The Mantra of Light (光明真言 kōmyō shingon ), is an important mantra of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, but is not emphasized in other Vajrayana sects of Buddhism. It is taken from the Amoghapāśakalparāja-sūtra (Chinese translation Taisho ed. no. 1092) and is chanted as follows:
- Roman script: oṃ amogha vairocana mahāmudrā maṇipadma jvāla pravarttaya hūṃ
- Devanagari: ओं अमोघ वैरोचन महामुद्रा मणि पद्म ज्वाल प्रवर्त्तय हूं
- Sanskrit Pronunciation (help·info)
- Japanese: On abokya beiroshanō makabodara mani handoma jimbara harabaritaya un
- Kanji and Chinese script: 唵 阿謨伽 尾盧左曩 摩訶母捺囉 麽抳 鉢納麽 入嚩攞 鉢囉韈哆野 吽
The translation of this mantra is Praise be to the unfailing, all-pervasive illumination of the great mudra (or seal of the Buddha), the jewel, the lotus, and the radiant light turning (or existing in our world). It is believed in Shingon Buddhism that if one chants this mantra without ego, and with sincere devotion and clarity of mind, Vairocana Buddha will place his seal upon the chanter, thus dispelling all ignorance and delusion.
The mantra was popularized in medieval Japanese Buddhism by Myōe, as a counter to the increasingly popular practice of the nembutsu, and later by Shingon monks Eison and Ninsho in their ministries. Interestingly, both practices were often incorporated by medieval Buddhists at one time or another. A common practice for the Mantra of Light was to sprinkle pure sand, blessed with this mantra, on the body of a deceased person or their tomb. The belief was that a person who had accumulated much bad karma, and possible rebirth in Hell would be immediately freed and allowed a favorable rebirth. This practice is known as dosha-kaji (土砂加持) in Japanese.
- ↑ Tanabe Jr., George (1999). Religions of Japan in Practice. Princeton University Press. p. 92. ISBN 0231112866.
- Mark Unno: Shingon Refractions: Myōe and the Mantra of Light. Somerville MA, USA: Wisdom Publications, 2004 ISBN 0-86171-390-7
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