Date & Time:
- 25 September 2021, 2 pm
- 26 September 2021, 1 pm
Enter: Facebook Livestream
The Significance of the Higan-e Ceremony
In Japan, during the equinoctial week, Higan is a day when people visit family gravesites and honor their ancestors.
The crossing from “this shore” to the “other shore” is called to-higan (literally “arriving at the shore on the other side”). This term, to-higan, is a Japanese translation of the Sanskrit word paramita. It describes the necessary practices a person must carry out from the shore on this side, into the world of enlightenment. Buddhism, in general, explains that the six paramitas (six perfections, or six kinds of practices) are the means to arrive at the shore on the other side (Higan). These six paramitas are giving, observing the precepts, forbearance, assiduousness, meditation, and wisdom.
In “The True Object of Worship” (“Kanjin no honzon-sho”), Nichiren Daishonin referred to the following passage from the Sutra of Infinite Meanings (Muryogi-kyo): “Even if you are unable to practice the six paramitas, you will be able to manifest them naturally.” (Gosho,p.652) This means that, by embracing the Gohonzon, we will be able to naturally get the benefits of practicing the six paramitas and ultimately arrive at the Higan (“shore on the other side”). This represents attaining enlightenment in our present form.
During the Higan-e Ceremony, we present our Gokuyo offerings to the Gohonzon and we request toba memorial tablets for our deceased ancestors. This is a practice of great virtue that becomes a cause for us to arrive at the shore on the other side-enabling us to attain enlightenment.
Extracted from “The significance of the Higan-e ceremony, 5 September 2021”, Okyobi Ceremony
New to Nichiren Shoshu and interested to join in our ceremonies and daily chanting sessions? Do reach out to us here so we can assist you directly!