This paper examines what has been described as the most basic and essential element of Kūkai’s (774-835) religio-philosophical system (Yamasaki 1988:190), meditation on the Sanskrit syllable ‘A’. According to Shingon Buddhist tradition, Kūkai introduced the meditation on the syllable ‘A’ (hereafter referred to as the Ajikan) into Japan in the early 9th century, at the time he transmitted the Shingon Dharma to that country from China. Materials clearly showing the origin and development of the Ajikan before Kūkai’s time have either not been discovered or have not been analyzed in relationship to the Ajikan. Indeed, some researchers have argued that the use of ‘A’ as a device for meditation arose as either a Chinese or a Japanese mistranslation of the Mahavairocana-sūtra. The present paper is an attempt to contribute to research on the development of the Ajikan by pointing to related references in writings typically associated with earlier traditions.
Ronald S Green. "The Shingon Ajikan, Meditation on the Syllable ‘A’: An analysis of components and development." The Matheson Trust (2017) p. 1 - 33. DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.11859951