Anybody can help me with zange prayer ....

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Hi Shilpa,
Zange is Buddhist apology, but check for its authenticity, also please verify if it is recommended or approved by SGI or BSG.

I am grateful for all the links at this discussion and for ZANGE.doc also.

About Zange.doc, yes, I see "that I alone am responsible for raising my life condition" -- otherwise, I would not be free to realize my Buddha nature. I can even accept that it is all "my responsibility" and certainly that "I can turn poison into medicine" (acknowledging also great debts of gratitude in that regard).

But "my karma forced them to behave that way"? I am not sure that MY karma "forced" anyone to behave in any particular way. That seems to me too much like predestination, as though karma operated mechanistically with all of us cogs in the wheels. To me, the workings of karma are more organic than mechanical.


I am free, but so are THEY. True, I can control my own mind, but even MY karma cannot force ME to behave in any particular way -- why should I imagine that MY karma forced anyone else to do anything? Maybe OUR karma, sure, but MY karma? The distinction between myself and other -- is that not a delusion, although also a part of daily life?

I dunno ... someone please tell me if I am misunderstanding ... here's where it is, for me --

"If you truly fear the sufferings of birth and death and yearn for nirvana, if you carry out your faith and thirst for the way, then the sufferings of change and impermanence will become no more than yesterday’s dream, and the awakening of enlightenment will become today’s reality. If only you chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, then what offense could fail to be eradicated? What blessing could fail to come?" (WND, page  130, 'Conversation Between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man' Part I'')

I learn from my dreams that I remember in the morning.


Also, I know myself to be the unenlightened man, and the guidance is intended for me.

hey thnx so much sanjeev, ya wud defnlty chk ..was mentiond by a frnd so thout to chk abt te same,
"In Sanskrit it is called Kshama. Sometimes pronounced zange, although strictly speaking sange is correct. Generally, to acknowledge one's faults shortcomings or past misdeeds and seek to correct or make amends for them. The Sanskrit kshama appears often in the sutras. In early Buddhism a gathering called upavasatha or poshadha (Jap fusatsu) was held on the fifeenth and thirtieth days of each month, where any member of the Buddhist order who violated the precepts apologized before the monastic community with the aim of purifying his mind. This act of apology was called kshama or sange." A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts

Fortunately, the Daishonin's Buddhism provides us with a way to bring forth this powerful life force and wisdom. The power of our Buddhist practice also enables us to transform negative karma or circumstances into a motivating force for creating great future benefit and reward. Faith and practice enable a change of destiny and the accumulation of good fortune. The key to breaking through the wall of our bad karma and creating future happiness lies only in ourselves—in our own actions.
Nichiren Daishonin writes in "On Prolonging Life" that "sincere repentance will eradicate even immutable karma, to say nothing of karma which is mutable" (The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 229).

"Sincere repentance" here means to repeatedly refresh our determination to dedicate ourselves to the Law of Buddhism by continually carrying out the practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for our sake and for that of others. This is the purpose of our SGI organization—to provide many people with support in doing just this. When we freely engage ourselves in chanting daimoku and in SGI activities, powerful vitality will emerge from within us. Not only will we break the restraints of our past karma, we will also build a rock-solid foundation of good fortune and happiness for the future.
Best regards...

Thank you for quote from 'On Prolonging One's Life Span'.


This sutra is at pp. 954-956 of online WND

Deep Sange (Zange)
Dick Causton, late Director General of SGI-UK
UKE July 1985

"Sincere repentance will eradicate even immutable karma, to say nothing of karma which is mutable" ('On prolonging life', M.W. Vol. 1, p.229)

What does Sange really mean? Most people would answer, "It means apologising to the Gohonzon". "But apologising to whom and to what?" we reasonably reply. "After all, Gohonzon isn't God, so why should I have to apologise, especially if it is for something I did in a past life which I don't even know about? Sounds like confession!"

