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Lecture on the Sutra


- Hoben and Juryo Chapters

By JOSEI TODA

The Seikyo Press


Third Edition, 1968

FOREWORD

The Hokekyo (Lotus Sutra) not merely represents all the teachings of
Shakyamuni which were revealed for the period of fifty years since he had
attained enlightenment. It also is the very sutra that fulfilled the ultimate
purpose of his advent in this world. This is a universally acknowledged fact.
Down in the Buddhist period of Zoho (Middle Day of the Law), Tendai
(Tien-tai) the Great of China wrote the Maka-Shikan (Mo-ho-chih-kuan). In
this commentary treatise, he interpreted
the Hokekyo and developed his
doctrine of Ri-no Ichinen Sanzen.1 [1]
In the current period of Mappo (Latter Day of the Law) the essence of the
Hokekyo is only found in the True Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, as is well
testified by the prophecy of Shakyamuni himself.
Nowadays, there are many lecturers on the Hokekyo in the world. For all that,
some of them interpret the supreme sutra in the way of Tendai School, while
the rest treat it with their minds preoccupied with Confucianism or other
dogmas. They are all short of grasping or conveying the true meaning of the
profound teachings - only leading the public astray. It is exactly as foretold by
Dengyo the Great in his Hokke Shuku: They will acclaim the Hokekyo. In
effect, however, they will neutralize its true meaning.

Our revered teacher Josei Toda, the former president of the Soka Gakkai,
read the depths of the true meaning of the Hokekyo strictly in accordance with
the Ongi Kuden, the Record of Nichiren Daishonins Oral Teachings. He
thereafter undertook lecturing on the essentials of the sutra.
His lecture on the Hoben and Juryo Chapters, which was formally called the
First Class Lecture, lasted over seven years. This discourse proved to be as
precious as gem. In fact, it has become an indispensable prop for the Soka
Gakkai members who practice the True Buddhism precisely as Nichiren
Daishonin taught it.
1 sincerely wish to have the true meaning of the Hokekyo widely known not only to the believers in Nichiren Shoshu but also to the general seekers for
a true religion - and thus to keep the Great Teachings for all humankind
[1] Ri-no Ichinen Sanzen: Theoretical revelation of Ichinen Sanzen as is
compared with Nichiren Daishonins Ji-no Ichinen Sanzen (actual
embodiment of Ichinen Sanzen, i.e., the Dai-Gohonzon) Ichinen Sanzen
is the distinguished doctrine of the Hokekyo which reveals that a
momentary state of life varies in 3,000 kinds according to the impetus of
mind.
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flourishing forever in its purity. Herein lies the reason for sending this book out
to the world in an English edition.
October 12, 1967
DAISAKU IKEDA
The Third President
The Soka Gakkai

PREFACE

The Hokekyo is a Buddhist scripture compiled in eight volumes containing


twenty-eight chapters. For those who attempt either to give or have a lecture on
Buddhism, perhaps nothing is so difficult as to grasp the true meaning of this
sutra.
Shakyamuni, the Buddha who appeared in India, is known as the original
teacher of the Hokekyo. At the beginning of teaching what later was recorded
in the sutra by his disciples, he declared that this doctrine was the ultimate
reason for his advent. Then he went on to reveal all the esoteric cause of his
enlightenment.
In his pre-Hokekyo teachings, Shakyamuni adopted methods to fit the
motives of the people, thus helping them the better to understand the teachings.
However, in the Hokekyo, he forsook this conventional method. Instead, he
taught in a unique mode which accorded with his own motives as Buddha.
This is one of the reasons why the Hokekyo is the most profound and at once
the most abstruse of all the sutras. Shakyamuni defined it himself as the most
incredible and the most recondite. The other reasons are as follows:
The 28-chapter Hokekyo is doctrinally divided into two parts - the Shakumon
(the first 14 chapters) and the Honmon (the latter half. In the part of the
Shakumon, Ri-no Ichinen Sanzen (the theoretical principle of Ichinen Sanzen)
is expounded according to the general aspects of life. In contrast, the Honmon
part reveals Ji-no Ichinen Sanzen (the practical principle of Ichinen Sanzen)
according to the actual cause of the Buddha. Hence the Honmon is called the
True Teaching; and the Shakumon, the Transient Teaching.
Yet these two teachings of the Hokekyo, when compared with Nichiren
Daishonins teachings, are alike reduced to transient teaching. The reason: In
the period of Mappo, the Hokekyo taught by Shakyamuni is invalid like the
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chaff of grain; and San-dai-hiho (the Three Great Secret Laws) alone is valid or
the grain itself. The San-dai-hiho had long been kept secret in the depths of the
Juryo Chapter until Nichiren Daishonin revealed it. Ultimately, therefore,
Nichiren Daishonins teachings are the only true teachings.
This can be proven by observing the process of propagation of Buddhism
after the death of Shakyamuni.
In the period of Shoho (ten centuries after Shakyamunis
death), Hinayana Buddhism spread during the first 500 years, followed
by the spread of Provisional Mahayana Buddhism which lasted for the
latter 500.
In the Zoho period (another ten centuries subsequent to the Shoho period),
Tendai (Tien-tai) the Great of China wrote three extensive treatises - Hokke
Gengi, Hokke Mongu and Maka-Shikan. In these writings, he interpreted the
Hokekyo from every phase and angle, propagating the sutra in China.
Nonetheless, Tendai the Great merely clarified the theoretical significance of
the Hokekyo - Ri-no Ichinen Sanzen; yet far from its practical significance - Jino lchinen Sanzen. In other words, he elucidated the Hokekyo only in a
theoretical way. Practical application of this profound sutra was not made by
anyone.
With the arrival of the period of Mappo, 2,000 years after Shakyamunis
death, Nichiren Daishonin made His advent in Japan. He propagated Buddhism
strictly in accordance with the Hokekyo. On April 28, 1253, He initiated
chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, the core of the sutra, and finally on October
12, 1279, established the Dai-Gohonzon, the most important embodiment of the
Three Great Secret Laws, for the salvation of all mankind from unhappiness
and misfortune.
The embodiment of the Dai-Gohonzon was the ultimate purpose of the
Daishonins advent. For the Dai-Gohonzon is the very original cause for all
living beings to attain Buddhahood as well as for all sutras to acquire their
appropriate meanings. Therefore, our object of worship is the Dai-Gohonzon,
and by no means the Hokekyo, the Hoben Chapter or the Juryo Chapter.
Then, how should faith in the Dai-Gohonzon be practiced?
As primary practice, we chant the Daimoku - Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. As
secondary practice, we recite the Hoben and Juryo Chapters - the Hoben
Chapter for repudiations and quotations sake; and the Juryo Chapter for
repudiations and utilizations sake. Here, repudiation means to disprove the
superficial meaning of the Hoben Chapter; quotation to cite its sentences to
indicate the profound meaning of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism; and
utilization to employ the significant teachings of the Juryo Chapter latent
between its lines.

In the history of Buddhism, innumerable scholars have undertaken to lecture


on the Hokekyo. However, during the Zoho period, no lecturer surpassed
Tendai the Great. Now in Mappo, any lecture on this sutra must be based on
Nichiren Daishonins True Buddhism for the above mentioned reason. The fact
is, however, that most present-day lecturers still adhere to Tendais
interpretations. They must be disillusioned, for their fallacies have caused the
current chaos in Buddhism.
In this chaotic world of Buddhism, Nichiren Shoshu alone has maintained the
True Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin in its genuine purity. Over seven years
ago, with my inauguration to the presidency of the Soka Gakkai, I undertook
the weighty task of lecturing on the Hoben and Juryo Chapters. I have since
given these lectures over and over again to convey the true meaning of the
Hokekyo.
The Study Department of the Soka Gakkai has recently compiled a summary of
my lectures for publication in book form. This book represents my sincere wish
for all readers to become able to comprehend the Hokekyo in its original
significance.

February 7, 1958
JOSEI TODA
The Second President
The Soka Gakkai

NOTE

It is desirable that the readers of this book be aware of the following:


1)
This book contains the summary of the late second president Josei
Todas lecture on the liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu - the Hoben and Juryo
Chapters. His lecture perfectly conveys the true meaning of the Hokekyo.
2)
Mr. Toda lectured on the Hokekyo from the viewpoint of Nichiren
Daishonins Buddhism, since the Sutra lost its validity in Mappo (the Latter
Day of the Law) and it is entirely useless unless it is interpreted as the
explanations of the Daishonins Buddhism.
3)
Several articles in this, book - such as Two Main Streams of Buddhism,
Why Read the Hoben-Juryo Chapters? and What Is Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo? are excerpts from Mr. Todas lecture but some additional explanations are
included to help English-speaking readers understand them better.
4) Words in boldface are quoted from the texts of Hoben and Juryo Chapters.
Italicized words are Buddhist terms and those in parentheses refer to proper
nouns given in romanized Sanskrit or Chinese. However, Buddhist terms which
are familiar to the readers such as the Daimoku and Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
are not italicized.

5) The diacritical marks in romanized Sanskrit words are not used in


this book, since they are only confusing to the general reader. Scholarly
readers, therefore, will have to excuse the translators for this usage.
6)
In the appendix, you will find the explanations of important phrases from
the Hoben and Juryo Chapters. They are arranged in alphabetical order for the
convenience of the readers. The Buddhist terms, Monjo and Montei, used in the
interpretation signify the standpoint of Shakyamunis Buddhism (or the literal
interpretation of the Sutra) and that of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism,
respectively.
7)
In the appendix, you will also find the liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu which
you read in the morning and evening services of Gongyo.
8)
Footnotes are inserted so that Buddhist terms unfamiliar to the
readers may be explained in simpler expressions.
Editor

CONTENTS

Chapter 1: On the Hokekyo (Lotus Sutra) 1


Two Main Streams of Buddhism
Shakyamuni and the Hokekyo
Translator of the Hokekyo
Three Kinds of Hokekyo
Why Read Hoben-Juryo chapters ?
What is Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo ?

3
7
11
14

16
26

Chapter II: Lecture on the Hoben Chapter33


First Chapter, Jo-hon
What is Hoben ?
Lecture on the Hoben Chapter

35
39
47

Chapter III: Lecture on the Juryo Chapter79


Honmon and Shakumon
Fifteenth Chapter, Yujuppon
Title of the Juryo Chapter
Lecture on the Juryo Chapter

81
83
85
90

Chapter IV: Meaning of Silent Prayers 183

Appendix
Correct Way of Gongyo

199

President Ikedas Guidance:


Gongyo, Daily Worship

204

Every Wish Comes True

207

Questions and Answers


Words and Phrases in the Sutra
The Liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu

213
223
257

INDEX OF LECTURE
The following is the Index of lecture on the Hoben and Juryo
Chapters in reference to pages in The Liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu (the
romanized text of Gongyo).

Liturgy

Lect.

Page Line
1
1
1
2
2
3
3
3
4
4
6
6
8
8
9
10
11
12
12
13
14
15
16
16
17
18
18
20
20
21
22

1
1
8
9
9
7
3
6
6
5
2
1
9
6
1
7
2
7
7
5

Page
Myoho-Renge-Kyo Hoben-pon Dai-ni
47
Niji seson ... sho fu no chi
47
Shoi sha ga ... ishu nange
55
Sharihotsu ... ryo ri sho jaku
60
Shoi sha ga ... kai i gusoku
64
Sharihotsu ... mizou ho
64
Sharihotsu ... ekka shushin
Sharihotsu ... Bus-shitsu joju
69
Shi Sharihotsu ... sho ho jisso
69
Shoi sho ho ... nyoze honmak-kukyoto
71
Myoho-renge-kyo
nyorai Juryo-hon Dai.juroku ...
Niji butsu go ... jinzu shi riki
90
Issai seken ... nayuta ko
Hi nyo go hyaku sen man noku ... shufu 100
Miroku bosat to ... muryo muhen
Niji butsu go ... asogi ko
102
Ji ju zerai ... dori shujo
104
Sho zen nanshi ... hoben funbetsu
Sho zen nanshi ... hok-kangi shin
Sho zen nanshi ... sa nyo ze setsu
Sho zen nanshi ... kai jitsu fu ko
Shoi sha ga ...
mu u shaku myo
I sho shujo ... ja ju fu metsu
117
Sho zen nanshi ... kyoke shujo
Shoi sha ga ... moken mo chu
123
Nyakken nyorai ... nan ka chigu
Shoi sha ga ... kai jitsu fu ko
128
Hi nyo roi ... on shi yokoku
130
Sho shi o go ... kyo shi jumyo
131
Bu ken shi to ... mu bu shugen
Go sho shi chu ... ni fu ko buku

23

Shoi sha ga ... Mot-tsu fu sai

139

24

Sa ze kyo I ... gen shi ken shi

141

26

Sho zen nanshi ... ni setsu ge gon145

27

Ji ga toku bur rai ... 148

1
1
6
5
9
2
6
9
3
8
1

67

85
94
101
105
108
111
113
115
121
126

136
138

10

27

Sho kyo sho kosshu ... Ryo nyu o butsudo

28

Nirai muryo ko ... Jo ju shi seppo154

28

Ga jo ju o shi ... Sui gon ni fu ken

29

Shu ken ga metsudo ... shichijiki i nyunan

29

Isshin yok-ken butsu ... Ku shutsu ryojusen

30

Ga ji go shujo ... I setsu mujo ho 161

31

Nyoto fu mon shi ... Jinzuriki nyo ze

162

32

O asogi ko ... Nyo ze shitsu juman

163

34

Ze sho zai shujo ... Fu mon sanbo myo 170

35

Sho u shu kudoku ... Ga chiriki nyo ze 172

35

Eko sho muryo ... To dan ryo yo jin

173

36

Butsugo jip puko ... Mu no sek-komo

174

36

Gayaku isebu ... Jitsu zai ni gon metsu 176

37

I jo ken ga ko ... I ses-shuju ho

38

Mai ji sa ze nen ... Soku joju busshin

152

156
157
158

177
179

INDEX OF SILENT PRAYERS

Liturgy

Lecture

10

11

Page
39
40
42
43
44
44
45
46
47
48
48

Page
Sho-Za
Shoshin myokaku jigyo no
185
Ni.za Namu Honmon juryo hon no 187
San-Za
Namu honninmyo na kyoshu 191
San-Za
Namu hossui shabyo 193
San-Za
Namu ichienbudai no on-zasu 194
San-Za
Namu Nichido Shonin 194
Yo-ZaKinen shi tatematsuru, warera195
Yo-ZaSoregashi kako onnongo
195
Ga.Za
To monryu shinko no menmen
196
Ga-Za
Soregashi senzo daidai no
196
Ga-Za
Naishi hokai byodo riyaku
196

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Chapter One of The Lotus Sutra

Two Main Streams of Buddhism

There are two main streams of Buddhism in mankinds recorded history. One is
what is generally called the Buddhism of Shakyamuni and the other, Nichiren
Daishonins Buddhism. The latter is known as True Buddhism as distinguished
from the former.
Nearly 3,000 years ago, Shakyamuni in India expounded numerous sutras
whose number is said to total 5,000 to 7,000. Of them, the Hokekyo (Lotus
Sutra) was the main sutra which revealed Shakyamunis enlightenment. Some
100 years after his death, Buddhism spread to all of India and then to its
neighboring countries through the efforts of King Asoka. Thus, Buddhism
brought peace and security to India.
However, as predicted by Shakyamuni himself, Buddhism declined with the
passing of time until it finally lost the power of redemption. This came about in
the Latter Day of the Law (Mappo) when 2,000 years had passed after
Shakyamunis death.
Around that time, Japan suffered a series of disasters while its religious world
degenerated. People were thus forced to suffer such a severe destiny without
any religion to rely on.
It was at that time that Nichiren Daishonin made His advent in Japan and
established the True Buddhism for all mankind. The Daishonins advent in
Mappo verified the prediction of Shakyamuni that the votary of the Hokekyo
would propagate the Hokekyo in the fifth half millennium after his death.
Without the Daishonin, Shakyamunis prophecy would have remained
unfulfilled and the Hokekyo would have been lost.

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Unlike Shakyamuni, who was born as the son of King Suddhodana, the
Daishonin first saw the light of day as the son of a fisherman in what is now
Chiba Prefecture in Japan. He called himself the son of a Sudra family. Sudra
is of the lowest class in India comprising fishermen, butchers, etc.
As it was, the corrupt-minded people would not believe in the Daishonin, who
testified to the validity of His teachings citing the sutras. Persecutions poured
upon Him as the Hokekyo puts it, All those who are ignorant of Buddhism
shall abuse and hit him (the votary of the Hokekyo) with sticks... He shall be
exiled more than once.
The Daishonin was exiled to Izu Peninsula in May, 1261 and then ten years
later to Ado Island both on false charges. On September 12, 1271, the
Daishonin was almost beheaded at Tatsuno-kuchi by warriors of the Hojo
Regime who hated the Daishonin without good reason.
Shakyamuni faced persecutions but not such insurmountable ones as did the
Daishonin. While Shakyamuni deserved the respect of the people for his
outstanding physical features and social status as well as for his noble
character, the Daishonin, born to a fishermans family, had to overcome every
hardship and save His contemporaries who slandered and opposed Him.
This single fact suffices to endorse Nichiren Daishonins superiority to
Shakyamuni.
Another striking difference is found in the method of teaching. Shakyamuni
led his disciples to the Hokekyo with provisional teachings but the Daishonin
declared the law of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo once for all. Buddhist teachings to
guide His people.
Shakyamuni was the first Buddha in recorded history, but from the viewpoint
of eternal life clarified in Buddhism, Nichiren Daishonin is the original Buddha
who awakened all other Buddhas to the truth of life and the universe. The
relationship between the two is comparable to that of the moon shining in the
nocturnal sky and its reflection on the surface of a pond.
This is obvious from a phrase from the Juryo Chapter of the Hokekyo which
reads, Once I also practiced the Bodhisattva austerities. (Ga hon gyo bosatsu
do). If he actually practiced Bodhisattva austerities, he must have done so
under some other Buddha. Yet, if he were the original Buddha, he would have
made himself the object of worship. This is obviously irreconcilable. The truth

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is that he practiced Buddhism under the True Buddha who emerged in Mappo
as Nichiren Daishonin.
In other words, Nichiren Daishonin is the life of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
while Shakyamuni attained enlightenment by worshipping the Nam-MyohoRenge-Kyo.
With his Hokekyo, Shakyamuni not only made his disciples attain
enlightenment but also predicted the advent in Mappo of the True Buddha
whom he called in the sutra the votary of the Hokekyo. The True Buddha
showed himself as Bodhisattva Jogyo at the ceremony of the Treasure Tower,
where Shakyamuni transferred the essence of the Hokekyo to this ephemeral
figure of the True Buddha.
Therefore, both the votary of the Hokekyo and Bodhisattva Jogyo in
Shakyamunis supreme sutra (Hokekyo) signify Nichiren Daishonin, the True
Buddha.
A passage from the Yakuo Chapter of the Hokekyo reads, At the beginning of
Mappo, you should achieve Kosen-rufu and never let it (True Buddhism)
perish.
Another excerpt from the Jisriki Chapter says, He (Bodhisattva Jogyo) will
spread Buddhism in this world, dispelling the darkness from mankind and
leading innumerable Bodhisattvas to the Supreme Vehicle [of Buddhahood] in
the end.
Therefore, Tendai (Tien-tai) said, The Mystic Law will benefit [mankind] in
the fifth half-millennium and far beyond into the future. Myoraku (Miao-lo)
interpreted Tendais words saying, There are surely inconspicuous benefits at
the beginning of Mappo. In addition, Dengyo of Japan said, Shoho and Zoho
have almost passed and Mappo is very near. It is the very time when people
should believe in the Supreme Vehicle of Hokekyo.
Thus all the Buddhas paid highest respect to the True Buddha who was sure to
appear in Mappo.
Nichiren Daishonin stated in His Senji Sho (On the Selection of the Time),
The time when, as predicted in the Daishikkyo, the pure Law is lost will be
followed by the time when Kosen-rufu of the Great Pure Law of the Hokekyo
will be achieved not only in Japan but also throughout the entire world.

