神社の鐘はいつ鳴らす?目的や名称まとめ

 

神社や寺でよく見かける大きな鐘。

12月31日の「除夜の鐘」などはみなさんにもなじみが深いかと思われますが、もちろん鐘を鳴らすのは大晦日だけではありません。

では、あの鐘は普段何に使われているのでしょうか?

また、神社のお詣りの際に鳴らす紐の付いた大きな鈴、あれも「鐘」と呼ばれます。

今回は、こうした「神社の鐘」についてまとめました!

1 神社の鐘の名前

鐘といっても、大きさや形によってそれぞれ名称が異なります。

・梵鐘(ぼんしょう)

いわゆる「釣り鐘」のことで、神社やお寺の鐘と言って多くの人が想像するものがこちらです。

除夜の鐘として鳴らされるのもこの梵鐘で、神社よりも寺にあるのが一般的です。

梵の字には、サンスクリット語で神聖という意味があるそうです。

大鐘(おおがね)、巨鯨(きょげい)、蒲牢(ほろう)といった別名で呼ばれることもあります。

鳴らし方としては、撞木(しゅもく)と呼ばれる木で突き、打ち鳴らします。

・半鐘(はんしょう)

梵鐘の小型のものです。

喚鐘(かんしょう)、殿鐘(でんしょう)とも呼ばれ、梵鐘よりも高い音が鳴ります。

梵鐘の多くが青銅製なのに対し、半鐘の中には鉄製のものもあります。

・本坪鈴(ほんつぼすず)

神社でよく見かける、紐の付いたガラガラと鳴る大きな鈴のことです。

名前からもわかる通り、鐘というよりは鈴という扱いになります。

よく似たものに「鰐口(わにぐち)」という楽器がありますが、どちらかといえば本坪鈴は神具(神社で多く使われる)で、鰐口は仏具(寺で多く使われる)という風に区別されるのが一般的です。

また、本坪鈴を鳴らすためについている紐は鈴緒(すずお)、鈴の緒などと呼ばれます。

2 神社の鐘はなぜ鳴らすのか

鐘が神社で鳴らされるのにはちゃんとした理由があります。

似通った楽器などもありますが、今回は大きく二つ、「鐘(梵鐘)」と「鈴」に分けてご説明します。

①鐘(梵鐘)

そもそも鐘自体、基本的には寺にあるものです。

しかし、まれに神社にも鐘突き堂があり、梵鐘が設置されていることがあります。

これがなぜかというと、昔は仏教(寺)と、神道(神社)が今ほど明確に分けられておらず、同じものとして同じ場所に祀っていたため、その名残として神社にも鐘があったり、逆に寺でも神具が使われていたりします。

そんな梵鐘ですが、これが鳴らされる理由は主に二つあります。

一つは、鐘の音を聞くことで功徳(ご利益)があるとされているためです。

梵鐘の字に神聖という意味があるのは先述した通りですが、鐘の音には罪穢れを祓い、苦難から逃れ悟りを開く力があると言われています。

本来、寺には神にそうした力を求めて人が訪れていたため、鐘は大きな役割を果たしていました。

二つ目は、時報としての役割です。

昔は時計がなかったので、各地の寺が鳴らす鐘が時計代わりになりました。

もちろん今ほど正確ではありませんでしたが、日が昇ったとき、日が沈んだ時、大きな神仏的行事が行われるときなどに鳴らされる鐘は、人々の生活には欠かせないものでした。

さらに、真偽のほどは不明ですが、僧たちが早起きして修行に励む中で、彼らの眠気を覚ます役割もあったという説があります。

②鈴

神社の鈴を鳴らす意味は、その神社によって少しずつ異なります。

多く言われるのは、「神様とつながるために、鈴を鳴らして身を清める」というものです。

鐘と同じく、鈴の音色にも穢れを払う力、魔除けの力があると言われています。

その由来は、神事の際に巫女が「神楽」という祈祷のための舞を披露するのですが、その時「神楽鈴(かぐらすず)」という楽器を手に持ちます。

この神楽鈴が、今でいう本坪鈴のもとになったそうです。

また、神様に対する呼び鈴だとする説もあります。

お詣りの際、そこにいない神様に対し、神聖なる鈴を鳴らして参拝客が来たことを知らせ、神社に来ていただくという考え方です。

どちらが正しいというわけではなく、「神様とつながる為の楽器」という認識でいいと思います。

3 神社の鐘はどうやって鳴らす?

梵鐘がある神社は少なく、また、一般人が鳴らせる機会も少ないため、今回はお詣りで鳴らす機会の多い鈴の正しい鳴らし方を解説します。

神社で鈴があるのは、「拝殿」という場所です。

ほとんどの場合、賽銭箱の上、または手前に設置されています。

参拝方法については諸説ありますが、一般的な手順は以下の通りです。

  1. なるべく中央を避けてさい銭箱の前(神前)に立ち、一礼する
  2. お賽銭を入れる
  3. 鈴を鳴らす。紐を持ち、二~三回、しっかりと音を鳴らす。
  4. 二礼二拍手一礼
  5. 神前から下がる

二礼二拍手一礼の後に鈴を鳴らしてもいいようです。

また、鈴のない神社では、手を打ち鳴らす音でその代わりとする場合が多く、鈴でも手でも、神様に届くようにしっかりと音を鳴らすことがポイントです!

4 まとめ

神社の鐘は、名前も鳴らすタイミングもよく知らないまま、お詣りの際もなんとなく鳴らして終わり…という方も多いと思いますが、実は鐘にも神様に関わる意味がちゃんとあります。

「音」に魔除けの効果や神様のご利益があると知ると、お詣りや除夜の鐘もすこし気合を入れて聴いてしまいますね!

なかなか日常生活では鳴らすこともないかもしれませんが、年末年始など、鐘を鳴らすことがあったら神様と繋がれるよう、しっかりと鳴らしてみてください♪

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