Nichiren Shu ritual procedure
Description of procedures for various Nichiren shu rituals.
▼ Gassho & Shashu
Fingers and palms of both hands joined - indicates reverence and sincere devotion to the Buddha.
While it is being assumed,the body must be held upright without leaning in any direction.
Fingers and palms of both hands are pressed close together.
The hands are held so that the tips of the idle fingers are at throat height.
The second joints of the thumbs press lightly against the chest.
The elbows are not spread unnecessarily wide.
Left hand covers the back of the right hand.
The thumbs interlock, and the hands are held near the solar plexus.
Sashu takes the place of Gassho when chanting sutras.
When reading long sutras, it is very difficult to stay in Gassho all the time.
Therefore, Gassho is changed to Shashu at the third bell after the start of the sutra.
This does not mean resting your hands, so even if you are doing Shashu, do Shashu properly and chant sutras.
When you hear the bell for ending the sutra, hands back to Gassho.
Hold Juzu in two loops with the left thumb and index finger.
At times other than services and ceremonies, they may be wrapped around the left wrist.
During the kanjō, shōdai, ekō,
place the large bead with two tassels on the first knuckle of the middle finger of your right hand,
twist the juzu once and place the large bead with three tassels on the first knuckle of the middlefinger of your left hand,
then put your palms together in gasshō.
Juzu has been used as the most familiar Buddhist ritual tool since ancient times.
Juzu is also called "zuzu (Nichiren shonin used to call it like that)" or nenju (praying beads), and the types of Juzu currently differ depending on each sect of Japanese Buddhism, and there are more than 70 types.
Each beads has a meaning.
Deshi dama: It is said to represent the ten great disciples of the Buddha
and the ten bodhisattvas.
Yuima dama: Yuima, or Jomyo, is one of Buddha's disciples. He is also a famous disciple from Yuima sutra. He is a disciple who didn’t Shukke (become a priest) unlike the other ten disciples. It is said that Yuima bead is separated from other disciple beads because he didn’t Shukke.
Tahou and Shaka beads: Tahou and Shaka beads is also called Boju (mother beads). When you twist the Juzu during the Invocation, Odaimoku, and Eko, these Boju will be located in the first joint of the middle finger. Gassho represents the treasure tower, and the position of Boju is the position where Tahou and Shaka Nyorai are sitting in the treasure tower. It represents the treasure tower of Chapter 11.
Shitenju: It represent Four heavenly kings, or Four Bodhisattvas.
Kazutori beads: Kazutori consists of 10 beads. This is a bead for counting accurately when chanting Odaimoku. Since in Nichiren shu, we chant Odaimoku a lot so the Doshi uses Kazutori to count it accurately. Kazutori's beads can be moved because there is a gap between the beads. The reason why Kazutori should be in the left hand when chanting Odaimoku is to use the right finger to move the Kazutori beades. Kazutori is only attached to Juzu of Nichiren shu. This shows how important Odaimoku is to the Nichiren shu.
▼ Basic movement for Shomyo
Fukuhai-chōsoku (Five Point Prostration)
Fukuhai is the ultimate expression of reverence.
Standing straight with gasshō, take a half step back on your right foot.
Bring your left foot in line with your right foot.
Lightly take your robe at about knee height in each hand. First put your right then your left knee on the floor to assume jōki.
Slowly lower your upper body forward. Holding your palms upward, with fingers straight, bend until your arms are on the floor, elbows touching the outside of the kneecaps.
Simultaneously lower your head until your forehead touches the floor.
Then raise your hands to the height of your ears as if offering one's palms for the Buddha to stand on.
After chōsoku, go back to jōki with hands in gasshō.
▼ Kiribi purification
Since ancient times in Japan, “Kiri-bi" have been used to purify evil
spirits and ghosts.
The sparks from Kiri-bi is the only "weapon" that non-Shuhosshi (non-exorcists) can use to purify the evil.
Sparks may not be good at first, but by practicing many times, not only your skills but also your Hou-riki (Dharma power) will be strengthened.
Practice slowly so as not to hurt your hands.
First, spark three times to the left while chanting the Odaimoku.
Then do it 3 times to the right and finally 3 times in the middle.
When purifying people, be sure to spark them downwards.
If you spark toward a person, the crucked stone will get in to the eyes of the person, so be sure to do it downward.
If the sparks doesn't come out well, hit the flint stone a little diagonally.
There are various types of rocks used for Kiribi, but the most powerful Kiribi will be using a crystals.