2

I am a Hindu by birth. I am a huge devotee of Lord Buddha as he is considered a god in Hinduism. I wanted to know more about the Buddhist mantra Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. What is the best way to chant it? Can I chant it anywhere and at anytime? I have previously been chanting the mantra at least 108 times a day for the past 4 months but I have yet to see any of my desires fulfilled. Is there a specific count when desires are fulfilled? I apologise, I am new to Buddhist methods of worship, but I want to do so with Buddha. How can I have my desires fulfilled by that mantra?

Thank You.

  • Devotion can permit focus and accrue kamma, but I would imagine one place to start would be to have some foothold on what the words you're saying mean. It's uncommon to have Hindus speak fluent Japanese; while the mantra may be helpful, it's likely more helpful to understand (and express in your own native language) that you're devoting yourself to the Lotus Sutra and to dwell upon its lessons as you chant your devotions. – lly Jul 10 '18 at 9:55
  • Using Buddhism as a form of magic to fulfill one's desires also seems rather self-defeating. Most of its leading practitioners abjure all desires and certainly wouldn't be disappointed (or even surprised) if those they still held were not satiated. At minimum, you'd need to push towards a selfless direction with your wishes. – lly Jul 10 '18 at 9:59
  • @lly I guess that what the words "mean" may include what you've been told about them, what you've read about them (e.g. here). I think that practitioners will explain it if you ask them. – ChrisW Jul 10 '18 at 10:34
  • 1
    @lly There are other views. Notably Tiantai's (T'ien T'ai) teaching that "earthly desires equal enlightenment." Nichiren used many of Tiantai's teachings. – Jonathan Cender Jul 20 '18 at 1:22
  • youtube.com/watch?v=dTld8JlC83E do this prayer 2 times day for 40 days, there is a pdf that explains the meaning. And chant for 10-30 minutes a day. You will see a difference after 40 days. sgi.org/about-us/president-ikedas-writings/… – tgkprog Sep 29 '18 at 22:49
3

What is the best way to chant it?

I think that:

  • Chanting that mantra is a characteristic of a form of Buddhism (a school, a tradition of Buddhism) called "Nichiren" (see Nichiren).

  • There aren't many users on this site who know about Nichiren, so it might be difficult to answer your question.

  • The most widespread Nichiren-oriented society outside Japan is called SGI (Soka Gakkai International) -- I expect you can find more from their web site and/or by finding a group of SGI people near you.

    For example:

    Daily Practice

    The core Buddhist practice of SGI members is chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and reciting portions of the Lotus Sutra (referred to as gongyo), and sharing the teachings of Buddhism with others in order to help them overcome their problems.

    The practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo was established by Nichiren (1222–82), a reformist Buddhist monk who identified the Lotus Sutra as the core teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha.

    Applying the Teachings

    Practice is supported by faith and study. SGI members study the teachings of Nichiren in order to deepen their understanding of the principles of Buddhism and the processes of inner transformation. Study strengthens faith and conviction, which finds expression in practice.

    Faith, in Nichiren Buddhism, is grounded in the experience of applying Buddhism and seeing improvements in the quality of one’s life. Faith could be described as the ongoing effort to orient one’s heart toward the ideal of Buddhahood—the continual unfolding of one’s inherent potential for good, the ability to transform any negative circumstance into a source of growth and benefit, and a life dedicated toward helping others do the same.

    (etc.)

    Their web site in India seems to be https://www.bharatsokagakkai.org/

    My experience (in Canada) was that they are happy to have you join them their group, to meet to chant with them, and to explain their doctrines to you.

How can I have my desires fulfilled by that mantra?

I'd like to (but I'm not sure I can) explain that, in a way that's simple and accurate -- perhaps someone else will, who knows more about that form/school of Buddhism than I do.

I suppose it's easier to practice than it is to teach.

Or you may find an answer by reading the web pages I referenced -- see also for example Buddhist Concepts. I'm referencing SGI's web site, because I think they're the biggest organisation of practitioners outside Japan whose practice depends on the mantra that you asked about. There are other forms or schools of Buddhism too, which don't use that mantra. It's said there's a unity, that all schools of Buddhism have a lot in common with each other, perhaps it is all relevant to the "Buddhist method of worship".

I also recommend these topics, on this site:

I suppose that it's important to hear, understand, and practice Buddhist doctrine (i.e. "dhamma" or "dharma"), possibly with other Buddhists -- and that mantra is connected with that, part of that.

  • As a long time member of SGI, I wish to compliment you on your answer. I would only add that specific instructions and examples on how to chant are on the SGI website and on Youtube in both audio and video. One place to begin on Youtube is with the singer Tina Turner chanting and this will lead to other helpful videos. Also the Tina Turner biography movie, What's Love Got to Do With It?, shows her beginning to chant. It is particularly well done since the director was also a Nichiren Buddhist. – Jonathan Cender Jul 20 '18 at 0:48
3

As a longtime practitioner of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and as a member of SGI, I will attempt to respond to some of your specific questions. My responses will be based as much as possible on the words of Nichiren, the 13th century buddhist monk and scholar, since he established the practice of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Organizations, both temple and lay based, that promote chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, all derive from his teachings. I also recommend ChrisW's answer.

  • What is the best way to chant it? How can I have my desires fulfilled by that mantra?

Nichiren wrote, As a lay believer, the important thing for you is to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo single-mindedly and

As you crave food when hungry, seek water when thirsty, long to see a lover, beg for medicine when ill, or as a beautiful woman desires powder and rouge, so should you put your faith in the Lotus Sutra. This quote is usually understood to refer to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo since Nichiren often used Lotus Sutra and Nam Myoho Renge Kyo interchangeably.

  • Can I chant it anywhere and at anytime?

Yes, you may chant anywhere and anytime. Nichiren wrote, This passage implies that we ordinary people, whether we are walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Most of the time chanting is done at an altar in someone's home. Many people chant other places, for example, while driving a car or while walking. Nichiren even wrote that chanting during sex is okay. "Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo during the physical union of man and woman is indeed what is called “earthly desires are enlightenment,” and “the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana.”"

Normally chanting is done out loud in a normal voice. However, to avoid bothering other people, chanting quietly, or even silently within, is acceptable.

  • Is there a specific count when desires are fulfilled?

No, there is no specific count. Sometimes Nichiren chanted once. I immediately placed it as an offering before the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, the single vehicle, and chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo just once. I have done this so that your beloved son may “assuredly and without doubt”1 be escorted to the pure land of Eagle Peak.

Other times he chanted much more. For the sake of your son’s repose, I have recited the entire Lotus Sutra once and the verse section of its “Life Span” chapter several times, and chanted the daimoku hundreds or thousands of times.

At all times Nichiren emphasized that chanting is powerful. For example, he answered yes to the following question. Question: Is it possible, without understanding the meaning of the Lotus Sutra, but merely by chanting the five or seven characters of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo once a day, once a month, or simply once a year, once a decade, or once in a lifetime, to avoid being drawn into trivial or serious acts of evil, to escape falling into the four evil paths, and instead to eventually reach the stage of non-regression?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy