The main field of this study is the image of Rahula (Jp. Raun or Ragora), the son and disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni in the Japanese ritual Buddhist text “Raun koshiki” (XIII century), compiled by the Buddhist priest Yuixin. The main purpose of the koshiki texts was to strengthen the karmic connection between the adepts and the object of worship to whom this koshiki was dedicated – Buddha, bodhisattva, arhat or Buddhist patriarch. Therefore, the main content of the koshiki was: the history of the main character, the significance of his role to the Buddhist devotees, praise to his virtues and merit, and, most importantly, mention of those benefits which would gain the believers, taking part in the koshiki ritual. In this context, the creation of “Raun koshiki” and its identification as a special ritual text, which has the same sacred potential, shows the new movement in medieval Japanese Buddhism. It is characterized by the desire to return to the precepts of the original Indian Buddhism, formed in the circles of Nara Buddhism. This movement was a kind of response to the formation of the Japanese Amidaism and the spreading of Chinese Chan Buddhism in Japan.
Keywords: Rahula, “Raun koshiki”, Yuixin, koshiki, Amidaism, Buddha Shakyamuni
About the author
Elena S. Lepekhova – Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies,