Sanskrit Daimoku

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Minobu
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by Minobu »

So like from what i gather from all this ;

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as taught by Nichiren, as experienced by serious practitioners of Nichiren Practice , somehow is so much more than the mere translation of the sanskrit title.

It has a life of It's own , so to speak...if you get my drift.

like I said something above and beyond the Jungian Archetypal some would seem to believe Nam Myoho Renge Kyo has become.

If we look at the history , take in account all that Tien Tai The Great unveiled about it , and then Bodhisattva Jogyo's appearance and work for sentients , very common sentient, what do we see?

As well as a special note about non students of Buddhism.

Who just by happenstance take up the practice and end up producing the True Cause of developing Liberation through the knowledge of Buddha Nature.

Ultimately calling forth the ultimate Reality in your lifetime and throughout your lifetime whether you continue to practice or not.

What's interesting is, it is something so much more beyond intellectual pursuit. A very Real Thing, unseen but experienced.

Not just a title of a sutra.
NeonPhoenixNeko
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by NeonPhoenixNeko »

Minobu wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:15 pm So like from what i gather from all this ;

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as taught by Nichiren, as experienced by serious practitioners of Nichiren Practice , somehow is so much more than the mere translation of the sanskrit title.

It has a life of It's own , so to speak...if you get my drift.

like I said something above and beyond the Jungian Archetypal some would seem to believe Nam Myoho Renge Kyo has become.

If we look at the history , take in account all that Tien Tai The Great unveiled about it , and then Bodhisattva Jogyo's appearance and work for sentients , very common sentient, what do we see?

As well as a special note about non students of Buddhism.

Who just by happenstance take up the practice and end up producing the True Cause of developing Liberation through the knowledge of Buddha Nature.

Ultimately calling forth the ultimate Reality in your lifetime and throughout your lifetime whether you continue to practice or not.

What's interesting is, it is something so much more beyond intellectual pursuit. A very Real Thing, unseen but experienced.

Not just a title of a sutra.
I totally hear your point, and don't want to disrespect it, but I have a bit of a different viewpoint. The Buddha taught in India; therefore for me, pursuing the most historical and authentic source is important. Other cultures have embodied his teachings and transformed them in powerful ways, such as Nichiren, but no matter how far you go back, the teachings are brought back to Shakyamuni's sermons located in India, or the Eternal Buddha if you prefer to think of him like that, which is where I think the 'mystical' aspect you speak comes from, which is a source I certainly draw from as well. The entire Lotus Sutra is embodied in reciting the name, no matter what language it may be. I just prefer to go back to the soirce as far as possible.
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Caoimhghín
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by Caoimhghín »

I think we can all agree that there's nothing "wrong" with chanting the phrase in Sanskrit in the sense that it's an innocuous action which does no real harm any more than chanting the phone book would, but that's it's also not the dispensation of Venerable Nichiren. Sanskrit wasn't unknown in Japan at the time, especially in esoteric circles, but Ven Nichiren did not do around instructing people:

ナモ サダマプンダリカスツ
namo sadamapundarikasutsu

Or anything like that. Whether or not this is pregnant with meaning is something for Nichiren practitioners to decide. Which is what I suppose Minobu was alluding to.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by NeonPhoenixNeko »

Coëmgenu wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:17 am I think we can all agree that there's nothing "wrong" with chanting the phrase in Sanskrit in the sense that it's an innocuous action which does no real harm any more than chanting the phone book would, but that's it's also not the dispensation of Venerable Nichiren. Sanskrit wasn't unknown in Japan at the time, especially in esoteric circles, but Ven Nichiren did not do around instructing people:

ナモ サダマプンダリカスツ
namo sadamapundarikasutsu

Or anything like that. Whether or not this is pregnant with meaning is something for Nichiren practitioners to decide. Which is what I suppose Minobu was alluding to.
Ah, I see, I see. I was not really aware of Nichiren sect's idea of the Daimoku being more powerful. I can't say one is better than the other (some say chanting in Sanskrit is mystical as well). I am a bit odd in that I follow various sect's, from Theravada to Nichiren and even tantra, so I am not well educated in one particuar ideology!

