Koyasan Okunoin Temple (video)
On August 16th, I visited Mt. Koya in order to complete my Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage. Okunoin Temple on Mt. Koya is the exact site where the body of Kobo Daishi was buried, and where he continues to rest in the state of Samadhi (eternal resting) inside the shrine of the temple. After delivering his last will at the age of 62, Kobo Daishi went into eternal meditation on March 21, 835 – as he predicted his last day on earth would be. Pilgrims who have completed the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage are required to make a benedictory report to the Daishi, thus marking the end of their journey. However, it is not uncommon for pilgrims to return to do the pilgrimage again. When asked, ‘why do the pilgrimage so many times?’ Most answer the same way, ‘there is unlimited joy in the life of a Henro, because the Savior Odaishi-san (Kobo Daishi) is still alive here saving us, and with us on Shikoku Island.’ Kobo Daishi is believed to be living at Okunoin Temple, tirelessly striving to give aid to all beings, offering hope for sacrifice.
“After I am no more,
My home is still on Mt. Koya.
While my mind will be eased in the Tusita Heaven,
I will check your devotional faith.
Without ceasing my appearance on earth,
Especially at the Sacred Places:
Where I was born… took esoteric discipline…
Attained enlightenment… and where I entered to the Samadhi”
— Kobo Daishi