Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Nembutsu liturgy of Amidaji temple (final version)



last update and revised 
26th August 2019




Although we also have other services, I  decided this will be the main liturgy at Amidaji temple. Unlike other services that you can see in various temples, this one is easier to follow, especially because all parts (including the Three Invitations) are recited, not chanted. 

What makes this service unique is also that it contains various types of recitations of the Name of Amida Buddha taken from the Larger Sutra (like the recitation of the Twelve Lights of Amida), as well as the Ten Character Name and Nine Character Name which were also recited by Shinran Shonin himself from time to time. 


Nembutsu liturgy during night time 

Translations of each phrase to be recited are added so that you can always know what you recite. 


The reason we use this Sino-Japanese transliteration is that people of various countries and languages have a common liturgy when we meet and worship together in the same temple. Thus, be sure we'll do this service when you visit me at Amidaji! Any temple or dojo related with Amidaji that will be open in the future will also have this liturgy. 


Of course, this type of service is NOT an obligation for people to do at home, as the follower can simply say Nembutsu in the form of Namo Amida Bu, Namo Amitabha, Namo  Amituofo, Namo Adida Phat, etc, without anything else. 




●●

doshi: BU JO MI DA NYO RAI NIU DO JO

we respectfully call upon Amida Buddha to enter this place of practice[1]

doon: SAN GE RAKU

as we joyfully scatter flowers of welcome



doshi: BU JO SHA KA NYO RAI NIU DO JO

we respectfully call upon Shakyamuni Buddha to enter this place of practice

doon: SAN GE RAKU

as we joyfully scatter flowers of welcome


doshi: BU JO JIP-PO NYO RAI NIU DO JO
we respectfully call upon all Buddhas from the ten directions
doon: SAN GE RAKU  
as we joyfully scatter flowers of welcome

doshi: NAMO KIE BU, NAMO KIE HO, NAMO KIE SO [2]
I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha
doon: NAMO KIE BU. NAMO KIE HO. NAMO KIE SO
doon: NAMO KIE BU. NAMO KIE HO. NAMO KIE SO
doon: NAMO KIE BU. NAMO KIE HO. NAMO KIE SO

doshi: KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI[3]  
I take refuge in/Homage to the Tathagata of Unhindered Light Pervading the Ten Quarters
doon: KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI  
doon: KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI  
doon: KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI  

doshi: NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI [4]
I take refuge in/Homage to the Tathagata of Inconceivable Light
doon: NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI
doon: NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI
doon: NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI


doshi: NA MO A MI DA BU[5]
I take refuge in/Homage to Amida Buddha
doon: NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU …………

doshi: NA MO
I take refuge in (homage to)

doon:
MU RYO KO BU
Buddha of Infinite Light
MU HEN KO BU
Buddha of Boundless Light
MU GE KO BU
Buddha of Unhindered Light
MU TAI KO BU
Buddha of Incomparable Light
EN NO KO BU
Buddha Lord of Blazing Light
SHO JO KO BU
Buddha of Pure Light
KAN GI KO BU
Buddha of the Light of Joy
CHI E KO BU
Buddha of the Light of Wisdom
FU DAN KO BU
Buddha of Uninterrupted Light
NAN JI KO BU
Buddha of Inconceivable Light
MU SHO KO BU
Buddha of Inexpressible Light
CHO NICHI GAK KO BU
Buddha of the Light Outshining the Sun and Moon[6]
(repeat three times)


doshi: NA MO A MI DA BU
I take refuge in/Homage to Amida Buddha
doon: NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU …………[7]

doshi: GA-N NI SHI KU DO KU[8]
May the merits of the [Primal] Vow [of Amida]
doon: BYO – U DO – U SE IS – SA – I
be received equally by all beings
DO – U HO – TSU BO DA – I SHI – N
May all develop bodhicitta[9],
O – U JO – U A – A – A – A – N RAK – KOKU
And may they be born in the Land of Peace and Bliss
                                                                      ●●    
  
Explanations

Only the words in caps and bold are to be recited.
Doshi” (leader) – this word indicates that part is recited by the person who leads the recitation
Doon” means all those present recite together. If only one person makes the service, then he/she recites all lines.
● – one bell strike
●● – two bell strikes
●● – three bell strikes
◙ - drum (the use of a drum is optional)

You can strike the bell from time to time, during the six character Name recitation, to change the rhythm (slower-faster-slower, etc) or simply to keep everyone alert.







