Sutra and Gatha Chanting

Sutra and Gatha Chanting

At Jodo Shinshu temple services, the following five sutras and gathas are chanted. Please click on the names below to see the text and translation and/or listen to these sutras and gathas.
Please visit our temple to learn more about these.

 

Amida Kyo – The Amida Kyo is the Smaller Sutra of Immeasurable Life (Smaller Sukhavati Vyuha Sutra), and is chanted at most Jodo Shinshu memorial services.

 

Shoshinge – The Shoshinge (Gatha of True Teachings) was written by Shinran Shonin to encapsulate the teachings of Jodo Shinshu.

Shoshinge Text

Shoshinge

Shoshinge Audio

Shoshinge Text

Shoshinge English Translation

Ki myo mu ryo ju nyo rai
Na mu fu ka shi gi ko
Ho zo bo satsu in ni ji
Zai se ji sai o bus-shoTo ken sho butsu jo do in
Koku do nin den shi zen maku
Kon ryu mu jo shu sho gan
Cho hotsu ke u dai gu zeiGo ko shi yui shi sho ju
Ju sei myo sho mon jip-po
Fu ho mu ryo mu hen ko
Mu ge mu tai ko en no

Sho jo kan gi chi e ko
Fu dan nan ji mu sho ko
Cho nichi gak-ko sho jin setsu
Is-sai gun jo mu ko sho

Hon gan myo go sho jo go
Shin shin shin gyo gan ni in
Jo to gaku sho dai ne han
His-shi metsu do gan jo ju

Nyo rai sho i ko shus-se
Yui setsu mi da hon gan kai
Go joku aku ji gun jo kai
O shin nyo rai nyo jitsu gon

No hotsu ichi nen ki ai shin
Fu dan bon no toku ne han
Bon jo gyaku ho sai e nyu
Nyo shu shi nyu kai ichi mi

Ses-shu shin ko jo sho go
I no sui ha mu myo an
Ton nai shin zo shi un mu
Jo fu shin jitsu shin jin ten

Hi nyo nik-ko fu un mu
Un mu shi ge myo mu an
Gyaku shin ken kyo dai kyo ki
Soku o cho zetsu go aku shu

Is-sai zen maku bon bu nin
Mon shin nyo rai gu zei gan
Butsu gon ko dai sho ge sha
Ze nin myo fun da ri ke-

Mi da butsu hon gan nen butsu
Ja ken kyo man naku shu jo
Shin gyo ju ji jin ni nan
Nan chu shi nan mu ka shi

In do sai ten shi ron ge
Chu ka jichi iki shi ko so
Ken dai sho ko se sho i
Myo nyo rai hon ze o ki

Sha ka nyo rai ryo ga sen
I shu go myo nan ten jiku
Ryu ju dai ji shut-to se
Shitsu no zai ha u mu ken

Sen zetsu dai jo mu jo ho
Sho kan gi ji sho an raku
Ken ji nan gyo roku ro ku
Shin gyo i gyo shi do raku

Oku nen mi da butsu hon gan
Ji nen soku ji nyu hitsu jo
Yui no jo sho nyo rai go
O ho dai hi gu zei on

Ten jin bo Satsu zo ron setsu
Ki myo mu ge ko nyo rai
E Shu ta ra ken shin jitsu
Ko sen o cho dai sei gan

Ko-yu hon gan riki e ko
I do gun jo sho is-shin
Ki nyu ku doku dai ho kai
Hitsu gyaku nyu dai e shu shu

Toku shi ren ge zo se kai
Soku sho shin nyo hos-sho jin
Yu bon no rin gen jin zu
Nyu sho ji on ji o ge

Hon shi don ran ryo ten shi
Jo ko ran sho bo satsu rai
San zo ru shi ju jo kyo
Bon jo sen gyo ki raku ho

Ten jin bo satsu ron chu ge
Ho do in ga ken sei gan
O gen ne ko yu ta riki
Sho jo shi in yui shin jin

Waku zen bon bu shin jin potsu
Sho-chi sho-ji soku ne hon
His-shi mu ryo ko myo do
Sho-u shu jo kai fu ke

Do shaku kes-sho do nan sho
Yui myo jo do ka tsu nyu
Man zen ji riki hen gon shu
En man toku go kan sen sho