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In this passage, the Pure Law indicates Shakyamunis Buddhism and the
Great Pure Law, the Daishonins.
All these quotations lead to the conclusion that Shakyamunis Buddhism should
be displaced by the True Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin in Mappo.
As for the distinction of the teachings of Shakyamuni and the Daishonin, the
Gosho makes it clear in the passage which reads, I, Nichiren, have inscribed
my life in sumi ink so that you may believe with your whole heart. The
Buddhas will is the Hokekyo - to the soul of Nichiren, there is nothing which
supersedes Nam-myoho-rengekyo.

Shakyamuni and the Hokekyo

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The Hokekyo (abbreviation of Myoho-renge-kyo) which is commonly called


the Sutra of the Lotus was expounded by Shakyamuni during his last eight
years of teaching.
Shakyamuni, whose given name was Siddhartha, renounced the world at the
age of nineteen and after twelve years of practice, attained enlightenment at
Bodh Gaya, India when he was thirty.
He began his teaching in Mrgadava (the Deer Park) with Hinayana, and
continued to teach his disciples for forty-two years. At that time he expounded
the Hokekyo as being the reason for his advent into this world.
In the recorded history of Buddhism, Shakyamuni was the first Buddha, but
from the viewpoint of enlightenment itself, Shakyamuni was not the original
Buddha. He was but a transient Buddha, comparable to the moon shining in
reflected sunlight or the image of the moon in a pond.
Shakyamuni was a great Buddha of the past whose teachings lost their validity
2,000 years after his death. Contemporary Buddhist sects who worship
Shakyamuni are similar to a person who relies on last years calendar.
The name Shakyamuni literally means the Sage of the Sakyas. His formal
designation is Shakyamuni Buddha. Buddha means the Enlightened One and
Shakyamuni is so called because he attained enlightenment after practicing
austerities for twelve years from the age of nineteen.
When Prince Siddhartha left his castle, his father, Jobonno (King Suddhodana)
ordered five monks including Kyojinnyo (Kaundinya) to accompany the Prince.
The austerities ordered in those days were so severe that some seated
themselves on rocks for days on end without taking any food, engaging in
meditation.
Shakyamuni himself practiced such austerities for as long as twelve years
without attaining enlightenment and became too exhausted to ponder the
problems of life and the outlook on the world. Therefore, he broke his long fast
by accepting the food offered by a young girl. This shocked his five
companions, who said, Gautama (by which Shakyamuni was known as he
belonged to the Gautama clan) fell into heresy by breaking his fast. We can no
longer accompany him, and thus they abandoned Shakyamuni.
Shakyamuni continued to eat and sleep moderately and ponder on life. While
speculating on various hard-to-solve problems, one morning he saw the planet
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the Venus shine. At that very moment, he attained enlightenment. This is what
Buddhism defines as the attainment of Buddhahood in an instant (Setsuna
Jodo). This is the zenith of deductive Oriental philosophy and is actually the
enlightenment of the Great Universe.
What was his enlightenment? The answer would be rather simple, like
Columbuss egg, if I were to explain it in a few words. However, we common
mortals cannot attain enlightenment even if we should try to meditate for a
million years. Shakyamuni was enlightened to the fact that he had been the
Buddha since the immeasurably distant past known as Gohyaku-jintengo. (See
Page 101) He instantly realized the eternity of life and the principle of Ichinen
Sanzen or the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds (Jikkai Gogu).
Thus the practice of austerities was no longer necessary or him. Thinking out a
method for expounding his enlightenment,
he first showed the three ways mankind should follow, leading them to Shomon
(Learning), Engaku (Absorption) and Bosatsu (Bodhisattva). Preparing them
for the teaching of Hokekyo, he waited to reveal his enlightenment in that
supreme sutra.
He wanted to teach all the Brahminist teachers under whom he had practiced
austerities for twelve years but finding they had passed away, he decided to
teach the five old monks including Kyojinnyo. The five had agreed that they
would not speak even a word to Gautama who had abandoned austerities, but
on seeing the dignified figure of Shakyamuni, they became his disciples.
Thus, Shakyamuni came to be worshipped as the Buddha from that time, since
the advent of the Buddha had been prophesied by the saints of Brahmanism.
Many people gathered to listen to the Buddhas teaching. To them Shakyamuni
expounded Kegon-kyo, the second highest sutra next to the Hokekyo, which
was rather beyond their understanding. The fame of Shakyamuni grew even
more.
He went on to teach the three vehicles of Shomon, Engaku and Bosatsu, and
finally to reveal the supreme vehicle of Buddhahood (Butsu) by refuting these
three.
Thus the teaching of the Agon sutras followed the Kegon sutras. The former
belonged to Hinayana which comprised a great many commandments. Then
came the teaching of Hodo and Hannya sutras which belonged to provisional
Mahayana.
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All these teachings Shakyamuni explained for forty-two years. Seeing his
disciples well qualified for the teaching of Hokekyo, actual Mahayana,
Shakyamuni taught it for eight years until he passed away at the age of eighty.
As for various Buddhist sects, Ritsu Sect is based on Hinayana and Jodo (Pure
Land), Shingon (True Word) and Zen Sects derive from provisional Mahayana.
However, both Hinayana and provisional Mahayana were repudiated by
Shakyamuni before the expounding of the Hokekyo. This is why all these sects
are called heretical.
During the Hokke period, the introductory sutra to the Hokekyo came first,
entitled Muryogi-kyo (the Sutra of Infinite Meaning). followed by the twentyeight chapters of the Hokekyo. The concluding sutra was Fugen-kyo (the Sutra
of Bodhisattva Fugens Practice).
The Hokekyo consists of eight volumes and twenty-eight chapters. Including
the introductory and concluding sutras, the Hokekyo comprises ten volumes.
Another sutra belonging to the Hokke period is Nehan-gyo (the Sutra of
Nirvana) which Shakyamuni expounded just before he entered Nirvana, to
prove the truth of the Hokekyo.
In order of increasing profundity, the five periods are arranged thus: Agon,
Hodo, Hannya, Kegon and Hokke. However, in order of expowiding, (they are:
Kegon, Agon, Hodo, Hannya and Hokke.
This is Shakyamunis way of explaining the Hokekyo. As is obvious from the
Muryogi-kyo and the Hoben Chapter of the Hokekyo, the objective of
Shakyamunis advent into this world was to make people attain Buddhahood
through the Hokekyo. All the other sutras were but provisional teachings which
led his disciples to the Hokekyo.
It therefore follows that the depths of Shakyamunis buddhism are described in
the Hokekyo, without which there can be no understanding of the essence of his
teachings.
Furthermore, the Hokekyo is the basis of realizing the striking difference
between Shakyamunis Buddhism and the Daishonins. These are the two main
streams of Buddhism.
The present confusion in the Buddhist world is attributable mainly to the fact
that those Buddhists captivated by Shakyamunis Hokekyo have failed to draw
a line between these two streams of Buddhism. The twenty-eight-chapter
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Hokekyo is Shakyamunis teaching and Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the


Daishonins Buddhism. This is the essential knowledge for those who are interested in Buddhism as well as students of Buddhism.

Translator of the Hokekyo

Shakyamuni supposedly taught his Hokekyo in Sanskrit, and after his death, all
of the 28 chapters of the Hokekyo were compiled in sutra form also in Sanskrit.
Then it was translated into many languages. As for the Chinese translation,
there are said to be six versions, but only three of them remain today.
Of these translations, Nichiren Daishonin stated that the translation of Raju
Sanzo (Kumarajiva) is the only translation which conveys the true meaning of
the Buddha. It is said to be the oldest translation and is established as the best
translation among Asian Buddhist scholars. Therefore, Rajus translation is
widely used under the title of Myoho-Renge-Kyo (Hokekyo for short).
Who was Raju Sanzo, the translator of the Hokekyo? His father Kumaraen
(Kumarayana) was an Indian of noble birth who married the sister of the King
of Kucha. Their son was named Kumarajiva. Kumarajiva entered the
priesthood at the stage of seven and showed unusual gifts even in his
childhood.
He learned Mahayana from a Buddhist named Suriyasoma, who, transferring
the Hokekyo to Kumarajiva, said, This sutra is related to a northeastern
country. You should spread it respectfully. Kumarajiva obeyed the instruction
of his teacher and went to China, located to the northeast of India. There he
completed the translation of the Hokekyo with his 3,000 disciples under the
edict of the Emperor. The sutra then spread to Japan which is also situated to
the northeast of China.
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There is an interesting story about Kumarajivas translation. The Emperor of


China earnestly recommended him to raise family. Thus he dared to disobey a
Buddhist commandment and left the monastery.
Facing his death, Kumarajiva said, Surely I broke a Buddhist commandment
and followed the secular way of life taking a wife and having children.
However, what I stated is not the least contradictory to the Buddhas teachings.
My impure body will, therefore, be burnt, but my pure tongue will remain
unscorched. See it with your own eyes. His prophecy is said to have come
true.
Nichiren Daishonin states in the Gosho:
All those who introduced the sutras from India to China total 187 including
the sutras of both new and old translations, but none of them except that of
Raju Sanzo are free from mistakes... He made an oath, saying, I tuade my
body impure by taking a wife, but my tongue is pure since I never lied in
Buddhism. When I die, you should burn my body. In that case, if my pure
tongue is reduced to ashes, you may discard my sutra. This he used to say
seated in a high position. All the people, both of high and low social status,
wanted to die after Raju Sanzo. When finally he died, they burnt his body, and
the impure parts were all reduced to ashes, but the pure tongue remained
untouched with a blue lotus flower blooming on it. It radiated five colors of
light and shone so brightly at night that it seemed as if it were day. In the
daytime, it shone more brilliantly than the sun. This made the people ignore all
the translations made by others, but the sutras translated by Raju Sanzo,
especially the Hokekyo, spread to China with ease. (Senji Sho, On the
Selection of the Time).
The Hokekyo consists of eight volumes and twenty-eight
chapters. The three sutras of the Hokekyo indicate Muryogi-kyo (the Sutra of
Infinite Meaning), Hokekyo and Fugen-kyo (the Sutra of Bodhisattva Fugens
Practice). Including these introductory and concluding sutras, the Hokekyo
comprises ten volumes.
The first half of the 28-chapter Hockey - from Jo-hon to Anrakugyo-bon - is
called Shakumon (transient teachings) and the last half - from Yujuppon to
Kampatsu-bon - is known as Honmon (true teaching).
The core of Shakumon is the Hoben-pon or the Hoben Chapter which expounds
the principle of Ichinen Sanzen but theoretically, and the essential of the
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Honmon is the Juryo-hon or the Juryo Chapter which clarifies the same
principle in practice. The difference between Honmon and Shakumon will be
made clear in a later chapter.
To put it simply, Shakumon is comparable to the image of the moon reflected
on the pond and Honmon to the moon itself. Shakumon is likened to a blueprint
and Hon-mon to a building. Thus Honmon is far superior to Shakumon.

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Three Kinds of Hokekyo

When we speak of the Hokekyo, people think of Shakyainunis Myoho-rengekyo which comprises twenty-eight chapters. However, in actuality, there are
three kinds of Hokekyo according to the periods of Shoho, Zoho and Mappo.
Time is an indispensable factor of Buddhism. The first millennium after
Shakyamunis death is Shoho, the second millennium, Zoho and the period
which follows is Mappo which lasts for 10,000 years and more.
People in Shoho were closely related to Shakyamuni and people in Zoho were
but slightly related to him. However, people in Mappo have no connection
whatsoever with Shakyamuni. During Shoho and Zoho, Shakyamunis
Buddhism benefitted the people, but in Mappo, even the Hokekyo which
fulfilled the purpose of Shakyamunis advent in this world has lost its validity,
retaining only its formality.
Today, only the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin who is the True Buddha of
Mappo provides mankind with divine blessings. Many Buddhist sects such as
Jodo (Pure Land); Zen and Shingon (True Word) are based on the provisional
teachings which should be displaced by the Hokekyo. Therefore, they are
extremely heretical sects which poison their believers.
The Hokekyo of Shoho is the twenty-eight-chapter Hokekyo revealed by
Shakyamuni and that of Zoho is Tendais Maka-Shikan (Tien-tais Mo-ho-

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chih-kuan). The Hokekyo of Mappo is the Nam-myoho-renge kyo of the Three


Great Secret Laws (San-dai-hi ho) established by Nichiren Daishonin.
Buddhism has the Three Treasures (Sampo) the Buddha, the Law, and the
Priest. Before explaining the Three Treasures, I must refer to six kinds of
Buddhas. They are the Buddha of Hinayana, Buddha of Tsukyo2 [2] , Buddha of
Bekkyo*, Buddha of Shakumon (of the Hokekyo), Buddha of Honmon (of the
Hokekyo), and the Buddha of Montei3 [3] of Honmon. These six are classified
according to the teachings they expounded. The first five are Shakyamuni of
India and the last is Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha of Mappo.
It follows therefore that the Three Treasures of Hinayana are the Buddha of
Hinayana (Buddha), Hinayana sutras (Law), and Anan (Ananda) and Kasho
(Kasyapa) (Priests). The Three Treasures of Shakumon are the Buddha of
Shakumon who did not disclose his eternal life (Buddha), the Hokekyo (Law),
and Bodhisattvas Fugen (Samantabhadra) and Monju (Manjusri) (Priests).
The Three Treasures of Nichiren Shoshu are Nichiren Daishonin, the eternal
and original Buddha (Buddha), Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo of the Three Great
Secret Laws (Law), and Nikko Shonin, immediate successor to the Daishonin
(Priest).
Heretical Nichiren sects fail to define these Three Treasures correctly since they
regard Nichiren Daishonin as a mere Bodhisattva and not as the True Buddha.

[2] Tsukyo, Bekkyo: From the viewpoint of its content, Shakyamunis


teachings are classified into fourZokyo, Tsukyo, Bekkyo and Enkyo.
Zokyo is Hinayana, Tsukyo is the lower part of provisional Mahayana,
Bekkyo is the higher part of provisional Mahayana, and Enkyo (which
literally means round or perfect teaching) is the Hokekyo or actual
Mahayana.
2

[3] Montej: Literally means what is expounded,between the lines. It


means the essential teaching which Honmon, the last half of the Hokekyo, holds in its depths and becomes obvious only when it is viewed
from the standpoint of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism.
3

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Again, you should acknowledge that there are six kinds of Buddhas and that
among them only the Buddha of Montei of Honmon (who is Nichiren
Daishonin) is the only Buddha in Mappo who can lead mankind to eternal
happiness.

Why Read Hoben-Juryo Chapters?

Shakyamunis Hokekyo; when used for the purpose of learning, is quite


different in meaning from that based on faith and practice.
Nikko Shonin, who was the founder of Head Temple Taisekiji and second High
Priest, wrote in his Twenty-six Articles of Warning, Article 10: My disciples
should not study the doctrines of the Tendai (Tien-tai) Sect unless they are
well versed in the Truthful Teachings. Thus the study of the Hokekyo should
be based on the Ongi Kuden - the record of Nichiren Daishonins oral teachings
on the Hokekyo. From this standpoint, Tendais interpretation of the Hokekyo
will help the study of Buddhism.
Nichiren Daishonin praised the perfect interpretation of the Hokekyo made by
Tendai, and in the time of Mappo when Shakyamunis Hokekyo itself loses its
power of redemption, Tendais interpretation may be used in explaining the
Hokekyo of Mappo or the Gohonzon. However, it is incomplete for that
purpose.
In a word, learning in Buddhism is a means to cornprehend the ultimate theory
of Buddhism which is embodied in the Gohonzon and to deepen ones faith in
the Gohonzon. Tendai intended only to make people understand the literal
meaning of the Hokekyo.
The study of Buddhism should be directed toward deepening ones faith in the
Gohonzon. Nichiren Shoshu believers should study the Gosho (the complete
works of Nichiren Daishonin) and not the Hokekyo or its interpretations.
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You may wonder why you must read the Hokekyo in Gongyo if it is useless, but
you can understand from the above explanation that you need not read the
Hokekyo for learning but for practice. This is explained more clearly in the
work of Nikkan Shonin, the 26th High Priest who was known for his
unparalleled knowledge of Buddhism.
The following is a brief account of what Nikkan Shonin wrote in the Rokkan
Sho (Six-volume Writings):
There are necessarily two ways of practicing Buddhism - primary and
secondary. In this school (Nichiren Shoshu), the secondary practice is the
recitation of the Hoben and Juryo Chapters which adds to the profound blessing
of chanting the Daimoku, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, in the primary practice
just as seasoning makes food taste better.
Nikkan Shonin continues, This secondary practice is further divided into two main and subordinate practices. We read the Juryo Chapter for the former and
the Hoben Chapter for the latter. This is because the Juryo Chapter is more
closely related to Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo than is the Hoben Chapter. As
Myoraku (Miao-lo) the Great stated, the simultaneous practice of both primary
and secondary practices produces immeasurable benefits.
The relationship between primary and secondary practices is commonly seen in
everyday life. In the drama of Midsummer Nights Dream, you will find
actors and actresses performing their parts in earnest while music and lighting
assist to make their performance more impressive and more striking. In this
case, the effect of the drama becomes more conspicuous with music and
lighting. Likewise, the Gohonzons blessings will increase even more through
the secondary practice.
Now, the question is what the Hoben and Juryo Chapters represent.
Nichiren Shoshu has the Juryo Chapter as its basic sutra but it also uses the
Hoben Chapter which is the most important part of Shakumon (transient
teachings) comprising the first half of the 28-chapter Hokekyo.
However, what the Daishonin derives from the Hoben Chapter is much more
profound than its literal meaning. The Daishonin calls it Shakumon as I read
it. In other words, it is the Hoben Chapter as interpreted from the viewpoint of
the Daishonins Buddhism.
The Daishonin read the chapter for two purposes - to repudiate and to borrow.
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Sentences are the verbal expression of what one has in mind. As such, they
have the two aspects of expression and content. For instance, the words,
Let us promote world peace! spoken by a liberal have quite a different
meaning from exactly the same words uttered by a Communist.
Likewise, the sentences of the Hoben Chapter differ in meaning when they are
interpreted literally and when they are understood from the viewpoint of the
Daishonins Buddhism.
The Daishonin borrowed sentences from the chapter but repudiated its
incomplete contents. To repudiate and to borrow are not two things but two
sides of one thing like light and shadow.
Here is an example. The Hoben Chapter reads:
Niji seson ju sanmai anjo ni ki go sharihotsu:
shobut-chi-e jinjin muryo. Go chi-e mon nange nannyu...
The first sentence literally means, At this time, the Lord Buddha serenely
arose from his deep meditation and addressed Sharihotsu (Sariputra).
At this time in the above means the time when the Buddha appears to teach
his doctrine because people have acquired the ability to understand it.
Meditation is the English for a Buddhist term Sanmai (samadhi) which
means to concentrate ones mind on a single subject. The Buddha had been
meditating on the principle that all meanings come from the One Law.
Sharihotsu whom the Buddha addressed was the wisest disciple of the
Buddha and also a man of the two vehicles (Learning and Absorption) or Nijo.
The Buddha defined Nijo as being unable to attain enlightenment being selfsatisfied with their own knowledge and failing to seek the supreme sutra of the
Buddha.
Thus, the sentence cited from the sutra should be interpreted thus: The time
has come when the Buddha propounds the great principle of Ichinen Sanzen
(which enables everyone to attain enlightenment) as his disciples have been
sufficiently educated. Therefore, Shakyamuni Buddha arose with recollection
and consciousness from his deep meditation that all meanings come from the
One Law, and addressed Sharihotsu who was the representative of the men of
two vehicles and for whom it was difficult to attain eniightenment.
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From the standpoint of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism, however, the quoted


