Daikomyo: Great Light

Daikomyo: Great Light June 26, 2022

There is an important spiritual phrase in Japanese tradition: “Shiken haramitsu daikomyo”. 四拳 波羅蜜 大光明.

I want to take the opportunity to explain what this means at some depth, since it is obviously not readily known. The word “shiken” implies four things. (shi=4, ken=heart/fist)

In this sense it is the four hearts.

  1. It implies a merciful heart. That is, a heart that expresses love for everyone and everything. Love is properly defined as seeking the highest good.
  2. It implies a heart in harmony with the scheme of totality; the way things really are. This means our heart is one with the flow of nature.
  3. It implies a sincere heart. That is, you seek to be someone who lives truth, deals with others honestly and is consistent in thought, speech and action.
  4. It implies a committed heart. This means we are always faithful to the path we are on if it is one that is in accord with truth.

“Haramitsu” is essentially the Buddhist concept of Satori. (nami/ha=wave; ra=gauze; mitsu=nectar) The mind is not always stable, and we don’t always see clearly. Our thoughts and emotions are like ocean waves, and as a result our view of things is often unclear, as if our eyes are covered with gauze. The implication within the context of the saying is that when we clear our mind of the illusions and noise, we can achieve enlightenment.

“Daikomyo” means Great Bright Light. (dai=great; komyo=bright light) This light manifests in several ways. First, it manifests as the light of Omikami. Second, it manifests as the light of wisdom. Third, it manifests as Jorei (purification of the spirit). It implies a bright future that is available to all of us if we sincerely walk the spiritual path.

If we put the phrase together and want to state the deeper meaning of it, we would have to say something like the following: “Each experience rightly understood can bring us to the Divine Light.”

Such people become a light to those around them and can help rescue them from the same illusions they themselves have escaped.

“Save one person and you will be an Ikigami (Living Kami). Save ten people and you will be a Kami to all ten.”-II Shirakami Shin’ichiro

“Without becoming a Kami while living, how can you become a kami after death?

-I Shimamura Hachitaro

Browse Our Archives