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John Lindsey
21st September 2003, 16:02
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_21-9-2003_pg9_14

A Buddhist priest dubbed the marathon monk has completed a 24,800-mile running ritual in Japan after seven years. Genshin Fujinami covered a distance equivalent to a trip round the globe, wearing only a white robe and straw sandals.

The 44-year-old monk returned from the Hiei Mountains, a range of five peaks that rise above the ancient capital of Kyoto.

The ritual dates to the 8th century and is believed to be a path to enlightenment.

The last monk to complete it returned in 1994. Traditionally, the monks who canít complete the task must take their own lives either by hanging or disembowelment.

cybermaai
22nd September 2003, 04:00
John Stevens has a book entitled "The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei" which details this practice.

PRehse
22nd September 2003, 04:35
Originally posted by John Lindsey
The last monk to complete it returned in 1994. Traditionally, the monks who canít complete the task must take their own lives either by hanging or disembowelment.
In the Japan times it says that since 1985 only 46 monks have survived the task.

Just how many actually set off and don't make it - I'm morbidly curious to know.

The last one finished in 1995.

poryu
22nd September 2003, 06:30
Hi

does anyone know if he has just done the marathons or has he also done the end ritual of going with out food and water for several days while also staying awake.

PRehse
22nd September 2003, 06:46
He did the whole thing. That is after all the whole point.

poryu
22nd September 2003, 06:57
That is some ordeal

certainly a man to be praised for his determination

PRehse
22nd September 2003, 08:15
They do get to spend winters at the temple - it's not like they are racing around the mountain every day. One of the things I noticed from the description is that athletically speaking they are not thrown in the deep end either. Each year up to the fifth is progressively harder.

And I am sure they undergo some training along those lines before hand.

But yeah - you got to admire the dedication although once you start its either finish or die. Talk about incentive.

Vapour
22nd September 2003, 09:43
I mean, do they really kill themselves if they fail even now. Hiei mountain is one of the two main esotoric budhist sect so I won't be too suprised if they still do it.

jion
24th September 2003, 15:36
Fujinami-san is well congratulated for completing his first 7-year Gyo. No easy task, by any stretch of the imagination.

Paul Richardson asked above about the Do-Iri or 7-day fast period. Fujinami-san undoubtably endured this ordeal within his Gyo (curiously, it's not the final chapter). I have been at the Mudoji Temple on the side of Mount Hiei to witness the Do-Iri; it certainly is a grueling task.

bruceb
24th September 2003, 15:45
And after his long journey, what did he learn?

Nothing as soothing as a nice hot bath at the end of the day ... No place like home... no place like home.... no place like home!

(Sorry,I saw the title and this was the first thing that popped into my mind.)

PRehse
25th September 2003, 00:07
Originally posted by jion
side of Mount Hiei to witness the Do-Iri; it certainly is a grueling task.
I was wondering about the Do-Iri - is it done in company or basically a solitary thing. Do other monks join in for all or part.

Also when is it performed. Nine days without food is tough but doable, sleep is tougher (I'm sure my maximum would be three days) but lack of water can be lethal. I assume this was not at the height of summer.

jion
25th September 2003, 12:37
Greetings All,

I was wondering about the Do-Iri - is it done in company or basically a solitary thing. Do other monks join in for all or part.

Do-Iri is performed after the Gyoja's 700th day, ironically not at the completion of the Gyo. The Gyoja has numerous supporters on hand but no one specifically who can do any part of the Gyo for him. He must recite the prayers, endure the rituals and depart the hall (Mudoji Temple) once daily to fetch water for an offering to the Main image of Fudo Myo-O.

I've not personally witnessed the Doiri in the middle of the summer. It is usually undertaken in mid to late Autumn.

For reference, I'm including an article I translated from the Yomiuri Shinbun many years ago:

http://tendai-lotus.org/teachings/Great_Goma.htm

PRehse
26th September 2003, 00:01
Thank you.