Why Do We Chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo (Odaimoku) By Rev. Yamamura

Why Do We Chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo (Odaimoku) By Rev. Yamamura

To chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is

(1) to praise ourself and to respect another, and

(2) gratitude and purification for the great nature.

The third theme is word. In the 21st chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is explained. Since it is difficult, I will explain it in simple terms.

Myo Ho is Shakyamuni Buddha’s infinitely spiritual power. Moreover, Renge is a symbol of the teaching by which He wished to save us, that everyone is equal. And a symbol of Shakyamuni Buddha’s practice is Kyo.

First, there is Myo. Shakyamuni Buddha became one with the law of the universe (Great Nature) and attained the freedom that transcends all sufferings of life. The power of the Dharma of the universe (Great Nature), which Shakyamuni Buddha had become one with, is Myoho.

Next, there is Renge. Shakyamuni Buddha expounded a teaching for all to become equally happy. In India, as an expression of the wish to bring happiness to all people, a mark is placed on the forehead. In Sanskrit, the act of doing so is pundari. Another name for the power of the pundari is Renge.

Finally, there is Kyo. The Okyo is a record of Shakyamuni’s words and deeds.

In this way, in Namu Myoho Renge Kyo there is the energy of the universe, the Dharma and the essence of Historical Shakyamuni Buddha’s deeds.

Therefore, there is power in these words of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

And it is important that we recite these words. That is because the words of human beings become the start of all actions. Isn’t it the case that we first think about something and then take action? Even our unconscious actions are influenced by the words that we daily use. Before our actions, our words have been decided. The great Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo will also not take form in the actualities unless it is expressed in words. Truth cannot exist in the actualities without words. To bring into the actualities the universal power, which is equally showered on all, is to think and chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo through words. It is inevitable that the power, which has been actualized through words, will influence things and create lives that are filled with harmony and happiness. That is why we should chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. Let us truly be grateful this month to St. Nichiren who discovered this.

(Translated by Mr. Dean Makinodan)