What does Nichiren have to say specifically about chanting in other languages, such as the Chinese version, Miàofǎ Liánhuá jīng, anyone know a specific passage of his which might allude to this?
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by Caoimhghín »

NeonPhoenixNeko wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:07 amWhat does Nichiren have to say specifically about chanting in other languages, such as the Chinese version, Miàofǎ Liánhuá jīng, anyone know a specific passage of his which might allude to this?
I'm not really qualified to comment on the internal pietistic life of a Nichiren Buddhist, but as to the technicalities of the language the daimoku is spoken in, Japanese, it also isn't really in 'normal' Japanese.

It is in a thick Japanese-accented pronunciation of Middle Chinese. You can see the relation if you look at modern Japanese, middle Japanese, Middle Chinese, and Mandarin (I'm going to approximate the IPA in italics below it, since its rather difficult to read):

南無妙法蓮華經
namu myōhō renge kyō
nammu meufafu renkua kyau
nʌmmɨo miᴇupɨɐp lenɦˠua keŋ
(numo myupup lenghwa keng)
nánmó miàofǎ liánhuá jīng

Modern Japanese, like modern English, went through a crazy vowel shift. Mandarin has underwent tonogenesis.

It seems a number of middle Japanese dipthongs (glides between vowels, 'au', 'eu') have levelled out to 'ō' or 'yō'. 法 as fafu is interesting. A middle Japanese reading for this time period precisely was hard to find. This pronunciation would likely have been a little bit antiquated in Ven Nichiren's time. A lot of Modern Japanese sound changes have a f --> h and p --> h tendency (see papa for 'mother' becoming haha, etc.). It's easy to see how one could get from fafu --> hahu --> hau --> hō.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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Bois de Santal
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by Bois de Santal »

Thanks for that detailed reply Coemgemu. I was wondering whether the modern mandarin had any more than a passing resemblance to the classic chinese pronunciation. And it is interesting to see how the pronunciation differs between modern and middle japanese.

Kyo and ching/jing seem so far apart now, but it is obvious that back in the day the original pronunciation of kyo would have been approximately similar to the chinese the period.

The upshot of all this is that there is no authentic pronunciation of the title of the lotus sutra. That said, I think I'll stick with Namu Myoho Renge Kyo for now.
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Jainarayan
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

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NeonPhoenixNeko wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:07 am
1: In 'āya', the letter a with the line over it is to represent emphasis, correct? Is it necessary? So would this work, I want to say a reverence phrase to Akṣhobhya Buddha;

namo akṣhobhāya buddhāya, or namo akṣhobhaya buddhaya?
No, the ā represents long a, as in father. Short a is like about. Each letter has a long and short version, except o, which is always long. Accent is usually on the antepenultimate, second to last syllable.

ā - father
ē - say
ī - feet
ū - boot

a - about
e - get
i - it
u -put

So the name Agni, god of fire is pronounced ug-nih.
2: Should the letter a always be there, no matter what when adding 'ya'? What would you do if the word doesn't end in an a, such as amogasiddhi buddha;

namo amogasiddhāya, or namo amogasiddhiya?
-āya is the masculine singular dative of nouns ending in short a (Rāma, Krishna, Ganēsha). To Rāma Rāmāya, to Krishna Krishnāya, to Ganēsha Ganēshāya.

So, namo akṣobhāya buddhāya <- this one (the ṣ is the sh sound).

-yaī is the feminine singular dative. Lakshmyāí, Saraswatyāí, (yāí is almost like 'yikes!') "to Lakshmi", "to Saraswati".

