In search of the Roman Mithra in Miroku and Maitreya

In “Mithra in Japan, China and Korea” by Tojo, Masato, in his search of the Mithra in Buddhist iconography and ideology, the case for an origin in the Roman Mithraic cult as well as Indo-Iranian-Sakka culture is built up as follows: 1. Miroku originates from the middle Persian name “Mihrak” for Mithra

The name Miroku itself is the definitive attestation that the origins of Miroku is Mithra.

According to Prof. Imoto, the origin of the name Miroku is Middle Persian Mihrak, which is the nickname for Mithra. Mihrak was transcripted into Mi-l’әk* (Miroku 弥勒) in Northern Buddhism (Mahayana Buddhism) ( Imoto “Influence of Iranian Culture to7 Japan”, pp1-6). He is the first scholar who proposed the theory that Iranian religion, which was merged with Buddhism, came to Japan in Asuka era 592-710. Today he has many supporters among researchers”

In  … Maitreya=Mitri-Burkhan, i.e. the Mithra-Buddha

Manichaeran in Central Asia calls Maitreya Mitri-Burkhan (Mitra-Buddha) (Mirecki, Paul & Jason BeDuhn ed. Emerging from Darkness Studies in the Recovery of Manichaean Sources, p94). It is an attestation that Mahayana Maitreya is Mitra-Buddha and Maitreya and Mithra is identical in the Central Asia. There is another attestation in the Maitreya sutra in three volumes 弥勒三部経. It states that Maitreya lives in Tushta Heaven (the Sun sphere), and he has five guardian gods. According to Manichaean canon Kephalaia and Shabhuragan, Mihryazd (the Third Messenger) lives in the Sun. Mihryazd (the Living Spirit) has five sons. It also states that when Maitreya appears at the end of the cycle, the ruler of the world (Tenrinjô’ô 天輪聖王) also appears as Maitreya’s friend at the same time. The relation between Maitreya and the ruler of the world parallels the relation of Mithras and the Roman Emperor….

According to “Kinmeiki 欽明記” in Shoki 書記, the name of Prince Shôtoku’s mother is Hashihito-no-anahobe-no-himemiko 埿部穴穂部皇女. Hashi 埿, like ha-shi 波斯 and hashi 間, is a transcription of “farsi/parsi” namely “Persian”. Anahobe 穴穂部 is a name of a place supposed to be Kaya 伽耶*, southernmost tip of Korean peninsula. Himemiko 皇女 means Imperial princess. Therefore her name means “Imperial Princess from Kaya the Persian”. (Nakamaru. Ancient Emperor’s families and True History of Japan, p19)

Sumera 皇 is a title of Emperor. It means Mithra or Meherdad. “Mera” means Mir/Mehr. 皇 is a composite character. The upper half 白 means the Sun in mid heaven, the lower half 王 means king. Sumera 皇 means a king given by Mir/Mehr, namely Mehrdad Shahrivar is the Simorghian ideal of good governance — which translated into the implementation of shahrivar as the ritsuryô regime 律令制度, a system of centralized administration.

Prince Shôtoku and the Soga clan felt the necessity to reform the present regime into more centralized administration system in order to reinforce the financial basis and military power. Under their leadership, new regime (ritsuryô regime) was introduced. Miroku-Buddhism became the new state religion as a new spiritual pillar. 

The introduction of Iranian architecture into shrine building – for Sirius veneration: Miroku dwells in Tushta heaven (the Sun spere) with many yazatas. Simorghian Symbolism in the Architecture of Shintô Shrines: If one stand in the main shrine of Shintô and turn to the front entrance on December 21 (the winter solstice) in the evening. One can see the Sun setting into the Torii the gate of the shrine (Photo 4) and soon after Sun’s setting one can see Sirius (Tishtrya) rising. This alignment (architecture) is introduced into Japan by the Soga clan. In Iran, Yalda (the winter solstice) is the birthday of Mithra the Sun. This legend is reflected in the architecture of Shintô shrines. Shah of shahs’ palace Apadana of Persepolis is attested to be constructed on the same architecture by Prof. Kurimoto. (Kurimoto. Asuka: The Capital City of Sirius, p187-189). Seven temples were dedicated to New Lord God Miroku. Shrines were reformed adopting the Persian architecture.

New architecture was introduced into shrine for the worship of Sirius (Tishtrya) at the winter solstice (see section “Simorghian symbolism in the architecture of Shintô shrines”). Ritual dance of Roman Mithraism (Gigaku 伎楽) was also brought into Japan (612 AD). The masks of seven initiatory ranks of Roman Mithraism are still preserved in the Imperial Treasure House Shosoin 正倉院 (Ogawa. A Study in Mithrasism, p65-68).