Yet the Gosho persists: "Even with small slanders, the Konichibo Gosho reads "if you do not do sange you cannot avoid falling into the evil paths. But even if you committed heavy slander, if you do sange then you can expiate your sins". (Gosho Zenshu p.926) Whilst the Gosho Reply to Ota Nyudo declares: "The Nirvana Sutra, referring to the Lotus Sutra states, 'Even slander of the True Law will be eradicated if one repents and professes faith in the True Law… He should devote himself to the True Law, because no other teaching can save and protect him'." (M.W. Vol.2, p.250)

What then, does sange truly mean and how can we actually do it, deep in our lives?

Those who have felt that sange sounds like confession can certainly be fully excused for their misconceptions, for sange, a word used in ancient Buddhist scriptures, was adopted much later in history by Christian missionaries in Japan as meaning "to regret past sins and confess them to a priest or God". It is not surprising therefore, that for us born into the Christian tradition in the West, sange can easily be misinterpreted. The original Buddhist definition of this word however, is totally different. It is contained in the "Bodhisattva Fugen Sutra" and reads as follows: "If you wish to do sange sit upright and meditate on the true entity of life". This is further defined in Buddhist terms as "pondering the cause of your past slander and sin due to your ignorance and illusions about life. Thus by realising the true aspect of your life and revealing your Buddha wisdom, you can then do sange".

In other words, rather than apology, sange is to recognise with your whole heart and with inevitable regret, that your present suffering is due to an inherent cause in your life, which not only led you to slander the Gohonzon in your past lives but also continues to cause you to do so in this life. In this context, to understand the true meaning of sange it is necessary to appreciate three important points:

A. That Buddhism explains in the Ten Factors of Life that the Law of Cause and Effect manifests itself in four different ways. They are Noyze-in, Noyze-en, Noyze-ka and Nyoze-ho - the inherent cause, the external cause, the latent effect and the manifest effect.

As an example of this, if you stir what looks like a glass of pure water with a spoon and it becomes murky, the cause of its murkiness is not the spoon (which is the external cause) but the fact that there is dirt in the water (inherent cause). Thus what Buddhism is concerned with is not the spoon but the dirt in the water, which is our unhappy karma. From this it becomes clear, that it doesn't matter in the least what we actually did in the past, i.e., the external cause - hating someone or stopping someone from practising; what matters is the inherent cause which made us behave like this, because this same inherent cause may still exist deep in our life and therefore is causing us suffering now.

B. Slandering the Law is not only speaking against Buddhism, hating someone, preventing
someone from practising or causing disunity amongst members, even though these may be some of the most evil forms. Slander is in fact any action which involves disrespect for life.

Thus pollution, injustice, misusing another person's possessions or money and of course, murder or other criminal acts, are all slander. Even to misuse one's body by eating and drinking too much is slander. Because we all possess the six lower worlds, especially the Three Evil Paths in our lives, we cannot, in fact, help committing small slanders even when we are practising, which is one of the main reasons why 'practise like flowing water' is so important; thereby we continually make great causes which offset our inadvertent slander.

C. Whereas there can be a myriad different forms of external causes of slandering the Law and it is usually quite impossible and indeed, truly unnecessary and undesirable to try to imagine which particular ones we committed in the past, the inherent cause is in fact, unbelievably simple and fundamental. It is one of the Three Poisons which beset our lives and every other human life in this world. In other words, it is either greed, anger or ignorance of the true meaning and nature of life itself; that ignorance which breeds not only blind stupidity but fear - especially fear for the unknown.

Why should we suffer from greed or anger or fear? There is only one answer isn't there? We are greedy and try to grab all we can in this life; we manifest anger in the form of arrogance or contempt because we wish to wield power; we are fearful and lack confidence in ourselves erecting barriers and screens to hide our true nature - only because we doubt (in other words, slander) the unlimited power of the Gohonzon and especially that it exists nowhere else but in ourselves.

If we knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Gohonzon - the Buddha state, source of all courage, wisdom, compassion and good fortune - shone within us, anger, greed and ignorance or fear would naturally be overcome and with them, the sufferings we are undergoing because of them.

