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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"

"I 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.

The chanting of the Odaimoku is considered by many to be the verbal expression of our heartfelt intent to attain Buddhahood; and it 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.

The Odaimoku should ideally be chanted out loud, rather than as a silent prayer within your heart...


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