There are many other case endings. I've counted 264 for all the case inflections. Though many of them duplicate, and some just wouldn't make sense or are hardly ever used. But they exist.This is why Sanskrit is almost completely free word order.

namo amogasiddhaye. Amogasiddhi is a masculine -i stem, which takes -aye in the dative. Ganapataye for Ganapati, Pashupataye for Pashupati.

Glad you asked? :rolling:
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
oṃ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
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Minobu
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by Minobu »

NeonPhoenixNeko wrote: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:32 pm

I totally hear your point, and don't want to disrespect it, but I have a bit of a different viewpoint. The Buddha taught in India; therefore for me, pursuing the most historical and authentic source is important.
ok ..so ..eventually you will find out that historically speaking the Sutra was never spoken out loud by Lord Sakyamuni Buddha...It is a Mahayana Sutra, written for the first time well after His Parinirvana ..

We are told Lord Buddha Nagarjuna went to the depths of an Ocean to retrieve the scrolls from the Nagas.

This was a secret teaching, is a secret teaching and will always be a secret teaching...

the use of the word secret might not be exactly kosher...it is used when we speak of stuff that isn't exactly part and parcel to the everyday...
something to be uncovered , learned, expirenced but is hidden from the average person to certain degrees...

From what i "BELIEVE IN" it is produced from the Dharma Kaya Body of the Buddhas. It's something that ends up in our everyday life direct from the Buddha...Even though someone else somewhere in time wrote it...well after the Buddha's PariNirvana...

at one time this upset me and others....but eventually one sees as i do , the greatness in it's "Being"...

I'm not the best person to break this news to you..and it screwed me up for years...

but one does need to come to terms with the actual mystic quality of "IT ALL" .

Coëmgenu wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:17 am Whether or not this is pregnant with meaning is something for Nichiren practitioners to decide. Which is what I suppose Minobu was alluding to.
yes indeed...It comes from above...someone once told me the Ocean, Lord Buddha Nagarjuna experienced is possibly a metaphor, or something else ..

Think about the Ceremony in the Air...nothing everyday about "IT"..

with metta and much hesitance
d
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

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The characters Myoho-renge-kyo are Chinese. In India, the Lotus Sutra is called Saddharma-pundarīka-sūtra. The following is the mantra concerning the heart of the Lotus Sutra composed by the Tripitaka Master Shan-wu-wei:


namah samanta-buddhānām
om a ā am ah
sarva-buddha-jna-sākshebhyah
gagana-sambhavālakshani
saddharma-pundarīka-sūtra
jah hūm bam hoh vajrārakshaman
hūm svāhā

Hail to all the Buddhas! Three-bodied Thus Come Ones! Open the door to, show me, cause me to awaken to, and to enter into the wisdom and insight of all the Buddhas. You who are like space and who have freed yourself from form! Oh, Sutra of the White Lotus of the Correct Law! Cause me to enter into, to be everywhere within, to dwell in, and to rejoice in you. Oh, Adamantine Protector! Oh, empty, aspect-free, and desire-free sutra!


This mantra, which expresses the heart of the Lotus Sutra, was found in the iron tower in southern India. In this mantra, saddharma means “correct Law.” Sad means correct. Correct is the same as myō [wonderful]; myō is the same as correct. Hence the Lotus Sutra of the Correct Law and the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law. And when the two characters for namu are prefixed to Myoho-renge-kyo, or the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, we have the formula Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Myō means perfect endowment. Six refers to the six pāramitās representing all the ten thousand practices. When people ask to hear the teaching of perfect endowment, they are asking how they may gain the perfect endowment of the six pāramitās and ten thousand practices of the bodhisattvas. In the phrase “perfect endowment,” endowment refers to the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, while perfect means that, since there is mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, then any one world contains all the other worlds, indicating that this is “perfect.” The Lotus Sutra is a single work consisting of eight volumes, twenty-eight chapters, and 69,384 characters. Each and every character is endowed with the character myō, each being a Buddha who has the thirty-two features and eighty characteristics. Each of the Ten Worlds manifests its own Buddhahood. As Miao-lo writes, “Since even Buddhahood is present in all living beings, then all the other worlds are of course present, too.”
-Kaimokusho
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by NeonPhoenixNeko »

Great info!! Thank you so much, it is so interesting to see hiw the language was adapted.

