Question on the Nembutsu

Site-Wide Activity Forums Shrine Room Buddhist Q&A Question on the Nembutsu

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Michael Sabani 2 years, 8 months ago.

  • Author
  • #1505

    Michael Sabani

    Hi! Question, I’ve read the Nembutsu as being “Namu Amida Butsu”. Is there a difference between that and “Namo Amida Bu”? Just wondering why they are different.

    Thank you!

  • #1506

    Hi Michael,

    Namo Amida Butsu is a transliteration from Japanese. If you hear it being pronounced by a Japanese person you can hardly hear the last syllable ‘tsu’ at all. So what looks like two syllables sounds like one, pretty much. It follows that all of the Japanese nembutsu chants are six syllables, ‘Na’, ‘mo’, ‘A’, ‘mi’, ‘da’, and ‘butsu’ being a single syllable on the end.

    For this reason it was decided that ‘Namo Amida Bu’ makes more sense in English, as we don’t know how to say ‘butsu’ which English speakers often read as two syllables.

    This way we can use all of the Japanese six syllable chants easily.


  • #1509

    Michael Sabani

    Thank you for that answer! It had been nagging at me. Very clear now. Appreciate it!

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