Shingon Discipline – Jukai (Precept Ordination)
In order to qualify as a Shingon priest, receiving the full precepts is necessary (as is true for most Mahayana/Vajrayana Buddhist schools). In the time of Shakyamuni Buddha, he considered all aspects of the precept and monastic rules (vinaya) completely. When we talk about precepts, the principle is actually plain and simple.
When we hear about a college student that needs to complete and study different curriculum at the different levels of education, one can say that the precepts themselves are intended for the development of the person on different stages. In Buddhism, the basic conduct that laypeople can observe is the Five Precepts:
no devious misconduct
abstaining from alcohol
Emphasized in most Buddhist sects as well as the Shingon sect are upholding the Ten Wholesome Deeds.
In the case of Shingon priests, the Bodhisattva precepts (bosatsu-kai, 菩薩戒) are observed, which is the foundation to attain awakening in this body through training and practicing Shingon discipline. This, while abiding by and applying the precepts to everyday life, enables the student to traverse the Bodhisattva way and liberate living beings.
Within the Koyasan Shingon sect, the jukai ceremony (受戒) is offered once every year in June at the headquarters in Japan. Because this ceremony is an annual event, this step may be embarked later once the Shido Kegyo preliminaries are finished.
The ceremony lasts three days; in each day the initiates pay full prostrations to the 1,000 Buddhas of the past, present, and future, based on the Sutra of the Three Thousand Names of the Buddha (Sanzen Butsumyo-e Kyo, 三千仏名経), to eliminate all past transgressions from present and previous lives.
A registration due is required for this ceremony, including verification from headquarters on Tokudo ordination.