Comparative study on the stupas of the Middle esoteric Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism －Basic consideration about their structure and placement － OKAZAKI Kohei
Abstract Esoteric Buddhism is the final form of Mahayana which was concurrently established with the rise of Hinduism in India. It developed and divided into three stages; early, middle and late, and spread to the neighboring countries. The Shin-gon sect founded by Kukai in the early 9th century inherited the middle-aged Esoteric Buddhism that had been introduced from India to China in 7th century and matured in China through 8th century. On the other hand, Tibetan and Bhutanese Buddhism, which is the object of our recent investigation, is a metamorphosis of the late-aged Esoteric Buddhism established in India at 7th century and preached there after the late 8th century. It is generally considered to hardly have the relation with Middle Esoteric Buddhism in Japan. This report aims at comparing Japanese stupas(〝Hoto〟and〝Tahoto〟) as the symbol of Esoteric Buddhism with the Tibetan Buddhism heritages never noticed before, and trying to close up the relativity of their history and characteristics. According to the chapter of Treasure Pagoda(〝Hoto〟) in the Lotus Sutra, the original meaning of Treasure Pagoda is "the beautiful great Tower where Prabhutaratna lives", and there was no strict distinction between〝Hoto〟(one-storied stupa) and〝Tahoto〟(two- storied stupa). In Japanese Esoteric Buddhism after 9th century, 〝Hoto〟is not the pagoda for Buddha's ashes, but the pagoda for enshrining the images of Vairocana, Prabhutaratna and so on. The Tibetan stupa is also not for Buddha's ashes, but a kind of〝Hoto〟where various deities are worshiped. In the case of Japan, such〝Hoto〟as the buildings only have remained after the Momoyama period(16 th century). Besides〝Tahoto〟 as the buildings only after the Kamakura period(12 th century). Hence it is not possible to know the ancient appearance before and after the Esoteric Buddhism transmission. However, there are still some miniatures of 〝Hoto〟on the palm of the Vaisravana images before and through Heian period(9-12 th century). The oldest example is the one with Vaisravana image in the Golden Hall of Horyu-ji Buddhist monasteries dating back to the Mid 7th century. The five metal pinnacles on the roof make us remind of Mahabodi great pagoda(5th or 6th century) in Buttagaya where Sakyamuni had enlightened. Small stupa with Vaisravana images after 9th century is certainly a〝Hoto〟type. But a lot of them have bulging walls and present the shape of the urn (Buddha's bones container). It might be presumed to have gradually gotten the architectural details. By the way, ancient India's Vaisravana did not have a pagoda on their palm. When Mahayana was preached on the way from India to China, it is supposed that stupa was placed on his palm around the Kingdom of Khotan. And such figures were drawn in the mural paintings of some Grottoes during the period of Northern and Southern Dynasties. According to Chinese literature in 7th century, there is Buddha’s ashes inside the stupa on the palm of Vaisravana . So, it could be understood that stupa with Vaisravana was the pagoda for Buddha's ashes. And author can not but agree to the idea that as the〝Hoto〟with Vaisravana in the Heian period is Buddha's bones container, it was similar to the shape of the urn, but the total figure presenting the shape of 〝Hoto〟shuoud be considered to have received the influence from esoteric Buddhism. In the case of Japan, 〝Hoto〟is the dome-shaped one story pagoda set up on the low foundation, and〝Tahoto〟is the two-story pagoda attaching the pent roof to the wall of〝Hoto〟. On the other hand, Tibetan stupa is two-storied brick-masonry building of “Upper-round / Lower- square”, in which the lower terrace are piled high like the ordination platform, and upper stupa is built up on the lower terraces. The structural principle of both Japan and Tibet is different at all. Paying attention to the structural principle, Japanese“Hokyoin-to”, which is the translated term of the pagoda for Guhyadhatu-karandamudra dharani-sutra and is the small stone-built pagoda imitating the stupas of King Asoka, resembles the Tibetan stupa. “Hokyoin-to” is an extremely minor entity in the academia of Japanese architectural history. However, as there are not a little common points between it and ancient Chinese and Tibetan stupas, author recognizes it as the architectural heritage that should be re-evaluated from Asian perspective. Finally, Author re-considers the time when the Middle esoteric Buddhism was introduced to Japan. As the climax of it in China was the 8th century, envoy monks to the Tang Dynasty would have heard the information of it before Kukai. Such knowledge, of course, should have been given to Japan during the Nara period (8th century), it is possible the great Buddha image built in the Golden hall of Todaiji-monasteries as the head of Avatamska denomination received the proper influence from its information. It is estimated from the fact that the principal image of both Avatamska and Shin-gon sect is Vairocana. Zuto-site located at the place about 1km south from South gate of Todai-ji precinct could be reconstructed to such large stupa as three-dimensional mandala found in some districts in Tibet. Besides, the placement that stupa was built away in front of the precinct may have been the two-dimensional representation of the far-off distance of the vertical direction to the Pure Land.