This is exactly as the Lotus Sutra declared: "If you wish to do sange, sit upright and meditate on the true entity of life, and all your offences will vanish like frost and dewdrops in the sunlight of enlightened wisdom". The true entity of life is of course, the Gohonzon or Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Perhaps it is now becoming clear that deep sange is the process of:

- "Pondering the true aspect of our lives" in our daimoku, realizing that the only possible cause which can have the effect of preventing us from seeing our Buddha nature at work must always be past slander.

- Realising that this same inherent cause still exists in our life today because we were born with it as part of our karma having failed to overcome it in our previous lives, thus perpetuating this suffering.

- Recognising that the only way to overcome the effects of this poison is to struggle to fully trust the Gohonzon and bring ourselves to realise above all, that the Buddha nature actually exists in us. In other words to understand what is meant by the words in the Gosho: "Abutsubo is the Treasure Tower itself and the Treasure Tower is Abutsubo himself". (M.W. Vol.1, p.30)

- Through this recognition of the true cause of our sufferings, to regret our arrogance and ignorance with our whole hearts. This very act of deeply regretting is a quite natural and spontaneous reaction to our discovery that our sufferings are due to nothing else but slandering the Gohonzon and the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin.

- Determining with a deep sense of gratitude for the good fortune which has led us to the Gohonzon in this life, to work for kosen rufu wholeheartedly exactly as the Buddha taught from now on, in order to feel and realise the full power of the Gohonzon; at the same time, asking for actual proof of the Buddha nature working in us where previously we slandered and doubted.

- Through this actual proof, freeing our Buddha nature from the awful constrictions of our slander and doubts thereby finding true and lasting joy in life and in the limitless power of the Gohozon. This is the process often described as "reflection, repentance, appreciation, determination and devoted practice which is called zange".

Thus true Buddhism with its brilliant light, penetrates beyond the surface matters and external causes, to the depths of life - to the very source of our agony - turning sufferings into enlightenment and poison into good medicine - as we determinedly chant daimoku, not with lingering guilt but with the resolve that we should at least feel and realise that the Buddha state is actively working in our lives. As we do so the ignorance on which greed, anger and fear have fed themselves for so long, disappears as our faith grows stronger and we become free.

"If the Japanese repent, they will be like King Ajatashatru who became a devout follower of Buddhism, thereby curing his own leprosy and prolonging his life by forty years. Like Ajatashatru, they will profess faith in spite of their earlier disbelief, and awaken to the eternity of life". (M.W. Vol.1, p.154)

It is of course, valuable to do a form of sange every day during gongyo, expressing our sincere regret for any slander we have committed, knowingly or unknowingly, in the past. Needless to say, this should be heartfelt, not automatic and should always be followed by our fresh determinations to fulfil the Buddha's will for kosen rufu.

However it is important we realise that this is not deep sange as described in this article. This is a most profound experience in that it is directed towards a particular aspect of our karma and brings about a radical change in our lives, through the actual proof of our Buddha nature at work in an area in which we have never seen it in action before. Indeed it is this actual proof living vividly in our minds that will prevent this tendency to slander from taking control of our minds again.

We may need to do such a deep sange again to change our karma in some other area of our lives but it is unlikely to be something we could achieve every day. For to achieve such a deep and specific sange is usually a struggle over a period of time to bring the reality of the fact that one is a slanderer from just a passing thought or theory in our minds, to a reality which fills our whole lives with deep regret, gratitude for having the Gohonzon and determination to work for kosen rufu as we have never worked before. Once achieved it is as if the bars of a prison in which we have been incarcerated for as long as we can remember, have suddenly fallen away.

Mr. Satorno Izumi, vice-president of the Soka Gakkai, who wrote Guidelines in Faith and has practised for over fifty years, once said, as an example, that if you stole a watch twenty years ago, you are bound at some point to feel really sorry for this when you are in front of the Gohonzon and express your sincere regret whilst chanting daimoku. However this is not necessarily a deep and specific sange aimed at rooting out the inherent cause for stealing. Such a deep sange is a total realisation of the way in which you have hurt that person's life as well as your own, followed by an overwhelming desire to give him ten thousand gold watches if you could only do so, in order to overcome the sufferings which you now realise the inherent cause for this action has brought to you in this and many other different ways throughout your life.