And I feel much more confident in my prayers, knowing I am using correct pronounciation. It seems it is much more complex than a simple 'ya' at the end of a name, so I suppose if I wanted to use this formula for more buddhas / bodhisattvas I would have to learn the basics of Sanskrit grammar.

I'm pretty sure Mahayana belief says that it was the very same Shakyamuni atrributed to the Pali Canon who taught the Sutras, and even some of the Tantras, no? I will have to look into this legend of Nagarjuna. I mean no disrespects to your beliefs, but we are definitely on a different page here. :p
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by Jainarayan »

NeonPhoenixNeko wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:21 pm if I wanted to use this formula for more buddhas / bodhisattvas I would have to learn the basics of Sanskrit grammar.
Learning to inflect their names wouldn’t be terribly difficult. It’s just a matter of making a cheat sheet. Names and other nouns, and pronouns are actually pretty easy.

If I’m not mistaken most of the buddhas’ and bodhisattvas’ names are male and end in ‘a’. In which case they’d inflect to ‘-āya’.

Buddhāya
Amitabhāya
Avalokiteshvarāya

For the few male names ended in ‘i’ you get ‘-aye’.

Amogasiddhaye

Feminine names almost always end in ‘ā’ or ‘ī’. I can’t think of any that end in ‘ū’.

Tārā = Tārāyai

Cundī = Cundyai

There might be male names that end in ‘u’.

Vishnu, Guru = Vishnave, Gurave.

I hope I didn’t make that too pedantic.
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
oṃ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by Minobu »

NeonPhoenixNeko wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:21 pm
And I feel much more confident in my prayers, knowing I am using correct pronounciation.
A tip about proper pronunciation with chanting.

there was a person who wanted to chant Buddha Goddess Tara mantra.

they did it for years and at times while walking, a Holy Man would see a Little green Buddha above this person's head...

then the man met a person who asked what he chanted and he told him..He said "No No you have it wrong and corrected him"

The next time the Holy Man saw him he was astonished not to see the Little Green Buddha above his head and asked him if he was still practicing.

He said yes and told him how he was finally getting the right pronunciation..

Moral of the tale....

when the man was chanting he had 100% pure faith in what he was chanting...when corrected he became obsessed with pronunciation and lost the purity of the moment.

it's only a tale but I think it's important...we should not get hung up on pronunciation and such...


I should talk eh ! for I obsess about pronunciation myself.
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by Queequeg »

The way I see it, the language we choose, including pronunciation, is important for a host of reasons other than practical efficacy. As Minobu is emphasizing, its the mind underlying the practice that really counts.

But there are certain things Nichiren explained that would seem to defy this and put emphasis on the particular words.

In Four Depths of Faith and Five Stages of Practice:

Question: If a person simply chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with no understanding of its meaning, are the benefits of understanding thereby included?

Answer: When a baby drinks milk, it has no understanding of its taste, and yet its body is naturally nourished. Who ever took the wonderful medicines of Jīvaka knowing of what they were compounded? Water has no intent, and yet it can put out fire. Fire consumes things, and yet how can we say that it does so consciously? This is the explanation of both Nāgārjuna and T’ien-t’ai, and I am restating it here.

Question: Why do you say that all teachings are contained within the daimoku?

Answer: Chang-an writes: “Hence [T’ien-t’ai’s explanation of the title in] the preface conveys the profound meaning of the sutra. The profound meaning indicates the heart of the text, and the heart of the text encompasses the whole of the theoretical and essential teachings.” And Miao-lo writes, “On the basis of the heart of the text of the Lotus Sutra, one can evaluate all the other various teachings of the Buddha.”

