The Evening Bell Chant

Listen to the sound of this bell,
dissolve all delusions and suffering,

deepen your wisdom,
give rise to the desire for awakening,
free yourself from all hells,
leave behind the samsara realms,
become a Buddha, and save all beings.
Now hear the mantra that shatters all hells:
om kar-la-ji-ya sa-ba-ha
om kar-la-ji-ya sa-ba-ha
om kar-la-ji-ya sa-ba-ha

This is the evening bell chant, as recited at most temples in Korea. To be honest, I’m not sure how necessary the last four lines are – the main verse itself seems like the mantra that shatters all hells. For ultimately, it’s our intentions that create hell. First we have the intentions, and then our behavior and where we want to go comes from that.

So if we raise the intention to dissolve delusions, to deepen our wisdom, to awaken, and to leave behind the realms of pointless desire, then it won’t be hell we’re pointed towards!

(Actually, I suspect the mantra might be a mnemonic where each syllable represents one of these actions and intentions. Maybe something like “Listen-dissolve-deepen-give rise to-free-leave behind.)

3 thoughts on “The Evening Bell Chant”

  1. Mantras are very useful for practice, for healing, for purifying, for protecting mind from negative thoughts, they are potent in itself. If you are very good at raising a thought from your foundation then maybe you don’t need them that much, but personally i find them extremely helpful and beneficial and chanting certain mantras brings certain results, it’s like calling on a specific energy from that One Place. I always felt the meaning from this mantra even if I didn’t understand the korean words that were chanted.

  2. Could you please post the Korean version too. ( I printed out heart Sutra and Morning and noon chants in both, Korean and English. I want to make a booklet of of the chants in the temple in both languages) Thanks!

    1. Here you go!

      이 종소리 들어 일체 번뇌를 끓고
      지혜를 길러 보리심내며
      지옥을 여의고 삼계를 벗어나
      원컨대 성불하여 일체 중생 제도 하여지이다
      지옥을 파하는 진실한 말씀

      옴 가라지야 사바하 (세번)

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