Since every language learning blog has it my blog will get one, too. A vocabulary of the day section. Since I’m learning vocabulary, or 単語 in Japanese, what could be better than to teach you these words as well, dear Reader? This is why I will post one word every day, and write something about the background, or a picture. Something that best describes the words and helps to understand it. Since i’ve already lost enough words to the introduction of this new section, let me inaugurate it with the first word of the day.
南無妙法蓮華経 [なむみょうれんげきょう] Glory to the Sutra, Hail to the Sutra
This is a chant of the 天台宗 [てんだいしゅう] Tendai and 日蓮正宗 [にちれんしょうしゅう] Nichiren sects of 仏教 [ぶっきょう] Buddhism. The 天台 were founded by T’ien-t’ai Chih-i, who built a framework for this school of Chinese Buddhism. The monk 鑑眞 Jianzhen brought it to Japan, from were it was spread by the monk 最澄 [さいちょう] Saichô, who brought new Tiantai texts he brought back from China, and made the temple he had built the centre for the study of 天台. This sect taught many elements from 禅 [ぜん] Zen and 密教 [みっきょう] Mikkyô, not only Tiantai from China. 日蓮 was the founding father of this sect born in 1222. The teaching of 日蓮 was the devotion to the 妙法蓮華経 [みょうほうれんげきょう] Lotus Sutra as the exclusive way to reach enlightenment. The chanting of 南無妙法蓮華經 was the essential practice of this school. For both schools the 法華 [ほっけ] Lotus Sutra was very important in their teachings. The 天台 saw this Sutra as the ultimate expression of 法 [ほう] Dharma.
If you want to know more about the history of both sects and the Lotus Sutra, please visit the following websites.