Copyright © 2003 James Deacon
Darani are often said to be half-way between shingon
(mantras) and kyo (sutras).
is, darani are longer than most shingon and somewhat
shorter than the majority of kyo. (In fact darani
often appear as parts of kyo which relate the circumstances
under which the given darani was originally proclaimed.)
their deep spiritual and philosophical meaning, darani
are understood to hold mystical or magical power; and the recitation
of darani is believed to bring great spiritual merit, serving
as a medium for furthering one's progress towards realisation
are often worn as amulets to avert various ills or evils, to ward
off thieves, protect from fire, etc., and also to ensure long
It is said that the healing effects generated through recitation
of darani can be quite dramatic.
usually consist of invocations (to Butsu, Bosatsu and other deities)
and exclamations (to frighten away evil spirits/ purify the emmediate
When darani are intoned "... whatever evil spirits
there are ready to interfere with the spiritual effect of a ritual,
are kept away from it."
darani on these pages are in Japanese (romanised form);
some have english translation further down the page.
Just as much gets lost in translation of everday concepts - so,
far more tends to get lost in the case of darani, shingon
and kyo, etc.
However, it is important to remember that, the potency of darani
is believed to reside in the sound of the words intoned
rather than the common meaning of those words...