sutra sentence is interpreted as follows:
The time has come when the Buddhism for people in Mappo who are
unrelated with Shakyamuni should be expounded. The True Buddha (Nichiren
Daishonin) who had been concentrating His mind on the Law of Nam-MyohoRenge-Kyo (which Shakyamuni could only suggest as the One Law) arose
resolutely from His meditation and appeared in this world - in Japan which was
a land filled with impure-hearted people. Then He addressed those who were
devoid of good fortune and opposed the True Buddhism (whose essence is
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo). He was so merciful that He allowed even such
people to know the Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, which is the direct way to attain
enlightenment.
You may not think that you are Sharihotsu to whom the Buddha spoke. Nor do
you think you are the wisest in the world. However, Mappo is the time when
you can obtain the greatest wisdom through faith in the Gohonzon as
expounded in the Buddhist principle of changing faith into wisdom. In this
sense, believers in the Gohonzon may Be called Sharihotsu.
Now you see how the same sentence has different meanings according to the
viewpoint one takes. In the practice of Gongyo, you repudiate Shakyamunis
Hoben Chapter and read the Daishonins Hoben Chapter as your secondary
practice, although the sentences are exactly the same.
Thus you read the Hoben Chapter aloud by yourselves and at the same time
listen to it with your own ears, but from the viewpoint of Buddhism, you are
listening to the Daishonins lecture on the Hokekyo or Ongi Kuden.
You should then recite the Hoben Chapter keeping in mind that all philosophies
other than Buddhism, Hinayana and provisional Mahayana (all the Mahayana
teachings except the Hokekyo) and even the Shakumon of the Hokekyo are
inferior to the Hoben Chapter as interpreted by Nichiren Daishonin and
therefore should be discarded. This is the very spirit of Shakubuku.
At the same time, you exalt the wonderful law of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and
are convinced of its supremacy.
All the sentences of the Hoben Chapter have two different meanings but in this
book, only the interpretation from the viewpoint of the Daishonins Buddhism
is elucidated since it is the very thing you should know in doing Gongyo. The
literal interpretation is not necessary for your daily practice.
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As you have understood why you recite the Hoben Chapter in Gongyo, you can
easily discover the purpose of reading the Juryo Chapter. It is to repudiate the
contents of the chapter and use - not borrow - its sentences.
The most remarkable feature of the Juryo Chapter is the revelation of the
Buddha. Shakyamuni revealed in the chapter that while people thought he had
attained enlightenment at the age of thirty under the Bodhi Tree in India,
actually he had attained it in an immeasurably distant past known as Gohyakujintengo.
In the realm of Shakyamunis Buddhism, this Gohyakujintengo is the era when
Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood for the first time. In other words,
Shakyamunis life is not eternal but only Gohyaku-jintengo.
This is the literal interpretation of the Hokekyo, unrelated to the Daishonins
Buddhism.
From the viewpoint of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism, the Buddha who had
existed since Kuon Ganjo or the most distant past in the existence of the
universe (which has no beginning), told people for the purpose of instruction,
that he attained enlightenment at the time of Gohyaku-jintengo. However, this
is still superficial and the truth is yet to be disclosed. What Nichiren Daishonin
defined as the Juryo Chapter in the eye of my secret conviction is the very
Juryo Chapter which in itself elucidates the true aspect of the Daishonin. In this
sense, Nichiren Shoshu believers use the Juryo Chapter while repudiating
even the superficial interpretation of the Chapter in the light of the Diatonics
Buddhism.
The reality of the Daishonin is that He has been the True Buddha since Kuon
Ganjo, when there was no other teaching but Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. This is
the very law which, implanted in the hearts of all people, leads them to
Buddhahood. The Buddha who sowed the seeds of enlightenment was Nichiren
Daishonin who is also called the Buddha of Musa Sanjin.4 [4]
[4] Musa Sanjin: Musa means being natural or eternal as against being
artificial. Sanjin literally means three bodiesthree phases of life:
Hosshin (the Buddhas life), Hoshin (the Buddhas wisdom) and Ojin
(the Buddhas body). Musa Sanjin means that these tbr~e phases of
life are naturally possessed by the True Buddha for eternity. It is another
name for the True Buddha.
4

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Therefore, there is no other way but to believe in this Buddha and chant NamMyoho-Renge-Kyo. This is what the Juryo Chapter reveals between its lines
when it is used by Nichiren Daishonin.
The first verse of the Jiga-ge (the sutra in verse beginning with Ji ga toku burrai) will be interpreted hereunder according to the aforementioned three points
of view.
When literally interpreted, the verse Ji ga toku bur-rai means: Since I
(Shakyamuni) attained enlightenment prior to any other Buddha at Gohyakujintengo.
This interpretation was completed by Tendai the Great who spread
Shakyamunis Hokekyo with his most perfect interpretation for people in Zoho.
Such an interpretation, however, cannot benefit those who live today in Mappo
when Shakyamunis Hokekyo itself has lost the power of redemption.
From the viewpoint of the Daishonins Buddhism, the same verse reads, Since
I appeared at Gohyaku-jintengo for the purpose of redeeming those who
followed me when I attained enlightenment at Kuon Ganjo.
However, when the verse is interpreted completely as the Daishonins Juryo
Chapter, its meaning is far more profound and philosophical.
Ga of Ji ga toku bur-rai means Hosshin (Buddhas life), butsu means Hoshin
(Buddhas wisdom), and rai means Ojin (Buddhas body). These three phases
of life Nichiren Daishonin acquired by himself. Thus Ji toku means to
acquire by oneself. The Daishonin obtained all of these at Kuon Ganjo or in
other words, the Daishonin has been the True Buddha since the infinite past.
This is true interpretation of Ji ga toku bur-rai. In the service of Gongyo,
Nichiren Shoshu believers repudiate the superficial meaning of the sutra and
use this interpretation, praising the supreme Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin.
Obviously, the cited verse, when used by the Daishonin, expounds the reality of
ordinary people as well as the Buddha.
Now I will give you some brief account of Kuon Ganjo which is one of the
most profound principles of Buddhism. In the realm of Shakyamunis
Buddhism, Kuon Ganjo is indicative of an unimaginably distant past, but
according to the Daishonin, it is with us today or in other words, the present
moment is Kuon Ganjo.
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Kuon Ganjo is the beginning of Mappo when the True Buddha who sows the
seeds of Buddhahood in the minds of all people makes His advent. Mappo is
the day when there are innumerable heretical teachings and the true teaching is
buried in oblivion. For this reason, Mappo is very close to Kuon Ganjo when
there was no teaching, leaving the Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo unrevealed.
It is at this juncture that Buddhist philosophy becomes a practical teaching. It is
no longer a mere theory or a mere idea. The profound Buddhist philosophy
accords with reality.
It was explained that the verse ji ga toku bur-rai clarified the essential nature
of ordinary people.
This life endowed with the three phases of life (Sanjin) is what we have
obtained by ourselves. We can never learn Buddhahood from others.
You may study Buddhism or hear lectures on the Hokekyo and ask someone to
teach you what Buddhahood is like, without getting a definite answer. You can
do nothing but realize it by yourself. I have obtained these three phases of life
by myself. This is how Buddha feels. As for the way to attain Buddhahood,
Nichiren Daishonin taught us that to chant Daimoku to the Gohonzon is the
only way to realize the life of Sanjin. This is the correct meaning of Ji ga toku
bur-rai.
As is obvious from the above, you cannot attain enlightenment or Buddhahood
by yourself, but you must believe in the Gohonzon and chant Daimoku.
Without the Daishonin, you can never realize the three phases of life which are
inherent in everyone, latent but undeveloped. Only through the practice of
Daimoku based on faith in the Gohonzon, can you draw these three from within
yourself.
If you misunderstand this point, you will stray from the true path of life, and
will be unable to attain enlightenment.
Now it is obvious why Nichiren Daishonin repudiates and borrows sentences
from the Hoben Chapter, and repudiates and uses those from the Juryo Chapter.
Here is an explanation for why Nichiren Shoshu believers read only the Hoben
and Juryc Chapters among the 28 chapters of the Hokekyo and why they do not
read the other chapters.

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This is because the Hoben Chapter is the most important among the 14 chapters
of the Shakumon (the first half of the Hokekyo) and the Juryo Chapter is the
core of the 14 chapters of Honmon (the last half of the same sutra), both
revealing the law of Ichinen Sanzen in their own respective ways.
All the other chapters are introductory or application of these two main
chapters. The Hoben and Juryo Chapters are comparable to the trunk of a tree
and the remainder to its branches.
Nichiren Daishonin stated to the following effect:
If you believe only in the Dai-Gohonzon with pure faith and without the least
feeling for any philosophy other than Buddhism or the least sense of
disobedience, and chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo in earnest, then even
ordinary people are Buddhas. This is obviously the only supreme
enlightenment in this vast universe. Such an enlightenment is known as
Sokushin Jobutsu.
He also taught:
In the very moment of practicing Gongyo, the Daishonins wisdom illuminates
us and our wisdom functions in relation with the Daishonins life of the
Buddha, both becoming one. At this moment, the Buddha and common people
are not different but are in the reality of eternal life. This is but a moment of
enlightenment which is included in the teaching of Nam-myoho-rengekyo.
Bearing these words of the Daishonin deep in their hearts, all Nichiren Shoshu
believers should do Gongyo devotedly every morning and evening. It is with
this effort that they can attain human revolution and enlightenment. They
should keep their habit of Gongyo throughout life with the resolution that, as a
verse from the Juryo Chapter reads, In heartfelt desire to see the Buddha, their
lives, they do not begrudge - Isshin yok-ken butsu, Fu ji shaku shinmyo.

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What Is Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo ?
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Is it very difficult to know what Nam-myoho-rengekyo is? It is, in a word, the


name of Nichiren Daishonin, the eternal True Buddha. Analytically speaking,
each of Nam, myoho, renge and kyo has a very profound meaning.
The deductive logic of Oriental philosophy makes it still more difficult for the
Western mind, accustomed to inductive logic, to realize the principle of the
Hokekyo.
Deduction is logical inference from a general rule or principle and Oriental
philosophy begins with its supreme principle. For example, Shakyamuni first
defined the Myoho-renge-kyo (Hokekyo for short) and then he began to teach
what it is. Another example is Tendai (Tien-tai) the Great of China who
expounded Maka-Enton-Shikan (Also called Shikan or Maka-Shikan) as his
highest principle and then proceeded to elucidate its contents.
In Mappo (the Latter Day of the Law), the True Buddha appeared as Nichiren
Daishonin and established the Gohonzon of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo as the
supreme object of worship. He taught that by worshipping the Gohonzon,
everyone can discover the Ten Worlds (Jikkai) which are innate in his own life
and attain Buddhahood or eternal happiness.
Some people draw a distinct line between science and religion, but they are
one-sided. Science, be it natural, political or social, has its own particular object
of study. Likewise, religion makes a close study of life. In a sense, religion is
the science of life. It clarifies both the life of Buddha (Buddhahood) and that
of ordinary people (Nine Worlds - because Buddhahood is excluded from the
Ten Worlds) and establishes the way of living a truly happy life.
However, many contemporary religionists believe that religion is a sort of
mental culture. They are mistaken. Since religion is science of life, it should
reveal through theoretical and experimental studies how one can make his life
happy and meaningful. It is because it adds much to your happiness that we
urge you to chant more Daimoku and practice Shakubuku.

Apart from preparatory explanation, here is a brief account of


Nam~myoho~renge-kyo.

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Nam derives from the SanskritWamas. Myoho-renge-kyo is composed of


Chinese characters. The Sanskrit for Myoho-renge-kyo is Saddharma
Pundarika Sutram. This Sanskrit title was translated into Chinese by Raju
Sanzo (Kumarajiva).
Nam means devotion of life which is the entity of body and mind. Therefore,
it stands for devoting ones body and mind to the object of worship. The object
of worship is classified into two - the Person and the Law. A believer devotes
himself to the Person who is Nichiren Daishonin and the Law which is NamMyoho-Renge-Kyo. The Gohonzon is the entity of the Person and the Law.
The Daishonin states in His Ongi Kuden (The Record of the Daishonins Oral
Teachings on the Hokekyo), The inseparability of body and mind is called the
supreme philosophy. Ones body and mind are combined into one and are
inseparable.
Body and mind should be one in a single life. It would be extremely confusing
if ones body were seated in his office while his mind rested at home. Ones
body and mind should be always in perfect harmony, but in actuality it is
sometimes extremely difficult. The perfect oneness of body and mind is what
Buddhism calls Shikishin Funi (the inseparability of body and mind).
Myoho literally means mysterious or inscrutable phenomena. Myo whose
literal meaning is mysterious or inscrutable stands for Hossho (Buddhahood or
enlightenment) and ho literally meaning the law or phenomena, for Mumyo
(Darkness or ignorance). Thus Myoho means that both enlightenment and
darkness are two sides of one thing like light and shadow. It also means that all
phenomena represent nothing but the Ten Worlds. Nothing is as mysterious as
human life.
Renge signifies the law of cause and effect. The cause and effect are of
simultaneous nature. This is the law of Renge. A lotus blossom which bears
both flower and seed at the same time is used as the example of this law.
The simultaneous nature of cause and effect means that both cause and effect
are contained in a single moment of the existence of life. For example, the
instant you touch fire, you feel heat. This action can be divided into cause and
effect, but it takes place in one moment. When one becomes angry, his looks
change. The cause and effect in this change are also simultaneous.
From another viewpoint, the cause represents the Nine Worlds or the life of
ordinary people and the effect, Buddhahood or the life of Buddha. These two
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exist simultaneously in a single persons life. For this reason, by worshipping


the Gohonzon, one can attain Buddhahood. The mysterious law with the
simultaneous nature of cause and effect is called Myoho-renge.
Shakyamunis Buddhism relates the following story. Some 100 years after
Shakyamunis death, there was a distinguished king called Asoka. Why he
became such a king was disclosed in Buddhism. In a previous existence of his
life, Asoka was born as a boy named Tokusho Doji (literally meaning a boy
with excellent virtue.)
One day, the five-year-old boy was playing with his brother on the sand when
Shakyamuni Buddha happened to pass by. The boy who had nothing to offer to
the Buddha made a cake out of sand and offered it to him. Through this pious
deed, the boy became King Asoka in his following existence.
Thus Shakyamunis Buddhism teaches cause and effect in these words: The
cause in ones past can be known if the present condition is observed, and if
ones present behavior is considered, the effect which will result in the future
can be foreseen.
However, Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism teaches the law of Myoho-renge or
the law of the simultaneity of cause and effect. The difference between the two
streams of Buddhism is obvious from the following:
Suppose there be a poor man. According to Shakyamunis Buddhism, he cannot
make both ends meet and always finds himself in debt because he committed
theft in a past existence. Therefore if he wants to become rich in the next life,
he should offer alms to others.
However, the Daishonin is so merciful that He never leaves the poor man to his
destiny even in this life. It was for this very reason that He established the
Gohonzon for the salvation of all mankind. To worship the Gohonzon by
chanting Daimoku is the cause for happiness and and so is Shakubuku. Then,
even if one be lacking in the cause of becoming rich in his past existences, he
will obtain the very cause by worshipping the Gohonzon.
A passage from the Kanjin-no Honzon Sho reads, The two laws of cause and
effect (Making the practice of religious austerity the cause, its meritorious
result will be acquired) taught by Shakyamuni rest in the five characters of
Myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo (which are indicative of the Gohonzon). If we have faith in
these five, we shall be granted the benefit of the two laws.

