Why vietnamese clasp hands and pray "nam mo a di da phat"?

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When standing in front of communal houses, pagodas, or family altars, Vietnamese often clasp their hands together and pray "Nam mo A di da Phat". Find out all about that saying right below!


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"Nam mo A di da Phat" (Namah Amitabha Buddha) is only appropriate & meaningful when you visit Buddism facilities. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

"Nam mo A di da Phat" - What does it mean?

In a recent interview with Thanh Nien, Mr. Hoang Trieu Hai, Head of Center of Research Principle of Ancient Oriental Astrology said "Nam mo" is the transliteration for "Namah" - a Sanskrit word that means obeying, respecting, and believing in Buddha. This is the initial stage of enlightenment, focusing on mindfulness, morality, observation. "A di da" (Amitabha) describing a non-bias attitude. This is the next step in the enlightenment process, including focusing, meditation, realization about life equality. "Phat" (Buddha) means enlightenment, liberation from samsara (the wheel of life), an accomplishment of wisdom, mindfulness, visionary, becoming a thành viên of Buddahood.

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Therefore, "Nam mo A di domain authority Phat" (Namah Amitabha Buddha) is only appropriate & meaningful when you visit Buddism facilities. Otherwise, this saying is just ridiculous. Mr. Hoang Trieu nhì clarified that "Nam mo A di da Phat" would be considered disrespectful if said in a King"s communal house as the Kings are "sons of God", who stand above every other human. As for family altars, nhì said "Nam mo A di domain authority Phat" was also miss-used as family altars paid tribute khổng lồ no Buddha.


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Handclasp is called "Anjali Mudra", which is popularly used in Indian religions and Buddism as a way khổng lồ show respect & greetings towards the Buddhas. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Why Vietnamese clasp hands?

Handclasp is called "Anjali Mudra", which is popularly used in Indian religions & Buddism as a way to lớn show respect và greetings towards the Buddhas. In Vietnam"s traditional praying ceremony for the ancestors, priests are never seen doing the "Anjali Mudra" hand gesture. Instead, they keep their 2 hands together khổng lồ create a cone shape with palms facing the ground.

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In some of Vietnam"s localities, there are even lessons on hand gestures passing down from generation to lớn generation. The lesson reads: "Sun & rain given by the sky, while flood rises from the ground. So remember khổng lồ respect the elder, be kinds to lớn the younger. When praying lớn the ancestors, place your left hand on the right hand, with the back of both hand cup up, while forming a circle with your arms." This lesson, as well as the hand gesture, showing all elements in the yin và yang theory, therefore, it represents full wisdom in the Vietnam spirit life.

In terms of spiritual rituals, only by truly and deeply understanding our small gestures, can we preserve and develop Vietnam"s culture và civilization, said Mr. Hoang Trieu Hai, Head of Center of Research Principle of Ancient Oriental Astrology.


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In terms of spiritual rituals, only by truly & deeply understanding our small gestures, can we preserve and develop Vietnam"s culture and civilization, said Hai. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Valerie Mai