Though muddy water has no mind, it can catch the moon’s reflection and so naturally becomes clear. When plants and trees receive the rainfall, they can hardly be aware of what they are doing, and yet do they not proceed to put forth blossoms? The five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo do not represent the sutra text, nor are they its meaning. They are nothing other than the intent of the entire sutra. So, even though the beginners in Buddhist practice may not understand their significance, by practicing these five characters, they will naturally conform to the sutra’s intent.

Question: When your disciples, without any understanding, simply recite with their mouths the words Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, what level of attainment do they reach?

Answer: Not only do they go beyond the highest level of the four flavors and three teachings, as well as that attained by practitioners of the perfect teaching set forth in the sutras that precede the Lotus Sutra, but they surpass by a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times the founders of the True Word and various other schools of Buddhism, such as Shan-wu-wei, Chih-yen, Tz’u-en, Chi-tsang, Tao-hsüan, Bodhidharma, and Shan-tao.

Therefore, I entreat the people of this country: Do not look down upon my disciples! If you inquire into their past, you will find that they are great bodhisattvas who have given alms to Buddhas over a period of eight hundred thousand million kalpas, and who have carried out practices under Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Hiranyavati and Ganges rivers. And if we speak of the future, they will be endowed with the benefit of the fiftieth person, surpassing that of one who gave alms to innumerable living beings for a period of eighty years. They are like an infant emperor wrapped in swaddling clothes, or a great dragon who has just been born. Do not despise them! Do not look on them with contempt!


And in Kanjin no Honzon Sho-
Showing profound compassion for those unable to comprehend the gem of the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, the Buddha wrapped it within the five characters [of Myoho-renge-kyo], with which he then adorned the necks of the ignorant people of the latter age. The four great bodhisattvas will protect anyone who embraces the five characters as faithfully as T’ai-kung Wang and the Duke of Chou supported King Wen, and as devotedly as the Four White-Haired Elders served Emperor Hui.
The emphasis seems to be on the particular characters.

To reconcile these things, we have to remember that Nichiren opened the gate to awakening for all capacities, not just the wise and sophisticated. When you encounter a person drowning, you throw them a life preserver and tell them to hold on to it - there is no time to explain buoyancy of the life preserver. When the person is safely on land, then, buoyancy and all the other points can be explained at length and at leisure.

The Lotus Sutra is entered not through deep philosophical penetration, but something very simple - All beings have the capacity to arouse joy, and as the Sutra explains, even the 50th person who arouses joy generates immeasurable benefit:

At that time the bodhisattva mahasattva Maitreya said to the Buddha: “World-Honored One, if there are good men or good women who, hearing this Lotus Sutra, respond with joy, what amount of blessings do they acquire?”

Then he spoke in verse, saying:
After the world-honored one has passed into extinction,
if those who hear this sutra
are able to respond with joy,
what amount of blessings will they acquire?

At that time the Buddha said to the bodhisattva mahasattva Maitreya: “Ajita, after the thus come one has entered extinction, suppose there are monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen, or other persons of wisdom, whether old or young, who, hearing this sutra, respond with joy and, leaving the Dharma assembly, go to some other place, perhaps a monks’ quarters, a spot that is deserted and quiet, a city, a community, a settlement, or a village, and there in accordance with what they have heard they put forth effort in preaching and expounding for the sake of their parents and relatives, their good friends and acquaintances. These people, after hearing, respond with joy and they too set about spreading the teachings. One person, having heard, responds with joy and spreads the teachings, and the teachings in this way continue to be handed along from one to another until they reach a fiftieth person.