Saka-Indo-Iranians in Japan? Soga clan and Shotoku Taishi Iranians?

“The beginning of Miroku Buddhism in Japan was closely linked to the Soga clan 蘇我一門. They were Iranians. It is likely that they are the Saccas who came to Japan from north via Sakhalin. They have close link to Parthia. They brought Iranian architecture, rituals, philosophy and religion. They formed Miroku-Buddhism. (Kurimoto. Asuka: the Capital City of Sirius,Ch. IV; Economy and Anthropology of Eurasia, p2-32) The Soga clan was the power elites of Japan from 587 to 643. They showed their presence in Japanese political scene from the late 5th century. Prince Shôtoku 聖徳太子 (552-621) was the regent under Empress Suiko 推古 (593-628) from 593, and was the most charismatic member of the Soga clan. They had a frienf clan Hata 秦氏. They were engineers from the Korean peninsula

A legend that Prince Shôtoku was the messiah-avatar (reincarnation) of Miroku was formed

Miroku was the Lord God of them. When they took power, Prince Shôtoku and the Soga Clan realized Miroku’s teaching “Shahrivar(Good Governance)” as ritsuryô regime 律令制 度, which is a system of centralized administration based on the ritsuryô legal codes. In ritsuryô regime, the ideal of good governance was linked to Confucious’s philosophy. Buddhism was made to be an instrument of the state. Prince Shôtoku founded seven temples and enshrined images of Miroku in their main halls. One of them enshrined in the Kouryuji 広隆寺 is designated as a national treasure No. 1 in 1951. Prince Shôtoku, as a deputy of Miroku, was deified and a myth 太子伝説 was formed. (Guth, “The Pensive Prince of8 Chuguji“, p191-213; Hayami, Yu. “Acceptance of Miroku Faith in Ritsuryô Society”; Kurimoto. Economy and Anthropology of Eurasia, p22″

“There is an image of Guze Kannon in Yumedono 夢殿 of Hôryûji 法隆寺 in Ikaruga 斑鳩.Hô 法 means dharma, ryû 隆 means uphpld, ji 寺 means temple,… therefore Hôryûji 法隆寺 means the temple to uphold the dharma. Yumedono is built on a place where the House of Prince Shôtoku stood. Yumedono is octagon and in its center burns a sacred fire. It means (1) Guze Kannon (=Miroku) was worshipped as Iranian Mithra at that time (He have a fire halo), (2) Yumedono was not a Buddhist temple but Mithraic temple. (Nakamaru. Ancient Emperor’s families and True History of Japan, p16-17)”

Parthian city of Simorghian bird and tori is residence of sacred bird and Asuka was the capital city of Japan in Asuka era (500-645). Asuka was derived from Persian word “Ark Saca” which means the sacred place of the Saccas (Scythians). Parthian “Arsaces” has the same origins. Hi 飛 means flying, Tori 鳥 means bird. Asuka 飛鳥 means “flying bird”. The bird is Simorgh (Goddess Div). Torii is the gate of Shintô shrine. Tori 鳥 means bird, I 居 means residence. Therefore Torii 鳥居 means a residence of a bird (Simorgh). Shintô shrines are residents of Simorgh. This word is also Iranian origin. The shape of torii is symbolical representation of Simorgh as the winged disk widely used in Persia (Imoto. Ancient Iranian Culture and its influences on Japanese Culture, Panel Discussion, 2007 January 21th Sunday).

In Manichaean text, Sraosha is identified with Avalôkitêshvara (Kannon) and is called Xrôshtag Yazd in Parthian, Shuo-t’ing 説聴 in Chinese (Klimkeit, Hans-Joachim. Gnosis on the Silk Road,p5; Lieu, Samuel N. C. Manichaeism in Central Asia & China,p70-71). Xrôshtag Yazd (Shuo-t’ing 説聴) means “the Call”. It means Sraosha is the word emanated from Mithra. According to this doctrine, it is no wonder the close link exists between Mithra and Sraosha.

