Who is Jizo Bodhisattva?
For zen meditation practitioners, Jizo is regarded as the bodhisattva of hell-beings, as well as the guardian of children and patron deity of deceased children and aborted fetuses in Japanese culture, where he is known as Jizo or Ojizo-sama.
His statues are a common sight in Japan, especially by roadsides and in graveyards.
His vows are to take responsibility for the beings in all the six realms (see buddhist cosmology) and not to achieve buddhahood until all hell realms are emptied.
Many zen centres in North America hold a solemn waterbaby ceremony once a year where they sew little red capes and hats for tiny jizo statues, and chant sutras for deceased children and aborted fetuses.
Also known as: Ksitigarbha
What is a bodhisattva?
In Mahayana Buddhism, bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Bodhisattvas are a popular subject in Buddhist art.
Our dharma brother, Jorge Antonio Seijin Quirós Carvajal, passed away on June 17th, 2016, on the seventh day of a seven day sesshin, in the zendo, in the hands of his teacher, and surrounded by the vibrant chants of his Sangha in Costa Rica. We first met Jorge in Vermont at sesshin, and remember his warmth and openness. According to his other dharma brothers and sisters, he left his body chanting, “Wondrous is the robe of liberation.” Wondrous indeed, dear Jorge! A teaching moment by a quiet bodhisattva. Deep bows.
All photos credit: Myoki (all rights reserved)
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