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The Shingon Tachikawa SchoolWP (真言立川詠天流?) is a branch of Shingon Vajrayana BuddhismWP,[1] a sect generally considered heretical. Its foundational doctrine and technique is reaching elightenment by the union of male and female.[2]

History[]

In the Kamakura periodWP, a high monk of Shigon Buddhism, NinkanWP, failed in an attempted assassination of Emperor TobaWP, and was exiled to the Izu ProvinceWP as punishment. It is said that there, in the Musashi ProvinceWP, Ninkan gave birth to the fundamental systems of Shingon Tachikawa in cooperation with the Onmyouji Kenren (from TachikawaWP). After that, the Tachikawa Sect spread and prospered to the point where it came to be the largest faction within Shingon Buddhism. Furthermore, with the decline of the Kamakura ShogunateWP in sight, the Tachikawa Sect schemed to have the Imperial Family change its loyalties to prioritize Tachikawa over other sects. Emperor Go-DaigoWP, who mastered the secrets of Tachikawa, starting from YoshinoWP, spread it across the lands of the Southern CourtWP. After that, the Tachikawa Sect teachings were almost always present with the Southern Court, so with the decline of the Southern Court, the Tachikawa Sect also fell into ruin. The suppression of the Tachikawa Sect didn't occur because it was heretic or there was some problem with its teachings, it was due to its connection with the Southern Court. As Mount KōyaWP, the birth place of Koyasan Shingon Buddhism, lies within the territory of the Northern CourtWP, almost all the authority figures in Koya held contempt for the Tachikawa Sect, and thus had all the Tachikawa scriptures destroyed.[1][Notes 1]

In the World of Fate/EX, a branch of the Shingon Tachikawa sect, the Shingon Tachikawa Eiten School, existed up until 2030. Even after the Overcount 1999 of 1970, the sect engaged in the practice of old world magecraft theory. Essentially a "living fossil," it was a small community created in a remote mountain area far from prying eyes. In 2018, it took the initiative to reinvent its teachings, and revived itself as a new-world magus organization that had adapted to the internet society of modern times. As a cult, it rapidly increased its followers, but due to overly fast expansion, there were internal power struggles, so in 2020 it stopped all activities. Members of this religious community fought each other to the death, and it is said that the bodies of the dead followers still lie in plain view in its former headquarter in the mountains.[3]

Characteristics[]

Shingon Tachikawa is a branch of Shingon Buddhism that is based on the Esoteric Buddhist scripture (tantra) Rishu-kyo, and its teachings revere and worship DakinitenWP,[1] who is identified with the Vairocana Buddha and Amaterasu-oh-mikami.[2] Shingon Tachikawa’s scriptures and theories are based on three points of view:[4]

The first is Luminous Mind based on Rishu-kyo. Sex is a natural part of being human, and originally was considered to be something very pure that is connected with enlightenment. Sex tends to be assumed to be a simple pleasure, but strictly speaking it is not actually an act that affirms your desire. Desires that are connected with infatuation and indecision are an obstacle to enlightenment, but a pure sexual desire is a desire for the benefit of all living things, and it is something that you should maintain as part of your survival instinct. It is just affirming our survival instinct and thus is connected with enlightenment. This overview is extremely difficult to understand, and it is said that even most of the disciples taught directly by the founder of Shingon Buddhism, KukaiWP, were not taught it. As a rule, those who were not of high monk rank or above were not permitted to read the related scriptures.[4]

The second is Union, which is the concept of two beings sublimated into one being, and/or being reincarnated. This is derived from the concept of Taoist OnmyoudouCosmic dual forces connected together become taijiWP” that was unified with the Shugendō concept of the universe and nature. It is from this unification that the techniques of miracle efficacy, the SenninWP art of love making, and tantric yogaWP methods were introduced into Tachikawa.[4]

The third is the method of drawing out power from "beyond" by breaking down your own boundaries. It is said that this method made many monks lose their self-control, power of reasoning, and moral values due to murder or eating meat, eating fish, or drinking alcohol; however, it is also theorized that this method may have not actually been put into practice by the Tachikawa Sect.[4]

Through the combination of these three kinds of thoughts and methods, the Tachikawa Sect considered the unification of "DakiniWP = Dainichi Buddha = Amaterasu Oomikami" to be the ultimate goal. Namely, they tried to achieve enlightenment by becoming one with the fundamental truths of the universe.[4][2]

