Some Buddhist practitioners will chant NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO, which means I dedicate myself to the laws of cause and effect.
Why chant NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO? How will it help?
The Buddhist practice described on these pages is based on the teachings and the individual practice of the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin. Nichiren was a 13th Japanese sage who centred his philosophy on what is traditionally thought to be one of the last recorded teaching of the first historically recorded Buddha (variously known as Gautama Siddhartha or Shakyamuni Buddha). This teaching was named the Lotus Sutra. The Lotus Sutra declares that all living beings, regardless of gender or intellectual capacity, can attain the enlightened state of life within their given lifetime.
Being “enlightened” simply means to act like a Buddha – that is, to act in the appropriate way, at the appropriate time. To be able to do this is to be wiser, and to be happier, as a person, parent, child, sibling, colleague, neighbour, citizen. When we act more wisely, when we become more happy, we help those around us.
Individual enlightenment comes through the profound realisation of the inseparability of us as individuals and our spiritual and physical environment, and the ability we have, as an inseperable part of that environment, to powerfully influence it. Through this practice, every one of us can realise our personal responsibility for, and possibility to change, our own condition, and the condition of our immediate and distant environment. This sense of responsibility and power for positive change is further enhanced by an understanding of the simultaneity of cause and effect. Our every thought, word or deed has an immediate effect on the us and our environment, even though the full ramifications may take time to become manifest.
Nichiren Daishonin summarised these teachings by saying that, in the same way that one can bring to mind any concept simply by uttering its name, all the benefits of the wisdom contained in the Lotus Sutra can be harnessed simply by chanting its title – (Nam) Myoho Renge Kyo. Chanting therefore constitutes the core of the Buddhist practice, supported by the study and communication of the teachings.
Many people who chant NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO find that it helps them to become more happy and fulfilled as human beings, through acting more often in ways that are wise, and that recognise our profound connections to everything and everybody else.
How it’s pronounced:
Nam rhymes with Pam and jam! It’s pronounced just as the last part of the word Vietnam. T
Myoho comes in two parts. Myo rhymes with go, and is pronounced m’ o. Ho also rhymes with go. The whole word sounds like m’ o-ho.
Renge also is a two-part word. The first part, Ren, rhymes with hen and sounds just like the last part of the word children. Ge is pronounced exactly like the word gay, and rhymes with hay and stay. The whole word sounds like ren-gay.
Kyo also rhymes with go, and sounds just like the last part of Tokyo.
The whole phrase, NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO is pronounced nam-m’ o-ho-ren-gay-kyo.