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The “nectar dharani” cultivates mindfulness of our Father in Heaven, as possessor and disperser of amrita the nectar of wisdom which brings about rebirth in Sukhavati Heaven and everlasting life. Nectar Dharani is known in other traditions by various names. The name Sukhavati Vyuha Dharani is often used. It is often referred to as Mantra To Rebirth In The Land of Pure Bliss.

Amrita had become for millions of shortcut-seekers a holy grail, a material drink (for the body) that bestows immortality and/or enlightenment. Wayists know that amrita is the medicine that heals the soul of its shortcomings and completes the process of enlightenment. This amrita is a nectar, concentrated, pure compassion. The soul with ever-increasing compassion is ever-increasing in wisdom. Compassion is love, it is not selfish, not proud, but selfless and humble. That is how true wisdom is learned.

Nectar Dharani asks the Lord for more amrita, for the gift of more selflessness, more simplicity, more humility and therefore an easing of the process of enlightenment. The partaker looks forward to soon join the Lord our Father in heaven.

Wayist dharani are the epitome of our devotional lives, our bhakti yoga. Regular practice leads devotees into the mystical realms where spiritual growth and sharing take place.

What Wayists call Nectar Dharani is also known by other names in other traditions. In Mahayana it is often called Pure Land Dharani, in Chinese Buddhism Amitabha Dharani and in Daoism Jingtu or Sukhavati Dharani.

On a personal note, speaking as a Wayist Teacher with more than 20 years experience; this dharani is in my opinion the most moving meditation that I can do, and transfer to my students. Fills me sometimes with almost unbearable compassion...and the gates of heaven open and close...

Sanskrit and Translations

The popular short version

Original

Text

namoamitābhāyatathāgatāyatadyathā
amṛtabhaveamṛtasaṃbhave
amṛtavikrānteamṛtavikrāntagāmini
gaganakīrtīcharesvāhā

1. Namo amitabhaya tathagataya tadyatha
2. amrta-dbhave
3. amrta-siddhajbhave
4. amrta-vikrante
5. amrta-vikranta
6. gamine gagana
7. kirta-kare
8. svaha

Translation

 

1. Hail Lord (arya) Resplendent Light (amitabha), (You who) abide in True reality, Lord of the Way (tathagataya tadyatha);
therefore we render:
To You Lord, who abide in true reality, Father in Heaven, Lord of the Way; to you we make supplication;
2. Amrita for material existence experiences and ecstasy
3. Amrita for the soul mysteries of the spiritual Way
4. Amrita of the heroes on the Way
5. Amrita of spiritual empowerment

6. Coming and going, the gates of heaven open and close
7. O Heaven! take my hand and lead me in
8. May this soon be so, I pray

Longer version

 

The longer version adds several more lines

9. amṛta dumdubhi svare,
Lord of wonderful Nectar,

10. sarvatha sādhane
I shall practice this spiritual routine all ways, by any means

11. sarva karma kleśa kṣayam kare
All karmic consequences and worldly troubles disappear when You take my hand

12. svāhā!
May this soon be so, I pray

The term Dharani

The word dharani धरणी, is not straightforward to translate. One needs context to select the right word.
Dharani means both earth and vein (or any tubular part of the body). Dharani is a vehicle. Earth is a vehicle in that it is a school for the soul, the soul moves through it and advances.
In Wayist spirituality, a dharani is a vein, a route from earth to heaven. We use it to open communication with spiritual beings. When performed with love, trust and conviction dharanis bring us in the presence of spiritual beings, always a moving and healing experience.

Scholars look upon dharanis as a short poetic expression of the essence of a Sutra. One can therefore understand a dharani to be a mantra that recalls the essence of a particular teaching, concept or philosophical principle. For the devotee in meditation, the dharani is none other than a place in which to lose the self and listen to spiritual beings with one’s spiritual mind.

Human life is busy. It is a battle for survival. In this school, there is constant movement from one lesson to another, taking on new courses all the time, learning as much as possible, seeking avenues to practice our wisdom and skills in humility, simplicity and compassion—taking tests, and retaking courses and tests that we failed. It is a challenge to keep one’s mind on the prize, on the purpose of all of this—the purpose of life. To this effect, the Wayist’s main tools to attune her mind to the true purpose of life are the sangha (or satsang, devotional community), the meditative chant and mala beads.
Dharanis are concise summaries of a larger body of teaching. They help us to get through our day ever mindful of the true Reality.

The Nectar Dharani (known to many in Buddhism as Pure Land Dharani or Amitābha Dharani) was written in Sanskrit in the 2nd century when the influences of Iesous’ Wayism found its own unique expressions in Buddhism. In dharani, words are chosen not only to impart greater meaning and speak to concepts but also for their ‘chant-ability’ and mnemonic qualities. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to translate a dharani and have it work well as a chantable poem. We stick to the ancient Sanskrit versions for its sense of antiquity and efficacy as dharani.

In this dharani, the mind and soul is drawn to workings of the school of life. Everything we do here, all the births that we have had and will take in the future are for the purpose of learning the wisdom skills of humility, simplicity and compassion. From all things that we experience we must distill the concentrated nectar—the wisdom of humility, simplicity and compassion.
This is a long and arduous process, often hard. Sometimes we have to live through exceptionally cruel lives, often very frightening and troublesome, as we continually fail tests and have to retake courses. However, Amitābha’s helpers can tutor us one-on-one; they can help us on the fast-track; if, and only if we make our soul-minds accessible to them. 

Dharani and mantras are good for that. Whenever we are accessibly attuned, spiritual helpers can transfer to us wisdom and peace, they can give us little drops of that nectar; that concentrated wisdom which we need to excel on this path to spiritual perfection. That is why we partake in this dharani several times a day, every day.

 

Not to Hurt...

Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) Is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission: To be of service to them whenever they require it. St. Francis of Assisi

My Favourite Rendition of Nectar Dharani

 

1. Namo amitabhaya tathagataya tadyatha
2. amrta-dbhave
3. amrta-siddhajbhave
4. amrta-vikrante
5. amrta-vikranta
6. gamine gagana
7. kirta-kare
8. svaha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist: Imee Ooi

Label: Wind Records, Taiwan

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