Nam(u) Myōhō Renge Kyō
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Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō (南無妙法蓮華経), (also Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō) (English: Devotion to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra or Glory to the Sutra of the Lotus of the Supreme Law) is a mantra that is chanted as the central practice of all forms of Nichiren Buddhism—Myōhō Renge Kyō being the Japanese title of the Lotus Sūtra. The mantra is referred to as daimoku (題目) or, in honorific form, o-daimoku (お題目) and was first revealed by the Japanese Buddhist teacher Nichiren on the 28th day of the fourth lunar month of 1253 CE at Seichō-ji (also called Kiyosumi-dera) near Kominato in current-day Chiba, Japan. The practice of chanting the daimoku is called shōdai (唱題). The purpose of chanting daimoku is to attain perfect and complete awakening.
As Nichiren explained the mantra in his Ongi Kuden (御義口傳), a transcription of his lectures the Lotus Sutra, Namu (南無) is a transliteration into Japanese of the Sanskrit "namas", and Myōhō Renge Kyō is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese title of the Lotus Sutra, in the translation by Kumārajīva (hence, Daimoku, which is a Japanese word meaning 'title').
Namu is used in Buddhism as a prefix expressing the taking of refuge in a Buddha or similar object of veneration. In Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō, it represents devotion or conviction in the Mystic Law of Life (Saddharma) as expounded in the Lotus Sutra, not merely as one of many scriptures, but as the ultimate teaching of Buddhism, particularly with regard to Nichiren's interpretation. The use of Nam vs. Namu is, amongst traditional Nichiren schools, a linguistic but not necessarily a dogmatic issue, since u is devoiced in many varieties of Japanese.
The Lotus Sutra is held by Nichiren Buddhists, as well as practitioners of the Chinese Tiantai (T'ien-t'ai) and corresponding Japanese Tendai sects, to be the culmination of Shakyamuni Buddha's 50 years of teaching. However, followers of Nichiren Buddhism consider Myōhō Renge Kyō to be the name of the ultimate law permeating the universe, and the human being is at one, fundamentally with this law (dharma) and can manifest realization, or Buddha Wisdom (attain Buddhahood), through Buddhist Practice.
The seven characters na-mu-myō-hō-ren-ge-kyō are written down the centre of the gohonzon, the mandala venerated by most Nichiren Buddhists. The veneration towards the mandala is understood by those who believe in it as the veneration for a deeper representation, which they believe to be the Buddha Nature inherent to their own lives.
Precise interpretations of Namu-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō, how it is pronounced, and its position in Buddhist practice differ slightly among the numerous schools and sub-sects of Nichiren Buddhism, but "I take refuge in (devote or submit myself to) the Wonderful Law of the Lotus Flower Sutra" might serve as an universal translation.
Soka Gakkai teaching
In Soka Gakkai, the (O)daimoku is the first of the Three Great Secret Dharmas (Laws) (三大秘法) (J. sandai-hihō) revealed by Nichiren. The other two being the Gohonzon, and the Kaidan (Precept Platform).
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo translates according to the SGI to "Dedication to the Mystic Law of Cause and Effect through sound or vibration."
- Gandhi, Mahatma
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- Nichidatsu Fujii
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- NEPP (2013). "Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii". New England Peace Pagoda. Retrieved 2013-10-31. "The Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii, founder of Nipponzan Myohoji <...> became a monk at 19 years of age <...> At age 32, after much ascetic practice, he came to realize the basic practice he would follow to bring about peace: beating a hand-drum an chanting Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo. The Most Ven. Fujii believed his mission was to carry out the prophecies of Maha Bodhisattva Nichiren. This included returning the true spirit and teaching of Buddha to India, which had lost those teachings for more than 1,000 years. During his missionary work in India, he developed deep spiritual ties with Mahatma Gandhi, who named him "Guruji", and actually took up the practice of drumming and chanting."
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- Шмыгля, Алексей (2009). "Lecture Ven Terasawa-Sensei September 11, 2009, Kyrgyz Republic, the Tien-Shan Place of.Way" (in Russian). Проза.ру. Retrieved 2013-10-29. "people still do not believe in the power of practice the Lotus Sutra with the drum. Europeans at the time of Peace Marches gethered in thousands to demonstrations and repeated all together "Namu-Myo-Ho-Ren -Ge-Kyo!" with sound of the drum. But as soon as the Berlin Wall has disappeared and the Cold War ended, I left Europe — all there was forgotten the practice of Dharma, which created the spiritual reasons for such a change. I beat the drum and pronounced "Namu-Myo-Ho-Ren -Ge-Kyo!" at Full moon in May 1988 on Red Square, during a meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in the Kremlin. During the August putsch in Moscow, I was the only religious figure at the barricades before of the White House, where I also beat the drum. In the most critical moments in the history of new Russia not only me, but many of my students have practiced in Moscow. But , nevertheless , our practice of "Namu-Myo-Ho-Ren -Ge-Kyo!" with drums remains unrecognized in Russia. During the tragic war in Chechnya , many members of our sangha with me went there and with beatng the drum pronounced "Namu-Myo-Ho-Ren -Ge-Kyo!". and then the first Chechen war was stopped. The Russian army had to retreat. But the people of Chechnya are not recognized the practice of "Namu-Myo-Ho-Ren -Ge-Kyo!" with drums and none of the Chechens did not take it. Therefore, the unity of the people was lost and began a more tragic, the second war in the North Caucasus. All that time in Europe, Russia, Chechnya took place so big change, but the people there did not recognize the true power of the Lotus Sutra practice (Russian: до сих пор люди не верят в силу практики Лотосовой Сутры с барабаном. Европейцы во время маршей мира собирались в многотысячные манифестации и все вместе повторяли "Наму-Мё-Хо-Рэн-Гэ-Кё!" под звуки барабана. Но как только исчезла Берлинская стена и закончилась холодная война, я покинул Европу — все там забыли силу этой практики Дхармы, создавшей духовные причины для таких перемен. Я бил в барабан и произносил "Наму-Мё-Хо-Рэн-Гэ-Кё!" в майское полнолуние 1988 года на Красной площади и на встрече с М.С.Горбачевым в Кремле. Во время августовского путча в Москве я был единственным религиозным деятелем на баррикадах перед Белым Домом, где я тоже бил в барабан. В самые критические моменты истории новой России не только я, но и многие мои ученики практиковали в Москве. Но, тем не менее, наша практика "Наму-Мё-Хо-Рэн-Гэ-Кё!" с барабанами остается непризнанной в России. Во время трагической войны в Чечне многие члены нашей сангхи вместе со мной поехали туда и, ударяя в барабан, произносили "Наму-Мё-Хо-Рэн-Гэ-Кё!". И тогда первая чеченская война была остановлена. Российской армии пришлось отступить. Но народ Чечни не признал силу практики "Наму-Мё-Хо-Рэн-Гэ-Кё!" с барабанами и никто из чеченце не принял ее. Поэтому единство народа было потеряно и началась еще более трагическая, вторая война на Северном Кавказе. Все это время в Европе, России, Чечне происходили столь большие перемены, однако люди там так и не признали истинную силу практики Лотосовой Сутры)"
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