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There is not a single Buddha suffering from poverty. Likewise, those who
worship the Gohonzon can acquire the two laws of cause and effect possessed
by the Buddha and never fail to become rich.
Lastly, what is Kyo? It signifies the voices and sounds of all. Kyo represents
the voices of human speech, the barking of dogs - even the croaking of frogs.
Shoan (Chang-an) the Great of China says, Voice makes an essential part of
Buddhist practice. In a broader sense, all the activities of the universe may
well be called Kyo. Kyo also represents the eternity of life.
The voices of those who are inherently possessed of Hossho (enlightenment)
and Mumyo (darkness) and simultaneously obtain the cause and effect are the
supreme Kyo. All these are part of the functions of life contained in the
universe. This is summed up in Myoho-renge-kyo.
As mentioned earlier, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the precious name of the
True Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin. Furthermore, it is the life of Nichiren
Daishonin.
Since the Daishonins life is Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, the life of His disciples
is also Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Hence a passage of the Gosho: Do not seek
the Gohonzon elsewhere. The Gohonzon actually exists in our hearts, the
people who profess the Hokekyo and chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. (Reply
to Nichinyo Goze)

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Chapter II

Lecture on the Hoben Chapter

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First Chapter, Jo-hon

After expounding the Muryogi-kyo (Sutra of Infinite Meaning), Sakyamuni


entered into deep meditation, Muryogi-sho Sanmai, which means to meditate
on a sentence of the sutra, Muryogi-kyo; Infinite meaning comes from the One
Law.
At this moment, a deluge of flowers, Mandarake, Maka-Mandarake,
Manjushage and Maka-Manjushage5 [5] , fell from heaven, and the earth
trembled in six different ways.
While those present, rejoicing at the auspicious omen, gazed at Sakyamuni, a
ray of light was emitted from the middle of Sakyamunis forehead (Byakugoso6 [6] ) to illuminate the 18,000 worlds to the east. The scene was exquisite
and sublime, yet the Buddha uttered not a single word.
[5] Mandarake, Maka-Mandarake, Manjushage, Maka-Manjushage:
Red and white heavenly flowers of ancient India. Maka menas large.
5

[6] Byakugo-so: A white curl between the eyebrows of the Buddha. One
of the 32 distinguishing marks on the body of a Buddha.
6

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Observing the 18,000 worlds, all the people present clearly saw the countries,
the Buddhas, and each state of Bosatsu (Bodhisattva), Shomon (Learning),
Engaku (Absorption), Nin (Humanity), and Shura (Anger) there.
What on earth is this ? Whom shall we ask about the reason for this event ?
These questions occurred to the minds of Bodhisattva Miroku (Maitreya) and
others.

Then, calling the fact that Bodhisattva Monju (Manjusri) had intimate contacts
with many Buddhas in the past, Miroku representing all the others, posed him a
question. Answering the question, Bodhisattva Monju related the following
story:

Once there was a Buddha named Nichigetsu-tomyo-Butsu (literally, the


Buddha with the Brilliance of the Sun, Moon and lights), who had three
princely sons. Hearing that their father entered the priesthood and attained
Buddhahood, these princes renounced their rights to ascend the throne and
entered the priesthood, also. Then, Nichigetsu-tomyo Buddha propounded a
teaching of Mahayana Buddhism, Muryogi Kyo-Bosatsu-ho Bussho-gonen.
Following that, the Buddha entered a deep meditation of Muryogi-sho Sanmai
and a great omen just as was seen at the present moment appeared. In the next
moment, Nichigetsu-tomyo Buddha arose from his meditation and taught a
sutra named Myoho-renge-Kyo-Bosatsu-ho Bussho-gonen to a Bodhisattva
named Myoko, giving enlightenment to another Bodhisattva, Tokuzo, with the
sutra, and then entered Nirvana. Bodhisattva Myoko, after the death of the
Buddha, expounded the Buddhas teaching among the people. Among his
disciples was a man named Gumyo. Now, Miroku, I myself (Monju) am none
other than the Bodhisattva, Myoko, and you are the disciple, Gumyo.
Bodhisattva Monju then remarked that Shakyamuni would surely teach the
sutra Myoho-renge-Kyo-Bosatsuho Bussho-gonen of Mahayana because the
omen appearing at that moment was identical to the one which appeared in the
past.
The phrase, Myoho-renge-Kyo-Bosatsu-ho Bussho-gonen must be explained
here. Literally, it means that Myoho-renge of the Mahayana Sutra is the law
(ho) to instruct (Kyo) Bodhisattvas (Bosatsu), and which is observed and
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meditated on by all Buddhas (Bussho-gonen). To be exact, Myoho-renge-kyo is


the object which all the Buddhas of the three existences (past, present and
future) have guarded and meditated on.
Buddha is the state of life in which a person has attained enlightenment
through practice of Buddhism. There are ten categories or worlds in mans life.
More particularly, there are 3,000. This is Ichinen Sanzen (3,000 worlds in the
momentary existence of life). Roughly divided, they are called Jikkai (Ten
Worlds):
Butsu (Buddhahood), Bosatsu (Bodhisattva), Engaku (Absorption), Shomon
(Learning), Ten (Rapture), Nin (Tranquility), Shura (Anger), Chikusho
(Animality), Gaki (Hunger) and Jigoku (Hell).
If a man is in agony and anguish, he is said to be in the state of Jigoku (Hell). A
man unceasingly troubled by bill collectors or afflicted with sickness can be
said to be in the state of Hell.
Gaki (Hunger) is the endless agony pursuing money, food or the like.
In the state of Chikusho (Animality), a man will think only of immediate
matters, and truckling to the strong, he is overhearing to the weak.
Shura (Anger) appears when a man is provoked. Also a man who is in this state
of life is distorted in character and cannot see things in a correct manner.
Nin (Tranquility) is the normal, tranquil state usually observed in mans life.
Ten (Rapture) is a life filled with joy.
Shomon (Learning) and Engaku (Absorption) are called Nijo (literally, two
vehicles). A man in these states will seek only theory, and is content if only he
is safe.
Bosatsu (Bodhisattva) indicates a man who is willing to save others, help others
with wisdom, and always considerate of his companions.
Finally, if a man is in a state of life which is established on absolute security, is
filled with everlasting joy, indestructible by anyone, and in possession of
eternal happiness, he is then said to be in the state of Butsu (Buddhahood).

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These states of life exist even in life after death. This view of life over the
three existences of past, present and future is a basic tenet of Buddhism, and is
an eternal truth.
Our present existence consists of the mutation of life in the Rokudo (Six Paths,
or the first six of the Ten Worlds from Hell to Rapture); so one can never enter
another world of absolute security after death. The Six Paths actually exist in
our daily lives.
For instance, when a. man gets up early in the morning and is feeling calm with
a fresh outlook; he is in the state of Ten (Rapture). Then, at the next moment, he
may feel hungry; he is in the state of Gaki (Hunger). If he goes to the kitchen to
find his wife has not yet prepared breakfast, and gets angry, then he is already
in the state of Shutra (Anger). If he stands in danger of his wifes violence, he
will be full of fear; thus in the state of Chikusho (Animality). When afterwards
the couple is reconciled, they will be in Nin (Tranquility). Thus, mans life is in
constant mutation within these Six Paths, which are applicable to life after
death also.
In the Jo-hon Chapter, Bodhisattva Monju proclaims that Shakyamuni-Buddha
will expound the great doctrine of Myoho-renge-kyo, which is protected and
meditated on by all the Buddhas of the three existences. After this, the Buddha
will expound the Hoben-pon, the second chapter.

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What Is Hoben ?

In the Hoben Chapter of the Hokekyo, it is decreed Obediently discarding the


provisional teachings, now I will reveal only the truth. The provisional
teachings in this case indicate the Hinayana and Mahayana sutras which
Shakyamuni had taught during the forty-two years before he revealed the
Hokekyo.
To explain the Hoben-pon, the second chapter, there are three means (Hoben)
set forth - Hoyu Hoben, Notsu Hoben and Himyo Hoben. Of these, the first two
are used in Hinayana and Provisional Mahayana sutras. Both of them are given
as preparatory means for leading people to the true teaching of the Hokekyo.
Thus, one should discard these two.
Of the two provisional means, Hoyu Hoben is used for introducing the
teachings which are best suited for the peoples religious capacity, thereby
leading them gradually to the true teaching. Notsu Hoben is used to make
people realize that their knowledge of provisional teachings of Buddhism is
useless and thus lead them to the true teaching.
The last means, Himyo Hoben, has the true purpose of teaching the Hoben-pon.
Hi (secret) of Himyo means what only the Buddha knows, and myo (mystic) is
a mysterious state of life which one cannot imagine.
Then what is the Himyo Hoben ? Nichiren Daishonin explains it through the
parables of Eriju (a priceless gem hidden in a robe) and Choja Guji (The
wealthy man and his son).

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Parable of the Wealthy Man and His Son

This is the parable presented in the Shinge Chapter of the Hokekyo, and is
famous for the fact that Four Great Bodhisattvas - Shubodai, Kasennen, Kasho
and Mokkenren - came to understand Shakyamunis teachings through this
parable.

Once there was a son who in his youth left his home and father. After travelling
in many countries, he found himself already at the age of over fifty. However,
he could only live from hand to mouth to maintain his aged and poor life.
The father, worried about his son, constantly wished to find his heir from the
very time of his departure, but he could never find out where the son lived. The
father was a very rich man, lived in a castle, and his wealth was said to be
uncountable. His treasury was filled with gold, silver, rubies, coral, amber,
crystal and other rare things. Also he had countless number of servants and
clansmen.
Even though the father was respected and envied by many, he had one worry his son who had been away from home for over fifty years. The fathers only
wish was to bequeath his property to his son. Unless he could hand over the
treasure to his son, they would be scattered.
Meanwhile the wandering son, not knowing of his fathers worry, passed by the
fathers castle one day. The destitute son was seeking some work, but seeing his
father wealthy as a king, surrounded by many servants, he was dumbfounded.
He said, Ah, I am in the wrong place. This must be a king, and it is not a place
where my poor self can come and get work. I had better run away before I am
caught and made his slave. So saying, the cowardly son fled.

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The father, observing the man at the gate knew that it was his own son. Deeply
gladdened in his heart, he ordered two of his retainers to run after him and
bring him back. The base man was frightened and screamed, I have done
nothing wrong. Why do you arrest me? Help ! Moreover, fearing that he might
be killed, he lost his senses.
The wealthy father, looking at him, splashed water to the son, and let him go.
The distressed son was relieved and ran away to a town where poor men lived.
The father as a Hoben (means) sent to his son two of shabbylooking retainers
pretending to be night-soil men. The two men said, Why dont you come
collecting night soil with us ?
The prodigal son was very pleased and said, I will work with you but pay me
first. Then, after receiving the money in advance, the son began to work. The
father, looking at his son dipping up night soil, felt sorry for his mean character.
He arrayed himself in shabby clothes and approached the son, saying:
You are a man. Stop doing such a menial and dirty job. Pull yourself together
and engage in proper work here. If you work hard, I will increase your income.
Tell me whatever you want, be it salt or rice. You have some merits worthy of
note. I am now so old that I will take care of you like a father. From now on
stop your cunning lying, getting angry, being jealous of or reviling others.
The unhappy son was impressed with the exceptional treatment by the wealthy
man but he kept on thinking that he was still a night-soil man. After a lapse of
twenty years, he gradually became intimate with the rich mans family and
became familiar with the rich man.
One day, the wealthy man fell ill. He knew he was soon to die, so he called his
son and taught him the place where the gold, silver and all his property were
kept. He said, I will hand them over to you. You may freely run a business
with it, but take care not to lose it. The son used all the property of the rich
man and became so honest that he never filched even a penny. However, he did
not know that the property actually belonged to him. He was conscious only
that he was a mere clerk for the rich man.
Knowing that he was about to die, the wealthy man assembled his relatives, the
king and his men, and all other responsible persons to a room of his castle and
said, Now, everyone, this is my son who fled my home, suffered many
hardships for more than fifty years, travelling in many lands, and at last came
back to my home. All of my property will be handed over to him. I hope you
will be friendly to him.
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The honest son, upon hearing his fathers words, felt unprecedented delight and
said, I never dreamed that I was his son. I have gained uncountable treasures
without even seeking them.

The wealthy father in this parable is Nichiren Daishonin himself or the DaiGohonzon. The wandering son stands for the people born in Mappo, and that he
travelled through many countries away from his father shows that people live
unhappy lives, completely forgetting the true faith. The fact that the destitute
son ran away even after he was found by his father shows that people do not
want to accept Buddhism smoothly even after they are introduced to the
Gohonzon. That the son was happy in the mean occupation of night-soil carrier
represents that believers are satisfied with small benefits after accepting true
faith. The unprecedented pleasure the son felt when he inherited all his fathers
property shows that the believers gain Buddhahood and cherish the cbnfidence
that I am a Buddha.
In the above parable, the unhappy son works as a poor man until he realizes
that he is in reality the son of the wealthy man. This is the Himyo Hoben
(mystic means).
In the same way, people in Mappo are all common mortals but in reality the
original disciples of Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha. The acts of the
Daishonin in Mappo are the same as those He did as the original Buddha in the
infinite past. Once we realize that we ourselves are Buddhas, we will be
behaving the same as we have done in the limitless past as the true disciples of
the True Buddha. This is called the Himyo Hoben.
Nyorai Himitsu Jinzu shi riki of the Juryo Chapter shows that Buddha can
make all common mortals Buddhas. It is the Himyo Hoben of Buddha in which,
before revealing the mysterious power of Jinzu shi riki, the Buddha convinces
of the fact that even they, common mortals, can attain Buddhahood. (See Page
92)
In the Hoben Chapter, there is a long phrase after the parable in which is
revealed the Himyo Hoben. The phrase is condensed as follows: You are in the
states of Shomon or Engaku, but these are not the true purpose of your life. To
attain Buddhahood is the final object of life. The fact that we are mere
common mortals is in itself Himyo Hoben, and the truth is that we are Buddhas.
The Gohonzon is enshrined in our altar. The basic understanding of our faith

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should be to know that the Gohonzon in the family altar exists also in
ourselves.

Parable of Gem Inside the Robe

This is a parable set forth in the Gohyaku-deshi Juki-bon (the eighth chapter) of
the Hokekyo.
One day, a man visited one of his friends. While being warmly treated by his
friend, the man chatted vigorously, became intoxicated with liquor, and finally
passed out. His intimate friend, however, had an official duty that night, and so
he left the man asleep and went out. Before leaving, however, the friend wanted
to give the visitor a splendid jewel which was called the priceless gem of
perfection. The gem was invaluable with a mysterious power to make any
prayer come true without fail.
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The friend, seeing that the man was fast asleep, sewed the priceless gem
secretly inside the mans robe so that it would not be lost. Not knowing of it,
the man awoke from his sleep, wandered in many lands, was engaged in many
kinds of work, failed in all of them, and spent a hard life. Thus, both his heart
and appearance became haggard, and he returned to his friends home. The
friend who was an official was much surprised to see the mans shabby mien
and asked him as if in reproach, Why are you so poor-looking? Why didnt
you use the priceless gem which I gave you?
The poor fellow, however, did not understand what he meant and stood there
dumbstruck. The intimate friend explained that he had sewn the priceless gem
inside his robe and said, It must still be inside your robe. Look and find it.
The man looked for the gem and found it neatly sewn inside his robe. The man
was surprised, ashamed of his foolishness, and at the same time much delighted
with such a splendid gem.

Now according to Nichiren Daishonin, to sew a gem inside a robe means to


accept the treasure of the faith of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The liquor signifies
inferior religions or mistaken thoughts, and to be intoxicated with the liquor is
to be misled into unhappy life by false religions. People who do not embrace
the faith of Nichiren Shoshu are same as those who are asleep after drinking
liquor. When people embrace the True Buddhism and begin worshipping the
Gohonzon, they may be said to be awakened from their sleep.
We have the life of Buddha within ourselves but, being unaware of it, we go
through many troubles and difficulties. Therefore, through faith in the
Gohonzon, we can enjoy the utmost happiness.
In reality, however, few people are leading delightful lives, giving full play to
the Buddhas life inherent in themselves. Many people suffer from poverty,
illness or family discord, and they are likened to the man who wandered in
poverty without using the priceless gem even though he had it inside his robe.
Life without the Gohonzon is same as the man ignorant of his own priceless
gem.
Those who have taken faith in the Dai-Gohonzon, or have become convinced
that they themselves are the real entity of the Mystic Law and are Bodhisattvas
of the Earth, can be said to be living a life filled with happiness, fully utilizing
the priceless gem of perfection.

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Fortunately, the believers of Nichiren Shoshu have awakened from the


intoxication of false religions, but there are still many others who are not yet
awakened from the life of illusion. To awaken and lead them to the true
teachings is the mission for all Nichiren Shoshu believers.

The man in the parable who was delighted to find the priceless gem and the
man still suffering from a poor state of life are the same and one person. This is
a mysterious means only the Buddha knows. Until the gem was found, the man
did not know it was there. Thus the parable represents the Himyo Hoben
(literally) Secret and Mysterious Means).
Aside from the aforementioned three kinds of Hoben, there are two Hoben (means) in the True Buddhism. They are punishment and blessing.
In practicing Shakubuku for others, you may find that they will not listen to you
even though you say, You are in reality none other than the true entity of the
Gohonzon of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. You will surely become a Buddha, so
take the faith. They will only answer, I am satisfied as I am. I shall become a
Buddha after death.
This is why there is punishment for those who oppose the falth, and divine
blessings for those who take faith and earnestly practice it.
This is what the Huddha taught: We have obtained the priceless gem of
perfection without seeking it earnestly. Here the priceless gem is nothing other
than the Gohonzon. It is we, the Nichiren Shoshu believers, who gained the
Gohonzon without seeking the Gohonzon.

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Lecture on the Hoben Chapter

Niji seson ju sanmai anjo ni ki go sharihotsu:


Shobut-chi-e jinjin muryo. Go chi-e mon
nange nannyu. Issai shomon hyakushibutsu
sho fu no chi.

