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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Vedic influence in Japan

by Stephen Knapp
The Vedic influence in Japan can also be recognized by the way its people once worshipped the deities of the Sanatana pantheon. The Vedic God Ganesh, “Used to be consecrated and worshipped on a special altar in the royal palace in Japan in July/August on the Ganesh Chathurthi days per Vedic tradition since time immemorial. Even now Ganesh (alias Shoten) is invoked and worshipped by the Japanese in the Vedic tradition when seeking good luck, fortunate or success in professional endeavours. Merchants of Kansai worship Shoten in Hoshanji temple on Mount Ikomei in Nara. The biggest Ganesh temple in Japan is in Osaka city where a permanent priest is on duty to conduct ritual worship of the deity.”
Actually, Japan has thousands of temples of Vedic deities which are unknown to the outside world because they are called by different names. For example, the Japanese and Chinese pay homage to Ganesh but call him Shoten or Kangijen. The Japanese also worship Mother Durga and make offerings to her of pomegranate juice instead of the traditional goat's blood. However, the Sanskrit name Kali-devi-ma gets changed into the Japanese language and is pronounced as 'Kariteimo.'
The main religion in Japan is Shinto or Brahman Okyo. These words appear to be corrupt forms of the Sanskrit Sindhu and Bhahma Vakya. (Sindhu indicates those living on the banks of Sindhu or Indus River.) The Navaratri celebration of paying spiritual homage to the dead ancestors in September/October is traditionally in Vedic custom. Thus, paying respects to the dead ancestors, as found in the Japanese Shinto tradition, originally comes from the Sindhu(Vedic) culture. The following principles of Shintoism are similar to those of the Vedic religion:
1.The divine will and laws should not be broken.
2.Devotional to God helps to get over hardships and diseases.
3.As the whole world is like a single family, anger should be avoided under all circumstances.
4.Everyone should render his or her duties to the ancestors and divine powers.
Thus, Shintoism has many present day carry-overs from Hinduism.
Cremation also points to the Japanese having seen adherents to the Vedic culture. Even the Japanese wrestling styles, with the wrestlers wearing nothing but loin cloths, is of Indian origin. Jujitsu is also an art of self-defence with roots in India. Jujitsu, or jujutsu is a word that derives from the Sanskrit word yuyutsu, which appears in the first verse of the Bhagavad Gita, which signifies those desirous of fighting. The Sanskrit “Ya” (in this case yu) often changes in other languages into “Ja” (or in this case ju).
The Japanese call their Nippon which comes from the Sanskrit word nipun, which fittingly means dexterous. The name of the sovereign of Japan known as Hurohito also can be traced to the Sanskrit Sura-Suta, replacing the “H” with “S.”
Sura-Suto signifies the Son of God. A slight changes in this is Surya-Suta, Which means “descendant of the sun.” This is more fitting in that the Japanese do consider their emperor to be a descendant of the sun-goddess. Correspondingly, Manu, the first global ruler by Vedic traditions, was known as Vaisvasvat, son of the sun.
The Japanese suffix San is equivalent to Mister, but is added after the name. It means a good, kind, helpful and cultured person. This is the same as the system in India in which the honorifics are added after the person's name. Any other similarities between Sanskrit words and the Japanese language also exist.
Dr.Venu Gopalacharya further points out in World-Wide Hindu Culture (pp114-5), according to later historical evidences, the ruler of Korea once sent a golden image of Gautama Buddha and many books of Mahayana Buddhism as a gift to the emperor of Japan. From that time, religious and cultural contacts between Japan and India steadily grew. The Japanese emperors gave patronage to the Buddhist and Brahmin scholars of the famous Nalanda University. In the eighth century, the then emperor of Japan installed a huge bronze image of gautama Buddha in the city of Nara and got the temple of Horiyuju painted in a fashion similar to the cave temples of Ajanta, which has many murals covering the walls depicting Buddha's life.
Even now you can find images of Gautama Buddha, Bodhisattvas, as well as Vedic Gods and Goddesses, along with the divine symbols of Shintoism, worshipped in the temple of Japan. You can find such divinities and Vedic Gods or variations of them, as Amitabha, Indra, Rudra, Kartikeya, Kubera, Surya, Yama, Vayu, Brahma, Saraswathi, Shiva, Nagarjuna and others that are popular in Japan. You can find many of with Japanese names. For example, the Vedic Kubera is known as the equivalent Bishamon. Varuna is the Suiten, the watergod. Shiva is Daikoko, god of darkness. Visvakarma, the Vedic architect of the devas is Bishukatsuma, god of carpenters. Vishnu is Amida or Amitabha. Brahma-saraswathi is Temmango-Benton Soma. (Temmango is the god of learning while Benton Soma is goddess of speech.) Indra is Tai Shakuten, and Ganesh is Sho-ten. In short you could say that the Chinese and Japanese are Hindus as much as Hindus in India are Buddhist. They are very much related.
Source: Proof of Vedic culture's global existence.

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