The equinoctial week?
Origin and Online Memorial Service

what is Ohigan

Higan is the period during which Buddhists in Japan recommend holding memorial services for their ancestors. Twice a year, one week before and after the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox, people visit graves and make offerings to Buddhist altars throughout Japan.

When it comes to memorial services for ancestors, the Midsummer Obon Festival is famous, but Obon is the period when ancestors return to this world, so it is important to offer hospitality.

On the other hand, during the equinoctial week, it is the time when you are approaching the world of Buddha from here, so a certain amount of training is required.

Of course, it doesn't mean that you should practice blindly. There is a dedicated one called Ṣatpāramitā, so let's put it into practice.

this year's equinoctial week

  • Spring Equinox: March 18-24, 2023
  • Autumn Equinox: September 20-26, 2023





Relationship between Higan and Haramitsu

Higan is originally called "Pāramitā" in Indian language. In the sense of being completed, it represents the world of Buddha.

Our world is this shore, and a big river flows between this shore and the other shore, and it is a world view that is separated by a distance.

River photo

In Buddhism, various vehicles (training methods) were considered to cross this river and cross to the other bank. Mahayana Buddhism (the Buddhism of a large vehicle) that was introduced to Japan is also called Paramitaya because it emphasizes the vehicle (training method) called Ṣatpāramitā (six paramitas).

As many of you may have noticed, both Higan and Haramitsu are translations of "Pāramitā", meaning Higan when taken, and Haramitsu when transcribing the pronunciation as it is. Ohigan is exactly the period of paramitsu.

In Japan, ancestor memorial services have been recommended as a way to practice Rokuharamitsu. Let's take a closer look below.

What is Ṣatpāramitā?


1. 布施=お供えものをする

2. 持戒=仏前の掃除をする

3. 忍辱=お花をお供えする

4. 精進=霊供膳などの食べ物をお供えする

5. 禅定=お線香をたてる

6. 般若=灯明(ローソク)をつける





Dāna means giving.

Dānapāramitā means something perfected as an act of giving, and is a act of giving something without asking for anything in return.

People inadvertently take it for granted that there should be a certain amount of compensation when they give something, complain when the compensation is small, and rejoice when the compensation is large.

For example, let's say you are invited to a wedding reception.

At that time, compared to the amount of money I gave as a gift

  • Food and gifts are not good...
  • The dishes and gifts are too splendid!

If you think about it, the money you have wrapped up as a gift will torment you.

In Buddhism, there is a form of exchange of goods in the form of "Don't ask for anything in return. It is not forced by anyone, and the person who wants to do it offers it as much as he wants to do it, when he wants to do it.". (This is called Dānapāramitā) is recommended.

By doing this, it is the wisdom of Buddha to prevent unnecessary suffering from occurring in interactions with others.

Of course, it's not just about money, it's also about various gifts, showing a smile, and casual consideration.

Let's bow together with people who pass each other!



Śīla are to keep the precepts. Jikaiharamitsu means "one who observes the precepts and is perfected", and in the Shingon sect, it means to live by observing the Ten Precepts.

What are the Ten Commandments?

Precepts are rules established to prevent bad things and do good things. The Shingon sect recommends observing the Ten Precepts, which consist of 10 items.

If you look at them one by one, even elementary school students will understand them, but the older you get, the more difficult it is to protect them.

If you suddenly try to protect it, it won't last, so let's live with the following items in mind during the equinoctial week, like trying to ban snacks for a week. You may be looking forward to protecting it gradually. Doing good things without doing bad things is natural, but it feels good.

#### Code of Conduct

1. Non-killing: Do not harm living things. behavior that respects others.

2. Non-stealing: Don't take what you haven't been given as your own. behavior of living with others.

3. Infidelity: Do not have relationships between men and women that destroy the family. Behavior that treats others.

#### Commandments of Words

4. Do not tell lies intentionally. Words to face others honestly.

5. Do not say anything unnecessary. Words to face others seriously.

6. Swearing... Don't speak swearing. Words that respect others.

7. Tongueless: Don't use duplicitous words that can tear people's bonds apart. Words that help others.

#### Heart Commandments

8. Not greedy: Don't be stingy and don't want more than you need. A heart to share with others.

9. Don't be wrapped up in feelings of anger. A heart that cares for others.

10. Unfaithful view... A heart that believes in the principle of cause and effect (doing good deeds yields good results).