[1] Sambujo – the Three Invitations are addressed to Amida, Shakyamuni and all Buddhas in the ten directions. The place of practice (dojo) where we invite these Honored guests, can be a temple, one’s own house or any place where people meet to say Nembutsu and listen to Amida Dharma.
[2] Sankie – The Three Refuges (in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha).
[3] KI MYO JIN JI PO MU GE KO NYO RAI: The Name of Amida Buddha with ten characters.
[4] NA MO FU KA SHI GI KO NYO RAI: The Name of Amida Buddha with nine characters.
[5] NA MO A MI DA BU: The Name of Amida Buddha with six characters. You can prolong the recitation of this Name as much as you like.
[6] Recitation of the Twelve Lights of Amida Buddha as they appear in the Larger Sutra:
The Buddha of Infinite Life (Amida) is called by the following names: the Buddha of Infinite (Immeasurable) Light, the Buddha of Boundless Light, the Buddha of Unhindered Light, the Buddha of Incomparable ( Unequaled) Light, the Buddha of Light that is Lord of Blazing Light, the Buddha of Pure Light, the Buddha of the Light of Joy, the Buddha of the Light of Wisdom, the Buddha of Uninterrupted Light, the Buddha of  Inconceivable Light, the Buddha of Inexpressible Light, and the Buddha of  Light Surpassing the Sun and Moon”. 
[7] If you decide to make a longer Nembutsu service, you can now recite again the Twelve Lights of Amida and then continue with more recitations of the six character Name (Namo Amida Bu). You can repeat the Ten Lights recitations followed by Namo Amida Bu as many times as you like.
[8] This part is called Eko or merit transference. In the practices based on personal power the practitioner “earns” virtues which he transfers for his own Enlightenment. But in the case of  Other Power (Pure Land) way, the transference of merits takes place from Amida Buddha to those who entrust to Him. This transference of merit (eko) carries the follower to the Pure Land where he attains Nirvana or perfect Enlightenment. Shinran Shonin says in a hymn:

“When sentient beings of this evil world
of the five defilements
Entrust themselves to the selected Primal Vow,
Virtues indescribable, inexplicable, and inconceivable
Fill those practitioners."


The merit transference from Amida to the practitioner has two aspects:  1) the merit transference of going forth (Oso-Eko) and 2) the merit transference of returning to this world (Genso-Eko).
The first refers to the fact that through Amida's transference of merit we go to His Pure Land where we become Buddhas, while the second one means that after we become Buddhas in the Pure Land by sharing the same Enlightenment as Amida, we return to the various samsaric realms and universes, to save all beings.
[9] Bodhicita or Bodhi Mind is the aspiration to attain Budhahood for oneself and all beings. This is fulfilled in the Awakening of Faith (shinjin) in the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha. Master Shan-tao said: “Awake your Bodhi Mind to Amida’s Compasion”, that is, aspire to your and other beings Liberation by relying on the Compasion of Amida (His Primal Vow). So, the Awakening of the Bodhi Mind, the obligatory condition in Mahayana for attaining the supreme Enlightenment, appears in Jodo Shinshu in the form of the entrusting heart (shinjin). Shinran Shonin said, “The mind aspiring to become Buddha
Is the mind seeking to save sentient beings;
The mind that seeks to save sentient beings
Is True Faith endowed by Amida’s Compassion.”

(Hymns on the Patriachs, 18)


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