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Sutra Book: Sho Sai Myo Kichijo Dharani


Sutras & Ceremonies: This is an ancient chant to ward off misfortunes.

Notes on Sho Sai Myo Kichijo Dharani

This Dharani is and ode to Lakshmi (Japanese: Kichijo-ten), the Hindu goddess of light, wisdom and fortune. The word Dharmani is from a Sanskrit word that means to hold or maintain and are thought to be a mnemonic device to summarize the meaning of a sutra or series fo sutras in Zen.

The Sho Sai Myo is traditionally recited 3 times after the Heart Sutra to remove disasters. Translation is not very satisfactory, since it is essentially a transliteration of a Chinese transliteration of something that was originally in Sanskrit. The sound of the words becomes the meaning as it does in many chant traditions. A dharani is considered to have magical power or deep meaning. When it is spoken, the evil spirits that  are near are prevented from interfering with the effect of the ritual. It is made of invocations to a higher power and exclamations to scare off evil spirits.

Sho Sai Myo Kichijo Dharani

This is an ancient chant to ward off misfortunes.

ung—3 times)

No mo san man da moto nan oha

ra chi koto sha sono nan to ji

to en gya gya gya ki gya ki 

un nun shifu ra shifu ra hara shifu

ra hara shifu ra chishu sa chishu sa

chishu ri chishu ri soha ja soha ja 

sen chi gya shiri ei so mo ko


English translation of Sho Sai Myo Kichijo Dharani:


Veneration to all Buddhas!

The incomparable Buddha-power that banishes suffering.

Om! The Buddha of reality, wisdom, nirvana!

Light! Light! Great light! Great light!

With no categories, this mysterious power

saves all beings; suffering goes, happiness comes, at last!