Parallels between the Celestial and Terrestrial Phenomena at Enoshima and Meteor- and Comet-related Phenomena Associated with the Sarasvati River of Ancient India
Dr. Robert A. Juhl
The Enoshima Engi describes a series of spectacular aerial and terrestrial phenomena that took place at Enoshima in the early summer of AD 552 or 551. The aerial phenomena included dark clouds covering the sea for almost two weeks, the appearance of the goddess Benzaiten above the clouds, great stones falling from the sky, lightning bolts, and the descent of the goddess onto the island. The terrestrial phenomena included a swarm of earthquakes, rocks and sand spurting up from the bottom of the sea, and flames among the waves.. According to the narrative, other related phenomena had occurred previously in the area over a thousand-year period. "Mountains and hills crumbled, releasing floods and causing damage resulting in plagues and revolts." In addition, fire and torrential rain descended from the skies.
Almost all of the phenomena described as occurring at Enoshima are described in classical Indian literature as associated with the Sarasvati River. The conclusion is that Kokei, author of the Enoshima Engi, was well acquainted at least indirectly with the content of Sanskrit texts concerning the Sarasvati.
This conclusion also supports the interpretation that Kokei did not invent a myth but found records of the phenomena at Enoshima. He recognized the similarity of the phenomena with phenomena associated with the Sarasvati River and Sarasvati, the goddess. This confirmed to him that the deity who descended at Enoshima was in fact Benzaiten (the Japanese name of Sarasvati). He then incorporated this interpretation of the phenomena into his composition of the Enoshima Engi.
The Chinese word for "crisis" (simplified Chinese: 危机; traditional Chinese: 危機; pinyin: wēijī; Wade–Giles: wei-chi) is frequently invoked in Western motivational speaking because the word is composed of two sino-characters that can represent "danger" and "opportunity". However this analysis is fallacious because the character jī has other meanings besides "opportunity."