The Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage is meant to honor Kobo Daishi. Kobo Daishi, even to this day, still maintains a very high level of respect in Japan even though he died almost 1,200 years ago. (If you have visited Okunoin at Koyasan, you know he has not died, but is instead in a state of deep meditation. And you also know they still prepare meals for him.) The Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrims participate in ascetic training by following the path that Kobo Daishi walked. During the pilgrimage, to honor Kobo Daishi, you should decide to follow these oaths, commandments and general etiquette procedures.
1. Strive to maintain the beautiful nature of Shikoku and treat with respect the pilgrim facilities run by the friendly people of Shikoku.
2. Do not be a nuisance. Remember that the experience of those who later follow you may be affected by your negative behavior.
3. Do not believe you deserve special treatment.
4. All pilgrims are equal. One’s social status, rank or financial situation is irrelevant.
5. Greet others with a friendly voice and smiling face.
6. Settai – Receive “setttai” (gift offerings from the public) willingly even if you don’t think you need or want it, but humbly thank them for their selfless actions.
7. Respect other pilgrims.
During my pilgrimage:
1. I will believe that Kobo Daishi will save all living beings and that he will always be with me.
2. I will not complain if things do not go well while on the pilgrimage, but consider such experiences to be part of ascetic training.
3. I will believe that all can be saved in the present world and I will continually ask to be able to achieve enlightenment.
Pilgrim Ten Commandments
1. I will not harm life.
2. I will not steal.
3. I will not commit adultery.
4. I will not tell a lie.
5. I will not exaggerate.
6. I will not speak abusively.
7. I will not cause discord.
8. I will not be greedy.
9. I will not be hateful.
10. I will not lose sight of the truth.