Kwan Seum Bosal Chanting Part Six: Repairing Mistakes (補闕眞言)

Mantra title: 補闕眞言

The second to last mantra of Kwan Seum Bosal chanting is “The Mantra for Repairing Mistakes”, 補闕眞言.

The first character in the title is 補, which is pronounced “bo” in Korean (Hangul:보), and bǔ in pinyin. It means “to repair”, or to “compensate for a deficiency”. The second character is 闕, which is pronounced “gwol” in Korean (Hangul: 궐), and què in pinyin. It simply means “error” or “mistake”. So the name of this mantra is “bo gwol jinon” or, literally, the “repairing mistakes mantra”.

補 闕 眞言
보 궐 진언
bo gwol jinon
bǔ què zhēnyán

The mantra: 唵 好魯好魯 舍野謨契 娑婆訶

唵 好魯好魯 舍野謨契 娑婆訶
옴 호로호로 사야모케 사바하
om hororo sayamoke sabaha
ǎn hǎo-lǔ-hǎo-lǔ shè-yě-mó-qì suō-pó-hē

How can we fix our mistakes??

Zen Master Seung Sahn taught that “This is an extra mantra (like an extra button on a shirt) it is used as a preventive measure even if things are going well.”

Our practice is always imperfect. Only someone who is already enlightened could ever practice without any mistakes. So it is a good idea to include an acknowledgement of the shortcomings of our practice as part of our practice.

But this mantra does more than that. Reciting this mantra at least three times at the end actually fixes/repairs any mistakes or omissions that have been made in the preceding mantras.

The story goes that there were once two friends named Daoru (道如) and Linju (邻居). Daoru recited the Lotus Sutra 10,000 times. That’s a lot! Sometime after he completed that practice, his friend, Linju, died. Daoru did “Jijang Bosal” chanting for his friend. When Jijang Bosal heard the sound of Daoru’s chanting, he looked and saw Linju, who had just died. Jijang Bosal said “Hey – you’re a friend of Daoru, right?”. And then Jijang Bosal told Linju that instead of traveling through the Bardo and going to his next life, he (Jijang Bosal) was going to teach Linju a mantra and then send him back to his previous life so he could teach the mantra to Daoru. And Jijang Bosal told Linju to tell Daoru that he needed to chant this new mantra because of the many, many mistakes that he had made while reciting the Lotus Sutra 10,000 times. This new mantra would repair all of the mistakes!

Zen Master Seung Sahn taught: “Silence is better than holiness, so opening your mouth is a big mistake. But if you use this mistake to save all beings, this is Zen.” Daoru opened his mouth a lot and made lots of mistakes. But through his friendship with Lin Ju, and the help of Jijang Bosal, Dao Ru was able to use his mistakes to save all beings.

Alternate forms

The following four alternative forms of the mantra are all taken from this article:

The article was written to accompany a printed version of the Diamond Sutra, that contained this mantra at then end (that is, for people to recite after finishing recitation of the Sutra, in order to correct their mistakes).

唵 虎嚧虎嚧 社耶 目磎 薩婆诃
Attributed to Master Tang Shicha Nanda (652-710), 实叉难陀大师, Śikṣānanda. Found in Śikṣānanda’s translation of the 百千印陀羅尼經, “Hundred Thousand Mudras Dharani Sutra”.

唵 呼噜呼噜 佐野 保计伊 娑婆诃
Attributed to Thich Nhat Hanh (683-727), 唐 一行禅师. Found in Thich Nhat Hanh’s 北斗七星護摩法, “The Northern Dipper’s Seven Star Homa Rituals”.

唵 虎噜虎噜 惹野 穆契 娑嚩诃 [Tang Bukong (705-774), 不空大师, Amoghavajra]

唵 虎嚧虎嚧 惹野 目契 萨婆诃 [Faxian (~1001), 法賢大师, Dharmadeva]


Contemporary Chinese form (using “simplified” characters):

(補 闕 圆 滿 真言)
bǔ què yuán mǎn zhēnyán
repair mistakes complete entire mantra

唵  呼嚧呼嚧   社曳穆契   娑诃
ǎn,hūlúhūlú shèyèmùqiè,suō hē。

And here is a video of a Chinese version of this mantra that is very close to the Korean version. Also, the story of Dauru and Linju can be found in the description of the video – in Chinese, of course!

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