Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

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dharmapdx
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Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by dharmapdx »

For some reason, I'm fascinated by the Omamori Gohonzon.

I read this Wikipedia article, and it said that Omamori are often said to derive their power from NOT being opened, so I guess I'm surprised that SGI gives out Omamori and encourages people to open them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omamori

Also, I was wondering if anyone knows why the SGI Omamori is so prone to cracking. I wonder why they didn't decide on a more durable material.
narhwal90
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by narhwal90 »

I know a few SGI folks with omamori gohonzon, I've not heard them proposed to be any different than a regular gohzonzon- just portable, OTOH other schools may view them differently. In SGI around here they are inserted in a small butsudan, which is opened for the gongyo/daimoku. Its sort of a theoretical exercise when looking at one across a room, but better than chanting to a wall with eyes closed. My district chief has one he brings to meetings at member's houses who have not yet received gohonzon. Some folks carry them on travel for chanting etc in hotel rooms. Back in the old NSA days I participated in some of the parade activities in preparation for which an entire auditorium of folks did gongyo & daimoku to an omamori placed on a table on-stage.
dharmapdx
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by dharmapdx »

That's interesting. Must've been quite a challenge for an entire auditorium to focus on a little teeny Omamori.
narhwal90
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by narhwal90 »

It was an interesting experience- the setup was a school auditorium from which we took buses to the event; the school being a convenient place to gather. OTOH the stage was empty except for the table which was arranged as an impromptu altar, I don't recall incense, candles etc- though the gohonon itself was too small to be viewed it was possible to focus on it as an object. This is one of the aspects of NSA and still in SGI that I like; its considered perfectly reasonable to assemble a DIY altar and do gongyo pretty much anywhere or anytime, anything practicable from cardboard boxes on up, or even a nearby rock is fine. Temporarily enshrining a paper gohonzon for such a purpose wouldn't be recommended though.

Which does lead me to wonder whats the most irregular place I've ever done gongyo; off the top of my head, on the dirt floor of a barn, illuminated by a campfire. For a few summers I had a more formal altar built of scrap lumber in a bunkhouse in backwoods Maine.
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Queequeg
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by Queequeg »

Check out Kanse Kapon's study of Gohonzon. There are arguments to be made that Nichiren inscribed at least some Gohonzon as personal omamori to be carried around, not necessarily enshrined. Or, at least, some people carried them around that way.

Just to point out - most omamori are supposed to be exchanged after a year. This is not the case with omamori Gohonzon.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
dharmapdx
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by dharmapdx »

Interesting responses. Thank you. :namaste: I don't know why am so fascinated by the Omamori Gohonzon.
illarraza
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by illarraza »

Believe it or not:

"At one time, President Ikeda was living in an out of the way prefecture and when he moved, he left his omamori Gohonzon behind. You would have thought the statue of the Virgin Mary was crying tears of blood the way people flooded there to chant to it. The number of people who made a pilgrimage there far outnumbered those who went to see the Daigohonzon that year."

Mark
dharmapdx
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by dharmapdx »

I saw that on your blog. What does it mean?
illarraza
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by illarraza »

dharmapdx wrote:I saw that on your blog. What does it mean?
I think it signifies SGI's idolatry of Ikeda or, at the very least, their over the top adulation of Ikeda.

Mark
dharmapdx
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by dharmapdx »

So is it a joke, or did it actually happen?
dharmapdx
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by dharmapdx »

At what point in their practice is a member given an omamori Gohonzon?
narhwal90
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by narhwal90 »

I see a few around, generally kept in little cases on the altars of folks who have been fully engaged in SGI leadership for some time. Back in the old NSA days my district chief was given one- he being a very old-timer in the area since the beginning- he often wore his on a chain around his neck. SGI being as it is I imagine there is documentation to submit containing some kind of presentation about why you want one and what it means to you, as well as attestations by various senior leaders about your practice and so on but thats just a guess. I don't think they're generally for sale or given out on the basis of length of practice. There is at least one gohonzon "upgrade" available for SGI leaders who are interested- the lady who brought me back into SGI has one.
dharmapdx
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by dharmapdx »

narhwal90 wrote: Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:42 am I see a few around, generally kept in little cases on the altars of folks who have been fully engaged in SGI leadership for some time. Back in the old NSA days my district chief was given one- he being a very old-timer in the area since the beginning- he often wore his on a chain around his neck. SGI being as it is I imagine there is documentation to submit containing some kind of presentation about why you want one and what it means to you, as well as attestations by various senior leaders about your practice and so on but thats just a guess. I don't think they're generally for sale or given out on the basis of length of practice. There is at least one gohonzon "upgrade" available for SGI leaders who are interested- the lady who brought me back into SGI has one.
Thank you for the response. So, having an omamori is more about leadership than tenure?
narhwal90
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Re: Purpose of the Omamori Gohonzon.

Post by narhwal90 »

As far as I've seen, but I know next to nothing about the omamori process in SGI. I've seen references to them being loaned eg if you're on travel you can obtain a loaner for some fixed interval. If my district chief's was a loaner he had it for probably decades... so it might be that there are various conditions.
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