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hongaku


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(Jap.). A term meaning ‘original’ or ‘innate enlightenment’. The concept originated in The Awakening of Faith (see Mahāyāna-śraddhotpāda śāstra), where it referred to the inherently enlightened and luminous mind that all beings possessed, and was opposed to ‘acquired enlightenment’, or the practices that led to the gradual realization of the endowment that the practitioner had all along. In the Japanese Tendai school and the schools that branched off from it in the Kamakura period (zen.Pure Land, and Nichiren), this basic idea was developed in a number of ways that allowed for many ways of understanding the relationship between the absolute and the contingent.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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