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Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:31 pm
by gordtheseeker
Hello

I have been doing some nembutsu and I do struggle with the 'Amitabha Buddha'. It's almost like a tongue twister for me. I see some use 'Amida Buddha' or 'Amida Butsu'. Just curious if there is any difference between them. I would like to use Amida as it's much easier to recite.

Thanks! :sage:

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:57 pm
by Sennin
I prefer to use Namu Amida Butsu, because of the way it flows, ive been chanting sanskrit mantras for years and i just like the flow of the nembutsu. I use to experiment with Namo Amitabha Buddhaya, thats a pretty good flow if u like the sanskrit.

I like the japanese because of Bodhisattva Honen.

But this is my experience, try and see what u like best.

My 2cents

Peace

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:45 pm
by kirtu
Namu Amida Butsu (Japanese) = Namo Amitabha Buddha (Sanskrit)

In Sanskrit there is also Namo Amitabhaya. Some may be able to comment on the possible Sanskrit variations.

Kirt

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:00 am
by Admin_PC
gordtheseeker wrote:Hello

I have been doing some nembutsu and I do struggle with the 'Amitabha Buddha'. It's almost like a tongue twister for me. I see some use 'Amida Buddha' or 'Amida Butsu'. Just curious if there is any difference between them. I would like to use Amida as it's much easier to recite.

Thanks! :sage:
Pronunciation shouldn't be an issue.
I like the Chinese versions: "Omitoufo" or "Namo Amitoufo", but at my temple we practice longer, slower, rhythmic chant of "Namo Amitabha Buddha".
The longer version feels a little more natural right now because that's how we practice.
108 repetitions for me, is more than double the amount of time for 108 repetitions of "Omitoufo", probably longer.
Not sure either method is better in the short term, but the longer method seems like it may take longer (more repetitions) to get to single pointed concentration & beyond.
Ultimately, all of them are equally valid, so it doesn't really matter - though some day I may mix it up.
I know nienfo/nembutsu/Buddha-name recitation is not quite the same as a mantra, but I think this story from Lama Zopa Rinpoche fits the situation:
http://www.zimbio.com/Buddhism/articles/CfFLpwH8cq6/Chanting+Mantras wrote:A HERMIT AND A MONK:

A monk visited a hermit, who lived alone on an island doing retreat. The hermit had given himself three years to complete chanting ten million of the powerful six-syllable mantra of the Compassionate Buddha. The hermit had been told that attaining this level of practice would awaken his yogic powers. The mantra was "OM MANI PADME HUM".

The monk listened as the hermit did his mantra and, with the best intention in the world, leaned over to him and whispered:

"I think you have got the pronunciation wrong. This mantra should be chanted this way..." and he proceeded to demonstrate. The hermit listened attentively and then watched as the monk walked back to his boat to leave the island.

Ten minutes later when the boat was halfway across the river the monk heard his name being called, and looking around, he spied the hermit and heard him call:

"Listen to this, have I got it right now?" and the hermit proceeded to chant the same mantra but with the monk's intonation. Astounded, the monk turned around and saw the hermit walking on the water next to his boat. In that instant he realized that the hermit's faith and sincerity had given his mantra recitation far more power than he had realized.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:52 pm
by gordtheseeker
Thanks guys! Great info. Much appreciated. :)

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:45 pm
by Seishin
I like the Japanese personally. "Namo Amida Butsu" should sound roughly "nah-moh Ah-mee-dah Boot-soo" :smile:

Gassho,
Seishin.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:24 am
by gordtheseeker
Thanks guys! Appreciate it greatly!

I have been liking Namu Amitābhāya. Although I am not quite sure on sure on pronuciation. Is it ah-meh-tah-bye-yah?

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:22 am
by Admin_PC
gordtheseeker wrote:Thanks guys! Appreciate it greatly!

I have been liking Namu Amitābhāya. Although I am not quite sure on sure on pronuciation. Is it ah-meh-tah-bye-yah?
nah - mu . ah - mee - tah - bah - yah

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:00 pm
by gordtheseeker
Thank you Porkchop! :namaste:

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:09 pm
by cj39
The Jodo Shu uses "Na Mu Ah Mi Da Bu" while Shin Buddhism tends to use the shortened version, "Na Man Da Bu". I tend to go with the former though in times of stress, the latter is also helpful.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:42 pm
by shaunc
Yesterday on youtube I heard a girl with an amazingly beautiful voice. She was chanting the chinese version "namo amitoufo". Since I heard her I've been practising it that way. It's my understanding however that it doesn't really matter in what language or tone you chant, the important thing is to do it.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:49 pm
by Sādhaka
What is the definitive original Sanskrit pronunciation directly from the original Sutra?

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:57 pm
by Wicked Yeshe
Try it in your native language.

"Jag tar tillflykt i Amitabha Buddha. Det oändliga ljusets Tathāgata som översköljer dom tio riktningarna."

For example.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:46 am
by Fortyeightvows
Admin_PC wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:00 am
we practice longer, slower, rhythmic chant of "Namo Amitabha Buddha".
I'm very curious where they are doing this.

My friend told me at hsi lai they have an english service where they do this, he might have even said that they are actually saying "homage" or "praise" or something like that.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:50 pm
by Admin_PC
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:46 am
Admin_PC wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:00 am
we practice longer, slower, rhythmic chant of "Namo Amitabha Buddha".
I'm very curious where they are doing this.
It's a Vietnamese Tiantai temple. It's the main temple I go to locally, but they changed their service times before I moved back so I rarely have the opportunity to practice there anymore.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:32 pm
by Sentient Light
Admin_PC wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:50 pm

It's a Vietnamese Tiantai temple. It's the main temple I go to locally, but they changed their service times before I moved back so I rarely have the opportunity to practice there anymore.
Is there a recording anywhere of this style? I'm just curious if it's the same rhythm/pitch as I'm familiar with, which I'm not sure I'd call "slow", but that may just be because it's what I consider "normal" ? lol.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:28 pm
by Admin_PC
Sorry. Best I got is a full service. Around 12:06 there's a Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya chant that has a similar cadence - but not exactly the same rhythm.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:53 am
by arrau76
Admin_PC wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:00 am
...
I like the Chinese versions: "Omitoufo" or "Namo Amitoufo",
...
Me too, I usually recite "Namo Amituofo".
What does "Omituofo" mean ? "Amituofo" ("Amitabha Buddha") or "Namo Amituofo" ("Namo Amitabha Buddha") ?

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:31 pm
by Admin_PC
arrau76 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:53 am
Me too, I usually recite "Namo Amituofo".
What does "Omituofo" mean ? "Amituofo" ("Amitabha Buddha") or "Namo Amituofo" ("Namo Amitabha Buddha") ?
Yes, "Omitoufo" is just how "Amituofo" sounds to me sometimes.

Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:59 am
by 如傑優婆塞
What does "Omituofo" mean ? "Amituofo" ("Amitabha Buddha") or "Namo Amituofo" ("Namo Amitabha Buddha") ?
It's all the same meaning for Amitabha but depending on which part of Sinosphere and group one is in plus dialect differences in pronouncing the same name in Standard Chinese. At one time I recall there was that meaningless squabble in certain factions about which one is the best: Ahmituofo (some even squabble over should there be 'Ah' sound or just the short 'A' or the 'Ar') or Ohmituofo or Ermituofo. Then, there's the other one on 佛... is it fo or fu or fe ('fir' / 'fur') ... Don't get me started about the other rabbit hole when it comes to other Chinese dialects...

I doubt that the 48 Great Vows had all these inane Sinosphere pronunciation and dialect issues in mind... :rolleye: