end of Original Awakening thought.
This could make you think, that hongaku thought is not significant anymore, but the text continues:
However, these people directed their critique against that one particular
manifestation of Original Awakening thought, without
rejecting it as a philosophy.
Does this mean, that it is still important for contemporary Tendai as a philosophy?

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Re: Hongaku thought in contemporary Tendai

Post by DGA » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:53 pm

Yes, it's important and practiced. The "critical Buddhism" movement would find plenty to criticize in contemporary Tendai.

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