PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS AT BUDDHIST TEMPLES NARASHIMONO
Verse for Bell Ringing
三途八難 sanzu hachi nan
息苦停酸 sok-ku jo san
法界衆生 hok-kai shujō
聞聲悟道 mon sho godō
May living beings of the dharma realms,
stifled and mired in bitterness
in the three painful destinies and eight hardships,
hear the sound and awaken to the way.
When the head-monk strikes it in the Zendo, it means the beginning or the end of the meditation hours. When he does so at the head of a procession it means that all the monks joining it are to stand still and then sit, or that they have to rise from the sitting position and walk back to the Zendo.