side effect of holding memorial service for your ancestors


Even if you haven’t felt anything in holding a memorial service for your ancestors according to some conventional Buddhist method, when you write down on Tanzaku on your own, make up a memorial tablet for them, and start to devote Kotodama(言霊) “I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su“-Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive-and incense sticks to them, based on gratitude, you are sure to feel something different at the bottom of your heart. Some people feel delight rising from inside, and others feel physical languor, though the number of the latter is small.

  • even if S+V たとえSがVするとしても
  • memorial service  供養
  • ancestor 先祖
  • according to A Aに従って
  • conventional 従来の
  • method 方法
  • on one’s own 自分自身で
  • memorial tablet 霊位
  • devote 捧げる
  • keep A alive Aを生かしておく
  • incense stick 線香
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • be sure to~ きっと〜するだろう
  • bottom 底
  • delight 喜び
  • languor だるさ

These phenomena are a proof that this way of doing does have practical power and reach the spiritual worlds. If you hold memorial services, don’t you think it better to do it in the effectual way than in an ineffectual way ?

  • phenomena 現象
  • proof 証拠
  • way of doing やり方
  • practical 実践的な
  • reach 届く
  • effectual 効果のある
  • ineffectual  効果のない

If a person who has never held such services for his ancestors before starts to do it, he might feel physical languor. This is because many ancestors have been waiting for offsprings to hold memorial services for many years, and their spiritual waves get in tune with the practitioner’s. You can regard this as a proof that the person and his ancestral spirits begin to communicate with each other. Ideally speaking, such a person should keep on holding the services for them out of pity and “melt” and “digest” the languor, but when he feels painful in doing it, it is no problem to stop.

  • physical 肉体的な
  • wait for A to- Aが〜するのを待つ
  • offspring 子孫
  • wave 波動
  • get in tune with A Aと同調する
  • practioner 実践者
  • regard A as B  AをBとみなす
  • proof 証拠
  • each other お互い
  • ideally speaking 理想を言えば
  • keep on ~ing 〜し続ける
  • out of pity 哀れみから
  • melt 溶かす
  • digest 消化する
  • painful  苦しい

This is a great thing actually. In the case where you hold a memorial service in the form of sealing up spirits by chanting ,say, Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra(般若心経),  if you stop it in the middle of the service, you can’t pacify bad effects by the spirits.

  • actually 実際には
  • seal up A Aを封じる
  • chant 唱える
  • say 例えば
  • in the middle of A Aの途中で
  • pacify 納める
  • effect 影響

Why would there be no harm even if you stopped  holding services based on gratitude? Because you are just trying to thank them. Your gratitude to some wandering spirits give awareness to them. Even if you stop it, it just stops there. That’s all.

  • harm 害
  • try to~ 〜しようとする
  • thank  感謝する
  • awareness 気づき

Also, by setting up the Tanzaku functioning as Yorishiro(寄り代), where spirits come temporally and rest, you can avoid bad effects on your physical body. This way of doing means a lot compared with the conventional ways of holding memorial services. The Tanzaku, which is a substitute for the physical body of a doer, receives and is obsessed by not only spirits of the dead but also some energy of those grudges from others towards you which you receive in your social life or the energy of distress you have.

  • function 機能する
  • temporally 一時的に
  • rest 休む
  • avoid 避ける
  • mean a lot 大きな意味がある
  • compared with A Aと比べて
  • substitute 代用物
  • doer 行う人
  • accept 受け入れる
  • not only A but also B AだけでなくBも
  • the dead 死者
  • grudge 恨み
  • others 他人
  • social life 社会生活
  • distress  苦悩

There has been a secret ritual called “Hitogata Barai”(人型祓い)in ancient Shinto, in which by giving out your breath toward a paper cut out in the form of a man, you transfer your misfortune to the paper and purify it. Your Tanzaku functions like this. A memorial service using Tanzaku can be said to be a superior method to Hitogata Barai which acts on spirits temporally in that instead of purifying the spirits, the former makes spirits relieved and sublimates them, in other words, sends them up to heaven.

  • secret 秘密の
  • ritual  儀式
  • ancient Shinto 古神道
  • breath 息
  • transfer 移す
  • misfortune 不運
  • purify 祓う
  • superior 優れた
  • act on A Aに作用する
  • in that S+V SがVするという点で
  • the former 前者
  • relieved 安心した
  • sublimate 昇華させる
  • in other words  言い換えると



Thank you so much for keeping us alive.