Time for another wallpaper of mine !
The Plain Wallpaper has the face of the Buddha imprinted on one of its petals. This wallpaper was lying in my PC in some folder, just came across it some time ago !. The figure of Buddha in the Lotus, reminded me of the Lotus Sutra. Upon thinking of Lotus Sutra, the next thing that came upon my mind was Nichiren Buddhism, along with its associated chant “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” – The Daimoku - Homage to the Lotus Sutra. So, I thought I would spice up the wallpaper with some calligraphy as usual ;) .
(BTW, The letters on the Lotus are some Random Devanagari characters, just give it an Indian Feel)
The Lotus Sutra, who full Sanskrit Title is ” saddharma puṇḍarīka sūtram – सद्धर्म पुण्डरीक सूत्रम्” – which can be translated to the English as “Sutra on the White Lotus of the Good Dharma”. Pundarika means White Lotus. In my earlier post, if you had noted, I had said that a Blue Lotus is known as a Utpala in Sanskrit. However, this wallaper has a Red Lotus which is called in Sanskrit as “Padma – पद्म” !! . Yeah, it would have been completely perfect, if this wallpaper had a White Lotus ie A Pundarika :)
Back to the chanting. The Daimoku – “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” is a japanese chant, which means “Homage to the Lotus Sutra” as said earlier. It is to be noted, though this is in Japanese, it qualifies as a Mantra. Because it was expounded by Nichiren, and as all Mantras, they are to be chanted as expounded by the Master. And there are a lot of theological, character by character explanation of the Daimoku.
But, I was actually thinking to render the chant in Sanskrit as “namaḥ saddharmapuṇḍarīkāya sūtrāya – नमः सद्धर्मपुण्डरीकाय सूत्राय“.
[ Some Sanskrit Notes: Skip if you may wish lolzz
namaḥ saddharmapuṇḍarīkāya sūtrāya – This can be literally rendered in English as:
Namah – [Homage]
Saddharmapundarikaaya – [to Sadddharmapundarika]
Sutraya – [to Sutra]
i.e [Homage] [to Saddharmapundarika] [to Sutra] – I know it sounds wierd. But Sanskrit works this way, no other go !
A similar chant is:
Namo Avalokiteshvaraya Bodhisattvaya Mahayasattvaya Mahakaruniya – [Homage] [to Avalokiteshvara] [to Bodhisattva] [to Mahasattva] [to Mahakarunika(Great Compassionate one)] i.e Homage to Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattava, Mahasattva, Mahakarunika !
End of Sanskrit Note ]
When I realized the above, I thought it would be more proper to the transliterate the chant in Siddham as – “nam myoho reṅge kyo – नम् म्योहो रेङ्गे क्यो“, rather than translate. So thats what I exactly did in the wallpaper.
Also, if there were any Buddhist sect that couldn’t have had any existence in India, it is Nichiren Buddhism. Because by 13th century virtually Buddhism was extinct [got fused with Hinduism in one sense] in Indian Mainland. So, Even a back propagation to India would have been completely impossible. Consequently, a Sanskritized version of the chant, would not have existed at all ! . But it was not the same in the case of Pure Land Buddhism etc, there were definite sanskrit precursors to them. The Nembutsu/Nienfo would have had a clear Sanskrit precursor “namo’mitābhāya buddhāya नमोऽमिताभाय बुद्धाय“, due to the existence of the Indian Pureland Tradition.
So, It would be completely unwise to render it in a Sanskrit Translation, hence I rendered that chant Nam Myho Renge Kyo phoneticaly as it is in Sanskrit as < नम् म्योहो रेङ्गे क्यो > .
Actually, When written as a single line, it should have been written as – “nammyohoreṅgekyo – नम्म्योहोरेङ्गेक्यो“. However I split up the word and used a Virama [Inherent Vowel Removing Sign] and wrote it as “नम्म्योहोरेङ्गेक्यो”, because it counted correctly to seven charecters in this way, similar to the that of the Kanji version. Writing it as a conjunct, would reduce it to 6, & obviously the symmetry would be lost. And the other reason is that “mmyo – म्म्यो” conjunct letter was not available in the CBETA siddham font :P
You can see the Siddham Version of Daimoku on the left, and the Kanji version in Brush Style to the right [Both Font based].
Speaking of Nichiren, it is interesting to know, how chanting the name of book had gained such a huge popularity in East Asia. Some one pointed out in E-Sangha that this is purely an East Asian phenomenon and not Indian. Its so true, even though India as lots of sects with all their associated literature, I have never heard any one chaning “Namo Vedaya’ or “Namo Bhagavadgitaya” or whatever ! . Even though various texts themselves claim that even saying the name of it, is equivalent to reading it. & Many modern religious speakers also make a similar point in their lectures. It was understood more as a Rhetorical Point, to show the importance and authority of the Text. It was never understood literally [atleast to the Indians].
But Nichiren was so convinced of the Lotus Sutra’s efficiency and authority as the ultimate Dharma taught by Shakyamuni Buddha, that he literally thought chanting the name of the sutra, would lead to salvation. Though it is said the daimoku was chanted in the secrecy by the TienTai sect long before Nichiren, but it was Nichiren who openly advocated the Daimoku.
Anyways, all of the 84,000 dharma doors are effective. Each is one is aimed at a difference individual, based on his capacity .
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
(The following the list of the chant rendered in all the Indian Languages)
नम् म्योहो रेंगे क्यो
নম্ ম্যোহো রেংগে ক্যো
நம் ம்யோஹோ ரெங்கெ க்யோ
నం మ్యోహో రెంగె క్యో
ನಂ ಮ್ಯೋಹೋ ರೆಂಗೆ ಕ್ಯೋ
നം മ്യോഹോ രെംഗെ ക്യോ
નમ્ મ્યોહૉ રેંગે ઙ્યો
ਨਮ੍ ਮ੍ਯੋਹੋ ਰੇਂਗੇ ਕ੍ਯੋ
ନମ୍ ମ୍ଯୋହୋ ରେଙ୍ଗେ କ୍ଯୋ
!!! Homage to the Lotus Sutra !!!!