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This paper is dedicated to the study of the interpretation of the position of Buddha Vairochana in the cosmology of “Avatamsaka-sutra” (Chin. “Huayan-jing”, Jap. “Kegon-kyō”, 厳経) in Japanese Buddhism of the 8th century. It is known that “Avatamsaka-sutra” is a large collection of sutras of the Buddhist school Huayan, created in China during the period between the 1st and 4th centuries. In Japan, the texts of “Avatamsaka-sutra” were presented in the two versions: of 60 and 80 scrolls. In the doctrines of Japanese Kegon School, Buddha Vairochana (Birusyana, Dainichi Nyorai) occupies a special place, because his “body of Dharma” (Skt. “dharmakaya”, Jap. “hosshin”, 法身) is considered as a substrate of the worlds of Dharma. In this regard, some modern Japanese researchers argue: whether a statue of Buddha Vairochana in Tōdaiji temple corresponds with the Buddhist cosmology of the school Kegon? There is a version, according to which the statue was possibly made in accordance with the representations of the Buddha Vairochana contained in “Sutra on the networks of Brahma” (Chin. “Fanvan-ching”, Jap. “Bommo-kyō”, 梵網). Therefore, this study focuses on a comparative analysis of the various “bodies” of the Buddha Vairochana in the cosmology of Kegon-shū. The author thinks that the construction of the statue of Buddha Vairochana in Tōdaiji temple had also special sacral value for the imperial power. Buddha Vayrochana appeared as the highest cosmic force patronizing this country and the ruling clan in the history of spread of Buddhism in Japan for the first time.

Keywords: Buddha Vairochana, Kegon school, “Avatamsaka-sutra”, Tōdaiji temple, “dharmakaya”, “hosshin”, “Sutra on the networks of Brahma”, Huayan school

DOI: 10.22250/2072-8662.2017.4.42-48

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About the author


Elena S. Lepekhova – DSc (Philosophy), senior research officer at the Institute of Oriental Studies of

Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow;

107031, Moscow, Rozhdestvenka 12; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.