“Ajita, the benefits received by this fiftieth good man or good woman who responds with joy I will now describe to you—you must listen carefully. Imagine all the beings in the six paths of existence of four hundred ten thousand million asamkhya worlds, all the four kinds of living beings, those born from the egg, those born from the womb, those born from dampness, and those born by transformation, those with form, those without form, those with thought, those without thought, those who are not with thought, those who are not without thought, those without legs, those with two legs, four legs, or many legs. And imagine that, among all this vast number of living beings, a person should come who is seeking blessings and, responding to their various desires, dispenses objects of amusement and playthings to all these living beings. Each one of these living beings is given gold, silver, lapis lazuli, seashell, agate, coral, amber, and other wonderful and precious gems, as well as elephants, horses, carriages, and palaces and towers made of the seven treasures, enough to fill a whole Jambudvipa. This great dispenser of charity, having handed out gifts in this manner for a full eighty years, then thinks to himself: I have already doled out objects of amusement and playthings to these living beings, responding to their various desires. But these living beings are now all old and decrepit, their years over eighty, their hair white, their faces wrinkled, and before long they will die. Now I should employ the Law of the Buddha to instruct and guide them.

“Immediately he gathers all the living beings together and propagates the Law among them, teaching, benefiting, and delighting them. In one moment all are able to attain the way of the stream-winner, the way of the once-returner, the way of the non-returner, and the way of the arhat, to exhaust all outflows and enter deeply into meditation. All attain freedom and become endowed with the eight emancipations. Now what is your opinion? Are the benefits gained by this great dispenser of charity many or not?”

Maitreya said to the Buddha: “World-Honored One, this man’s benefits are very many indeed, immeasurable and boundless. Even if this dispenser of charity had merely given all those playthings to living beings, his benefits would still be immeasurable. And how much more so when he has enabled them to attain the fruits of arhatship!”

The Buddha said to Maitreya: “I will now state the matter clearly for you. This man gave all these objects of amusement to the living beings in the six paths of existence of four hundred ten thousand million asamkhya worlds and also made it possible for them to attain the fruits of arhatship. But the benefits that he gains do not match the benefits of the fiftieth person who hears just one verse of the Lotus Sutra and responds with joy. They are not equal to one hundredth, one thousandth, one part in a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, a million. Indeed it is beyond the power of calculation, simile, or parable to express the comparison.

“Ajita, the benefits gained by even the fiftieth person who hears the Lotus Sutra as it is handed along to him and responds with joy are immeasurable, boundless asamkhyas in number. How much greater then are those of the very first person in the assembly who, on hearing the sutra, responds with joy! His blessings are greater by an immeasurable, boundless asamkhya number, and are in fact incomparable.

“Moreover, Ajita, suppose a person for the sake of this sutra visits a monks’ quarters and, sitting or standing, even for a moment listens to it and accepts it. As a result of the benefits so obtained, when he is reborn in his next existence he will enjoy the finest, most superior and wonderful elephants, horses, and carriages, and palanquins decked with rare treasures, and will mount up to the heavenly palaces. Or suppose there is a person who is sitting in the place where the Law is expounded, and when another person appears, the first person urges him to sit down and listen, or offers to share his seat and so persuades him to sit down. The benefits gained by this person will be such that when he is reborn he will be in a place where the lord Shakra is seated, where the heavenly king Brahma is seated, or where a wheel-turning sage king is seated.

“Ajita, suppose there is a person who speaks to another person, saying, ‘There is a sutra called the Lotus. Let us go together and listen to it.’ And suppose, having been urged, the other person goes and even for an instant listens to the sutra. The benefits of the first person will be such that when he is reborn he will be born in the same place as dharani bodhisattvas. He will have keen faculties and wisdom. For a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand ages he will never be struck dumb. His mouth will not emit a foul odor. His tongue will never be afflicted, nor will his mouth be afflicted. His teeth will not be stained or black, nor will they be yellow or widely spaced, nor will they be missing or fall out or be at an angle or crooked. His lips will not droop down or curl back or be rough or chapped or afflicted with sores or misshapen or twisted or too thick or too big or black or discolored or unsightly in any way. His nose will not be too broad or flat or crooked or too highly arched. His face will not be swarthy, nor will it be long and narrow, or sunken and distorted. He will not have a single unsightly feature. His lips, tongue, and teeth will all be handsomely proportioned. His nose will be long and high, his face round and full, his eyebrows long and set high, his forehead broad, smooth, and well shaped, and he will be endowed with all the features proper to a human being. In each existence he is born into, he will see the Buddha, hear his Law, and have faith in his teachings.

