The Sacred Title of the "Lotus Sutra"
Copyright © 2003 James Deacon
The term: Odaimoku (often simply: Daimoku), refers
to the title of the "Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Dharma"
- Myoho Renge Kyo.
It is often said that on a mystical level the title of a Sutra
contains the very essence of that Sutra itself.
In the case of the Lotus Sutra, this is definitely a deeply held
belief, so much so in fact that the title has become the core
of what is possibly the most widely and most frequently chanted
Japanese Buddhist Mantra - the Odaimoku:
"Nam(u) Myo-Ho Ren-Ge Kyo"
bow to the Perfect Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra"
We are told
that it was at dawn on April 28, 1253 (by western reckoning) that
the Odaimoku mantra was recited for the very first time
- by a Buddhist priest, Nichiren Shonin, standing on the peak
of Mt. Kiyosumi (in what is modern-day Chiba Prefecture, Japan)
- and with the intoning of the mantra, the Nichiren shu (sect)
of Buddhism was founded.
chanting of the Odaimoku is considered by many to be the
verbal expression of our heartfelt intent to attain Buddhahood;
is said that, when undertaken with true reverence, sincerity and
integrity, the regular practice of chanting the Odaimoku
will indeed lead the devotee to the realisation of enlightenment.
Odaimoku should ideally be chanted out loud, rather than as
a silent prayer within your heart...