Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bosatsu no gyō - Myths used to substantiate Sūkyō Mahikari (Part 5)

Okada's bosatsu no gyō claim certainly sounds impressive, but what exactly does it mean?

I checked a few Buddhist websites, and found that bosatsu no gyō is the Japanese term for bodhisattva training. In the Buddhist sects I read about, a bodhisattva is someone at the penultimate stage of enlightenment who chooses to postpone his or her own enlightenment in order to help others attain enlightenment, and who vows not to move on to enlightenment until every single person in the world has attained enlightenment.

According to the pro-Mahikari article on the Human Rights Without Frontiers site, Okada did ascetic training at a Zen Buddhist temple sometime between the "dog story" (1948) and the establishment of Mahikari (1959). During those years, this site claims that Okada also studied several religions and various other matters, experimented with okiyome, etc. Mahikari claims that Okada also worked for a construction company during all those years, and we now also know that Okada was a full-time paid kanbu in SKK for a number of years within that time frame.

I originally assumed that Okada did his bosatsu no gyō at the above Zen Buddhist temple, but how did Okada fit in five years of bosatsu no gyō in such a busy schedule? Can one do bosatsu no gyō on a very part-time basis? Does anyone know exactly what one does and what time commitment is involved?

In the glossary of terms at the end of Sunkyō, the explanation for bosatsu no gyō says:

Special spiritual training that includes the practice of humility. A bosatsu is a god who descends to the highest part of the astral or physical world to do spiritual training. Even Seikannon took on the form of a bosatsu and descended to the physical world to do training and give salvation to God's children.

This does not sound much like the various Buddhist descriptions of bodhisattva training. I wonder if Okada has redefined the words bosatsu and bodhisattva? If he is not using these words in the Buddhist sense, then I think I'll need to examine Okada's writings at length in order to work out exactly what he did mean when he claimed that God had him complete five years of spiritual training of Bodhisattva. (Goseigen, December 1965).

Since the above revelation was in 1965, perhaps Okada's bosatsu no gyō (as defined by him) was concurrent with (or even just synonymous with) his early years of Mahikari activity?

I'm afraid this particular post just poses the questions and provides no answers. I hope to revisit this topic at some stage, but just at the moment I don't have time to investigate further. Sorry!

Does anyone else have any relevant information?


Blogger Anne said...

Thank you very much to the reader who emailed me with some extra information concerning Bosatsu no gyō.

According to the 30-year chronicle of Sukyo Mahikari (in Japanese), Okada announced at the November monthly ceremony in 1965 that he had completed Bosatsu no gyō on October 10, 1965.

So, there you have it. If Okada actually did do this training, it was basically concurrent with the first five-or-so years of Mahikari.

March 21, 2006  
Blogger Anne said...

...or maybe not.

Page 10 of the Intermediate Kenshū textbook says: 1972, at which time Sukuinushisama finished Kannon Bosatsu no Gyō.

So where did this date come from? Perhaps from Daiseishu. The Preface quotes from Okada's own words at the Kansai District Anniversary Ceremony on July 30, 1972. He said:

My bodhisattva training will probably end this year, possibly in the autumn.

So, it seems that Okada made an announcement in 1965 claiming that he had just completed Bosatsu no gyō, then 7 years later he announced he would complete it soon.

What happened? Did Okada forget his previous announcement? If it was not based on truth, he could easily have forgotten...truth tends to be more memorable.

Or did Okada start suffering from dementia and become confused about details towards the end of his life?

If he really did do this training, you'd expect that Keishu should know important details such as when he completed it. If Okada was becoming forgetful and making contradictory claims in recorded public teachings, she must have had an awfully hard time trying to cover up for him.

Are kumite so befuddled by their indocrination that they don't notice contradictions such as this?

March 27, 2006  

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