San-pu san shin ke on gon
Zo matsu ho metsu do-hi in
Is-sho zo aku chi gu zei
Shi an nyo gai sho myo ka

Zen do doku myo bus-sho I
Ko ai jo san yo gyaku aku
Ko myo myo go ken in nen
Kai-nyu hon gan dai-chi kai

Gyo-ja sho-ju kon go shin
Kyo-ki ichi nen so o go
Yo-I dai to gyaku san nin
Soku sho hos-sho shi jo raku

Gen shin ko kai ichi dai kyo
Hen ki an nyo kan is-sai
Sen zo shu shin han sen jin
Ho ke ni do sho ben ryu

Goku ju aku nin yui sho butsu
Ga yaku zai-hi ses-shu chu
Bon no sho gen sui fu ken
Dai-hi mu ken jo sho ga

Hon shi gen ku myo buk-kyo
Ren min zen maku bon bu nin
Shin shu kyo sho ko hen shu
Sen jaku hon gan gu aku se

Gen rai sho-ji rin den ge
Ket-chi gi jo I sho shi
Soku nyu jaku jo mu I raku
Hit-chi shin jin I no nyu

Gu kyo dai ji shu shi tou
Jo sai mu hen goku joku aku
Do zoku ji shu gu do shin
Yu-I ka shin shi ko so se-tsu

I take refuge in the Tathagata of Immeasurable Life!
I entrust myself to the Buddha of Inconceivable Light!
Bodhisattva Dharmakara, in his causal stage,
Under the guidance of LokeÊvararaja Buddha.Searched into the origins of the Buddhas’ pure land,
And the qualities of those lands and their men and devas;
He then established the supreme, incomparable Vow;
He made the great Vow rare and all-encompassing.In five kalpas of profound thought, he embraced this Vow,
Then resolved again that his Name be heard throughout the ten quarters.
Everywhere he casts light immeasurable, boundless,
Unhindered, unequaled, light-lord of all brilliance,

Pure light, joyful light, the light of wisdom,
Light constant, inconceivable, light beyond speaking,
Light excelling sun and moon he sends forth, illumining countless worlds;
The multitudes of beings all receive the radiance.

The Name embodying the Primal Vow is the act of true settlement,
The Vow of entrusting with sincere mind is the cause of birth;
We realize the equal of enlightenment and supreme nirvana
Through the fulfillment of the Vow of attaining nirvana without fail.

Sakyamuni Tathagata appeared in this world
Solely to teach the ocean-like Primal Vow of Amida;
We, an ocean of beings in an evil age of five defilements,
Should entrust ourselves to the Tathagata’s words of truth.

When the one thought-moment of joy arises,
Nirvana is attained without severing blind passions;
When ignorant and wise, even grave offenders and slanders of the dharma, all alike turn and enter shinjin,
They are like waters that, on entering the ocean, become one in taste with it.

The light of compassion that grasps us illumines and protects us always;
The darkness of our ignorance is already broken through;
Still the clouds and mists of greed and desire, anger and hatred,
Cover as always the sky of true and real shinjin.

But though light of the sun is veiled by clouds and mists,
Beneath the clouds and mists there is brightness, not dark.
When one realizes shinjin, seeing and revering and attaining great joy,
One immediately leaps crosswise, closing off the five evil courses.

All foolish beings, whether good or evil,
When they hear and entrust to Amida’s universal Vow,
Are praised by the Buddha as people of vast and excellent understanding;
Such a person is called a pure white lotus.

For evil sentient beings of wrong views and arrogance,
The nembutsu that embodies Amida’s Primal Vow
Is hard to accept in shinjin;
This most difficult of difficulties, nothing surpasses.

The masters of India in the west, who explained the teachings in treaties,
And the eminent monks of China and Japan,
Clarified the Great Sage’s true intent in appearing in the world,
And revealed that Amida’s Primal Vow accords with the nature of beings.

Sakyamuni Tathagata, on Mount Lanka,
Prophesied to the multitudes that in south India
The mahasattva Nagarjuna would appear in this world
To crush the views of being and non-being;

Proclaiming the unexcelled Mahayana teaching,
He would attain the stage of joy and be born in the land of happiness.
Nagarjuna clarifies the hardship on the overland path of difficult practice,
And leads us to entrust to the pleasure on the waterway of easy practice.