The fundamental methods of the Tachikawa Sect follow the main teachings of Shingon Buddhism and expand upon them. The methods of Tachikawa are not evil on their own by any means. The main example of "evil deed" attributed to it is the use of skulls as an object of worship, but really the use of skulls in rituals was not uncommon across Japan, and in the Kamakura Period, the use of skulls was endorsed by many a Buddhist master, and the use of skulls was not considered to be something out of the ordinary.[5]

Like this, the taboos of Shingon Tachikawa more or less align with those of fundamental Buddhist teachings, wherein the greatest taboo is to defy your master. Buddhism is fundamentally a system where you [the disciple] attain enlightenment by using the methods left behind by the founder of Buddhism [the master] who became a Buddha, Shaka. So the relationship between master and disciple is core in the Buddhist system. And Shaka preached that disciples must not doubt his ideas in any respect, and must only obey— the only time a person may have doubt, is before they formally become a disciple. It’s fine to doubt as much as you like before becoming a disciple, but it best to only become a disciple once all your doubts have been cleared. For the above stated reasons, Buddhism has always been centered on the relationship between master and disciple, and the power of Buddhism to reach enlightenment is fundamentally passed down through the "bloodline" (the unbroken and perpetual master-disciple link continuity). So essentially, the only way to attain enlightenment through Buddhism is to become a very, very distantly connected disciple of Shaka, as it is he who has the power of Buddhism. So if you are excommunicated by your master, it means your link to Shaka will be severed, and all your ascetic practices until that point will be reverted to naught.[5]

Notes[]

  1. This presentation is somewhat different from what historians actually say about the Tachikawa Sect. Nasu basically took Tachikawa history and altered it a bit.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
    [v] Fate/EXTRA material - Encyclopedia: Shingon Tachikawa School [Circumstances], p.189

    Shingon Tachikawa School [Concept]
    Shingo Tachikawa is a branch of Shingon Vajrayana (Shingon secret tantra teachings) that is based on “Rishu-kyo” and its teachings revere dakini-deity.
    In the Kamakura era, a high monk of Shigon Buddhism, Ninkan, failed in an attempted assassination of Emperor Toba (Eikyuu Era [Eternal Era]) and was exiled to Izu as punishment. It is said that there, in the province of Musashi, Ninkan gave birth to the fundamental systems of Shingon Tachikawa in cooperation with the Onmyouji (spiritual medium) Kenren (from Tachikawa).
    After that, the Tachikawa Sect spread and prospered to the point where it came to be the largest faction within Shingon Buddhism.
    Furthermore, with the decline of the Kamakura Shogunate in sight, the Tachikawa Sect schemed to have the Imperial Family change its loyalties to prioritize Tachikawa over other sects. Emperor Godaigo, who mastered the secrets of Tachikawa, starting from Yoshino, spread it across the lands of the Southern Dynasty. After that, the Tachikawa Sect teachings were almost always present with the Southern Dynasty.
    So with the decline of the Southern Dynasty, the Tachikawa Sect also fell into ruin.
    …The suppression of the Tachikawa Sect didn’t occur because it was heretic or there was some problem with it’s teachings, it was due to its connection with the Southern Dynasty. Mount. Koya (the birth place of Koya-san Shingon Buddhism) lies within the territory of the Northern Dynasty, and almost all the authority figures in Koya held contempt for the Tachikawa Sect, and has all the Tachikawa scriptures destroyed.

    真言立川流【事柄】
    真言立川流は真言密教の一派であり、『理趣経』(般若波羅蜜多理趣品)をその根本経典とし、茶枳尼天を拝した教え。
    鎌倉時代に真言宗の阿閣梨である仁寛が、鳥羽天皇暗殺未遂事件(永久の変)の罪で伊豆に配流された折、そこで武蔵国立川の陰陽師である見蓮らと協同で生み出した術式がその基礎とされる。
    その後、立川流は真言宗の最大派閥となるまで隆盛。
    さらに鎌倉幕府の衰退を見て取った立川流は、幕府から天皇家への鞍替えを企図する。
    立川流の奥義を会得した後醍醐天皇は吉野において南朝を開く。以降、立川流はほぼ常に南朝と共にあった。そして立川流は南朝の衰退と共に滅びていくのである。
    ……立川流の弾圧は、邪宗である事やその教理に問題があったからではなく、南朝方であった事に起因する。そして北朝方であった高野山(真言宗高野派)によって、その権威は徹底的に財められ、教理経典は抹消されてしまった。

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Fate/EXTRA CCC - Chapter 3: Crimson Lips of Love and Hate – Alter Ego / M –
  3. [v] Fate/EXTRA material - Encyclopedia: Shingon Tachikawa Eiten School [Organization], p.188-189

