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The Hobogirin

The Hobogirin is a work of Buddhist literature. Published between 1937 and 1974, it was edited by the eminent sinologist Paul Demieville. The Imperial Academy of Japan and Maison Franco-Japanese de Tokyo sponsored the project. It was halted in 1937 but continued in the 1960s and is now published by the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres of the Institut de France. While it is no longer as popular as it once was, the Hobogirin has retained its usefulness and is consulted by practitioners abroad.


The Japanese Buddhist deity Hobogirin Hayagriva is considered one of the four incarnations of Avalokitesvara. Hayagriva is the third manifestation of the Supreme Consciousness. He is represented by four faces, a conch, and a serpent’s body. Hayagriva is associated with Sri and Bhudevi. He is also associated with fire, pasa, and arikissa (goad).

Hayagriva is depicted in two different styles: traditional and modern. The image is generally depicted with one face and two arms. It has a horse head in the background and a sword in its right hand. In the Japanese tradition, this image is known as a “bato Kannon.”

This Japanese deity is referred to as “Avalokitesvara-Hayagriva.” In some traditions, Hayagriva is considered one of the two gardians of Diyu, the world of the sun. Some Chinese horse owners worship Hayagriva. In other traditions, she is revered as a goddess of transportation and travel. In this way, her image is considered a protective god of the animals.

The Buddhist tradition also acknowledges that Hayagriva is a highly powerful deity with extraordinary powers. By focusing on these qualities, you can avoid ghosts and other larger issues that spirits bring. For instance, when humans continue to pollute the earth and use chemicals to destroy it, they cause new diseases that harm both animals and humans. In addition, Hayagriva has a unique ability to help us understand the Four Noble Truths of Shakyamuni Buddha.

Avalokitesvara is one of the six main deities of Buddhism, and Hayagriva is one of them. She is a manifestation of the wrathful aspect of the Buddhist deity Avalokiteshvara. Hayagriva is the protector of the animal kingdom. In the Japanese tradition, she was worshipped as a horse-deity. As a result, she is the protector of horses and their riders.

Tsong kha pa’s work

Tsong kha pa was known for his scholarly approach to Buddhism. He aimed to synthesize all the teachings of the Buddha in his writings. His Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path and his Essence of Eloquence are grand synthesises of exoteric Buddhism and Tantra. He attempted to resolve apparent contradictions in the Mahayana philosophical corpus, presenting it as a rival view.

Tsongkhapa’s scholarly work is not yet fully developed, and his method of discrediting his main rival, Dolpopa, is still in its formative stages. He surveys the various points of view and uses terminology from the Yogacara school to present his own opinion. His primary object of inquiry is the unity of the perceiving subject in enlightenment. His philosophical work reflects the yogacara-svatantrika-madhyamaka school.

Tsong kha pa studied under a number of teachers in the major Tibetan schools. In particular, he revered Red mda’ ba Zhon nu blo gros, who was his chief spiritual master. These students were inspired by his visions, which were seen as validation of his teachings. He also learned from Indian saints, including Dzogchen and Jamgon Gyatsen.

Tsongkhapa’s hobogirin work relates to ethical conduct in the context of different individuals and situations. He conceived of ethical statements in terms of the ‘nonviolent’, and said that the suffering that is produced comes from actions that do not reflect reality. This does not mean that the person is an ethical subject, but merely a conventional subject, the origination of his or her own suffering.

Anna Seidel’s work

The most important body of Seidel’s work focuses on the compilation of the multivolume Hobogirin, a compilation of Buddhist texts. However, Seidel also investigated the practice of Taoism, becoming one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject. She married fellow scholar Holmes Welch for a short time and co-edited Facets of Taoism. Later, she devoted her life to the Hobogirin Institute.

Anna Seidel was born in Berlin, Germany, but spent most of her childhood in Munich. Her parents, a German couple, were Roman Catholic and her mother was Jewish. Her parents sheltered two Jewish friends during the Second World War. Her parents influenced her to pursue intellectual interests. She became a renowned Sinologist in the 1960s, but her work on hobogirin was still under debate.

She received her formal training in oriental religion at the University of Hawaii and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was then awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and moved to France. In Paris, she trained at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études at the College de France from 1961 to 1968. In Kyoto, she joined the Ecole Française d’Extreme-Orient and continued to live there until her death in 1992. Her work is highly relevant to the study of East Asian religions, and her Kyoto location allows her to serve as a bridge between two geographic communities.

Among Seidel’s many contributions to the Chinese tradition is her work on the Hobogirin. She continued the work of Paul Demieville, who was the first to redact the Hobogirin, which is a comprehensive encyclopedia of Buddhist terms. She contributed a number of articles to the Hobogirin as well. Although she initially studied Buddhism, Seidel found her niche in Daoist studies and earned an international reputation for her work.


Although there are several sources of Buddhist texts, the most reliable and complete is the source of hobogirin, the major work by the Japanese Buddhist scholar Takakusu Junjiro. Hobogirin is often considered to be one of the most important works on Buddhism in English. It is often referred to as the “Hobogirin” by its Japanese readers. The book’s sources are largely Japanese, but some of them are also Chinese.

Searching for the work

For Japanese specialists, Hobogirin retains particular prestige. The encyclopedia is the only scholarly work in English on Buddhism dedicated to Japanese and Chinese sources. The encyclopedia’s perspective on Buddhism, which dates from its inception, is in keeping with the newest lines of Buddhist study. However, it does have some shortcomings, including a somewhat dated approach to the history of the practice.

Seidel did not carry out long-term systematic fieldwork in Chinese religion, but she was diligent about contemporary religious phenomena and interpreted them as a continuum with ancient textual traditions. Seidel maintained a strong comparative perspective on religion and consistently observed religious landscapes wherever she traveled. As such, her important collections remain at the Hobogirin Institute. But what of the original Hobogirin?

While the four-language edition covers the bulk of his work, the work also features Sanskrit glossary and verse indexes in Tibetan. The four-language edition of the text was compiled by Paul Demtville and published by the Institut de France, L’Academy of Inscriptions, and Belles-Lestres. It is a helpful resource for anyone trying to learn the Taisho.



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