He teaches that the moment one thinks on Amida’s Primal Vow,
One is naturally brought to enter the sage of the definitely settled;
Solely saying the Tathagata’s Name constantly,
One should respond with gratitude to the universal Vow of great compassion.

Bodhisattva Vasubandhu, composing a treatise, declares
That he takes refuge in the Tathagata of unhindered light,
And that relying on the sutras, he will reveal the true and real virtues,
And make widely known the great Vow by which we leap crosswise beyond birth-and-death.

He discloses the mind that is single so that all beings be saved
By Amida’s directing of virtue through the power of the Primal Vow.
When a person turns and enters the great treasure-ocean of virtue,
Necessarily he joins Amida’s assembly;

And when he reaches hat lotus-held world,
He immediately realizes the body of suchness or dharma-nature.
Then sporting in the forests of blind passions, he manifests transcendent powers;
Entering the garden of birth-and-death, he assumes various forms to guide others.

Turning toward the dwelling of Master T’an-laun, the Emperor of Liang
Always paid homage to him as a bodhisattva.
Bodhiruci, master of the Tripitaka, gave T’an-laun the Pure Land teachings,
And T’an-laun, burning his Taoist scriptures, took refuge in the land of bliss.

In his commentary on the treatise of Bodhisattva Vasubandhu,
He shows that the cause and attainment of birth in the fulfilled land lie in the Vow.
Our going and returning, directed to us by Amida, come about through Other Power;
The truly decisive cause is shinjin.

When a foolish being of delusion and defilement awakens to shinjin,
He realizes that birth-and-death is itself nirvana;
Without fail he reaches the land of immeasurable light
And universally guides sentient beings to enlightenment.

Tao-ch’o determined how difficult it is to fulfill the Path of Sages,
And reveals that only passage through the Pure Land gate is possible for us.
He criticizes self-power endeavor in the myriad good practices,
And encourages us solely to say the fulfilled Name embodying true virtue.

With kind concern he teaches the three characteristics of entrusting and non entrusting,
Compassionately guiding all identically, whether they live when the dharma survives as but form, when in its last stage, or when it has become extinct.
Though a person has committed evil all his life, when he encounters the Primal Vow,
He will reach the world of peace and realize the perfect fruit of enlightenment.

Shan-tao alone in his time clarified the Buddha’s true intent;
Sorrowing at the plight of meditative and non-meditative practicers and people of grave evil,
He reveals that Amida’s Light and Name are the causes of birth.
When the practicer enters the great ocean of wisdom, the Primal Vow,

He receives the diamond-like mind
And accords with the one thought-moment of joy; whereupon,
Equally with Vaidehu, he acquires the threefold wisdom
And is immediately brought to attain the eternal bliss of dharma-nature.

Genshin, having broadly elucidated the teaching of Sakyamuni’s lifetime,
Wholeheartedly took refuge in the land of peace and urges all to do so;
Ascertaining that minds devoted to single practice are profound, to sundry practice, shallow,
He sets forth truly the difference between the fulfilled land and the transformed land.

The person burdened with extreme evil should simply say the Name:
Although I too am within Amida’s grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and illumines me always.

Master Genku, well-versed in the Buddha’s teaching,
Turned compassionately to foolish people, both good and evil;
Establishing in this remote land the teaching and realization that are the true essence of the Pure Land way,
He transmits the selected Primal Vow to us of the defiled world:

Return to this house of transmigration, of birth-and-death,
Is decidedly caused by doubt.
Swift entrance into the city of tranquility, the uncreated,
Is necessarily brought about by shinjin.

The mahasattvas and masters who spread the sutras
Save the countless beings of utter defilement and evil.
With the same mind, all people of the present, whether monk or lay,
Should rely wholly on the teachings of these venerable masters.

 

Shoshinge:
The Heart of Shin Buddhism

Text and English Translation are from the Shinshu Seiten, Jodo Shin Buddhist Teaching, published by the Buddhist Churches of America, 1978.

 

Junirai – The Junirai is written by Nagarjuna, the first of the seven patriarchs of Jodo Shinshu, whereby Nagarjuna praises the sacredness and beauty of the Pure Land.