    Shingon Tachikawa Eiten School [Organization]
    Shingon Tachikawa Eiten-ryu.
    A branch of the Shingon Tachikawa sect that existed up until 2030.
    Even after 1970 the Shingon Tachikawa Eternal Heaven Sect engaged in the practice of old world magecraft theory. Essentially a “living fossil,” this organization was a small community created in a remote mountain area far from prying eyes. In 2018 it took the initiative to reinvent its teachings, and revived itself as a new-world magus organization that had adapted to the internet society of modern times.
    The fundamental principals in Shingon Tachikawa teachings are: Luminous Mind, Union, and Great Power Development.
    As a cult it rapidly increased its followers, but due to overly fast expansion there were internal power struggles, so in 2020 it stopped all activities.
    Members of this religious community fought each other to the death, and it is said that the bodies of the dead followers still lie in plain view in its former headquarter in the mountains.

    真言立川詠天流【組織】
    しんごんたちかわえいてんりゅう。
    西暦2030年まで続いた、真言立川流の傍流。
    1970年以後も旧世界の魔術理論を実践し、人里離れた山奥で小さなコミュニティを作っていた“生きた化石”だったが、2018年を機に教義を改め、ネットワーク社会に対応した新世界の魔術団体として蘇った。
    真言立川流の教えが基盤にあるため、その理論は『自性清浄・二者合一・超力招来』の三脚からなる。
    カルトながら急激に信徒を増やしていったが、急激な信者拡大によって内部での権力争いが起こり、2020年にはその活動を停止した。
    教団があったコミュニティには身内同士で殺し合った信者たちの亡骸が今も野ざらしになっているという。

  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4
    [v] Fate/EXTRA material - Encyclopedia: Shingon Tachikawa School outline [Doctrine], p.189

    Shingon Tachikawa School outline [Doctrine]
    Shingon Tachikawa’s scriptures and theories are based on three points of view.
    The first is Luminous Mind based on Rishu-kyo.
    Sex is a natural part of being human, and originally was considered to be something very pure that is connected with enlightenment. Sex tends to be assumed to be a simple pleasure, but strictly speaking it is not actually an act that affirms your desire. Desires that are connected with infatuation and indecision are an obstacle to enlightenment, but a pure sexual desire is a desire for the benefit of all living things, and it is something that you should maintain as part of your survival instinct. It is just affirming our survival instinct and thus is connected with enlightenment.
    Of course, this overview is extremely difficult to understand, and it is said that even most of the disciples taught directly by the founder of Shingon Buddhism, Kukai, were not taught it. As a rule, those who were not of high monk rank or above were not permitted to read the related scriptures.
    The second is Union, which is the concept of two beings sublimated into one being, and/or being reincarnated.
    This is derived from the concept of Onmyoudo (Taoist) “Cosmic dual forces connected together become taiji” that was unified with the Shugendou concept of the universe and nature. It is from this unification that the techniques of miracle efficacy, Sennin art of love making, and tantric yoga methods were introduced into Tachikawa.
    The third is the method of drawing out power from “beyond” by breaking down your own boundaries.
    Is it said that this method made many monks lose their self-control, power of reasoning, and moral values due to murder or eating meat, eating fish, or drinking alcohol.
    (However it is theorized that this method may have not actually been put into practice by the Tachikawa Sect).
    Through the combination of these three kinds of thoughts and methods the Tachikawa Sect considered the unification of “Dakini = Dainichi Buddha [Vairocana] = Amaterasu Oomikami” to be the ultimate goal.
    Namely, they tried to achieve enlightenment by becoming one with the fundamental truths of the universe.
    …Uhhh Cas-ko-san, it seems like your followers are pretty wack… is everything gonna be all right…?