This first passage of the Hoben Chapter means, At this time of Moppo (the
Latter Day of the Law), the True Buddha who had been in the universe emerged
in Japan as Nichiren Daishonin and addressed the people of Mappo: The
wisdom of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo covers eternity and the entire universe, and
therefore is infinitely profound and immeasurable. The law of Nam-myohorenge-kyo is difficult to comprehend and its portals difficult to enter. No

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scholar or artist, egoistic by nature, is able to fathom the depths of this


wisdom.
Niji means the time of Mappo, the period following 2,000 years after the death
of Sakyamuni Buddha, and Seson, Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha of
Mappo. The eternal True Buddha or the life of Nam-myohorenge-kyo in the
universe appeared in this world in Japan - as Nichiren Daishonin. He then
addressed Sharihotsu (representing people in Mappo):
The law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is infinitely profound and immeasurable.
(shobutsu7 [7] chi-e jinjin muryo) All the Buddhas attained enlightenment
through the practice of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Therefore, their wisdom which
enabled them to attain enlightenment is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, another name
for the life of Nichiren Daishonin. It is obvious then that Nichiren Daishonin
is the original Buddha who awakened all other Buddhas to the law of Nammyoho-renge-kyo, although Sakyamuni was the first Buddha in recorded
history.
For this reason, the Daishonin added, Their (Buddhas) wisdom is difficult to
comprehend and its portals difficult to enter. (Go chi-e mon nange nannyu)
According to the Buddhist principle of changing belief into wisdom, their
wisdom means their belief in Nam-myoho-renge-kyo or the Gohonzon, the
object of worship established by the Daishonin for the redemption of all people.
Thus we can obtain the infinite wisdom from the Mystic Law 8 [8] by believing
in the Gohonzon.
However, the teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is difficult to comprehend
and its portals difficult to enter, and it is no easy task to make other people
understand this religion or be converted through Shakubuku.9 [9]

[7] Shobutso: Shobut is a phonetical change of Shobutsu in liaison


with chi-e.
7

[8] Mystic Law: The English for Myoho. Indicative of Nam-myohorenge-kyo, the law of the universe. Myo means mystic or inscrutable
and ho means a law or an order. Ho indicates phenomena also. Mystic
phenomena (Myoho) are none but life.
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The so-called intelligentsia who are described in the Hoben Chapter as issai
shomon hyakushibutsu cannot understand the Gohonzon because they persistently hold to their own views of the world and never seek to know what
they do not. They are selfishly blind to the unhappiness of other people because
they are only satisfied with their own studies. Such people are called in
Buddhism Nijo (literally, the two vehicles) or people belonging to the worlds of
Learning and Absorption of the Ten Worlds (Jikkai).
As this is the first part of the Hoben Chapter, further explanation is given
below. Niji is a Buddhist term meaning time. It is the time when a Buddha,
realizing that people are seeking Buddhism in their hearts, makes his advent for
them. Then the Buddha expounds his law.
In Buddhism, time is classified into three - Shoho, Zoho, and Mappo. Shoho is
the first millennium after the death of Sakyamuni Buddha, the first Buddha in
recorded history, and Zoho the second millennium. Mappo, as explained earlier,
is the time which comes after those 2,000 years and lasts eternally.
The Buddhism of Shakyamuni benefited the people during the 2,000 years of
Shoho and Zoho, but in Mappo it no longer has the power of redemption. One
of the most frequently used words, Mappo, literally means the Latter Day of the
Law when the law of Shakyamuni Buddha perishes. Therefore, the advent of a
new Buddha is needed in the time of Mappo.
In order to meet the needs of the people in Mappo, Nichiren Daishonin
appeared in this world to save, with His limitless mercy, the unhappy from their
worries and troubles. For this purpose, the Daishonin established the DaiGohonzon, the original object of worship, on October 12, 1279.
Seson literally means the Buddha. Buddha, to the Western mind, means
Shakyamuni (Gautama) Buddha of India. However, as the sutra mentions
shobutsu (all the Buddhas), there are numerous Buddhas in the universe.
The Buddha who taught all other Buddhas the way to attain enlightenment is
called the True Buddha (Honbutsu). He is Nichiren Daishonin. The life of
[9] Shakubuku: A method of propagating True Buddhism. Shaku
means to correct ones evil mind, and buku to convert one to his good
mind. The conversion of a person lo Nichiren Shoshu, undermining his
faith in hereii~a1 doctrines through the elucidation of the fallacies
inherent in those doctrines.
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Nichiren Daishonin or Nam-myoho-renge-kyo exists in the universe from the


infinite past to the eternal future.
Sanmai or samadhi in Sanskrit means to concentrate ones mind on one point
and meditate on the philosophy of Buddhism. Nichiren Daishonin who had
been meditating on Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in the universe made His advent in
this world some 700 years ago.
Sharihotsu (Sariputra in Sanskrit) literally is the name for one of the ten great
disciples of Sakyamuni who is known for his unparalleled wisdom. At the age
of eight, he went to a festival and saw a crowd of people gathered around a
high seat set in the center of the ground. They put various questions to the man
seated there. Then, Sharihotsu seated himself and promptly gave correct
answers to all the questions people asked. However, even this wisest disciple
could attain enlightenment not through his own wisdom but through belief in
the Buddha.
The Hoben Chapter was expounded to instruct all people in Mappo on their
way to enlightenment. Therefore, Sharihotsu in the sutra indicates the people of
Mappo.
Most people do not have the excellent wisdom to understand Buddhism, but
according to the Buddhist principle of changing belief into wisdom, they can
attain enlightenment through the practice of worshipping the Gohonzon in the
morning and evening services of Gongyo (dai1y worship) and chanting the
Daimoku.
Incidentally, there are twelve forms of preaching in Shakyamunis teaching.
Therefore, Shakyamunis sutras are called Junibukyo (twelve-part sutras). The
form of expounding the Hoben Chapter is that of teaching the law
spontaneously without being asked to do so (Mumon-jisetsu). No one asked the
Buddha to teach the law, but the Buddha began to state, Go chi-e mon nange
nannyu...
Therefore, the Hoben Chapter begins with the sentence, In Mappo, Nichiren
Daishonin arose from His deep meditation on the law of Nam-myoho-rengekyo, and then addressed the people, saying, ...
There are always four types of people when Buddha expounds his law.
1) Questioners (Hokkishu): Those who ask the Buddha questions, or beg him to
teach the law, thus helping him expound his law. 2) Sympathizers (Tokishu):
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Those who understand and become convinced of the Buddhas teachings. 3)


Listeners (Kechienshu): Those who listen to the teachings of the Buddha and
later attain enlightenment. 4) Assistants (Yogoshu): Those who always follow
the Buddha wherever he teaches the law and prove that his teachings are true.
Sharihotsu and Miroku-Bosatsu (Maitreya-bodhisattva) who asked
Shakyamuni Buddha questions are Questioners and Monju-Bosatsu (ManjusribodhisattVa) and Kannon (Avalokitesvara) who helped Shakyamuni teach the
law are Assistants.
Among these four types, Questioners are most important. Believers who ask
questions at discussion meetings or at question-and-answer sessions are the
Questioners. Their questions can make the meetings either successful or
unsuccessful, impressive or tiresome.
As mentioned earlier, the form of teaching the Hoben Chapter is without
Buddha being begged to do so. The Buddha began to speak spontaneously. This
form is called in Japanese Mumon-jisetsu.

Now returning to the subject, the sutra reads, shobut-chi-e-jinjin muryo. (The
wisdom of all the Buddhas is infinitely profound and immeasurable.) Their
wisdom is the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo or the wisdom of Nichiren
Daishonin. All the Buddhas attained enlightenment not through their own
wisdom but through the practice of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo which only the True
Buddha knows. Even the wisdom of Shakyamuni Buddha is incomparably
superficial but he was able to have the wisdom of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo when
he practiced the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in the unimaginably distant past
known as Gohyaku-jintengo. (See page 101)
Go chi-e mon nange nanyu Their wisdom is difficult to comprehend and
its portals difficult to enter. Since Buddhist philosophy is profound, general
explanations will not make a person understand what it really is.
When one practices Shakubuku, some people say, I will take the faith when I
understand it without believing in it. They can only realize that it may be right
or at least coherent. It is to comprehend the Buddhist philosophy that believers
in the True Buddhism (known as Nichiren Shoshu10 [10] ) are practicing it.
[10] Nichiren Shoshu: The Buddhism which correctly observes the
teachings cit Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha.
10

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Through the practice, believers can change their faith into wisdom and
therefore can realize enlightenment.

Then the sutra reads, Issai shomon hyakushibutsu sho fu no chi. (No
intelligent people can understand the depths of Buddhism.)
The worlds of Learning (Shomon) and Absorption (Engaku) are called the two
vehicles (Nijo). Their selfish minds are disliked by people and are
contemptuously called the disposition of Nijo. The world of Learning is
indicative of those who overestimate themselves as being enlightened because
they have realized that everything in this world is transient. The world of
Absorption is significant of those who boast of themselves since they have
realized the uncertainty of this world after seeing the transient phenomena.
These two types of people are satisfied only if they themselves can escape from
suffering in this world. In Shakyamunis age, Shakyamuni declared that they
never could attain enlightenment just as rivers never flow backward and a
broken stone can never be mended.
In this age, the two vehicles indicate the so-called intelligentsia such as
scholars who take a preconceived view of Buddhism without seeking it
earnestly. They hold their views of the world and never desire to seek a higher
one.
Those who do not believe in the Daishonin can never comprehend the supreme
law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and its profound philosophy.
The contemporary scholars who believe that science is almighty will never
know it. Japan has been devoted to the development of science for these 100
years since it was far behind Western nations in the progress of science. Thus
people came to neglect the necessity of Buddhism which is the essence of
Oriental philosophy, being so impressed with the remarkable progress of
science which appears to realize the long-cherished dream of man travelling to
the moon. This is rather an international tendency today.
Electricity is applied to every aspect of daily life.
Television-sets and washing machines have made home life comfortable and
pleasant. Science surely makes home life cozy and convenient.

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It is said that the development of science corresponds with the increase of


individual happiness but in actuality this is not true. Even when new devices
are produced, a person may feel unhappy if he cannot afford one while his
neighbors can.
What is worse, as you well know, the invention of nuclear weapons is
threatening the existence of mankind. We never deny the wonderful power of
science but we deny the idea that the development of science is proportional to
the increase of individual happiness.
Just think which is greater, the happiness of a farmer some 200 years ago or
that of contemporary man?
Happiness will be in our hands only when we realize the true philosophy of
life. It is not until we worship the Gohonzon that we can attain true happiness.
Not knowing this, many people speak of science and learning as a means to
happiness. However, they are what the Hoben Chapter describes as Issai
shomon hyakushibutsu sho fu no chi (No intelligent people can understand the
depths of Buddhism).
Some people say they are too shy to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Indeed I
know a Japanese novelist who was converted to this religion when his child
was critically ill. Therefore, I instructed him to worship the Gohonzon with his
heart and soul. Then he secretly chanted the Daimoku to the Gohonzon,
confining himself in a locked room. He is a novelist and belongs to the two
vehicles. He could not comprehend what Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is. Thus,
those who play with theory can hardly know it.
I

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Shoi sha ga. Butsu zo shin gon hyaku senman


noku musho sho butsu jin gyo sho butsu muryo
doho, yumyo shojin, myosho fu mon. Joju
jinjin mizo u ho. Zui gi sho setsu, ishu nange.

Even intelligent people can hardly learn the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo by


themselves. So states the final sentence of the foregoing passage. Its reason is
explained in the above quotation which means:

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The reason is that the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (Gohonzon) is the


source of all the Buddhas whose number, according to the sutra, is hyaku sen
man noku11 [11] mushu (100 x 1,000 x 10,000 x 100,000 x infinity).
Therefore people in Mappo only by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the
Gohonzon can obtain even greater blessings than can those who have practiced
an immeasurably large number of teachings under as many Buddhas. Believers
in the Gohonzon are Bodhisattvas of the Earth who devote themselves to the
valiant and untiring practise of chanting Daimoku and are acclaimed
throughout the universe. The Dai-Gohonzon comprising the Law (Nam-myohorenge-kyo) and the Person (Nichiren Daishonin) is the profound and unprecedented law which solves all kinds of worry for the people of Mappo. The
wisdom of the Dai-Gohonzon is difficult to comprehend.

Therefore, no intelligent person can comprehend the law of Nam-myoho-rengekyo without practicing it. However, we, believers in the Gohonzon, can attain
enlightenment by chanting Daimoku to the Gohonzon. Therefore, chanting
Daimoku is equal to practicing an immeasurable number of austerities (muryo
doho). To embrace the Gohonzon and chant Daimoku is the valiant and
untiring practice (yumyo shojin).

It is known to all the Buddhist gods in the universe (myosho Lu mon) that we
embrace the Gohonzon and chant Daimoku. Thus we can realize the profound
and unprecedented law (mizou ho) or in other words, the Gohonzon. The
Gohonzon is the entity of the True Buddha.
It is difficult for us to understand that the Gohonzon teaches us to solve our
worries and troubles (Zui gi sho setsu, ishu nange).

The most remarkable difference between the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin


and that of Shakyamuni is the term of attaining enlightenment. In
Shakyamunis Buddhism, people had to practice Buddhism and follow
innumerable Buddhas for a hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Aeons.
[11] Noku: A phonetical change of Oku which means 100,000,000.
However, the ancient idea of Oku is said to be 100,000.
11

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However, believers in Nichiren Daishonin can attain enlightenment in their


own lifetimes. Thus the superiority of the True Buddhism over Shakyamunis
Buddhism is as clear as day.
Yumyo shojin which is often mentioned in Buddhism literally means valiant
and untiring practice. It is only Nichiren Shoshu believers who embrace the
Gohonzon and devote themselves to chanting the Daimoku.

That we embrace the Gohonzon is widely known to all Bodhisattvas and


Buddhist gods in the universe. This is what the sutra defines as Myosho fu
mon. Those who worship the Gohonzon and are devoted to the practice of
True Buddhism are Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Thus they are acclaimed
throughout the world for their valiant and untiring practice. This is why we
can receive the protection of many Bodhisattvas and Buddhist gods in our daily
lives.

The Buddha acquired this profound and unprecedented law. From the
viewpoint of believers, it means that one has established the Gohonzon in his
mind. In other words, he was able to derive the life of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
from within his life.

The Gohonzon we worship is the entity of the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo


and the Person of Nichiren Daishonin. This is known in Buddhism as NinpoIkka (Oneness of the Law and the Person).
The explanation of Ninpo-Ikka follows. Shakyamuni Buddha is not the entity
of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo but one who attained enlightenment by practicing
the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. It was in the time of Gohyaku-jintengo or
the immemorial past which is revealed in the Juryo Chapter. However, Nichiren
Daishonin is identified as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo itself and therefore is the
original Buddha who leads all other Buddhas to enlightenment. Hence we call
Nichiren Daishonin the True Buddha and Shakyamuni and all other Buddhas
simply the Buddha.

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As you see now, the Gohonzon which is the embodiment of the life of the True
Buddha is the entity of the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the Person of
Nichiren Daishonin. A passage from A Reply to Kyo-o-dono reads,
I, Nichiren, therefore, have inscribed my life in sumi ink, so that you may
believe with your whole heart.

Ninpo-Ikka is a principle important to our daily lives. For example, a student of


medicine will not become a lawyer because of his lack of knowledge of law.
How ever a law student in college is likely to qualify as a lawyer. The two
students are the Persons and their fields of study - medical science and law - are
the Laws. The Law should fit the Person. The former is not Ninpo-Iicka but the
latter is.

The Daishonin revealed the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo according, to the


sufferings of the believers. Such a profound consideration of the True Buddha
is beyond our understanding. Some people complain, Nothing goes well
although I worship the Gohonzon earnestly. Qthers grumble, My business
never prospers while I am devoted to this faith. I will change my business.
However, in actuality, when they stop complaining and practice the True
Buddhism in earnest, they will come to say, I should have prayed to the
Gohonzon more earnestly.

The first president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi often said, While a fool thinks,
opportunities slip through his fingers. Therefore, dont complain but worship
the Gohonzon devotedly. You cannot understand the intention of the Buddha.

The Buddha foresees everything while we are blind to the future. We cannot
foresee but can only reflect. It is difficult to comprehend the wisdom of the
Gohonzon. All we have to do is to believe in the Gohonzon. Then we will have
great blessings. If we doubt the Gohonzon, we cannot receive any blessings.

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Im Buddhism, Buddha in the position of Myoji-soku12 [12] means the person


who knows that every phenomenon is the function of Buddhism. You should do
your best in your faith and work in the belief that everything is based on
Buddhism.
There is the Buddhist principle of Juji-soku-Kanjin which means that to
embrace the Gohonzon leads to enlightenment. Chanting Daimoku to the
Gohonzon will ensure you far greater blessings than those Shakyamuni Buddha
provided for his disciples.

Nichiren Daishonin cited a passage from the Muryogi-kyo (the Sutra of Infinite
Meaning) in His Kanjin-no Honzon Sho13 [13] to expound the benefits of the
Gohonzon.
It reads, Although you have not yet practiced the Six Paramitas (six types of
austerities to enter into Nirvana), you will have the same blessings as you have
done so if only you chant the Daimoku to the Gohonzon.
Thus, those who chant the Daimoku to the Gohonzon of Nam-myoho-rengekyo can enjoy absolute happiness without practicing any austerities, such as the
Six Paramitas - austerities of 1) offering alms, 2) keeping precepts, 3)
practicing endurance, 4) self-purification, 5) meditation and 6) deepening
wisdom.
How can we attain enlightenment in our single life span when in Shakyamunis
Buddhism it requires millions of years of austerity? In the Daibadatta Chapter
(On Devadatta) of the Hokekyo, there is a story of a hermit named Ashi Sennin
whom Shakyamuni served for 1,000 years massaging his legs and gathering
kindling wood to attain enlightenment.

[12] Myoji-soku: The position of a person who received the Gohonzon


faithfully.
12

[13] Kanjin-no Honzon Sho: Nichiren Daishonins writings on the


Supreme Object of Worship in Mappo. It is one of the ten most
important writings of the Daishonin.
13

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Nichiren Daishonin repudiated such austerities which are impractical today in


Mappo and expounded the new way to enlightenment. This is to face the
Gohonzon and chant the invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
A passage from the Kanjin-no Honzon Sko reads, The two laws of cause and
effect (making the practice of religious austerity the cause, meritorious results
will be acquired) taught by Shakyamuni rest in the five characters of Myo-horen-ge-kyo (which are indicative of the Gohonzon). If we have faith in these
five, we shall be granted the two laws.

Sharihotsu, go ju jobutsu irai, shuju innen


shuju hiyu, ko en gonkyo mu shu hoben indo
shujo ryo ri sho jaku.

The quotation means, Addressing the people of Mappo, Nichiren Daishonin


states that from Kuon Ganjo14 [14] , He has been expounding the teaching of
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with variops dependent causations and many parables
and thus has spread the Gohonzon. He has led all mankind with innumerable
kinds of blessings and punishment as the methods of teaching them to make
clear their attachment to the affairs of the world.

Nichiren Daishonin addressed Sharihotsu (people in Mappo): Since the time


called Kuon Ganjo or from the infinite past, the True Buddha has expounded
various relations with His disciples (shuju innen) and many parables (shuju
hiyu).
[14] Kuon Ganjo: Indicative of the time when Nichiren Daishonin
attained enlightenment, indescribably long before the time (called simply
Kuon) when Shakyamuni Buddha was enlightened in his past
existence. Kuon Ganjo in the life-philosophy has a deeper meaning.
14

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Our relationship with the Daishonin dates back to Kuon Ganjo when we were
His disciples. In Mappo, we Bodhisattvas of the Earth appeared in this world to
help unhappy people. Born as the poor and unhappy in this chaotic world, we
prove to other people the power of the Gohonzon by attaining absolute
happiness.
Any trouble will disappear when you call to your mind that you pledged to the
Daishonin in Kuon Ganjo to help the troubled people and pacify the warstricken world by propagating the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
One of the parables (hiyu) is that faithful believers in Nichiren Daishonins
days propagated the True Buddhism even at the risk of their lives and enjoyed
the immeasurable blessings of the Gohonzon.
Ko en gonkyo means to widely propagate the Gohonzon.

The means of guidance in Mappo is blessing and punishment. This is the


Hoben (skilful means) of Mappo. With this Hoben, the Gohonzon leads us to
enlightenment. Although the Gohonzon does not speak, He favors us with great
benefits when we practice the True Buddhism correctly and He punishes us
when we stray from the true path of life. Benefit and punishment are, in other
words, gain and loss in daily life.