Junirai Text

Junirai

Junirai Audio

Junirai Text

Junirai English Translation

KEI SHU TEN NIN SHO KU GYO
A MI DA SEN RYO ZOKU SON
ZAI HI MI MYO AN RAKU KOKU
MU RYO BUSHI SHU I NYOKON JIKI SHIN JO NYO SEN NO
SHA MA TA GYO NYO ZO BU
RYO MOKU JO NYAKU SHO REN GE
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SONMEN ZEN EN JO NYO MAN GATSU
I KO YU NYO SEN NICHI GATSU
SHO NYO TEN KU KU SHI RA
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SON

KWAN NON CHO DAI KWAN CHU JU
SHU JU MYO SO HO SHO GON
NO BUKU GE DO MA KYO MAN
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SON

MU BI MU KU KO SHO JO
SHU TOKU KYO KETSU NYO KO KU
SHO SA RI YAKU TOKU JI ZAI
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SON

JIPPO MYO MON BO SASSHU
MU RYO SHO MA JO SAN DAN
ISHO SHU JO GAN RIKI JU
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SON

KON TAI HO KEN CHI SHO KE
ZEN GON SHO JO MYO DAI ZA
O HI ZA JO NYO SEN NO
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SON

JIPPO SHO RAI SHO BUSSHI
KEN GEN JIN ZU SHI AN RAKU
SEN GO SON GEN JO KU GYO
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SON SHO U MU JO MU GA TO
YAKU NYO SUI GATSU DEN YO RO
I SHU SEPPO MU MYO JI
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SON

HI SON BUSSETSU MU AKU MYO
YAKU MU NYO NIN AKU DO FLI
SHU NIN SHI SHIN KYO HI SON
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SON

HI SON MU RYO HO BEN KYO
MU U SHO SHU AKU CHI SHIKI
O JO FU TAI SHI BO DAI
KO GA CHO RAI MI DA SON

GA SETSU HI SON KU DOKU JI
SHU ZEN MU HEN NYO KAI SUI
SHO GYAKU ZEN GON SHO JO SHA
E SE SHU JO SHO HI KOKU
NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU
EKOKU
GAN NI SHI KU DO KU
BYO DO SE ISSAI
DO HON BO DAI SHIN
O JO U AN RA KOKU

Before Amida Buddha, whom Deva and men worship,
I humble myself in deepest reverence.
In His wondrous Land of Bliss
Surrounded is He by countless Bodhisattvas.His golden form shines forth pure, like the King of Mount (Sumeru);
His practice of Truth is steadfast, like an elephant’s pace;
His eyes radiate, like pure blue lotus blossoms.
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.His countenance is perfectly pure and round, like the full moon;
His majestic light shines like a thousand suns and moons;
His voice is like a heavenly drum, yet like a heavenly bird (Kokila).
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.

Avalokitesvara wears upon his crown,
The image of Amida adorned with many precious jewels,
He subdues the arrogance of demons and heretics,
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.

Incomparable, vast and pure His Virtues are,
Clearly extending like vast open space,
His acts freely benefiting all.
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.

Bodhisattvas from the ten quarters
And countless maras always venerate Him.
He dwells with Vow-power for the sake of all beings.
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.
In the Golden treasure pond where the lotus flowers bloom,
Established with goodness is a wondrous throne;
Where reigns the Lord, like the King of Mount (Sumeru).
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.

From the ten quarters Bodhisattvas come,
Revealing wondrous powers, they attain blissful state;
Honoring His face, they offer eternal homage.
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.

All things are transient and without self
Like the moon on water, lightning, shadow, or dew.
“The Dharma cannot be expressed by words,” the Buddha proclaimed.
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.

No words of evil are in His Land;
No fear of evil doers, nor evil paths;
With sincere heart all beings worship Him.
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.

His Land of infinite expediencies
Is without degenerate things or wicked beings;
Upon Rebirth, Non-Retrogressive Bodhi does one attain.
Thus I prostrate myself before Amida Buddha.

Thus have I praised the Virtues of Amida.
Boundless are they like the water of the sea.
Upon receiving these pure and good qualities
May all beings be reborn into his Land.

Text and English Translation are from the Shinshu Seiten, Jodo Shin Buddhist Teaching, published by the Buddhist Churches of America, 1978.