Thank you, Frankie!


Most wonderful words from Dick Causton!


Also, thank you for link to Amsterdam Geshu! I am sure that this will provide inspiring materials to share with fellow members here in California.



From UK Express October 1992

Sally Ratcliffe asks Barbara Cahill and Debbie Trenchard how and why we do sange.
'Sange is to become aware of your Buddhahood; to look at attitudes which prevent us from realizing we are Buddhas.' (Barbara Cahill) UKE: What does sange mean?

BC: Sange means to awaken to shortcomings and to seek to correct them, or to purify the mind. The Fugen Sutra states, 'If you wish to make amends (perform sange), sit upright and meditate upon the true entity of life and all your offences will vanish like frost and dewdrops in the sunlight of enlightened wisdom.' To wake up to ignorance is, itself, the supreme act of sange.

UKE: Why is sange so often called 'Buddhist apology'?

BC: Sange is to become aware of your Buddhahood; to look at attitudes which prevent us from realizing we are Buddhas. Mr. Tsuji's guidance, 'Victory Through Strong Prayer' clarifies why sange is linked to the word 'apology'. He says we should apologize about any belief other than belief in the Gohonzon - 'belief' meaning not necessarily formal beliefs but any attitude or habitual way of thinking that is other than belief in our own Buddhahood.

DT: I think the term 'Buddhist apology' comes from the Western way of looking at sange, as if it is repenting for sins. I grew up as a Catholic and when I first heard of sange, I thought of confession. In fact, confession is a complete misinterpretation of the term.

On one level, sange is to practise Nichiren Daishonin's teachings continually. By using the Buddhist practice, we become more in tune with life and the life around us. As we practise, we become aware of our karma and the strict law of cause and effect, and genuinely take responsibility for our lives. We begin to realize, through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and studying the Gosho, that we are generally unaware of our past misdeed - certainly those stemming from previous lifetimes. By acknowledging them even if we can't remember them, we realize that whatever our slander we can change it. Buddhism tells us that we can change poison into medicine. What's more by gaining benefit ourselves from doing sange we can encourage others.

UKE: Why do people do sange? Should everyone do it?

BC: It is most important to realize that our real identity is Buddhahood and that the karma we have built up - the bad karma of slandering others or ourselves - has obstructed us from seeing our true identity. Our suffering comes from not realizing the true entity of Buddhahood in ourselves and everybody and everything.

We hold on to suffering unnecessarily. Say, for example, we have had a great loss: we can go over and over it in our minds so that that actually becomes our identity - the person who 'lost'. Our daimoku tells us who we really are - Buddhas. Our real essence is Buddhahood and it's being obscured by this mistaken way of thinking about ourselves. So that's why we have to apologize about this mistaken way of thinking.

Whenever we chant even one daimoku, it sets us on a fresh course, directing our lives towards Buddhahood. The daimoku we chant wipes out all the past misdeeds or slanders in an instant. However, because we don't believe this and don't believe in the power of daimoku, even while we're chanting we re-establish the power of our negative karma by, for instance, slandering ourselves or slandering someone else; or by trying to control things through our animality or fear or whatever. This is why sange helps. It directs us away from those habitual thoughts and lets us see the true aspect of our lives, which is Buddhahood.

We say something like, 'I'm sorry, I'm holding on to this pain', for example. Then we follow this with a determination: 'But I'm determined to let go of it.' If we are suffering at all we should do sange - it's the quickest way to deal with it!

UKE: Are there times in one's life when sange is particularly recommended?

BC: Yes - when there is something particular that we want to actualize, or if we're feeling some great suffering. We should just apologize about whatever you're hanging on to and we don't even at that point have to know what it is. Then follow it with a determination. We never have to analyze and search for what it is. If we need to know, it will just occur to us while we chant.

