- 1An introduction of Ryoanji Zen Rock Garden
- 2Crossing the river with tiger cubs 虎の子渡し
- 416 Arhats 十六羅漢
- 6Five Tathagatas 五智五仏/五知如来
- 6.1Five Wisdom 五智
- 6.2Vairocana 大日如来
- 6.3Akshobhya 阿閦如来
- 6.4Ratnasambhava 宝生如来
- 6.5Amitabha 阿弥陀如来
- 6.6Amoghasiddhi 不空成就如来
- 7Five Zen temples 五山
- 9Boards of Seisyonagon
- 10Mind 心
- 11About Ryoanji
An introduction of Ryoanji Zen Rock Garden
The rock garden of Ryoanji is one of the most famous garden in the world. No one knows what it means. In this article, we’ll make a small inspection on it with many hypotheses.
Usually, a garden like that of Ryoanji is called Karesansi Teien in Japan. We can understand name and meaning of it easily because many gardens are designed on Buddhist teaching and we can know who the designer is. In many cases, we can find them on document Buddhist temple has.
On the other hand, we have scarce knowldge of Karesansui Teien of Ryoanji’s because the temple was caught by fire many times and documents are burnt out.
These things make The Rock Garden remain mysterious.
Before discussing the garden, let us see it.
Here we go!
Crossing the river with tiger cubs 虎の子渡し
This hypothesis depends on an old Chinese anecdote and the most popular one. When a tiger gives birth to three cubs, one of them is a leopard. The tiger family wants to cross a river. The mother tiger can cross the river with only one cub. The leopard eats tiger cubs without her presence. So, the mother tiger crosses the river in this fashion;
A tiger family. A cub that has a fork is a leopard.
The mom crosses the river with the leopard.
The mom comes back.
The mom brings a cub to the other side.
The mom comes back with the leopard.
The mom brings another cub to the other side.
The mom comes back to the leopard.
The mom crosses the river with a leopard.
At Ryoanji temple, there is a miniature of the rock garden and a guidance beside it. The guidance explains that the garden indicates this hypothesis.
This is the most popular meaning. Ryoanji accepts it.