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SOTOZEN.COM > Archivio > Glossario (Inglese) > Verses of Food Offering

Glossario (Inglese)


Verses of Food Offering (Sejiki ge 施食偈)

Verses chanted at meal times. The "offering of food" (sejiki 施食) refers primarily to donations made to a monastery by lay supporters, although the monks ritually extend those offering to all sentient beings.

• gruel time (shukuji 粥時) (breakfast) verse:

This morning gruel has ten benefits
that richly profit the practitioner.
Its fruit is boundless:
a supreme and lasting ease.
shu yu jiri  粥有十利
nyoi an jin  饒益行人
kohō buhen  果報無邊
kyu kin jo ra  究寛常樂

The "ten benefits" (jūri 十利) are: (1) good physical appearance (shoku 色), (2) strength (riki 力), (3) long life (ju 壽), (4) bodily ease (raku 樂), (5) a clear voice (chōseiben 調清辯), (6) prevention of indigestion (shukushokujo 宿食除), (7) prevention of colds (fūjo 風除), (8) elimination of hunger (kishō 飢消), (9) elimination of thirst (kasshō 渇消), and (10) healthy defecation and urination (daishōben chōteki 大小便調適). "Lasting ease" (jōraku 常樂) refers both to the physical well-being that results from the meal and to the ultimate well-being that is nirvana.

main meal time (saiji 齋時) (midday meal) verse:

This food of three virtues and six flavors
is given to Buddha and his sangha.
May sentient beings throughout the dharma realm
be equally nourished by this offering.
sante rumi  三徳六味
shifu gisun  施佛及僧
hakai ujin  法界有情
fuzun kyun nyo  普同供養

The "three virtues" (santoku 三徳) of food are that it is: (1) light and soft (keinan 輕軟), (2) pure and clean (jōketsu 淨潔), and (3) in accordance with the rules (nyohō 如法), i.e. the dietary restrictions that pertain to alcohol, meat, hot peppers, alliums, etc. The "six flavors" (rokumi 六味) are (1) bitter (ku 苦), (2) sour (saku 醋), (3) sweet (kan 甘), (4) hot (shin 辛), (5) salty (kan 鹹), and (6) bland (tan 淡). The point of this verse is to accept the food that has been donated to the monastic community by lay patrons and to offer (kuyō 供養) it in turn to all sentient beings. It may also be construed as a verse in which the merit produced by donations of food to the sangha is dedicated (ekō 囘向) to all sentient beings.