mighty flame dharani (satb)

Catalog ID: S-467
Translation: buddhist mantra
First Line: namah samanta buddhanam
Composer: reed criddle
Author: buddhist recitation
Voicing: satb
Accompaniment: wood block
Language: sanskrit
Country: taiwan
Other: new 2020


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Program Notes

Adhāraṇī is the Sanskrit word for a spoken recitation whose syllables and sounds hold psychological and spiritual power in their utterance. In this sense, a dhāraṇī is synonymous with the word “mantra.” Its purpose is to elevate or free the mind. Its oration is also intended to help others.

Mighty Flame Dharani (Sanskrit: Jvala Mahaugra Dharani; Chinese: 消災 吉祥神咒), can be recited in unexpected situations to resolve conflicts due to negative karmic relationships from the past (e.g. lawsuits, financial loss, serious fights, and sudden illness). This mantra is also intended to dispel impending disasters and comfort those with nightmares. For this reason, the Chinese title translates into English as “Eliminating Misfortune Mantra.” If one were to follow custom, he or she would repeat this mantra continuously twenty-one, twenty-seven, or forty-nine times.

In Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, Mighty Flame Dharani is the second of the
Ten Short Mantras (十小咒), typically recited in morning chanting services at
Buddhist temples. One of the more esoteric traditions in Chinese Buddhism, these short mantras are believed to have been codified by a monk named Master Yulin (
玉琳國師). Yulin was the spiritual teacher of Emperor Shunzhi (1638 – 1661), the third emperor of the Qing dynasty. Under Yulin’s tutelage, the Emperor converted to Buddhism, having previously relied on a Jesuit missionary—Johann Adam Schall von Bell of Cologne—for religious, political, astronomical, and technological counsel.

This piece was composed at Dharma Drum Mountain Monastery & Institute for Liberal Arts near Jinshan, Taiwan in February 2018.

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