The Wailuku Hongwanji Mission’s (WHM) Board of Directors initiated the Vision 2030 project as a means of defining strategic directions which will enable WHM to successfully increase its capacity to serve as a vibrant home of Jodo Shinshu teachings. More information...
The year 2019 marks Wailuku Hongwanji’s 120th year of spiritual and community service to our island’s residents. As part of this significant milestone, we will be undertaking two (2) projects intended to sustain the temple’s capacity to serve our community for another generation. More Information... Download the WHM Donation Form
Hi everyone. I hope you are rejoicing in the spiritual blessing of the Nembutsu through Amida’s great wisdom and compassion. This month, I would like to share with you my understanding of Nembutsu.
When we come to the temple or attend a religious gathering, we recite the Nembutsu. However, if someone asks you, "What is the Nembutsu?" How would you answer that question? I believe that many of you may not be able to answer the question and that you may find it difficult to explain something about Jodo Shinshu. It’s like someone trying to explain the difference between Amida Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha. Some of you may know the answer while others may be reluctant to answer. "If I give the wrong answer, I may be embarrassed.”
As Jodo Shinshu followers, we should know that Amida Buddha is "Infinite Light and Life" which is our homage and Shakyamuni Buddha is the person who attained Enlightenment and explained to us about Amida’s great wisdom and compassion.
Let me share with you my interpretation of the Nembutsu. Nembutsu is written with two Chinese characters. The first letter "Nem" is originally "Sati" in Sanskrit and it is means "to learn" or "to deeply think" or "to be very careful" or "to realize" and the second letter "Butsu" which is the Buddha or Enlightened One. So, the term "Nembutsu" means, "Deeply thinking of the Buddha, to learn Buddha’s true heart which is his guidance. So for us, Nembutsu means to "recite Amida Buddha’s Holy Name with true a mind of gratitude and appreciation." This is a simple and direct translation of Nembutsu.