A Buddhist Rosary Is Not a Tool to Protect From Evil. What Is The Connection Between Absolute Happin
We use a rosary in Buddhism every time we join our palms together to show reverence to Amida Buddha. But what is a rosary really for? Is it a tool for protecting ourselves from evil? Is it just an accessory? If we know the real meaning of a rosary, then it becomes more significant for us.
In Pure Land Shin Buddhism, a rosary represents true faith. The beads in a rosary represent the 108 worldly passions. Just on their own, beads scatter and cannot be put neatly together in one place. It is only when a string has been put through all the beads that they become coordinated. The string represents "other-power faith," which is bestowed upon us by Amida Buddha. Even after we gain other-power faith and attain absolute happiness, our worldly passions do not increase or decrease. Rather, it is taught that our worldly passions turn to joy as they are. A rosary represents "passions turning to joy." This is the world of happiness attained through other-power faith. Master Rennyo, who was active in the Muromachi era, wrote in one of his letters,
"There are people who do not have Buddhist rosaries. If they worship Amida Buddha without rosaries, it is like strangling him. Master Shinran never taught us to discard our rosaries and press our hands together before Amida Buddha without them."
Master Rennyo warned us not to make light of Buddha by putting our hands together and worshipping Amida Buddha without a Buddhist rosary. This shows just how important a Buddhist rosary is. Therefore, we must always take care to place it in a case and never leave it by itself on a tatami mat or in a bag.
A Buddhist rosary represents the happiness attained through other-power faith (passions turning to joy).To worship Amida Buddha without a rosary is like strangling him; it means that you are making light of him. Therefore, Master Rennyo warns us not to do this.