Namu-myoho-renge-kyo (南無妙法蓮華経, Glory to the Sutra of the Lotus of the Supreme Law mantra) (南無妙法蓮華経)

南無妙法蓮華経 is read as "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo". The expression is used in Buddhism. "南無" (Namu) is a transliteration of Namo (Sanskrit) to Chinese and it means "I devote myself,"and the five letters, "妙法蓮華経"(myoho-renge-kyo), were the formal title of Hokkekyo (the Lotus Sutra) when it was translated from "saddharmapuNDariika-sutra"in Sanskrit by Kumarajiva (Sanskrit Kum{a-}raj{i-}va, abbreviated as Raju or Ju). The seven kanji characters "南無妙法蓮華経"as a whole mean "I devote myself (embrace) to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra." Some intepreted the Lotus sutra as Myogo (name of the Buddha) of Shaka Nyorai (Buddha Shakamuni), the principal object of worship of Kuon-jitsujo (eternal life of the Buddha). These characters are referred to Daimoku of Go-ji Shichi-ji (literally, "the title (of the mantra) with five or seven kanji characters").

Nichiren and Tendai sects of Buddhism

Nichiren, the founder of the Daimoku sect (Nichiren sect, Hokke sect), defined Namu-myoho-renge-kyo as Shogyo (a correct practice); although, prior to Nichiren, it was not a center of the creed in Tendai and Tendai Jimon sects, which Tendai Taishi (Chigi or Zhiyi) founded, it was chanted by the ascetic priests of those sects. This was called "morning Lotus Sutra chanting and evening Amida Buddha prayers." Nichiren, who considered that practice emerged in Mappo (Age of the Final Dharma), thought that the practice of chanting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo should be the main part of practice after he was exiled to Sado Island (Sado Province). The major difference between the Nichiren sect and Tendai sect is whether or not chanting should be an integral practice.

Method of chanting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo.

Refer to "Details in each group" (題目各団体) of "Daimoku"(題目).

[Original Japanese]