DT: As human beings, we sometimes feel that unless we are suffering we cannot see the effects of slander, but we don't have to be feeling this to do sange properly.

Sange also involves expressing our gratitude, even in suffering. We can say: 'Thank you, Gohonzon. Thanks that I am alive and able to see my slander and so can change it.' This act of gratitude allows us to turn that point of suffering into a means to enlightenment.

UKE: Is there a formula to sange? What is it?

BC: I don't think so. People always want to do things right but sange is a much deeper way of becoming aware of something. I don't men analytically: the attitude is in our hearts. We are searching for our true self.

DT: I agree. There are no 'set points' for doing sange. Formula simply get in the way of the Gohonzon. Nichiren Daishonin said that if we do the three practices every day we can change anything.

UKE: How do we know if we've done sange properly then?

BC: When we feel that we've understood what it is in ourselves that we have to work on or change and we feel that we can do this.

DT: There are no check-lists for how we feel. We begin to see and feel our Buddha nature, as the qualities of wisdom, courage and compassion emerge.

BC: Usually, though, we feel relief, because we've acknowledged the obstruction and secondly, because it's not the overwhelming thing which, before, coloured our whole lives. We see what keeps us back, and then we see our Buddhahood. Apologizing makes the blockage containable because we see we are causing obstruction by our own attitude to it. Doing sange allows us to have compassion for ourselves.

UKE: If we've chosen our karma why do we have to apologize for it?

BC: Because you might not have chosen it consciously, and be aware of the suffering it will cause you and others. Let's say your karma is always to get very angry. Your life goes in a certain direction because of it. By performing sange, you wake up to your anger. You wish to apologize about it, so that your Buddhahood will not be blocked.
In this way, you start to take control of your life, and move it in the direction dictated by Buddhahood, not anger. Usually, you just slander yourself: 'I'm such a bad and angry person.' With sange, you have some control and cut through the anger at that moment.

Certain attitudes in life, which we rely on, can be very powerful. If we're in the grip of an attitude, such as disliking a person, then recognizing this attitude makes us realize we can also be in control of it, rather than being overpowered or trapped by it.

I think we, who have grown up in the Judeo-Christian traditions, have a deeply ingrained sense of guilt. Because of this focus on guilt we think of ourselves as being much worse than we are. We're afraid to really look at our lives (which is really what Buddhism encourages us to do) because we're afraid of what we'll find. But sange helps us get beyond this guilt (which often causes self-hatred) and allows us the choice of seeing and believing in our best qualities. Sange is not a guilt trip, but allows us to free ourselves from guilt, perhaps for the first time. We don't need guilt to help us regulate our lives because sange and daimoku to the Gohonzon do this. We can always do sange about feeling guilty if the guilt persists.

UKE: Is there any part of gongyo or daimoku that we should do sange in?

DT: No, I don't think so. Sange involves determined action: it doesn't just mean going back to the Gohonzon to report our misdeeds or make excuses for them. Rather, we use the action of sange and then determine not to repeat our slander. The more we practise, the more we are able to feel benefits of sange. Theory is important, but to have faith and confidence in the Gohonzon leads us to understand sange in reality.

UKE: If I have just started to practise, how long is it before I can do sange?

DT: As soon as we begin to practise, we are doing sange, because we have made the first cause (action) to see our Buddhahood. Whether we believe it or not, 'right action leads to right thought'. We have made a cause to erase and to lessen the effects we would otherwise experience.

For a new member, it is important not to worry about apologizing to Gohonzon. The mere fact that you have started to chant is, in itself, a form of sange. For people who have been chanting longer, sange really is for us to show the practice working in our lives.

UKE: I've heard people talk about 'deep' sange. Are there different levels to sange?

DT: No, but we should think about our attitude to chanting. We should not take a careless attitude in apologizing by saying, for example, 'Oh, Gohonzon, I'm so sorry,' but without really determining to change totally. We ensure that daimoku goes to the heart of the problem, giving one hundred per cent.

