Bonji – Siddham
“Bonji” refer to specific letters or characters in Sanskrit, which is a language once spoken widely in ancient India. Sanskrit was considered a very sacred language, so much that it was used when transcribing sutras, dharanis and mantras in Buddhism, much like how Latin is used in the liturgy of the Catholic Church.
In Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi was transmitted the mantras through his master Huiguo Acharya in Tang Dynasty China. At the time, Siddham was the foremost script used to represent the Sanskrit language. To this day, Shingon Buddhism is one of the few Buddhist lineages that continues to utilize Siddham in text and sound.
Lotus flowers come up from muddy water but they bloom beautifully. Their colors are not influenced by color of mud. We are also living in dirty world but One Thousand Arm Avalokitesvara guides us with her one thousand arms for us to live with pure heart. The mantra is “Om vajra dharma hrih.”
Akasagarbha Bodhisattva represents the infinite space of universe. He guides people by granting virtues, wisdom and compassion to people. The mantra is “Namo akasagarbhaya om arya camari mauli svaha.”
This Bodhisattva is considered as the foremost in wisdom. There is a famous proverb, “If three people get together, wisdom of Manjusri will appears.” He bestows wisdom to us. The mantra is “Om a ra pa ca na.”
This Bodhisattva represents the teaching of Six paramitas(giving, self restraint, patience, endeavor, meditation, and wisdom.) He also has a virtue to prolong our life. He is also called Vajramoghasamayasattva Bodhisattva. The mantra is “Om samayas tvam.”
He guides us by illuminating a bright light of Wisdom. He saves people to lead them from defilement to awakening. He has tremendous power to save people of suffering. The mantra is “Om san jam jam sah svaha.”
The sun shines upon all without discrimination. This Buddha bestows great light to all sentient beings. Mahavairocana of Vajradhatu realm wears a crown which has the five Buddhas figures and holds a mudra of Wisdom fists. This symbolizes firm and pure wisdom like a diamond jewel. The mantra is Om vajra dhatu vam.
Acananatha Vidyaraja has a vow to guide people by cutting their trauma and suffering and leads them to awakening by binding their worldly desires. His figure is very wrathful and surrounded by fire flames and people think he is far away from Buddha class but this is the way that Buddhas save all people who need salvation. The mantra is “Namah samanta vajranam chanda maharosana sphotaya hum trat ham mam.”
This Buddha is called as Amitabha and Amitayus which mean infinite light and infinite life. This Buddha guides us to salvation by using compassion (life) and wisdom (light). The mantra is “Om amrta teje hara hum.”