 

Juseige – The Juseige is part of the Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life (Larger Sukhavati Vyuha Sutra), whereby Dharmakara Bodhisattva (who becomes Amida Buddha) sets forth the Forty-Eight vows to save all sentient beings and the promise to fulfill these vows.

Juseige Text

Juseige

Juseige Audio

Juseige Text

Juseige English Translation

GA GON CHO SE GAN
HIS-SHI MU JO DO
SHI GAN FU MAN ZOKU
SEI FU JO SHO GAKUGA O MU RYO KO
FU I DAI SE SHU
FU SAI SHO BIN GU
SEI FU JO SHO GAKUGA SHI JO BUTSU DO
MYO SHO CHO JIP-PO
KU KYO Ml SHO MON
SEI FU JO SHO GAKU

Rl YOKU JIN SHO NEN
JO E SHU BON GYO
SHI GU MU JO DO
I SHO TEN NIN SHI

JIN RIKI EN DAI KO
FU SHO MU SAI DO
SHO JO SAN KU MYO
KO SAI SHU YAKU NAN

KAI Hl CHI E GEN
MES-SHI KON MO AN
HEI SOKU SHO AKU DO
TSU DATSU ZEN SHU MON

KO SO JO MAN ZOKU
I YO RO JIP-PO
NICHI GATSU SHU JU KI
TEN KO ON PU GEN
ISHU KAI HO ZO
KO SE KU DOKU HO
JO O DAI SHU CHU
SEP-PO SHI SHI KU

KU YO IS-SAI BUTSU
GU SOKU SHU TOKU HON
GAN E SHITSU JO MAN
TOKU I SAN GAI O

NYO BUTSU MU GE CHI
TSU DATSU Ml FU SHO
GAN GA KU E RIKI
TO SHI SAI SHO SON

SHI GAN NYAK-KO KA
DAI SEN O KAN DO
KO KU SHO TEN NIN
TO U CHIN MYO KE

NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU
NAMANDABU

EKOKU
GAN NI SHII KU DO KU
BYO DO SE ISSAI
DO HON BO DAI SHIN
O JO U AN RA KOKU

I establish the Vows unexcelled,
And reach the Highest Path, Bodhi
Were these Vows unfulfilled,
I would never attain Enlightenment.I will be the greater provider
Throughout innumerable kalpas.
Should I fail to save all in need,
I would never attain Enlightenment.Upon my attaining Enlightenment,
If my Name were not heard anywhere
In the ten quarters of the universe,
I would never attain Enlightenment.

Practicing the Holy Way – Selflessness,
Depth in right reflection and pure wisdom,
Aspiring toward the highest path,
I will be the teacher of devas and men.

My wondrous power by its great light
Brightens the countless lands throughout,
Removes the darkness of the three defilements
And delivers all from suffering and pain.

Opening the eyes of Wisdom,
I will end this darkness of ignorance.
Blocking all paths of evil,
I will open the gate to Attainment.

Having attained Buddhahood untainted,
My august air shall illumine the ten quarters.
The sun and the moon being outshone,
The celestial lights shall hide in shame.

I will open the Dharma-storehouse
And bestow upon all the treasures of my virtues.
Constantly going among the masses.
I will preach the Dharma with a lion’s roar.

Paying homage to all the Buddhas,
I will be endowed with all virtues.
Vows and wisdom completely realized,
I will be master of the three worlds.

As Buddha’s Wisdom unimpeded
Has no place its light cannot reach,
So my power of Merit and Wisdom
Shall be equal to the Honored One’s.

If my Vows be certainly fulfilled,
May this whole universe quake.
And may the host of devas
Rain wondrous blossoms from the sky.

Text and English Translation are from the Shinshu Seiten, Jodo Shin Buddhist Teaching, published by the Buddhist Churches of America, 1978.

 

Sanbutsuge – The Sanbutsuge, also known as the ‘Gatha of Praising the Virtues of the Buddha’, is part of the Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life (Larger Sukhavati Vyuha Sutra). In this gatha, Dharmakara Bodhisattva praises his teacher Lokesvaraja Buddha and vows to save all beings who are suffering in the world of illusion even if it would mean skinking into the poisonous swamp of suffering and pain himself. Upon fulfilling his vows, Dharmakara Bodhisattva becomes Amida Buddha.