BC: Nichiren Daishonin teaches that we can change our fate. Doing sange allows us to shape our lives. It's taking the initiative!

UKE: Thank you.

Domo arigato!
Hi Shilpa here is some information on Buddhist Repentance. Sange / Buddhist Apology & Buddhist Repentance Prayer
I would like to share with the SGI members about my Repentance Prayer that I have been doing since 1979. Buddhist Repentance play a major role in my daily practice.

Excerpt from The Letter Konichi-bo Gosho
the Daishonin explains the Buddhist principle of repentance, or acknowledging and striving to correct one’s past misdeeds, by saying, “Even a small error will destine one to the evil paths if one does not repent of it. Yet even a grave offense can be eradicated if one repents of it sincerely.”

Excerpt from The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism
Sange also, apology. An act of acknowledging one's faults, shortcomings, or past misdeeds, and seeking to correct or make amends for them. "If one wishes to carry out repentance, sit upright and ponder the true aspect. Then the host of sins, like frost or dew, can be wiped out by the sun of wisdom." In short, since one's wrong acts ultimately stem from ignorance of the true nature of life, to awaken to that nature, or the true aspect of all phenomena, and bring forth one's inherent Buddha wisdom, thereby purifying one's life, is the ultimate act of repentance.

Excerpt from The Fourteen Slanders Gosho
The Fourteen Slanders (1) arrogance, (2) negligence, (3) wrong views of the self, (4) shallow understanding, (5) attachment to earthly desires, (6) not understanding, (7) not believing, (8) scowling with knitted brows, (9) harboring doubts, (10) slandering, (11) despising, (12) hating, (13) envying, and (14) bearing grudges. The first ten of the fourteen slanders concern one’s attitude and action toward the Law, that is, the Buddha’s teachings. Emphasizing the importance of unity among believers, the Daishonin says, “Always remember that believers in the Lotus Sutra should absolutely be the last to abuse one another.” The reason he gives is that “all those who keep faith in the Lotus Sutra are most certainly Buddhas, and one who slanders a Buddha commits a grave offense.” In other words, he warns against the last four of the fourteen slanders: “despising, hating, envying, and bearing grudges against” fellow believer.

Excerpt from the On Prolonging One’s Life Span Gosho
Karma also may be divided into two categories: fixed and unfixed. Sincere repentance will eradicate even fixed karma, to say nothing of karma that is unfixed.

Buddhist Repentance Prayer
1. Gohonzon I give Appreciation for having met the SGI-USA, Nichiren Buddhism, Gohonzon, Others, etc.
2. I have Self-reflection regarding all my hurts, frustrations, anger, are my own fault-my karma and please let me do Hendoku Iyaku (Change my Poison into Medicine).
3. I Apologize for my Slanders, for my Negative words-thoughts-actions and Gohonzon please let me recognize and want to stop my Wrongdoings.
4. I have Determination to work harder for Kosen Rufu in Creating: Harmonious Family, The Best Workplace/ Society, and I will support my District activities. I pray to strengthen my Faith, Practice & Study. I pray to attract and unite with the Best Shakubuku’s who will develop there faith-practice-study, and let them work for Kosen Rufu. Feel free to comment or ask me a questions about my Repentance Prayer.

Very wonderful comments always from you, Jonnie!


Thank you!


(The way I say my repentance is maybe something like an AA step: I pray to "make good" my wrongdoings and also to "make good" the wrongs suffered by myself and those close to me. Probably it's all my fault -- for sure I have committed wrongs (slandering the Law) -- but I am trying to keep focus on the present to make causes for the future. Whoever may be at fault, I want to make causes for change! I am sure that all of our causes are adding up to Human Revolution.)


I am printing out and saving your Buddhist Repentance Prayer for my gohonzon!


Domo arigato!

i thank each one fr time taken to help me understand tis corectly & fuly.. many thnx to all.. hv bin able to fuly comprehnd it nw


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