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Re: Issa haiku - Jizo speaks dew

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  • Greve Gabi
    Thanks a lot. Here are also a few photos of Jizo http://darumamuseumgallery.blogspot.jp/2007/04/jizo-bosatsu.html Gabi
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 26, 2013
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      Thanks a lot.
      Here are also a few photos of Jizo

      http://darumamuseumgallery.blogspot.jp/2007/04/jizo-bosatsu.html
      Gabi

      >
      > bodhisattva Jizo
      > is saying something --
      > cold dew thick as rain
      >
      >
      > o-jizou ya nanika notamau tsuyu-shigure
      > esteemed [is] graciously large dewdrops as plentiful as
      > Jizo saying something autumn raindrops
      >
      > This is an autumn hokku from the 8th month (Sept.) in 1811, when Issa was in Edo and areas near Edo. Standing beside many streets and roads in Edo and the rest of Japan were (and are) stone or sometimes wood statues of the gentle, compassionate bodhisattva Jizo (Skt. Ksitigarbha, or Earth Storehouse/Womb), who is believed to protect travelers, pilgrims, and many others. Jizo is male, though he is believed to have achieved enlightenment, in an earlier incarnation, as a Brahmin girl in India in the age of Shakyamuni Buddha. Statues of him, also common at temples and graveyards, usually show Jizo as a slightly smiling, shaven-headed monk who also vaguely resembles a plump baby, and he holds a Buddhist staff in one hand and a jewel in the other. Some statues actually show him holding one or several babies, and his more ordinary statues often have several red baby bibs or baby clothes parts tied onto them, since Jizo has vowed to protect pregnant women, the souls of mothers who have died during childbirth, and babies, as well as the souls of babies who have died stillborn or soon after birth, guiding their souls to the Pure Land. More generally, Jizo has vowed to protect all beings in the "six paths" of existence subject to transmigration from going to any of the Buddhist hells (taught by some sects) after death, and in literally hundreds of different forms he was and is worshiped by all classes in Japan and in many parts of East Asia. Along with the androgynous Kannon, he is probably the most widely loved and respected bodhisattva in Japan, and he is closely associated with Amida Buddha.
      >
      > Issa has come upon one such statue of the gentle Jizo, and he feels Jizo is saying something. Using honorific phrases, he suggests that the large drops of autumn dew lying thickly on the statue and on the ground around it must be Jizo's words. In Japan drops (tama) of dew and rain have long been considered visible images of the soul (tama) as well as of perfection, so the countless dewdrops may seem to Issa to be versions of the jewel in Jizo's left hand. Thus the drops give evidence that Jizo will protect every soul in the universe, including, presumably, Issa's. What Issa "hears" seems to be a profoundly comforting vow or promise made by Jizo, though the hokku states nothing in logical, prosaic form. Issa may also, however, see and hear the dew as Jizo's endless tears shed for the many beings suffering in various different forms of karmic existence.
      >
      > Chris
      >
      >
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