Sakyamuni Buddha taught that one is unhappy because he is attached to


something. Without such attachments, he said, one can become happy.
However, in actuality, no one can live without being attached to life. If
everyone lost attachment to everything, there would he no education, no culture
and no economy in our society.
It is evident then that Shakyamunis Buddhism falls within something like
idealism. It is devoid of the absolute power of changing human life.

On the contrary, Nichiren Daishonin expounded that one should make it clear
whether or not he should be attached to something. If one absorbs himself in
gambling, he will lose all his property and make his family extremely
miserable. Thus he should stop it. However, if he loves to work, he will be all
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right. The True Buddhism will inspire its believers with the reason to form
correct judgment and with the vital life-force to control themselves.
Let us be attached to our work and Shakubuku. Then we will become happy.

As for relations and parables, there are three groups of Shomon (Men of
Learning among the Ten Worlds) in the Buddhism of Sakyamuni. In the first
half of his Hokekyo which is known as Shakumon, Shakyamuni defined the
objective of life as nothing but attaining enlightenment, although in the preHokekyo teachings, he revealed three objectives according to the inborn
capacity of people. They were Shomon (Men of Learning), Engaku (Men of
Absorption) and Bosatsu (Bodhisattva).
Here, Shakyamunis disciples who had been Shomon attained enlightenment
through his various teachings. The first group of Shomon realized the essence
of Buddhism by understanding the theory of the Hoben Chapter. It is known as
Hossetsu-shu, those who understood Buddhism through theory.
The second group of Shomon is the Hiyu-shu who attained enlightenment
hearing various parables of a wealthy mans son and of a burning house.
The third group of Shomon could reach enlightenment when Shakyamuni
expounded the relationship with his disciples in some past existence. They are
known as Innen-shu.

Since the. question of attachment clarifies the difference between the


Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin and that of Shakyamuni Buddha, it should be
further explained.
Sakyamuni said that he guided the people through numerous means to enable
them to cast off their attachment to the affairs of the world. However,
Nichiren Daishonin stated in His Ongi Kuden 15 [15] that to cast off their
attachment should be changed into to make clear their attachment. It is, in
reality, impossible to cast off ones attachment to the affairs of the world.
[15] Ongi Kuden: The record of Nichiren Daishonin, oral teachings,
written by Nikko Shonin, the rightful successor to the Daishonin.
15

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According to Nichiren Daishonin, one should never be swayed by his


attachment to mundane affairs or his earthly desires. For example, some people
smoke more than fifty cigarettes a day and feel uncomfortable. Yet they cannot
control their desire for smoking. They should smoke only the proper number of
cigarettes to refresh themselves. This is what the Daishonin meant by make
clear our attachment.
All you have to do is to form a calm judgment on whether or not you should
cease your attachment to something. Or you should have a good reason to say
that you have a strong attachment to this thing or that.

It is the teaching of Shakyamunis Buddhism to let everyone cast off his


attachment to anything. There is no such precept in the period of Mappo. It may
have been necessary in ancient India where there prevailed an inferior thought.
Today in Mappo, however, such a teaching is useless. Therefore it is urgently
necessary to distinguish the Daishonins Buddhism from Shakyamunis.

Shoi sha ga. Nyoral hoben chiken haramitsu


Kai i gusoku.

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This passage means that This is because the Buddha holds the highest
perfection of the means to redeem mankind and the greatest insight into
mundane matters.
It is only Nichiren Daishonin who has such a great power. In His Kanjin-no
Honzon Sho. (Writings on the Supreme Object of Worship), the Daishonin
expounded that only by chanting the Daimoku, can one enjoy the benefits
which all the Buddhas including Shakyamuni acquired after practicing hard
various Buddhist austerities.
The Dai-Gohonzon can bestow upon us the cause of attaining enlightenment the practice of numerous austerities -and its meritorious result - innumerable
blessings. Therefore, another name for the Dai-Gohonzon is the cluster of great
blessings.
Since the Dai-Gohonzon is the cluster of blessings, the Dai-Gohonzon has the
power to produce the cause of absolute happiness experienced by all the
Buddhas and the merits resulting from the cause. This is why one can cure
illness given up by physicians as incurable by heartily worshipping the DaiGohonzon.

Sharihotsu, nyoral chiken kodai jinnon.


Muryo muge riki mushoi zenjo gedas-sanmai,
jin iiyu musai, joju issai mizou ho.

This passage means, The Daishonin states. People of Mappo, the perception
of the True Buddha is infinite and eternal. Endowed with a vast mentality,
limitless wisdom and power - fearless, contemplative and unrestrained in mind,
He is free for profound meditation. He has reached into eternity and realized
the unprecedented law.
Nichiren Daishonin told the people in Mappo (Sharihotsu) that His perception
(chiken) is infinite (kodai) and eternal (jinnon). Indeed the Daishonins power
is incomparably greater than Shakyamunis.
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We, believers in Nichiren Shoshu, have received the Dai-Gohonzon without


making an effort ourselves, just as the sutra put it, We have obtained the
priceless gem of perfection without seeking it earnestly. The priceless gem of
perfection is the Dai-Gohonzon. We did not seek the Dai-Gohonzon before we
were converted to this religion. Many of us thought before being converted that
Nichiren Shoshu was something mysterious or had nothing to do with us.
By worshipping the Gohonzon which we received without any difficulty, we
can enjoy all the blessings which all the Buddhas obtained through numerous
austerities. We worship the Gohonzon during the morning and evening services
of Gongyo, reciting the sutra and chanting as many Daimoku as possible.
On the left side of the gohonzon is written, Fortune exceeds that of the
transient Buddha (Shakyamuni). Through belief in the Gohonzon, we can
obtain a blessing even greater than that which Shakyamuni Buddha acquired
after his unimaginably long practice over many existences. This evidently
shows the difference between the power of the Gohonzon and that of
Shakyamuns.
Therefore, we can attain muryo muge riki mushoi zenjo gedas-(gedatsu)
sanmai through the practice of the True Buddhism. Each of these terms will be
explained below to display the superiority of the True Buddhism.

Muryo (vast mentality) is classified into four parts.


1)

4)

The immeasurable power to make all people happy,


2)

the immeasurable power to rid people of their suffering,

3)

the immeasurable power to delight others, and


the immeasurable power to be impartial to anyone.

Muge (limitless wisdom) is also classified into four. The Buddha has the
limitless wisdom
1) to make all people understand his teaching,

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2) to master all the doctrines,


3) to express anything with the most proper words, and
4) to feel the delight of expounding his teaching.
Riki (power) is divided into ten.
1) The power to tell the reasonable law of cause and effect from an
unreasonable one neglecting the causal law.
2) The power to know the causal relationships ranging over the three
existences of lifepast, present and future.
3) The power td keep himself in the state of enlightenment.
4) The power to realize the various functions of mind.
5) The power to know the intellect of people.
6) The power to know the living conditions of people.
7) The power to foresee the future of people.
8) The power to know the causal relationships of people.
9) The power to realize the life of the past existence and he way to
enlightenment.
10) The power to obliterate past karma.
Mushoi which means that the Buddha is fearless, will be understood from four
viewpoints.
1) The Buddha is fearless because he knows all phenomena in the universe
and has unyielding conviction.
2) The Buddha is fearless because he is free from all earthly troubles.
3) The Buddha is fearless and teaches us of the various obstacles lying
ahead of us.

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4) The Buddha is fearless and expounds the way of ending numerous


sufferings.
Zenjo means to fix ones mind on one point,
Gedatsu means to attain enlightenment, and
Sanmai means to remain in the supreme state of life.

All the Buddhas have all these merits but even greater blessings will be
bestowed upon us through faith in the Gohonzon.

Sharihotsu, nyorai no shuju fun betsu gyo


ses-sho ho, gon ji nyunan, ekka shushin.

The quotation means, People of Mappo, the True Buddha has the power to
define the various laws, teach them in a skilful way and gladden the hearts of
all with merciful words.
Nichiren Daishonin told people in Mappo (Sharihotsu) how He was able to give
them immeasurable delight, as the sutra reads, Ekka shushin (gladden the
hearts of all).

Nichiren Daishonin assumed a very strict attitude in redeeming people from


unhappiness. If He did not expound the True Buddhism simply because people
disliked to hear it, He could not have delivered a single person from suffering.
Likewise, in the practice of Shakubuku, if we hesitate to introduce other people
to this religion, we cannot make them happy. They may at first be critical of
Nichiren Shoshu because they know no real aspect of the True Buddhism.

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However, when their reason functions, they can understand the reasonable
teaching of Nichiren Daishonin and be converted to the true religion. Then they
will enjoy the unexpectedly great blessings through the practice of Buddhism.

This is how the True Buddha gladdens the hearts of all.


All of you, believers in Nichiren Shoshu, may have not taken faith as soon as
you heard of this religion. Some of you may have said, Its for Orientals.
Others may have said, I have no time to practice. Still others may have
insisted, I cannot discard the religion handed down from my ancestors.
However, when you were converted, you found the Daishonins Buddhism to
be wonderful. The more you practice, the happier you become.

In the end, Ekka shushin is true. As one practices the True Buddhism, he can
change his destiny for the better and lead a happy life. Devote yourself to this
faith. Ten years after your conversion, you will have changed. However, your
nature will not change. If you are stingy, you will be stingy even if you take
faith in this religion. However, you will be liked by others after conversion
because you will come to know what you should be stingy about.

This will be understood from the example of a river. Suppose there is a river
filled with turbid water. You cannot drink it. Even after 10 years, the river will
not have changed its course, but the water may have become clean.
The change in believers brought about through faith in the Gohonzon is just
like the river whose turbid water becomes clean.
It is a mistake to say, Even if you have been in this religion for more than ten
years, your nose still remains unchanged. It shou1d have become better
shaped. However, as the life of a believer is purified, his looks, behavior and
manner of conversation become noble and attractive. This is the very blessing
of the Dai-Gohonzon.

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Such a believer is always cheerful, bright and joyful. If a girl works at a shop,
she will have many customers who prefer to buy there.
If the believer is a man, people will say, He may look like a gangster, but he is
good. I feel like buying at his shop. If he works with a company he may be
promoted or receive a higher salary. If he is single, he will find an excellent
bride.
It is natural then the Gohonzon will gladden the hearts of all.

Sharihotsu, shu yo gon shi, muryo muhen


mizou ho Bus-shiitsu joju.

To sum it up, the True Buddha in Mappo, Nichiren Daishonin, established the
Dai-Gohonzon which no other Buddha could. The Daishonin has the infinite,
unbounded and unparalleled law (muryo muhen mizou ho).

Shi sharihotsu fu shu bu setsu. Shoi sha ga.


Bus-sho joju dai ichi keu nange shi ho. Yui
butsu yo butsu. Nai no kujin sho ho jisso.

This passage means, That which the True Buddha has achieved is the rarest
and most difficult law to comprehend. The realities of universal phenomena can
only be understood and shared between two Buddhas.

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That which has been achieved by transient Buddhas such as Shakyamuni is


superficial and far from the truth revealed by the True Buddha, the DaiGobonzon.
The Dai-Gohonzon is the rarest and most difficult law to comprehend (dal
ichi keu nange shi ho). Only Nichiren Daishonin knows it. However, as the
sutra puts it, The realities of universal phenomena can only be understood and
shared between two Buddhas, Nikko Shonin, successor to the Daishonin,
knew the real aspect of the Dai-Gohonzon.

Nichiren Daishonin was merciful in expounding the realities of universal


phenomena which He realized to all people in Mappo in the form of the Three
Great Secret Laws (San-dai-hiho16 [16] ) .
The realities which the Buddha has achieved are beyond the understanding of
ordinary people. Even the wisest disciple of Shakyamuni named Sharihotsu
(Sariputra) could not comprehend the law expounded by his teacher. The law of
Shakyamuni is far more superficial than that of Nichiren Daishonin. However,
Sharihotsu who was famous for his unparalleled wisdom could not comprehend
Shakyamunis Buddhism.
Thus, he pledged that he would believe in any teaching of the Buddha even if
he could not grasp its meaning. Then and only then Sharihotsu could attain
enlightenment. This is known as the Buddhist principle of changing belief into
wisdom.

[16] San-dai-hiho: Literally, Three Great Secret Laws. AnoLher name


for Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism, which is composed of three vital
elements of Honmon-no-Honzon (object of worship), HonmonnoDairskoku (invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) and HonmonnoKaidan (high sanctuary).
16

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When we practice Shakubuku, some people say, I will take faith only if I can
comprehend it. However, they cannot :understand the profound doctrine of
Buddhism without belief. To believe is an essential factor of religion.
It is not until one is converted to this religion that he can study the Buddhist
doctrine with faith as the, basis and follow it.
The Hoben Chapter defines the objective of life as attaining enlightenment.
This is the same with our Shakubuku campaign. In practicing Shakubuku, it is
stressed that the objective of life consists in pursuing happiness.
Some people believe that if they can become healthy, they will be happy.
Others think that if they can obtain wealth, they will be happy. Still others are
convinced that they will become happy if they win a doctorate or become a
cabinet minister.
They are all mistaken. We teach them that they can attain absolute happiness
only through belief in the Gohonzon. This is the true objective of life.

Shoi sho ho, nyo ze so, nyo ze sho, nyo ze tai,


nyo ze riki, nyo ze sa, nyo ze in, nyo ze en,
nyo ze ka, nyo ze ho, nyo ze honmak-kukyo to.

The passage means, These realities are the aspect, the nature, the entity, the
power, the action, the cause, the relationship, the effect, the reward, and the
consistency from beginning to end.

If you do not understand the reason for which the Hokekyo (the Sutra of the
Lotus) was expounded, you cannot read it correctly. The Hokekyo reveals the
figure and power of the Gohonzon. It pictures the Gohonzon in mind so that it
enables one to establish the Gohonzon in his life. This is the most important
teaching of the Hokekyo. No one before Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the
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Gohonzon itself, however. Yet the 28-chapter Hokekyo is nothing but the
explanation of the figure and power of the Gohonzon.
The essential teaching of the Hoben Chapter is Shoho Jisso which literally
means that all phenomena in the universe reveal the true aspect of life. Many
sutras use the word Jisso (the true aspect) but it means different things
according to the profundity of the sutra.
Nichiren Daishonin defined Jisso as the Gohonzon. Tien-tai the Great wrote,
The profound meaning of Jisso is the eternal truth of Myoho-renge-kyo (or the
Gohonzon). In His writings entitled Shoho Jisso Sho 17 [17] , Nichiren
Daishonin stated, Jisso is another word for Myoho-renge-kyo (the
Gohonzon.)
Thus obviously from the viewpoint of the Daishonins Buddhism, Jisso means
the Gohonzon. The Gohonzon is the entity of the Ten Aspects (Junyoze) and the
mutual possession of the Ten Worlds (Jikkai-Gogu). All is revealed in the
Gohonzon that is eternal.

A passage from the Juryo Chapter reads:


In heartfelt desire to see the Buddha,
Their lives they do not begrudge.
Then, accompanied by priests
In Grdhrakuta I appear.
Thus I speak then to the crowd:
Deathless am I, and always here.
They are but means - my birth and death.
[17] Shoho Jisso 31w: A writing of Nichiren Daishonin which reveals
that all phenomena in the universe (Shoho) are caused by the function
of Myoho, Mystic Law (Jisso). In the latter part of the writing, the
Daishonin teaches about Bodhisattvas of the Earth.
17

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The quotation, as will be explained in the Juryo Chapter, describes the figure of
the Gohonzon. Likewise, in this part of the Hoben Chapter known as Junyoze,
we can find the figure of the Gohonzon.
However, no one but Nichiren Daishonin could inscribe the Gohonzon. Tendai
(Tien-tai) the Great in China pictured the Gohonzon in his heart through his
method of speculation called Kannen-Kampo. This, however, is extremely
difficult. However those who have seen the figure of the Buddha in some past
existence can recall to their minds the figure of the Gohonzon gradually
through Tien-tais method of speculation.
We can know from the Daishonins writings that Tendai, Myoraku (Miao-lo),
and other Buddhas were well versed in the teachings of the Gohonzon. Then,
why couldnt they inscribe the Gohonzon instead of relying on their ineffective
and difficult practice of speculation? This is because they were not entrusted
with the mission of establishing the Gohonzon, because it was not yet the time,
for inscribing the Gohonzon, because the people of their day had no inborn
character of worshipping the Gohonzon, and because those Buddhas - Tendai,
Myoraku, etc. - were not qualified to inscribe the Gohonzon.
However, today in Mappo, we have the Gohonzon which the True Buddha,
Nichiren Daishonin who was qualified in every respect for establishing the
Gohonzon, inscribed on October 12, 1279. Nichiren Daishonin denied the
necessity of reading Tendais Maka-Shikan or practicing Kannen-Kampo for
attaining enlightenment. He emphasized only the practice of worshipping the
Gohonzon with chanting of Daimoku.

In the preceding ages of Shoho and Zoho, those who were related to the Buddha
in some past existence, could picture the Gohonzon in their hearts and attain
enlightenment. However, in Mappo there is no need for such a round-about
way of practice. Only by chanting the Daimoku to the Gohonzon can one
acquire the wisdom of the Gohonzon within himself. Through this simple
practice, the Gohonzon in ones life shows itself more brilliantly and more
powerfully.
Another name for the Gohonzon is Ichinen Sanzen (three thousand worlds in
the momentary existence of life). Therefore, in the silent prayer of Niza (the

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second prayer) in the morning service of Gongyo, we pray to the Gohonzon,


saying in our hearts, Ji-no Ichinen Sanzen, Ninpo-Ikka, ... (See page 190)

The Junyoze of the Hoben Chapter is a part of the principle of Ichinen Sanzen.
The Ten Worlds and their mutual possession were earlier expounded but
without the Ten Aspects (Junyoze), there is no knowing the true aspect(Jisso).
Hence the Ten Aspects of the Hoben Chapter.

From the viewpoint of the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, even these Ten
Aspects reveal the Gohonzon. The explanation of each of the Ten Aspects
follows:

Nyo ze so (the aspect): All people have various aspects as do the Buddhas. The
aspect of the True Buddha differs from that of the transient Buddha. The statue
of Amida Buddha has a golden face which cannot be true. It is a false image of
Buddha. It is useless to believe in such a Buddha. However, the True Buddha
who appeared in the time of Mappo is just like an ordinary person. This is the
aspect of Nichiren Daishonin, and this is the real aspect of the True Buddha.

Nye ze sho (the nature): The Buddha has the mind of the Buddha. Nichiren
Daishonin has the mind of the True Buddha.

Nyo ze tai (the entity): The True Buddha appeared as Nichiren Daishonin
himself. This is the entity of the True Buddha. This holds true with the
Gohonzon.
Nyo ze riki (the power): The power of the True Buddha is different from that of
the transient Buddha. Nichiren Daishonin has made all the Buddhas attain
enlightenment.

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Nyo ze sa (the action): Where there is power, there is action.