“Ajita, just observe! The benefits gained merely by encouraging one person to go and listen to the Law are such as this! How much more, then, if one single-mindedly hears, preaches, reads, and recites the sutra and before the great assembly makes distinctions for the sake of people and practices it as the sutra instructs!”


The five characters are something tangible that anyone can physically grasp - write them on paper, and hold them, protect them. In that way, one can protect and cherish the Buddha and his teaching. One can make offerings to that piece of paper, and its the same as making offerings to buddhas. Recite those characters, and one is reciting all of the Buddhist teachings. You don't need any particular capacity for abstract thinking. The mandala of awakening is not some elaborate imagined landscape - its the toil of our lives. Its as tangible as the nose on your face.

Question: For persons who place their faith in the Lotus Sutra, what is the proper object of devotion, and what rules are to be followed in acts of worship and daily religious practice?

Answer: First, with regard to the object of devotion, one should inscribe the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra, or one volume, or one chapter, or simply the daimoku, or title, of the sutra, and make that the object of devotion, as is indicated in the “Teacher of the Law” and “Supernatural Powers” chapters of the sutra. And those persons who are able to do so further should write out the names of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni and the Buddha Many Treasures, or fashion images of them, and place these on the left and right of the Lotus Sutra. And if they are further able to do so, they should fashion images or write out the names of the Buddhas of the ten directions and the bodhisattva Universal Worthy and the others.

As for the rules to be followed in worship, one should always either sit or stand when in the presence of the object of devotion. Once one leaves the place of worship, however, one is free to walk, stand still, sit, or lie down as one wishes.

As a daily religious practice, one should recite the daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Those persons who are able to do so should further recite a verse or a phrase of the Lotus Sutra. As a supplementary practice, if one wishes, one may offer praise for Shakyamuni Buddha, Many Treasures Buddha, or the Buddhas of the ten directions, for all the various bodhisattvas or the persons of the two vehicles, the heavenly beings, the dragon deities, or the eight kinds of nonhuman beings [who protect Buddhism]. Since we live in an age when there are many uninformed people, there is no need for believers to attempt at once to practice the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, though if there are persons who wish to do so, they should learn how to practice this type of meditation and carry it out.
-On Reciting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra

The Daimoku is a ready made life preserver that we throw out to drowning people. Does the drowning person need to know, "Here is a life preserver. Grab it. But you should know, this life preserver is shaped like a donut, but, we could make it any shape, really. We could even cut this up, and if you grabbed a piece of it, it would save you, too. And actually, this other life preserver made out of a very different material can also save you from drowning. Would you like this one instead? Or this one? This one works, too. Hmm? You want this one? Or this one? Hmm? I realize its hard to answer with water in your lungs, but, really, could you help me out so I can help you better? I need to know what color preserver you like, and what shape..."

Throw the preserver and the drowning person can joyfully grasp it.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Minobu
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Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by Minobu »

This is why I call "Q" a teacher..and this is why i try to explain what i write is my belief...

:cheers:
illarraza
Posts: 910
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Sanskrit Daimoku

Post by illarraza »

Why not chant Namu Myoho renge kyo in English or Sanskrit?

Namu Myoho renge kyo is the name of the True Dharma. It that sense, it is a personal name. There is no other name for the True Dharma. It is also for this reason that the chanting of the Daimoku is called "invocation'. We invoke the name of the True Dharma. It is an act of petition and there will be no response were we to invoke another name. It is as if we were to call out across a crowded courtyard for our father who we haven't seen in twenty years but we call out another's name. He will never respond.

Mark
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