May 30, 2010

The San-mon (three gates) of Engaku-ji temple

"San-mon" (three gates) means "the three gates for spiritual salvation" through which we are allowed to be released from our earthly delusions and desires and enter into "Butsuden" (a Buddhist sanctum).

The first gate is "Ku-gedatsu-mon" or "the salvation gate of nothingness" which preaches the emptiness of the entity of all things. The second gate is "Muso-gedatsu-mon" or "the salvation gate of formlessness" which preaches the mental state of being perfectly delivered from earthly and material existence. The third gate is "Mugan-gedatsu-mon" or "the salvation gate of desirelessness" which preaches the perfect freedom from the attachment to the phenomenal world.

The San-mon usually has no door, which represents the ultimate mercy of Buddha who compassionately allowed all living things to embrace the Buddhist faith.

Fresh green leaves are growing vigorously and luxuriantly on the Sakura trees which were once in full bloom in last spring.

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