Nyo ze in (the cause): If there is action, there is a cause. The cause for the
advent of Nichiren Daishonin in Mappo, we can find in the infinite past called
Kuon Ganjo.

Nyo ze en (the relationship): The True Buddha has a close relationship with the
people of Mappo. We who live in Mappo have nothing to do with Shakyamuni
Buddha. Therefore, we can never become happy through the Buddhism of
Shakyamuni. To enlighten those who were not related with Shakyamuni
Buddha, the Daishonin made His advent in this world in Mappo.

Nyo ze ka (the effect): As a result, the Daishonin identified himself as the True
Buddha at Tatsu-no-kuchi, where He escaped the death sentence of the
decadent government. By that time, He had undergone all the persecutions
prophesied in the Hokekyo.

Nyo ze ho (the reward): The Daishonin was rewarded as the True Buddha as He
spent nine peaceful and happy years in the forest of Mt. Minobu. He enjoyed
life as the True Buddha.

Nyo ze honmak-kukyoto (the consistency from beginning to end): Honmakkukyoto is a phonetic change of Honmatsu-kukyoto. The Daishonin is
consistent as the True Buddha from beginning to end, that is, in the aspect,
nature, entity, power, action, cause, relationship, effect and reward - the first
nine of the Ten Aspects.

Take a thief as an example. He looks like a thief (the aspect), he has the nature
of a thief and he steals (the action). Thus he is also consistent from beginning
(the aspect) to end (the reward).
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It is not possible to have the aspect of a Buddha, the nature of a thief and the
entity of a cat at the same time.
Honmatsu-kukyoto is complete with the Gohonzon but not with us. Therefore,
by worshipping the Gohonzon, we should obtain the power of the Buddha to
make our lives those of Buddhas - from beginning (the aspect) to end (the
reward).
Without knowing the Gohonzon, one can only read the superficial meaning of
the Ten Aspects in this part of the Hoben Chapter.
Next, the question is why we should read the Junyoze three times in Gongyo. It
is so we can attain the three phases of life - Ku, Ke and Chu18 [18] , - or
Hosshin, Hoshin and Ojin19 [19] and the three merits of life - Hosshin, Hannya
and Gedatsu.20 [20]

[18] Ku, K. and Chu: Ku, Ku and Chu, are the only way to grasp the
truth of life. These three are naturally possessed by all things. Ke is
that what all things appear to be is transitory. Ku is that all things are a
temporary combination of fundamental elements in the universe. Chu,
or the middle of the road, is that the essential nature of things is
unchangeable, though they vary in phenomena.
18

[19] Hosshin, Hoshin and Ojin; In simple terms, Hosshin is life which
is an inseparable combination of body and mind. Hoshin is mind
(wisdom) and Ojin is body.
19

[20] Hosshin, Hannya and Gedatsu: Hosshin (The absolute nature of


Buddha), Hannya (Wisdom to see the true aspect of life without error or
illusion), Gedatsu (Freedom from the bonds of illusion and suffering
from the three-fold world).
20

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A passage from the Gosho, Junyozeji (On the Ten Aspects) reads, First, Nyo ze
so is the aspect of ones physical figure and it is named either Ojin Nyorai,
Gedatsu or Ketai. Secondly, Nyo ze sho is the nature of ones mind and it is
termed either Hoshin Nyorai, Hannya or Ku-tai. Thirdly, Nyo ze tai is ones
entity which is called Hosshin Nyorai, Chudo or Hossho.
The three phases of life - Ku, Ke and Chu - are called Ku Ke Chu no San-tai.
The tai of San-tai means to be clear or obvious, and San means three. To take
an obvious view of things in these three aspects, Ku, Ke and Chu, is the only
way to grasp the truth of life. These three are naturally possessed by all things.
Ke signifies that what all things look like is transient. Ku means that all things
are a temporary combination of fundamental elements in the universe. Chu or
the middle of the road means that the essential nature of things is unchangeable,
though they vary in phenomena.
Aside from these complicated theories, to attain Ku Ke Chu no San-tai or the
three phases of Hosshin, Hoshin and Ojin means to attain Buddhahood or
enlightenment.
In the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, the only object of worship is the DaiGohonzon inscribed on October 12, 1279.
There are two types of practice - the primary one of chanting the Daimoku and
the secondary one of reciting the Hoben and Juryo Chapters. The secondary
practice may be likened to salt and pepper in cooking. It adds to the blessings
of the primary practice.
We read the Hoben Chapter as expounded by Sakyamuni but interpret it from
the viewpoint of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism.
Nichiren Daishonin repudiated the superficial meaning of the Hoben Chapter as
revealed by Shakyamuni and borrowed sentences from the Chapter in
explaining the profound theory of True Buddhism.
This lecture introduces the profound meaning of the Hoben Chapter as
disclosed by the Daishonin. You should bear this deep in your hearts.

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Chapter III
Lecture on the Juryo Chapter

Honmon and Shakumon

The Hokekyo consists of 28 chapters, which are divided into two - Honmon (true
teaching) and Shakumon (transient teachings). The first half - from the first chapter, Johon, to the fourteenth chapter, Anrakugyo-bon - is known as Skakumon and the last half from the fifteenth chapter, Yujupp on, to the last chapter, Fugen-bon - is called Honmon.
Shakumon is the teachings of the transient Buddha or Shakyamuni. He was born in India
some 3,000 years ago and attained enlightenment at the age of 30 after practicing various
austerities. This Buddha is called the one who reached enlightenment for the first time in
this life.
However, Honmon says that the transient Buddha who expounded Shakumon was the
ephemeral figure of the true Buddha who attained Buddhahood at the distant past of
Gohyaku-jintengo. This Buddha is called the one who reached enlightenment in the
distant past known as Kuon. (See page 101)
The relationship hetween the two Buddhas is likened to that of the moon shining in the
sky and its reflection on the pond. This I have already explaind before.
Nichiren Daishonin states, Honmon is as different from Shakumon as fire is from water
and as light is from shadow.
Shakumon does not reveal the Buddhas eternal life and the land where the Buddha
exists. Therefore, those who heard the teachings of Shakumon believed that the Buddha
exists in some distant land away from this earth.
It was not until the Honmon was expounded that Shakyamuni clarified the combined
theory of the three mystic principles (Sanmyo Goron). The three are the true effect

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(Buddhahood attained through practice), and true cause (practice for reaching
Buddhahood), the true land (where the Buddha expounds the Law).
Thus the superiority of Honmon over Shakumon is obvious to everyone.
However, even Honmon falls into the category of Shakumon when it is compared with
the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. The Daishonin is the eternal True Buddha who has
been the Buddha from the infinitely distant past which is not a limited period like
Gohyaku-jintengo. Nikkan Shonin says, It is just as all the leaves and branches stem
from one root. This one root is the Daishonin and the transient and true Buddhas in the
Hokekyo are both branches.
In this sense, there are two types of Buddha in the Hockey - Shakyamuni and Nichiren
Daishonin. The Daishonin is the True Buddha who is the entity of Nam-myoho-rengekyo while Shakyamuni attained enlightenment by practicing under the Buddha of Nammyoho-renge-kyo (the Daishonin) in the Kuon Ganjo, eternal past.
The Dai-Gohonzon established by the Daishonin is the entity of the Person (Nichiren
Daishonin) and the Law (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo). Shakyamuni attained enlightenment of
Nam-myoho-.renge-kyo and expounded it in the Hokekyo, but the Daishonin embodied
the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in the form of the Dai-Gohonzon so that mankind can
worship it and attain Buddhahood.
We repudiate Shakyamunis superficial teaching and use the sentences of his Juryo
Chapter to explain the profound teaching of Nichiren Daishonin, as was explained in the
article, Why Read Hoben-Juryo Chapters ?

Fifteenth Chapter, Yujuppon

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The Juryo Chapter is preceded by the Yujuppon Chapter which tells of the advent of
innumerable Bodhisattvas from below the earth. They are the Bodhisattvas of the Earth
(Jiyu-no Bosatsu).
Prior to explaining on the Juryo Chapter, an outline of the Yujuppon Chapter will be
given.
Beginning with the Hosshi Chapter (tenth chapter), Shakyamuni requested his disciples to
spread the Law in Mappo. In the Hoto Chapter (eleventh chapter), he delivered words of
encouragement three times, first, declaring his wish of transferring the Law to someone
to make it eternally flourish; second, admonishing them to vow the propagation of the
Hokekyo in Mappo; and lastly, telling them again to take the oath despite any difficulty
which might face them as they carry out the propagation.
In the Daibadatta Chapter (twelfth chapter), Shakyamuni showed the remarkable power
of the Hokekyo by pointing out the fact that even Daibadatta (Devadatta) and Ryunyo
(Naga girl) attained enlightenment while opponents of the Buddha and women were
unable to attain it under the pre-Hokekyo teachings.
Therefore, the Bodhisattvas present at the ceremony, including Monju (Manjusri), Yakuo
(Bhaisajya-raja) and Kannon (Avalokitesvara), solemnly stated in one voice, After the
Buddhas passing, let us propagate this Myoho-renge-kyo (Hokekyo for short).
However, in the Yujuppon Chapter, Shakyamuni declared, No more, you men of devout
faith! I cannot entrust you with this great mission. After my death, especially in Mappo,
there will be many who will oppose this Sutra. Therefore, it is impossible for you to
spread it during that period. You will be unable to endure all the persecutions which will
fall upon you. To tell the truth, I have innumerable disciples whom I have trained from
immemorial past.
No sooner had he finished speaking these words than a multitude of Bodhisattvas
appeared from beneath the earth - as many as the sands of the Ganges.
At this ceremony, Shakyamuni, Taho and all other Buddhas seated themselves around on
the Treasure Tower (which is indicative of the Gohonzon). Then there appeared
Bodhisattvas of the Earth led by Bodhisattva Jogyo.
At this sight, Bodhisattva Miroku (Maitreya-bodhisattva), astounded, asked the Buddha,
I have been born into this world and many others innumerable times, and therefore, I
know all the Bodhisattvas. However, I am quite unfamiliar with these great Bodhisattvas.
Who can they be?
Shakyamuni explained that they were the first disciples whom he had taught after
attaining enlightenment in the unimaginably distant past.

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This meant that Shakyamuni gave a brief account of Gohyaku-jintengo, saying that his
training of those disciples was not limited only to this life but that it had continued from
that distant past.
Bodhisattva Miroku put another question to the Buddha: As I understand from your
teaching, you have taught these Bodhisattvas, but I fear I must say that you appear to be
but twenty-five years old when I compare you with the disciples who look as
respectworthy as if they were one hundred years old. Can you clarify this ?
Miroku added, Unless you make this clear, people in Mappo will not believe in your
sutra and then fall into hell, although we ourselves believe it. Please explain, Lord
Buddha, for the sake of those in Mappo.
At his earnest request, which was also the desire of all the others present, Shakyamuni
arose to expound the Juryo Chapter.
Before the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, Shakyamuni revealed why he had been able to
teach so many disciples and how great the Buddhas blessings are. We, Bodhisattvas of
the Earth, were actually present at this ceremony altogether.
In that past existence of life, we ourselves were Bodhisattvas of the Earth.
In the Jinriki Chapter (twenty-first chapter), Shakyamuni transferred his teaching to
Bodhisattva Jogyo, the great leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Nichiren Daishonin
who made His advent in Mappo was, at that time, Bodhisattva Jogyo.
However, even at that time, His secret conviction was that He was the eternal True
Buddha. In fact, the Daishonin is the True Buddha of Mappo and we are His disciples.

Title of Juryo Chapter

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There is a marked difference between Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism and
Shakyamunis. What makes the two fundamentally distinct is obvious from the Ongi
Kuden in which Nikko Shonin, the second High Priest, recorded the Daishonins oral
teachings on the Hokekvo. The precious work recounts the essential principles of the
Daishonins Buddhism.
The Ongi Kuden interprets important phrases from the twenty-eight chapters of the
Hokekyo and its introductory and concluding sutras (Muryogi-kyo and Fugen-kyo) from
the viewpoint of the Daishonins Buddhism. The first of the twenty-seven important
teachings on the Juryo Chapter in the work is concerned with its title.
Shakyamunis Hokekyo defines the title of the Juryo Chapter as Myoho-renge-kyo
Nyorai Juryo-hon Dai-Juroku.
Myoho-renge-kyo is the full title of Shakyamunis Hokekyo (Lotus Sutra). Nyorai
(Tathagata in Sanskrit) means Buddha.. Juryo means to evaluate the blessings of a
Buddha, and hon, chapter. Dai-Juroku is the Japanese for the sixteenth and Juryohon is the sixteenth chapter of the Myoho-renge-kyo.
However, the Ongi Kuden changes the title by placing Nam before Myoho-renge-kyo.
Therefore the title reads, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Nyorai Juryo-hon Dai-Juroku. You
may think there is only hairs difference between the two, but you are in error.

Why the Daishonin placed Nam before Myoho-renge-kyo is an essential question.


Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Nyorai or the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the True
Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin. However, Myoho-renge-kyo Nyorai or the Buddha of the
Lotus Sutra is but a transient Buddha, Shakyamuni. Thus the word Nam fundamentally
changes the identification of Nyorai (Buddha).
What the Daishonin calls the Juryo Chapter in the eye of my secret conviction is Nammyoho-renge-kyo Nyorai Juryo-hon.
Juryo, as explained in the above, means to weigh the blessings of a Buddha. Therefore,
Juryo in the Ongi Kuden means to determine the blessings of the True Buddha.
It follows therefore that when the sutra says, Hear then the secret of the Buddha and his
mystic powers (Nyoto tai cho nyorai himitsu jinzu shi riki), it mentions the Buddha of
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
If you read the Ongi Kuden, the mistaken views of heretical Nichiren sects will soon
become obvious.

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The difference between Nichiren Shoshu and other Nichiren sects lies in the reading of
the title of Juryo Chapter, or in other words, whether they regard Nichiren Daishonin as
the True Buddha or not.

A passage from the Ongi Kuden reads:


The Ongi Kuden states that this chapter is extremely important for me, Nichiren. It is
what was transferred in the Jinriki Chapter. Nyorai means all the Buddhas in the
universe and throughout the three existences of life in its broad sense, but means the True
Buddha of Musa Sanjin in its strictest sense. Now I, Nichiren, and my followers mean to
say that Nyorai indicates all mankind in its broad sense but my disciples and believers
in a stricter sense. Musa Sanjin is the votary of the Hokekyo in Mappo. The honorific title
of Musa Sanjin is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This forms the basis of the Three Great Secret
Laws in the Juryo Chapter.

The Daishonin states, This chapter is extremely important for me, Nichiren, because
Nyorai of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Nyorai Juryo-hon Dai-Juroku is none other than the
Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This Buddha presented himself as Bodhisattva Jogyo
at the ceremony of the Treasure Tower (Hoto) to produce the evidence that He would
reappear in Mappo. Then He made advent in Mappo as Nichiren Daishonin and proved
himself to be Bodhisattva Jogyo by fulfilling all the predictions made in the Hokekyo.
The last of the predictions which the Daishonin verified was His exile to Sado, as a
passage from the Kanji Chapter reads, He shall be exiled more than once. He was
exiled once to Izu and then to Sado.

Thereafter, the Daishonin emerged as the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo from the


ephemeral figure of Bodhisattva Jogyo, establishing the Dai-Gohonzon as the entity of
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo on October 12, 1279. The Dai-Gohonzon comprises all the Three
Great Secret Laws (San-dai-hiho) the object of worship, the invocation and the high
sanctuary of the True Buddhism.
The Dai-Gohonzon itself is the object of worship, so believers worship the DaiGohonzon with the invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (the title of the Dai-Gohonzon)
and the place where the Dai-Gohonzon is enshrined is the high sanctuary. Thus the Three
Great Secret Laws originate from the Dai-Gohonzon.

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What was transferred in the Jinriki Chapter are the Three Great Secret Laws. The
Jinriki Chapter describes the activities of the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the
time of Mappo.
Nyorai means all the Buddhas ... in its broad sense, but means the True Buddha of
Musa Sanjin in a stricter sense, This sentence makes clear the essential difference
between the Daishonins and Shakyamunis Buddhism.
Now I, Nichiren, and my followers mean to say that Nyorai indicates all mankind in its
broad sense but my disciples and believers in a stricter sense. All members of mankind
have the life of Nyorai innate in themselves and for this reason they can be ca1led
Nyorai. However, in actua1ity, they do not have their inherent life of Nyorai put into
function, and therefore are not Nyorai.

Nyorai are Nichiren Daishonins disciples and lay believers who believe in the Gohonzon
and chant the Daimoku.
Furthermore, strictly speaking, Nichiren Daishonin is the only Nyorai who is able to
awaken all mankind to Buddhahood.
Musa Sanjin is the votary of the Hokekyo in Mappo. Musa Sanjin means that the True
Buddha has been enlightened from the infinitely distant past and that He never attained
enlightenment under any Buddha at any particular time. Here it indicates Nichiren
Daishonin himself. The votary of the Hokekyo is the person who, according to
Shakyamunis prophecy in the Hokekyo, spreads the sutra in Mappo.

The honorific title of Musa Sanjin is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Conclusively, Musa


Sanjin is the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as is stated in the title of Nam-myohorenge-kyo Nyorai Juryo-hon Dai-Juroku.
This forms the basis of the Three Great Secret Laws. You will clearly understand this
from the above explanation.

In conclusion, it is hoped that the readers will read this lecture on the Juryo Chapter
bearing in mind that the Nyorai (Buddha) of this chapter is Nichiren Daishonin and not
Shakyamuni.

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Lecture on the Juryo Chapter


Niji butsu go sho bosatsu gyu issai daishu,
sho zen nanshi, Nyoto to shinge nyorai jotai
shi go. Bu go daishu, Nyoto to shinge nyorai
jotai shi go. U bu go sho daishu, Nyoto to shin
ge nyorai jotai shi go. Zeji bosatsu daishu
miroku i shu, gassho byaku butsu gon seson,
yui gan ses-ski. Gato to shinju butsugo. Nyo
ze san byaku i, bu gon, yui gan ses-shi. Gato
to shinju butsugo. Niji seson chi sho bosatsu
san sho fu shi ni go shi gon, Nyoto tai cho
nyorai himitsu jinzu ski riki.

The above passage reads:


At this time, Buddha addressed the Bodhisattvas and the multitude:
You, men of devout faith, believe in the True Word of the Buddha.
Again the Buddha addressed the people:
Believe in the.True Word of the Buddha.
Once more the Buddha admonished the assemblage:
Believe in the True Word of the Buddha.
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Thereupon, the Bodhisattvas and the people led by Miroku (Maitreya), prayfully joining
their hands said:
Lord, we earnestly beg you to teach us. We will believe in the Buddhas words.
Thrice more they entreated:
We earnestly beg you to teach us. We will believe in the Buddhas words.
The Lord Buddha, thus seeing the Bodhisattvas repeat their petition three times and more
without ceasing, addressed the entire host:
Hear then the secret of the Buddha and his mystic powers.

