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

To chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is to praise ourself and to respect another, gratitude and purification, and to realize Truth through word.

I believe that you have more or less understood why we chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo through these three interpretations. However, honestly speaking, why we chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo cannot be understood by an intellectual understanding.

Nevertheless, the Myoho of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is, as the characters indicate, the wondrous teaching (Dharma). It teaches us that the wondrous teaching cannot be understood by thinking with the human brain. To truly understand Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, there is no other way than to practice it. It is to simply chant with our voices Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. While simply chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, we will naturally feel something, and what we come to know is Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. While chanting, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo will become indispensable for our daily life.

St. Nichiren said, “Turbid water is without mind, through the moon’s reflection, it naturally becomes clear.” We (turbid water), who are covered with greed, are naturally purified by the reflection of the moon (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo). We are made turbid by our obsessions and desires. This is probably unavoidable because we are human beings. Yet, when the moon—Namu Myoho Renge Kyo—shines upon us, our mind seems pure. The turbid water remains turbid just as it is. However, through Namu Myoho Renge Kyo things seem beautiful to our eyes. To look at another, and to just think that that the person is pure and genuine, is to be of service to that person and others. I believe that this in itself is a good deed.


南無妙法蓮華経を唱える事は、1,自己尊重と他人尊敬 2,感謝と浄化 3,コトバによる真理の現実化でした。この3点の解釈でだいたい理解されたと思います。しかし正直言ってしまうと、なぜ南無妙法蓮華経を唱えるのか理解しようと思っても理解出来るものではないのです。