Myoho Renge Kyo was first derived in Chinese, as the title of the enlighten Lotus Sutra (the ultimate teaching preached in India 2,500 years ago by Siddharta Gautama Buddha, also known as Shakyamuni), in the 5th century. Other languages do not have the poetic brevity of Chinese to express so much, in so few words.
In the 13th century, the Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282) figured out how ordinary individuals could take advantage of this long-sought wisdom and knowledge and added the word ”Nam.” That is why it is uttered in the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese words.
This mantra could be defined as a vow, an expression of determination, to embrace and manifest our true Buddha nature.
It is a pledge to oneself to never yield to difficulties and obstacles and to win over one’s suffering. In addition, it is a sacred vow to help others explain this law in their own lives and achieve bliss and happiness.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo meaning:
- Nam – this syllable represents ”devotion to” or ”I take refuge within.” Furthermore, this word comes from the Sanskrit term ”namah,” which translates as ”devotion” or ”commitment.”
- Myoho – this syllable represents the mystic law of cause and effect (law of karma). In another interpretation, ”mio” signifies the constant truth and ”ho” represents all phenomena which are triggered by Myo.
- Renge – this syllable symbolizes the lotus flower, which simultaneously blooms and seeds. The term also represents that an individual is free to choose what beliefs to harbor, and can awaken to the truth at any time.
- Kyo – this syllable represents the power of sound (vibration). Kyo also signifies the sutras, or the ancient teachings of Gautama Buddha. In a larger perspective, the activities of all living beings and all phenomena in the creation are a manifestation of the Mystic Law.
The characters of this Lotus Sutra chant are written down the center of the gohonzon, the ancient mandala venerated by most Nichiren Buddhists.
The sincere veneration towards the mandala is understood by those practitioners who believe in it as the veneration for a deeper representation, which they believe to be the Buddha nature inherent to their own lives.
Chanting Lotus Sutra chant – Nam Myoho Renge Kyo mantra benefits:
Daimoku is the constant repetition of the sacred mantra for a period of time. Daimoku can last from as short as a few minutes to as long as a few hours or even more.
The purpose of the chanting this powerful mantra is to connect with the eternal Buddha and manifesting the desire to save all sentient beings from suffering without impediment or delusion.
The Lotus Sutra is held by Nichiren Buddhists (a branch of Mahayana Buddhism), as well as practitioners of the Tiantai and corresponding Japanese Tendai schools, to be the pinnacle of Shakyamuni Buddha’s 50 years of profound teaching.
Nevertheless, practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism consider this chant to be the name of the ultimate law permeating the creation, and the human being is at one, fundamentally with this dharma and can manifest realization, or Buddha Wisdom, through sincere Buddhist practice.
“When deluded, one is called an ordinary being, but when enlightened, one is called a Buddha. This is similar to a tarnished mirror that will shine like a jewel when polished. A mind now clouded by the illusions of the innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror, but when polished, it is sure to become like a clear mirror, reflecting the essential nature of phenomena and the true aspect of reality. Arouse deep faith, and diligently polish your mirror night and day.
How should you polish it? Only by chanting this mantra.” quote from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin.