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Sogenji monastery

祝聖 Shukushin

On the first and fifteen of every month the sangha wears white socks or Tabi for the morning service (Choka). The tradition originated in China, where most monasteries were build and supported by the country, so to pray for the welfare of the country was quite understandable. Later this ceremony got changed in Japan as to also express one´s gratitude for the founder of a monastery. In Sogenji a special order of sutras is read standing, with the main Eko (offering chant) as follows:

The golden-bodied Buddha, noble King of Enlightenment
and sole Honored One of the three realms, is venerated by all beings. 
On this auspicious occasion of the first [middle] day of the month,
the entire monastic community has gathered together in Sogenji
and recited the (name of sutra).
With the merit thus gained we duly honor Shakamuni Buddha,
the Lord of Great Grace and Teacher of the World.
We humbly request his all-embracing compassion and eternal virtue,
and sincerely pray for the flourishing of the True Dharma,
peace throughout the land, harmony between nations,
and the beneficial fulfillment of all karmic connections.
The Diamond Buddha of Eternal Life, benevolent rulers, Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas,
The Great Prajna Paramita.

After the morning service, the whole sangha goes in line to the Kaisando, where the priest Zetsugai Osho, who was invited from Kyoto to be the first abbot of Sogenji, died in 1701, has his grave and the Kaisando was built on top of it.



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