離清水寺很近的這個寺廟和周圍的氛圍稍微不一樣,與熱鬧的觀光遊客眾多的清水寺附近相比,六波羅蜜寺是在安靜的住宅街中。據說這座寺院與平清盛有著很深的關係,現在建的地方在平安時代被稱為平家的根據地,傳說六波羅這個地名其實是從寺廟的名字中取的,從寺廟裡取地名的有點令人吃驚呢。 建造六波羅蜜寺的是醍醐天皇的第二皇子―空也上人,951年在京都因疫病蔓延,使很多平民生活在痛苦之中,這時空也上人認為必須做點什麼,就自己雕刻出一尊觀音,然後拖著車在市內轉了一圈,這時空也上人無論生病的人是什麼身份, 都把放入了小梅幹和昆布的茶分發給大家,同時並祈求病癒,這是至今仍流傳著的,作為無病消災的皇福茶分配給在正月到訪六波羅蜜寺的人們。到了平安時代,由於平清盛在六波羅蜜寺的所屬地內設置了平家據點,所以平家族的各家館在附近增加了,但是,平家與源氏的戰鬥中敗北的平家,在1183年因兵火而被燒毀,除正殿以外全部燒毀,此後,雖然借助源賴朝和德川家的大力被覆興, 但是多次遇到火災屢次被燒毀了,明治維新之際,領地被縮小為現在的大小,在這之後隨著歲月的流逝,1969年為紀念開創1000周年進行了正殿的修理,恢復了昔日的豪華風貌。
Rokuharamitsu-ji is a temple located near the famous Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Japan. The temple, also known as the Hōdōzan Shingon-shū Rokuharamitsu-ji, is a Shingon Buddhist temple founded in 951 AD by the second son of Emperor Daigo, Kūya. Originally named Saikō-ji, it was later renamed Rokuharamitsu-ji after the six paramitas of Mahayana Buddhism.
According to the existing prayer texts, Kūya invited 600 famous monks from various regions to transcribe and recite the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra and held a lantern festival in the temple. The temple has various halls for worship and offerings.
Kūya, who believed in the Pure Land sect of Buddhism, was known as “Amitabha Sage” and prayed for rebirth in the Pure Land. He was one of the earliest monks in the Heian period to spread the faith of Amitabha Buddha in Japan. Kūya traveled throughout Japan to practice asceticism and became a monk at the Owari Kokubun-ji (now Yaho, Inazawa City, Aichi Prefecture). After ordination, he continued to travel to various countries and mountains to study Buddhist scriptures and teachings, and was awarded the title of Kōshō in 948 AD.
During the Heian period in Japan, social structure changes, unrest, disease, and famine were rampant. Kūya witnessed people suffering and wanted to help. He carved a statue of Kannon, the bodhisattva of compassion, and pulled it around the city in a cart. He distributed tea made from umeboshi and kelp to anyone who was sick, regardless of their social status. While doing so, he continuously chanted “Namu Amida Butsu” to pray for their recovery.
Kūya also engaged in various charitable activities, such as providing relief to the poor, teaching Buddhist teachings to the sick and prisoners, and digging wells for the people. He advocated the belief that the Buddha could lead people to the Pure Land and helped the sick and poor, even assisting in burying the bodies of nameless corpses found in the wilderness. Due to his kindness and compassion, Kūya gained widespread faith from both the aristocracy and the common people, who affectionately referred to him as the “saint of the marketplace.”
Kūya was known for his love and compassion. When he lived on Mount Kurama in Kyoto, he learned that a hunter had killed a deer, which Kūya considered to be his friend. He asked the hunter to give him the deer’s skin and antlers and used them to make a staff that he carried with him for the rest of his life. The hunter repented of his killing and became Kūya’s disciple. The statue of Kūya that remains today shows him with a thin face, a bronze bell hanging from his neck, and holding a deer antler staff in one hand while striking it with the other. This classic work is included in Japanese textbooks.
Kūya was the founder of “odori nenbutsu,” or “dancing while reciting Buddhist chants.” He would use an instrument to create a rhythm while people formed a circle and danced while reciting Buddhist chants.
In 972 (Tenroku 3), Kūya passed away at the age of 70. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Jodo Shu sect and also considered the founder of the Kūya school of the Tendai sect.
Rokuharamitsu-ji Temple has a deep connection with Taira no Kiyomori. In the latter part of the Heian period, Kiyomori established a base for the Taira clan in the temple’s territory, resulting in many residences being built by the Taira clan. However, during the battle between the Taira and Minamoto clans, the Taira were defeated, and their clan was forced to commit suicide in the area. The temple was also burnt down in 1183, except for the main hall. Although it was later restored with the help of Minamoto no Yoritomo and the Tokugawa family, during the Kamakura period (1192-1333), an administrative office called the “Rokuhara tandai” was established to monitor the movements of the imperial court. The temple was repeatedly restored during this time. During the Toyotomi Hideyoshi period, the main layout of the temple was established. After the Meiji Restoration, the temple was abandoned for a time, and the territory was reduced to its current size. To commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the temple’s founding, the main hall underwent restoration work in 1969 to restore its former glory. These historical events make Rokuharamitsu-ji Temple an important part of Japanese history.