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Special Buddhist Ritual: The Oko Ceremony

“Oko” generally means a ritual assembly to recite sutras, to offer prayers, and to preach the teachings of Buddhism in order to praise a particular Buddha or object of worship.

In Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, we conduct the Oko Ceremony to repay our debt of gratitude for the profound benefit of the three treasures: Nichiren Daishonin (the Buddha), the Dai-Gohonzon (the Law), and Nikko Shonin (the priesthood). The Oko Ceremony is conducted at the Head Temple Taisekiji three times during the month: on the seventh to commemorate the memorial anniversary of the Second High Priest, Nikko Shonin, who established the Head Temple; on the 13th, which is the memorial day of the True Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin; and on the 15th to mark the memorial of the Third High Priest, Nichimoku Shonin.

The Oko Ceremony held at local Nichiren Shoshu Temples has the same significance as the three ceremonies held at the Head Temple. The ceremony begins with an offering of traditional foods to the three treasures (Kenzen) and is then followed by the recitation of the Hoben and Juryo chapters of the Lotus Sutra. After chanting (Daimoku) and offering the silent prayers, the chief priest gives a lecture on true Buddhism. Priests and lay believers enhance their faith, practice, and study through this ceremony and renew their determination to accomplish worldwide propagation of true Buddhism in order to repay their debt of gratitude.

Visit Myosenji Temple

We hold a series of Introductory lectures every month at our Buddhist Temple. Meetings are open to the public and free. Please check our calendar page for a list of our upcoming meetings.

On Sunday, June 16th, our Chief Priest will lecture on Buddhism’s Beliefs. Meeting begins at 2:00 pm.

Excerpted: Nichiren Shoshu Ceremonies, p.52.