Bibliotherapy

Master Hong Yi(弘一大师)-Song of Three Jewels 三宝歌

A statue of Master Hong Yi in Zhejiang province, China.

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Today’s sharing from the Blue House of HYGEIA is a song composed by polymath artist and Buddhist monk, Master Hong Yi, the ‘3 Jewels song’. The lyrics were written by Master Taixu, and Master Hongyi composed the melody. The lyrics briefly describe the great merit of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and became extremely popular among the Chinese Buddhist community.

Master Hongyi (弘一大师), born Li Shutong (李叔同), is a great Buddhist monk in Chinese history. He was born in 1880 and passed away in 1942. He had a legendary life in that he is a polymath and great Buddhist master. “He was what you might describe as the great all-rounder of early twentieth century China—writer, poet, painter, calligrapher, actor, songwriter, music educator—and while we’re at it, let’s add practicing Buddhist monk where he was known by the Buddhist name The Dharma Master Hongyi.” He left his second wife and became a Buddhist monk in 1918. He studied and revived “the Vinaya or Disciplinary School (律宗) of Buddhism founded by Dao Xuan (道宣律師) during the early Tang dynasty” . He is very influential on various worldly aspects of Chinese culture and well as on the entire Chinese Buddhism. He left many great legacies, includes the very famous song Song Bie Ge (Farewell Song 《送别》), and the long-lasting Buddhist song San Bao Ge (Song of Three Jewels 《三寶歌》)’. (From the Gankyil Organization website)

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Introduction

Song of Three Jewels is a song about taking refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the Buddhist three jewels. The lyric was written by Master Taixu, and Master Hongyi composed the melody. The lyric briefly describes the great merit of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and became extremely popular among the Chinese Buddhist community. The song was translated into Tibetan by Master Fazun (法尊法師), the great translator who have translated Lamrim (《菩提道次第廣論》) and many other great Buddhist scriptures from Tibetan into Chinese. There was an English version of the Song of Three Jewels written by Zhizhen Huang (黃知真 1920-1993), however, the lyric by Huang was greatly simplified. Our new translation of San Bao Ge is more to the original meaning and still suitable for singing. If you want to learn more about the meaning of Three Jewels, you can refer to The Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels.

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Song of Three Jewels 三寶歌 (San Bao Ge)
Lyric by Master Taixu, Melody by Master Hongyi, Translated into English by Gankyil Organization

(Refuge to the Buddha)
人天長夜,宇宙黮闇,誰啟以光明?三界火宅,眾苦煎迫,誰濟以安寧?大悲大智大雄力,南無佛陀耶。昭朗萬有,衽席群生,功德莫能名。今乃知,唯此是,真正皈依處,盡形壽,獻身命,信受勤奉行。
Long night in heaven & earth, deep dark in universe, who can bring the light? Three realms – the house on fire, torments and sufferings, who help pass with peace? Great compassion, wisdom, and power. Namo Buddhaya! Shining all existence, shelters all sentient beings, merit beyond the word (can express). Now I know, only this is, genuine place for refuge. (As long) as (my) body persists, devote (my) whole life, practice in joy and hold in faith.

(Refuge to the Dharma)
二諦總持,三學增上,恢恢法界身。淨德既圓,染患斯寂,蕩蕩涅槃城。眾緣性空唯識現,南無達摩耶。理無不彰,蔽無不解,煥乎其大明。今乃知,唯此是,真正皈依處,盡形壽,獻身命,信受勤奉行。
Held as two truths, gain through three trainings, vast body of dharmadhatu, pure virtue perfected, defilement & flaw pacified, boundless land of nirvana! Causes (and conditions) are emptiness (phenomena) arise only (from) mind. Namo Dharmaya! Reasons never unclear, obscurity never unsolved, brilliant O great clarity. Now I know, only this is, genuine place for refuge. (As long) as body persists, devote whole life, practice in joy and hold in faith.

(Refuge to the Sangha)
依淨律儀,成妙和合,靈山遺芳型。修行證果,弘法利世,焰續佛燈明。三乘聖賢何濟濟,南無僧伽耶。統理大眾,一切無礙,住持正法城。今乃知,唯此是,真正皈依處,盡形壽,獻身命,信受勤奉行。
Accord to disciplines, marvelously harmonious, exemplify the Holy (Eagle) Peak, practice & get enlightened, help the world with Buddhadharma, flame (and pass) on the Buddha’s lamp. How numerous saints from three yanas! Namo Sanghaya! Lead the people, all goes smoothly, preside the city of dharma. Now I know, only this is, genuine place for refuge. (As long) as body persists, devote whole life, practice in joy and hold in faith.

 

Master Hong Yi (弘一), born Li Shutong (李叔同 and 李漱筒).

The biographical movie devoted to Master Hong Yi

(with English Subtitles)

More about Master Hong Yi here

More here for some calligraphy and paintings by Master Hong Yi

A Chinese page about Master Hong Yi ‘s music

We also have a post about the Heart Sutra

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Source and all information credits go to this page: https://gankyil.org/2017/05/09/song-of-three-jewels-三宝歌/
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