[Note: Asuka symbolism is strongly associated with the phoenix or the Simorghian bird, but as a bird perch the tori architecture is also associated with the rooster or cock perch, and therefore showing a stronger Sraosa affinity as gate to the Underworld or paradise perhaps. Further connections: Early transmission of Buddhist scriptures occurred via Parthian (i.e. Iranian) monks – see “Silk Road Transmission of Buddhism” The first documented transmission of Buddhist scriptures to China occurs in 148 with the arrival of Parthian missionary An Shih Kao in China. Miroku-Buddhism was accompanied by various shamanistic elements. The bull-slaying ritual was also performed frequently (Ogawa. A Study in Mithrasism, p64-66; Kurimoto. Asuka: The Capital City of Sirius, p331) Origin When 9th century began, Esoteric Buddhism was brought into Japan. In the Esoteric Buddhism, Miroku (Messiah-Kannon) was identified with Mahâvairocana 大日 and began his new history. Esoteric Buddhism was formed in 7 th century in northwest India (Sacastan), modern Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some Japanese scholars think Esoteric Buddhism is a revival of Indic asura worship in guise of Buddhism under strong influence of Iranian and Hellenism. The origin of Mahâvairocana is Mithra more than likely. Mithra-Zeus of Bactria, maga-brahmin, Bamiyan, all these indicate that Mithra became Mi-l’әk (Miroku), then developed to be Mahâvairocana by absorbing Aditya, Surya and Helios. Mahâvairocana’s Japanese name is Dainichi 大日. Dai 大 means great, Nichi 日 means the Sun. Therefore Dainichi means the Great Sun (God) Dainichi has a keen relationship with ancient Iranian Ahura Mazda in its origin, and19 appear as cakravarti-râja (king who moves wheel) 天輪聖王 and/or king of the asuras 阿修羅族の王 in early Buddhist scriptures. “Xuanxuan Shangren transformed into the Three Pure Ones and again transformed to the Five Elders or Five Supremes before the first man and woman were incubated.” — Chinese Mythology “Vairocana” is the Solar Buddha and the wiki article says that the word does have its origin in Sanskrit from the Rig Veda itself and “has the connotation to mean a brilliant, luminous sun”. In Japanese, Vairocana is called “Dainichi”. “Dai” meaning “great” and “nichi” meaning “day” or “sun”. Actually, “taiyo” means sun but it depends on the kanji used and in this case the combination of characters for “Dainichi” apparently means “great sun”. Dainichi is the Buddha venerated by the Shingon sect which was founded by a Japanese monk in the 9th century who learned tantric teachings in Tibet and brought it back to Japan. Their allusion “the king of asuras who is a keen god to Ahura Mazda” indicates Mithra. For there is no God but Mithra who can satisfy this condition. Seven and Persian astronomy Theory on the Reason why it is called Esoteric in the East Asia In the Sanskrit original, Esoteric Buddhism is not called esoteric. Why Chinese Esoteric Buddhists call their religion “Esoteric Teaching” 密教 (Mi-jiao in Chinese, Mikkyô in Japanese)? There is a theory on the reason why they call it Mi-jioa/Mikkyô. In China, the name of Mithra was represented by these Chinese characters: Mi 密, Mi 蜜 and Milo 弥勒. Mi 密 means both secret (esoteric) and closeness (friendship). Mi 蜜 means honey (sacred food of Persians). Mi-jiao/Mikkyô means both secret teaching and Mithra’s teaching. Therefore, they used this term to represent that Esoteric Buddhism is the perfected form of Eastern Mithraism itself. Mahâvairocana-Miroku IS Mithra. This view has gained much popularity and supports among Buddhists, Shugen-dô-ists and occultists of Japan today. The origin of Myôken is Mithra (Kurimoto. Asuka: The Capital City of Sirius, p200). He is the Lord God of Cosmos. He rules the Cosmos with the dipper and the seven planetary spirits (yazatas). Myôken has a unique astral mystery. There are many parallels between Myôken’s mystery and Mithras Liturgy in the Greek Magical Papyrus. The origin of Myôken is veiled by the thick mist. It is agreed that Myôken cult came from China. But it does not mean that it is Chinese origin. (Gakken ed. A Guide to Tendai Esotericism) For example, the seven planets, dragon’s head and tale are subordinate spirits of Myôken. But it is not Chinese astrological tradition, but India and Roman Mithraism’s tradition. (Roman Mithraism have seven week-day gods, Cautes and Cautopates.) The most important doctrine is Dainichi-Miroku-dôtai 大日弥勒同体. Dô 同 means identical, the same, tai 体 means body, entity, existence. Therefore it means “Miroku and Mahâvairocana are identical (the same deity)”. Kûkai had been to China for several years. During his stay in China, he visited a Persian Temple (ancient Aryan religion of the Central Asia) and learned its teachings (Kûkai’s diary).

[Published here for educational purposes and for discussion.]

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