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Glossary - individual


Ten-Line Kannon Sutra (Jikku kannon gyō 十句觀音經)

Also known as Life-Extending Ten-Line Kannon Sutra (Enmyō jikku kannon gyō 延命十句觀音經).

paying homage to Buddha,
forged a causal connection with Buddha,
a karmic affinity with Buddha,
a karmic affinity with Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
thus attaining permanence, ease, selfhood, and purity.
In the morning think of Kanzeon,
in the evening think of Kanzeon.
Thought after thought arises from mind;
thought after thought is not separate from mind.
kan ze on  觀世音
na mu butsu  南無佛
yo butsu u in  與佛有因
yo butsu u en  與佛有縁
butsu ho so en  佛法僧縁
jo raku ga jo  常樂我淨
cho nen kan ze on  朝念觀世音
bo nen kan ze on  暮念觀世音
nen nen ju shin ki  念念從心起
nen nen fu ri shin  念念不離心

The first six lines of this verse establish the bodhisattva Kannon (Kanzeon) as a being worthy of "mindful remembrance" (nen 念, S. smti) and prayers for help, typically by calling his name in "mindful recitation" (nen 念): "Homage to Kanzeon Bodhisattva" (namu Kanzeon Bosa 南無觀世音菩薩). Lines three and four play on the term innen 因縁, which in Buddhist philosophy refers to "immediate causes (in 因) and enabling conditions (en 縁)," but in common Japanese parlance means something like "karmic affinity." "Permanence, ease, selfhood, and purity" (jō raku ga jō 常樂我淨) are the four attributes of nirvana, which is free from the impermanence (mujō 無常), suffering (ku 苦), lack of self (muga 無我), and impurity (fujō 不淨) that characterizes all things ( 法. S. dharmas) in the round of birth and death (shōji生死, S. sasāra). The final two lines turn away from Kanzeon as an object of devotion and focus attention on the mind (one's own mind) in which thoughts of that bodhisattva arise: that mind, in its essence, is nothing other than the buddha-mind (busshin 佛心) itself. This combination of devotional and introspective practice was typical of the Buddhism of Ming dynasty (1644-1912) China, which had a big influence on Japanese Zen

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