Dai Mandara Ku Festival   大曼荼羅供

Date of publication :

At the end of the ceremony of the Dai Ku Mandara at Koyasan, the most important of the sacred mountain monks gather at the main hall of Garan for singing shomyo.

Procession for enlightenment

If you travel through Koyasan in April, you may come face to face with a curious procession when visiting Garan Temple: on the 10th of the most important ceremonies of the sacred mountain is held, the Dai Mandara Ku.

If you travel through Koyasan in April, you may come face to face with a curious procession when visiting Garan Temple: on the 10th of the most important ceremonies of the sacred mountain is held, the Dai Mandara Ku.

This is one of the oldest spiritual events in Koyasan. It is said that the Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai, founder of the Shingon sect of Koyasan) celebrated it in the early ninth century. The procession takes place between Daie-do and Kondo hall, where the ceremony comes to a close with enchanting shomyo (Buddhist chanting).

It has quickly won the hearts of visitors with its beauty and its atmosphere. Indeed, for the occasion, the most important monks put on their finest regalia: brocade embroidered jackets. And their hymns resound as far  the nearby Kongobu-ji Temple (the official headquarters of the Shingon sect).

The purpose of the Dai Ku Mandara is twofold: to pray for the happiness of the souls of the sacred mountain, and honor mandala, these pictorial diagrams used as supports for meditation, containing the principles of the teachings the Shingon sect.

Comments Read comments from our travellers