Buddhist Mythology

The Gods and Bodhisvattas of Enlightenment...

KOBO DAISHI

Japanese Knowledge legendary mortal

Also known as Daishi, Kobo, Kobodaishi, Kukai

A no-nonsense sage, spreader of love and demon-splatter

A learned scholar from birth, he was precocious beyond belief. As a child he threatened to jump off a cliff into the sea if he was not granted Enlightenment immediately, if not sooner. Heaven knew he wasn’t fooling and rushed angels down to stop him and gently explain he had a bit of work to do first.

As an evangelist for Buddhism he fulfilled his vocation very much in the prescribed manner. He fasted, he spread the word, he had visions of monsters. But these monsters caused him no concern because he had made arrangements to have his saliva fortified by lethal radiation from the planet Venus. Wherever he spat, things went Splat!

Naturally he had a staff which could make water gush from any required place — with healing properties if need be. It could also sprout leaves if he stuck it in the ground and be used as a sunshade or umbrella. See Kongo.

He soon had a great reputation for outwitting and outspitting demons and doing very goodly deeds indeed.

Around 819, he founded the famous Buddhist academy at Mount Koya (Koya-san) with the assistance of Koya-no-Myojin. His teachings helped to popularize Buddhism in Japan by claiming that these new-fangled Buddhist deities were really just the old Japanese Shinto ones with different robes and a new haircut. This cunning technique became known as ‘two-face Shinto’ and seems to have worked a treat.

Kobo Daishi was also a miraculous scholar who invented an whole extra set of Japanese symbols. Just to show off, he could write with five brushes at once using hands, feet and mouth.

He finally died in deep meditation or possibly not as he may not have finished. He is in a sealed cave — so if one day it opens from the inside, you could receive a ‘staff announcement’.

Kobo Daishi Facts and Figures

Name: Kobo Daishi
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Daishi, Kobo, Kobodaishi, Kukai

Gender: Male
Type: legendary mortal
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Knowledge
Area of expertise: Knowledge

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 1034

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Article last revised on November 18, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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