An Exhortatory Gatha: Kisamboge

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Translated by Elson B. Snow, with Introduction and notes by Jerome Ducor

The Kisamboge is a poem composed 1,300 years ago in the seventh century by Shan-tao.  In a Jodo Shinshu funeral service the poem is liturgical for the "removal ceremony" (shukkan, literally, taking away the cascket).  The ceremony is conceived as the last homage of the deceased to the Buddha, a natural expression of the three-fold refuge, a symbol, in itself, of belonging to Buddhism.