Purifying oneself is a symbol of observance

Keeping one's body clean and cleaning Buddhist altars and graves are symbols of obeying the precepts, as they are related to purifying one's behavior and feelings. This includes purifying oneself with incense etc.). Let's go ahead and do it ourselves.



Kṣānti is to endure. Kṣāntipāramitā means 'one who has endured and is perfected', and is a state in which the mind is not disturbed and can accept everything.

The flower of Buddhism is the lotus flower, and while the lotus flower grows in the mud, it blooms beautifully without getting dirty.

No matter what kind of environment you are in, your essence is pure and unblemished. The figure that endures no matter what and is calm without getting angry is like a lotus flower.

For modern people, it may seem a little disgusting to just keep enduring, but there are three types of endurance, so let's take a closer look at each.

Three Endurance

#### 1. Do not be disturbed by what others say or do

The opposite of patience is anger.

  • You didn't thank me for doing that good.
  • Does he underestimate me? He always doesn't treat me well.

If you get angry about these things, your mind will be disturbed. Pay attention to your own heart, not the mind of the other person, and try to remain calm at all times.

Of course, the goal is not to endure, but only by doing so will you be able to practice giving without asking for anything in return, and practice the precepts without surrendering yourself to anger, and you will be able to create the soil that accepts everything.

Do what you need to do now without worrying about the other person's words and deeds. Patience protects one's heart at that time, and it is the foundation of all training.

#### 2. Don't be distracted by your own suffering

Life doesn't often go as planned. Sometimes I get sick, sometimes I worry about relationships.

If you have a problem that you can solve with effort, do not be sad, upset, worried, angry, or frustrated, and do what is necessary to solve it. let's go

On the other hand, if it's something that can't be resolved no matter what you do, getting angry won't help. When you get distracted by things that you can't help, it creates new suffering.

By staying calm and undisturbed in your situation, you gain the space to accept everything and the courage to move forward.

#### 3. Be undisturbed by what happens during the process of perseverance


Ashuku Nyorai is also known as Fudobutsu. In the sense of being a Buddha who is not afraid of anything and has an unshakable heart like the earth, he attained Buddhahood through extreme endurance.

Training goes back and forth. Sometimes I think I've endured it well, other times I'm angry and sad. It's human.

At times like this, don't deny yourself that you can't do it, or that you can't do this kind of training.

Patience gives us the courage to move on

Perseverance is not simply endurance, but gives us the courage to accept everything and move on.

The flower offering is a symbol of patience

When you offer flowers to graves and Buddhist altars on the equinoctial week, please remember this, and see the plants that always bloom in any situation, and get the courage to move forward.



Vīrya is a person who is brave and continues to do good deeds. Vīryapāramitā means "something completed by continuous good deeds" and is a state of continuing to do good deeds.

However, it is not the case that just continuing good deeds in any form will lead to diligence.

For example, training that is done out of a sense of responsibility or duty is not diligence. An activity that you suddenly get tired of doing is not diligence.

The state of being able to enjoy doing good deeds and keeping it as motivation is called diligence for the first time.

Vīrya can be said to be a “good deed-driven” act (an act driven by good deeds).

For what good deeds are, see Śīlapāramitā.

Opposite of diligence

There are several pairs of words for diligence.

#### 1. I'll do it later

Procrastinating means that you are not really driven.

#### 2. Lazy

If you don't do something that you think you should do, or if you feel motivated to do something easier, you're just as unmotivated.

#### 3. Give up

To say I can't and give up means that I'm not driven.


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alt='Dainichi Nyorai'


Dainichi Nyorai's mantra "Abiraunken" is called the mantra of Daigon Yuzanmai (great courageous work). A buddha is a person who enjoys helping people and continues to work to save them.

If you gain the courage to move forward through patience and devote yourself to good deeds, the completion of your training is right in front of you.

Reikozen and food offerings are symbols of shojin paramitsu

If these things become fun during the equinoctial week, let's continue!

