- Religion and Philosophy
Buddhism and easy chants for guaranteed happiness.
Meaning of Nam-myoho-renge-kyon.
- This basic chant is a part of the Lotus Sutra in Japanese pronunciation as founded by Nichirin Daishonin, who imparted it to a small group of followers on April 28 in the year 1253.
- 'Nam' means to devote yourself to Dharma and to put your life in harmony to attain Buddhahood.
- 'Myoho' means the essence of life or opening up to life to develop it and attain happiness.
- "Renge' means the lotus flower literally, which blooms and produces seeds simultaneously.Thus this refers to our Karma in life where we are governed by the good and bad in our lives and have the power to change it inorder to find bliss.
- 'Kyo' means linking life to the wisdom and compassion of the entire universe.
Juzu Beads/prayer Beads
Basics of chanting (how to chant?)
- Ideally (if you are a beginner) you should sit straight or kneel down,facing a blank wall which has no pictures or distractions.
- Fold your hands at chest level or clasp your juzu beads if you have them.Start chanting Nam myoho renge kyon slowly , then build up a tempo reciting faster and slow down again to end the chanting.
- Start with 5-10 minutes initially and build up gradually by incorporating some silent prayers into your daily morning and evening routine.The morning and evening chanting of Nam myoho renge kyon is known as 'gongyo' and gradually you can add portions from the Lotus Sutra as and when you are comfortable.
- Work on the correct pronunciation of the buddhist words and develop an understanding of the buddhist vowels and chants, which is available in The Liturgy of Nichirin Daishonin's Buddhism and other buddhist books and scriptures.
- There is a strong focus on the teacher -disciple relationship where SGI (Soka Gakkai International) members believe in chanting for others and with others, since it is believed that if you pray and chant with someone (who has a personal,health or work related problem) with strong conviction and faith,both of you benefit tremendously from each other and your bad karma is neutralised and converted into good karma.
- They are the prayer beads or rosary beads known as the Juzu counting beads or the Nenju thought beads.
- Traditionally the chanting beads have 108 beads since according to buddhism, human beings have 108 kleshas or afflections.
- The six senses in man are multiplied by the positive, negative and indifferent feelings , thus equalling 18 feelings.
- These are attached or detached to pleasure, adding up to 36 passions depending on a person's past,present or future.
- All together they add up to 108 emotions, thus 108 juzu beads.
- The Prayer beads are strung on 3, 5 or 9 silken threads corresponding to the 3 buddhist 'jewels' or 5 'dhyanis' or the 9 'yanas' according to the boddhisattvas.
Headquarters in Japan.
There are seven characters in na-mu-myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo which are the basis of the Gyonzon, but slight differences in the pronunciation between the sects and sub-sects of buddhism exist, but overall the teachings of Nichiren mean "I take refuge/devote myself to the power of the Lotus flower Sutra."
From hell to the final buddhahood there are 10 principles to follow under Nichiren Buddhism:
Soka Gakkai International.
- The headquarters or the SGI follow the Nichirin Buddhism and actively promote Nam myoho renge kyon by conducting teaching and other 'enlightenment' workshops all over the world in over 192 countries and there are also over 90 registered SGI organisations the world over.
- Their global centres teach Daimoku(or O-daimoku),Gohonzon and Kaidan as the 3 basic principles of Nichiren,where the buddhist basic chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo means "dedication to the mystic law of cause and effect through sound and vibration".
- It is based on the understanding that we all have a buddha inside us and if we chant together, we can tap the positivity of the human potential and change our suffering if any into contentment and total happiness.
- A lot of people who practice regular chanting have reported increased improvement in their relationships and better energy and happiness, whether at home or work.
- There are no major rules to follow other than to respect the society we live in and never to look down on others according to the rules of Bodhisattva.
- People from all cultures and background can practice chanting together for a better world and to promote peace and harmony and erase conflict.
- Apart from making a difference in their personal lives, SGI members undertake environmental projects and resolve conflicts around them and also volunteer to help in natural disasters and promote peace and love.
Buddhist Lantern Festival.
The Four Noble Truths of the buddhist path.
Buddhism follows four truths:
- True suffering- (where we are conditioned to be delusional and attached)
- True origin- (unsure and unattached to our true existence)
- True cessation- (thus by following certain methods)
- True path- (we can achieve happiness by overcoming our anger and jealousy and negativity)
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Did you know about buddhism and healing power of chants before this?
Subdivisions in Buddhism.
- Mahayana Buddhism- is a combination of the Tibetan,Zen and Pureland ways of buddhism and is based on the Boddhisatva vow to eliminate suffering.It is further subdivided into the Dharmakaya,Sambhogakaya and the Nirmanakaya bodies or 'Trikaya'.
- Nichiren Buddhism- was started by Nichiren and is based on the Lotus Sutra and Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
- Pure Land Buddhism- started in India and spread to China and Japan quickly since it removed all the complexities of rituals and meditation and could be followed by simple and illiterate too, by reciting 'Namu Amida Butsu'.
- Korean Zen Buddhism - Zen is called Son in korean language and a monk called Pomnang introduced this here in the 7th century.
- Tibetan Buddhism- is a combination of Mahayana and tibetan 'bon' and is practiced by tibetans in exile from China and is under the Dalai Lama.
- Theravada Buddhism- is the southern buddhism, rampant in Srilanka,Thailand and Myanmar where meditation is the way of life and the liberated or enlightened one is 'Aravat'.
- Zen Buddhism- was started by the Indian monk Bodhidharma in the 6th century and gave rise to the zenmasters, where we look inside for enlightenment by meditating strongly, following the zen way of life.
Siddhartha Gautama - the Buddha.
- Siddhartha was born into a king's family in Lumbini, Nepal and led his initial years in luxury and a kingly lifestyle , but as the tale goes..one day when he was out of his palace he saw a sick man and a dying man and was exposed to the harshness and miseries in life.
- He gave up his palace and riches and started meditating and leading a very humble life.
- He gained enlightenment under a Boddhi tree while meditating in Bodhgaya and became the Buddha.
- The spot where Gautam Buddha gained Nirvana has gained popularity with the Mahabodhi Temple established near the Boddhi tree.