Eun 惠運 Biography

Eun 惠運798-869. Also written 慧運. Early Heian 平安 period Shingon 真言宗 monk. One of the eight Japanese monks who went to Tang China 入唐八家. He initially ordained at Tōdai-ji 東大寺 and studied Hossō-shū 法相宗, and then Shingon under Jichie 實慧 at Tō-ji 東寺. In 838 or 842 he went to Tang China where he received instruction on esoteric Buddhism 密教 from Yizhen 義真 at Qinglong-si 青龍寺 in Chang'an 長安. During the Huichang abolition of Buddhism 會昌廢佛 (c.845) he made pilgrimages to Mt. Wutai 五台山 and Mt. Tiantai 天台山, collecting texts and images. In 847 he returned to Japan with more than two-hundred fascicles of texts, detailed in the Eun zenji shōrai kyōhō mokuroku 惠運禪師將來教法目錄 (T 2168A) and Eun risshi sho mokuroku 惠運律師書目錄 (T 2168B). He built Anshō-ji 安祥寺 in Yamashina 山科 in 848 and served as abbot, hence the title “Anshō-ji Sōzu安祥寺僧都. In 864 he was made Shōsōzu 少僧都, preventing the abolition of the system of annual ordinand 年分度者. In 869 he was promoted to the position of Bettō of Tōdai-ji before dying in the same year or in 871. His works included the Bodaishin kaigi 菩提心戒儀 and Kongōkai yōki 金剛界要記.