The offerings and food are symbols of devotion, so it might be a good idea to offer buddha's food every day.



Dhyāna is to meditate. Dhyānapāramitā means "perfected through meditation" and is to keep the mind in good condition, insightful, focused and compassionate.

When you think of meditation, some people may imagine words such as "become nothing" or "get rid of worldly desires."

1. Gain insight and concentration by calming the mind

2. Observing compassion for others by not distinguishing between yourself and others (self-other equality)

You cannot concentrate when your mind is disturbed.

For example, if someone has a cat at home and leaves the cat behind, the whole family goes on a long trip.

Even if you ask your neighbors or a custody service to take care of your cat, somewhere in your heart, you may be worried about your cat and will be worried about it during your trip.

In the same way, good deeds are hard to do when we are preoccupied with other things.

So, by meditating, you can cut off the unnecessary parts of your mind and gain insight into what you really need. In the process, he cuts off things like “I am XX” and “That person is XX”, and concentrates only on “eliminating suffering by doing good and not doing evil”. I hear you.

This will naturally lead you away from anger and comparison with yourself and you will find peace of mind.

Incense sticks are a symbol of Zenjoharamitsu

Incense sticks are a symbol of Zenjoharamitsu, so let's meditate slowly while enjoying the pleasant scent of incense.



Prajñā means wisdom. Prajñāpāramitā means 'that which is perfected by wisdom', the essence of all things is emptiness,

It refers to the wisdom of observing the world in a state away from the distinction between self and others.

It may seem like a difficult thing to hear, but it's okay.

Ṣatpāramitā is a flow in which one acquires this wisdom naturally as one advances through offering → precepts → endurance → diligence → meditation.

Instead of aiming for a goal all at once, take it one step at a time.

Ṣatpāramitā relationship

The Ṣatpāramitā are trainings that are linked to each other.

1. Through giving pāramitā, we gain compassion for others without asking for anything in return.

2. As a detailed methodology of showing kindness to others, there is the Precepts pāramitā, and we observe the Ten Precepts.

3. In order to keep the Ten Precepts, it is necessary to get rid of disturbances in the mind, and we practice endurance pāramitā.

4. Do not allow peace of mind to be temporary, but continue it as diligence.

5. Go into meditation pāramitā to gain insight into this state and focus on what is needed.

6. From the wisdom of Prajñāpāramitā who does not distinguish between self and others obtained through meditation, we will reconsider giving, precepts, endurance, diligence, and meditation.

Once you get Prajñāpāramitā in this way, the rest is an infinite loop. This is called enlightenment and liberation, and you can ride on a vehicle called Rokuharamitsu and cross over to the other side of the world of Buddha.

Lamps and candles are symbols of Prajñāpāramitā

The candles on the Buddhist altar are a symbol of this Prajñāpāramitā and illuminate ignorance. Through this Ṣatpāramitā training, let us all become lamps that illuminate the world.


Apply for a memorial service online

At Byodo-ji Temple, we are accepting memorial services for the equinox online. During the memorial service, we will read out the names and posthumous names of your ancestors and loved ones, so please feel free to make a request.

how to hold a memorial service

During the equinoctial week, the memorial service will be held every day at 7:00 pm and will end around 9:00 pm. After the chief priest recites the sutra, I will read out the name of each person and offer a memorial service. The prayer number assigned to you when you applied will be displayed on the live streaming screen, so you can easily see when your request was read.

Flow of memorial service

I will feed you in the following way


Apply and donate online

At Byodo-ji Temple, everything from applying for a memorial service to giving donations is completed online. Please open the dedicated application page from the button below.

memorial service

every day
19:00 - 21:00

A memorial service is held every night. Depending on the content of the application, a reading service will be held every day, so please visit remotely on a convenient day. It is distributed on YouTube, TikTok Live, Nico Nico Live, Twitch, 17 Live, etc.

Receipt of certificates of return, etc.

I will send you the prize later

Certificates of Eko and amulets that were offered at the memorial service will be mailed as soon as possible after the end of the period. When you receive it, please enshrine it in your home's Buddhist altar.

Types of Special Prayers

You can apply for special offers such as: