Copyright © 2003 James Deacon
concept of kaji (in Sanskrit: adhisthana) is something
that comes from esoteric Buddhism and is one of several practices,
the purpose of which is, to connect with 'enlightened energy'
- for healing, protection and spiritual development.
In its formal sense, kaji refers to the generating of 'merit'
or 'grace' through a process of esoteric union or 'mutual empowerment'
with Dainichi Nyorai*
- aligning the practitioners will/desire with the Will/Desire
of Nyorai - and through this process becoming infused with a sacred
peace of mind, as well as increasing ones life force.
Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana Buddha) - generally referred
to simply as 'Nyorai' - is the central deity/highest expression
of the Dharma, in Shingon Buddhism.
However, kaji is something that can be performed not just
for the benefit of the practitioner, but for others as well.
Kaji - as with other spiritual practices - can be dedicated
to another being, thus for example, invoking & transferring
the power and blessings Nyorai's grace to a person (or other animal)
in need of healing - or in need of other form of aid.
is one of the underlying notions of esoteric Shingon - Kukai,
the founder of Shingon spoke of it as: sammitsu kaji -
union of/through the three mysteries - alluding to the central
importance of the 'three mysteries' (: gesture, mantra and visualisation)
in the kaji process.
Kaji is a word comprised of two kanji, meaning respectively:
"to add/support" & "to retain/hold". It
alludes to 'union' and can be translated conceptually as "grace."
On one level, ka signifies the compassion of Dainichi Nyorai
flowing into the hearts of sentient beings - ji signifies
the hearts of sentient beings which retain the compassion that
flows from Nyorai.
While the Shingon esoteric (Mikkyo) approach to the practice of
kaji tends generally to be highly 'ceremonial', amongst
the more 'avant-garde' practitioner of Mikkyo - e.g. the various
groups such as the Senin,
Gyoja, and Shugenja / Yamabushi mountain
kaji has frequently taken far more 'minimalist' forms of
whatever the form it takes, many would say that the core requirement
for the practice of kaji is a true, deep, heartfelt belief
in the reality of Dainichi Nyorai.
True 'nyorai kaji' requires an emotional connection.
A lesser, intellectual connection - that is, a merely intellectual
belief in Nyorai - as opposed to a heart felt one - would effectively
result in lesser effectiveness of practice. To enter into the
process of 'nyorai kaji' as such, without any level of
belief, would be an 'empty' practice.