    真言立川流の概要【教義】
    真言立川流の術式、および理論は三つの視点に立脚している。
    ひとつめは『理趣経』に基づく自性清浄。
    人間の本性や生来の営みは本来清らかな物であり、悟りに繋がる物である。これは誤解されがちだが、欲望を肯定する物ではない-厳密には、惑いや迷いに繋がる欲望は悟りの妨げであるが、衆生の利益を願ったり、そのために自己を保つべく自己保存欲求を持つのは悟りに繋がる欲望であるとして肯定するという考え。
    無論この概念は非常に難しく、真言宗の開祖空海をしてほとんどの弟子には教授しなかったという曰く付きのもの。原則的に阿閣梨[あじゃり]以上でなければそも閲覧の許可がない。
    ふたつめは、二者の合一による一者への昇華、または帰還という概念。
    これは陰陽道の『陰陽結びついて太極となる』という概念から来たもので、おそらくは修験道の天地自然との一体化から験力を得る技法や仙道の房中術、タントリック・ヨーガの手法も導入されているものと見られる。
    みっつめが、自己の境界を破壊するする事で、『その向こう』から力を引き出す技法である。
    多くの場合は、殺人や肉食、魚食、飲酒などで僧としての自律、理性、倫理観などを崩壊させたという。
    (ただしこの技法それ自体は、立川流では実戦されなかったとする説もある)
    立川流は、この三種の技法を組み合わせて、「茶枳尼天=大日如来=天照大神」と一体となることを最終目的とするものだった。
    すなわち、自らをして宇宙の根本原理そのものとなす事で悟りを得ようとしたのである。
    ……キャス狐さん、なんか貴方の下の方々、たいへんな事になってますよ……?

  5. 5.0 5.1
    [v] Fate/EXTRA material - Encyclopedia: Shingon Tachikawa School taboos [Doctrine], p.189-190

    Shingon Tachikawa School taboos [Doctrine]
    The Tachikawa Sect is often made out as the villain in a lot of romance novels, but the novels are simply drawing on an extreme example and it does not represent the real Tachikawa Sect.
    The fundamental methods of the Tachikawa Sect follow the main teachings of Shingon Buddhism and expand upon them. The methods of Tachikawa are not evil on their own by any means.
    The representative “evil deed” that is taken up by others is the use of skulls as an object of worship, but really the use of skulls in rituals was not uncommon across Japan and in the Kamakura period the use of skulls was endorsed by many a Buddhist master, and the use of skulls was not considered to be something out of the ordinary.
    Like this, the taboos of Shingon Tachikawa more or less align with those of fundamental Buddhist teachings.
    The greatest taboo is to defy your master.
    Buddhism is fundamentally a system where you [the disciple] attain enlightenment by using the methods left behind by the founder of Buddhism [the master] who became a Buddha, Shaka (Gautama Buddha. So the relationship between master and disciple is core in the Buddhist system. And Shaka preached that disciples must not doubt his ideas in any respect, and must only obey— the only time a person may have doubt, is before they formally become a disciple. It’s fine to doubt as much as you like before becoming a disciple, but it best to only become a disciple once all your doubts have been cleared.
    So for the above stated reasons, Buddhism has always been centered on the relationship between master and disciple, and the power of Buddhism to reach enlightenment is fundamentally passed down through the “bloodline” (the unbroken and perpetual master-disciple link continuity).
    So essentially the only way to attain enlightenment through Buddhism is to become a very, very distantly connected disciple of Shaka, as it is he who has the power of Buddhism. So if you are excommunicated by your master, it means your link to Shaka will be severed, and all your ascetic practices (Buddhist training) until that point will be reverted to naught.

    真言立川流の禁忌【教義】
    様々な伝奇小説で敵役にされがちな立川流だが、それは極端な例にすぎない。
    立川流の基本技法自体は真言宗の主流派となった折に真言宗全体に広まっており、真言立川流の術そのものは邪悪なものではないからだ。
    真言立川流の悪行の代表とされる、髑髏本尊(どくろほんぞん)などは日本の呪術ではそれなりに一般的な外法頭の術式の変形に過ぎず、鎌倉当時の達人であれば多かれ少なかれ了解、または使用していておかしくない技法である。
    このため、真言立川流の禁忌もまた、原則的には仏教教団の禁忌と相通じている。
    その最大は師に逆らうこと。
    仏教は原則として、仏となった釈尊からその悟りに至る技法を授けてもらうという師と弟子の関係から出発した。
    そして釈尊は、弟子に自分の考えに疑問を持たずにひたすらそれに従う事を説いた──疑っていいのは、弟子になるまで。弟子になるまではいくら疑ってもよく、むしろ疑い尽くしてそれが無理になってから弟子となる事がよいとされた。
    ちなみに上記の理由から、仏教は常に師と弟子の関係を基本とし、悟りに至るための力や法力は、基本として血脈(師弟関係の不断の連続)によって受け継がれていると考えられている。
    つまり仏教で悟りを得たり、法力を持つ事ができるのは釈尊の遠い遠い孫弟子の関係にある者だけとされる。破門とはこれを断ち切られる事であり、仏教ではそれまでの修行すべてが無に帰す事を意味する。

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