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How To Get A Certificate Of Enlightenment In Japanese Buddhism

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on July 2, 2003 11:53:18 UTC

This I read in the history book of religion from a political point of view. I cannot remember the name of the book-it was huge- but I can get the reference if there is interest. I read that book in an effort to establish the position of Glenn's Guru, named Nierchon, or something like that. Turns out he was barely mentioned and not included on any of the charts tracing the flow of buddhist teachers.

But that is an aside.

How to get a certificate of enlightenment.

It turns out that in the Japanese Buddhist monastaries you have to be enlightened to be the head monk. Proof of enlightenment is a certificate obtained from a chinese board of enlightened Buddhists on the mainland.

So prospective monastery heads would travel to China and relate their story.

The requirement is only that the enlightened one has had an estatic experience. That is the proof of enlightenment. I have posted this story previously on this forum and suggested that some of the posters may already be enlightened on this basis. The estatic experience usually involved an experience in the dream state. It could be a vision or an out of body or just estatic feelings.

So the prospective heads would relate their story, pay the fee, get the certificate and return to Japan to a monastary full of devotees. Not a bad life.


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