In Mappo, Nichiren Daishonin appeared in this world and stated, You, men of devout
faith, believe in the True Word of the Buddha. (Sho zen nanshi, Nyoto to shinge nyorai
jotai shigo) This Buddha is that of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo or Nichiren Daishonin. Therefore, when we read the sutra in the morning and evening we should consider that we are
listening to the Daishonin expound His teachings.

The Daishonin admonished us four times for our attitude of listening to His teachings,
saying, Believe in the True Word of the Buddha. We also promised Him to believe in
His words repeating four times, Lord, we earnestly beg you to teach us. We will believe
in the Buddhas words (Seson, yui gan ses-shi. Gato to shinju butsugo).
The teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the essence of the Daishonins Buddhism and
therefore an important ritual is required to begin expounding it. The ceremony is known
as Shisho-shikai, which literally means four times of entreaty and four times of
admonition.
The Daishonin taught us, saying, Listen, here is the Buddhism which clears unhappiness
in life and closes the gate to hell. The most basic teaching of the Daishonin is the DaiGohonzon inscribed on October 12, 1279. The Daishonin encouraged all people in
Mappo to believe in the Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws (Sandai-hiho), i, e., the Dai-Gohonzon.
Then, Nichiren Daishonin saw us believe in the words of the Buddha and worship the
Dai-Gohonzon, and revea]ed nyorai himitsu jinzu ski riki (the secret of the Buddha
and his mystic powers).

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What then is this nyorai kin-sitsu jinzu ski did?
It is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nyorai means the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo or
Nichiren Daishonin. Himitsu (secret) is quite different from our infinitesimal secrets. In
Buddhism it means what only the Buddha knows and has never revealed to anyone.
Jinzu ski riki (mystic power) is not such a weak occult power as that possessed by a
flying carpet in The Arabian Nights or Aladdins lamp. The Buddhas mystic power is
the one which makes all mankind happy.

Applying this principle to yourselves, you will find that the Gohonzon teaches you His
immense power while you are reading the sutra.
You may have worries and wishes in your minds and pray the Gohonzon. The Gohonzon
will not speak to you, as it keeps secret. However, the mystic power of the Gohonzon will
solve all your worries and answer all your wishes. The Gohonzon keeps secret even while
realizing the mind of the people. However, using the mystic power, the Gohonzon makes
all mankind happy. This is what the sutra defines as Nyorai himitsu jinzu shi riki.
The mystic power of the Gohonzon is so indescribably wonderful that it can make
Buddhas out of ordinary people. A person who has attained Buddhahood is called a
Buddha. We are Bodhisattvas of the Earth (Jiyu-no Bosatsu). In whatever circumstances
we may live now, we should be convinced that we are Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

However, you may wonder what it means to you that you are Bodhisattvas of the Earth or
Buddhas. You may say, I dont care for that. I think it much better to have a $100 bill.
If one measures the power of the Gohonzon in terms of money, the Gohonzon has the
mystic power to present you with billions of dollars. Nichiren Daishonins mystic power
is supreme. It is so remarkable that by worshipping the Gohonzon, you can gain the cause
and effect (making the austere practice a cause, its meritorious effect will be bestowed) of
Shakyamunis Buddhism. Without practicing the austerities to which Sakyamufli devoted
himself, you can naturally obtain all the benefits he acquired.

Suppose you are poor. The cause of your poverty was laid in some past existence. You
have not the cause for becoming rich. If you think you are destined to be poor and cannot
change this, you are influenced by ideas of the pre-Hokekyo teaching. There is a prevailing idea that ones destiny is uncontrollable and one should ascend to heaven after death.

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This is no joking matter. How can you ascend to heaven when you are afflicted with
various sufferings in this world?
However, the secret of the Buddha is so wonderful that without having the cause for
becoming rich, one can realize his desire of obtaining wealth by worshipping the
Gohonzon. The power of the Daimoku enables one to have the cause of becoming a
millionaire even though he had not made such cause in his past existence. Thus, your
destiny of poverty will be carved out. Then you will gain enough money even if you do
not seek money greedily. This is the mystic power of the Gohonzon.

The secret of the Buddha is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo whose mystic power enables one to
do what he cannot since he did not form the cause in the past existence. This is the
religion which cures tuberculosis and helps the poor. According to Shakyamunis
Buddhism, those who are suffering from poverty in this life committed theft in a past
existence of life. They are paying dearly for their theft because they cannot make money
and the money they earn disappears just as water is sucked up by dry sand.
However, even such people can accumulate the cause of becoming rich. Likewise, if one
prays to the Gohonzon to have children, he can do so, whether or not the children may be
his own. If one is afflicted with illness, it means that he created the cause for illness in
some past existence. However, by praying to the Gohonzon, he can change the cause of
illness into that of good health. These are but examples of the mystic power of the
Gohonzon.

These concrete things were not disclosed by anyone. No one said that Nam-myohorenge-kyo had such a great power. Hence the secret of the Buddha who has the mystic
power. Then the Daishonin stated, Hear then the secret of the Buddha and his mystic
power.
(Nyoto taicho nyorai himitsu jinzu ski riki.)
The Daishonin reveals us the mystic power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo below.

Issai seken tennin gyu ashura kai i kon


shakamunibutsu shus-shakushi gu, ko gayajo
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fu on za o dojo toku anoku tara sanmyaku
sanbodai. Nen zen nanshi. Ga jitsu jobutsu
irai, muryo muhen hayku sen man noku nayuta
ko.

This passage describes the fact that Shakyamuni attained enligtenment at Gohyakujintengo. It means,
All gods, demons and men of this world believe that the Lord Shakyamuni on leaving
the Palace of the Sakyas, seated himself under a linden tree not far from Castle Gaya and
attained enlightenment. Know, however, you men of devout faith, that it is actually an
infinite and boundless time - many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of aeons since I
attained Buddhahood.

Likewise, people in Mappo think that Nichiren Daishonin was born to a fisherman living
in what is now Chiba Prefecture in Japan, entered the priesthood at the age of twelve and
originated the Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the first time when He was thirty-two.
However, actually, He had been the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the True Buddha,
from the infinite past called Kuon Ganjo.
In contrast with Shakyamuni, the Daishonin was born as the son of a fisherman to show
that common mortals, irrespective of their inborn characters or social status, are able to
attain enlightenment, although actually the Daishonin has been the True Buddha from the
eternal past.

The Daishonin is the honorific title for the True Buddha. Dai means great and shonin a
Buddha. There are many Buddhas, and therefore, the True Buddha is distinguished from
others by the name of the Daishonin. Dai also means supreme. In this sense, the
Daishonin is the supreme Buddha. Hence a passage from the Gosho (Shonin Chi-sanze-ji,
The Buddhas Insight into the Three Existences of Life): Nichiren is the supreme
Buddha in the world.
Nichiren Daishonin is also called the Buddha of Kuon Ganjo. Unlike Shakyamumi
Buddha who attained enlightenment after practicing many austerities, Nichiren

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Daishonin did not practice any austerity but realized that He himself was the True
Buddha, or in other words, that His life was that of the universe.
The life of Nichiren Daishonin, therefore, is eternal. So are the lives of ordinary people.
There is neither beginning nor end to the life of Nichiren Daishonin. Buddhism calls it
Kuon Ganjo. The universe is living and there can be neither beginning nor end in the universe.
Shakyamuni Buddha who attained enlightenment at the time of Gohyaku-jintengo never
revealed the eternity of life in the true sense of the word. However long it may be, the life
of Shakyamuni Buddha has a limit - Gohyaku-jintengo. This is not the true aspect of
human life.
Here is a phrase, muryo muhen hyaku sen man noku nayuta ko. There is a similar
phrase in the sutra which reads, ...nayuta asogi ko. Only this (part of the Juryo
Chapter reads, ...nayuta ko. Therefore you should be careful not to mispronounce or
memorize the phrase mistakenly.

What is a Ko (aeon) which is the measure of time? Buddhism explains that the average
age of people in Shakyamunis day was 100. This average age is counted in different
terms from the present one.
Today, the average age of man is becoming longer. It is said that funeral directors are
worried about their business.

In Buddhism, those who were killed in accidents or those who died of epidemics were not
considered in calculating the average age. In the present system, accident victims and
epidemic deaths are taken into calculation. Suppose a mother has the birth of her baby
registered at the city office, but he dies when he is only 10 days old. His age will be
added to the total of the ages of the dead. Therefore, the high infant-mortality rate makes
the average age of a nation extremely short. However, Buddhism excludes such people
who die unnatural deaths in calculating the average age.
In the days of Shakyamuni, about 3,000 years ago, the average age was 100. Just 1,000
years later, the figure stood at 90. The passage of another 1,000 years made the average
age 80. Today, about 3,000 years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the average age
is 70. Thus you should live until you become 70. If you are over 70, you consider that
you have lived long enough. Since the average age is shortened by 10 every 1,000 years,
6,000 years from now it will become only 10. In such an age, Grandfather, how old are
you? I am 13 years old. And you? Im just four. Then how about your marriage?
After that time, the average age increases by 10 every 1,000 years until it becomes
80,000. This is the unit of one Ko (aeon) in Buddhism.
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You will be embarrassed if you are born in the days when the average age is 80,000. You
are still young. How old are you? I am only 15,000 years old. Shakyamunis
Buddhism teaches us thusly.

Another explanation of Ko is this. Suppose there is a rocky mountain named Shumi


(Sumer) which is as large as the Himalayas. A crane flies to the mountain at the end of
each year and strokes a part of the mountain with her soft wings. Thus a bit of the
mountain will be worn away. In the unimaginably distant future, the entire mountain will
disappear. This period is called one Ko (aeon) in Buddhism.

Here two streams of Buddhism will be explained.


The trouble with scholars today is their idea that Buddhism is but one and that it was
advocated by Shakyamuni Buddha. There are, in actuality, various teachings of Buddhas,
but historically speaking, there were two Buddhas and therefore two streams of
Buddhism. However, all Japanese who are ignorant of Nichiren Shoshu do not know the
difference between the Buddhism of Shakyamuni and that of Nichiren Daishonin.
Without realizing this difference, one cannot propagate Buddhism. The confusion of the
Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin with Shakyamunis causes one to think that there is
only one Buddhism, that of Shakyamuni. Therefore, he cannot gain benefits from
Buddhism.

However, the difference is clear in the case of Nichiren Shoshu. A misleading Nichiren
sect known as Minobu regards Shakyamuni who first attained enlightenment at Gohyakujintengo as its object of worship. Therefore, although it identifies itself as a Nichiren sect,
it falls within the category of Shakyamunis Buddhism. Their objects of worship is the
image of Shakyamuni.
However, as in the example of Kanjin-no Honzon Sho, the object of worship (Honzon) of
Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism is known as the Dai-Gohonzon.
There are three treasures in Buddhism - the Buddha, the Law and the Priest. The Minobu
sect defines them as Shakyamuni, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and Nichiren Daibosatsu
(Great Bodhisattva). Shakyamuni expounded the Hokekyo as his reason of advent and not
the Nam-myoho-renge-kyo itself. The Hokekyo is nothing more than a theoretical
explanation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo or the blueprint of the Gohonzon.

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It is clear as day that if
the law is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, its teacher or Buddha is
Nichiren Daishonin. The Priest then is Nikko Shonin who succeeded the Daishonin. Thus
there is a huge difference between Nichiren Shoshu and other Nichiren sects although
they all preach Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. You cannot understand todays Buddhism if you
cannot tell Kajin21 [21] (the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin) from Kyoso (Shakyamunis
Buddhism).
Our lives were not created by any supernatural being or the like. It is also a mistake to
think that your parents made your life.
Our lives have existed since many hundred thousands of myriads of kotis of aeons ago, or
muryo muhen hyaku sen man noku nayuta ko. We cannot escape death but to your
great sorrow, you must be born again even if you do not want to be. You must repeat birth
and death eternally. Hence the necessity of true faith. If your life should end when you
die, everything would cease with your death and you would not need to seek Buddhism at
all.

We declare that human life is eternal, and because it is eternal, we must worship the
Gohonzon and attain enlightenment. Someone may say, What is Buddhism? I dont care
for such. Everything shall end with my death. Then why does he live while he has so
much trouble in life? If he wants to escape unhappiness, all he has to do is to die.
However, if he should commit suicide, he would be born poor and miserable in every
existence of life to come, because his life is not his own but the possession of the
Gohonzon.

People will say it is unbelievable or that it cannot be so, but, they should realize that what
they do not know is not necessarily untrue. We must be born again in the next existence
of life.

Are you tired of life? Living in a tiny apartment, you may have many debts to pay and be
henpecked. You may be nagged by your wife to buy her new dresses although you cannot
meet her wishes. Is such a life worth living for you?

Kanjin: One of the two divisions of BuddlaismKaqiifl (faith) and Kyoso


(doctrine). Nichiren Daishonin used these terms m the sense of the Daishonins
and Shakyamunis Buddhism respectively.
21[21]

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Therefore, I recommend you to accumulate good fortune in this life so that in the next
existence of life, you can be born into a family possessing five Cadillacs. For that
purpose, you should believe in the Gohonzon. All human life is eternal. This is the secret
of the Buddha. Whether or not you may believe, it is the truth of the universe. You cannot
help it. Let us devote ourselves to the practice of Buddhism and enjoy our good fortune in
the next life!

Hi nyo go hyaku sen man noku nayuta asogi


san zen dai sen sekai ke shi u nin matchi
mijin, ka o tobo go hyaku sen man noku
nayuta asogi koku, nai ge ichijin, dyo ze to
gyo, jin ze mijin. Sho zen nanshi, o i un ga.
Ze sho sekai ka toku shiyui kyokei chi go shu fu.

This passage reveals how long it has been since Nichiren Daishonin attained
enlightenment. In the foregoing passage, the answer was given as muryo muhen hyaku
sen man noku nayuta ko. (an infinite and boundless time - many hundred thousand
myriads of kotis of aeons).

In this part, the sutra concretely explains the length of the time. It reads, To explain,
suppose there be one who, reducing five hundred thousand myriads of kotis of worlds
into particles of dust and then, hearing this dust goes toward the east, traversing another
five hundred thousand myriads of kotis of worlds, drops one particle. In this way,
suppose that he continues to travel eastwardly in a like manner until he exhausts the
entire mass. Now, you men of devout faith, what do you think? Can you calculate or even
imagine the total number of all these worlds?

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What is the number represented by Go hyaku sen man noku nayuta asogi ?
It is 5 (Go) x 100 (hyaku) x 1,000 (sen) x 10,000 (man)
X 100,000 (oku) x 100,000,000,000 (nayuta)
x 1,000,000,000,0004 x 1,000 (asogi).

The unit, Sanzen-Daisen-Sekai (described in the sutras as san zen dai sen sekai), is by
far a larger number than that expressed in present-day cosmology.
Therefore, such a great number of aeons have passed since Shakyamuni Buddha attained
enlightenment. This immeasurable period is called Gohyaku-jintengo.

Miroku bosat-to gu byaku butsu gon, Seson


ze sho sekai muryo muhen, hi sanju sho chi,
yaku hi shinriki sho gyu. Issai shomon
hyakushibutsu i mu ro chi fu no shiyui, chi
go genshu. Gato ju ayuiotchi ji, o ze ji chu,
yaku sho fu das - Seson, nyo ze sho sekai
muryo muhen.

When asked by the Buddha, Can you calculate or even imagine the total number of all
these worlds ? Bodhisattva Miroku and others answered, No, we cannot. They said,
Lord, these worlds are immeasurable and uncountable, they are beyond calculation
even more they exceed the power of imagination. Scholars and pratyekabuddhas
(hyakushibutsu) with their perfect wisdom (muro chi) may speculate but cannot realize
the exact number. Although we have now attained a stage from which we cannot regress

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(ayuiotchi ji), we are totally incapable of comprehending this. Lord, these worlds are
uncountable and limitless.

Niji butsu go dai bosas-shu, Sho zen nanshi,


konto funmyo sengo nyoto. Ze sho sekai
nyaku jaku mijin, gyu fu jaku sha jin ni i jin,
ichijin ikko. Ga jobutsu irai, bu ka o shi
hyaku sen man noku nayuta asogi ko.

Then calculate this long period of time in terms of fhese worlds. The sutra reads:
Thus the Lord Buddha addressed these Great Bodhisattvas:
Now, all you men of devout faith, I proclaim to you:
Suppose all these Worlds, whether receiving a particle or not, are once more reduced to
dust. One particle signifies one aeon. It is a hundred thousand myriad kotis more of aeons
since I attained Buddhahood.

Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment at Gohyakujintengo for the first time. The
Daishonins Buddhism reveals the far more distant time than Gohyaku-jintengo. It is
called Kuon Ganjo, which means the infinite past without beginning. Kuon Ganjo is
eternal just as the universe is.
In the Daishonins Buddhism, Shakyamuni is a transient Buddha who at Gohyakujintengo, practiced Nam-myohorenge-kyo to reach enlightenment. However, Nichiren
Daishonin who is the entity of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the original Buddha who led all
other Buddhas to enlightenment.

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This original Buddha, who is also known as the True Buddha, appeared in the ceremony
of the Hokekyo as Bodhisattva Jogyo, the foremost of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and
then in the period of Mappo made His advent as Nichiren Daishonin.
Therefore, those who believe in Nichiren Daishonin are all likewise Bodhisattvas of the
Earth and the disciples of the True Buddha. It follows then that when we worship the
Gohonzon chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can have the precious life of Buddha
well up within us.

All the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Buddhist gods will protect us who are in such an
incomparable state of life. If Bonten (Deva) and Taishaku (Indra) were not to protect us,
they would no longer be Buddhist gods. It was their vow to the Buddha that they would
protect believers in the Gohonzon. In Mappo, when our lives correspond to the eternal
life of the Gohonzon, Bonten and Taishaku are sure to help us. If they should not come,
let us arrest and punish them.

You should have a fervent prayer: Bonten and Taishaku, why are you so late in helping
me? You know I am in trouble. Come and help me quickly. You should say this
confidently.
However, if you do not chant enough Daimoku, you can obtain no help however proudly
you may order the Buddhist gods to assist you. First you should do Shakubuku and your
work faithfully and then, if your business fails to prosper, you can scold Bonten and
Taishaku. They will doubtless obey your order.

You should have such a conviction in your faith.

Ji ju zerai, ga jo zai shi shaba sekai, seppo


kyoke. Yaku o yo sho hyaku sen man noku
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nayuta asogi koku, dori shujo.

From the infinite past of Kuon Ganjo, the True Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin, expounded
His teachings in innumerable lands including this world, thus benefiting an infinite
number of people.
Nichiren Daishonin states, From that time have I been in this world (called Shaba
Sekai) to teach the Law. Likewise I have taught the people of a hundred thousand myriad
kotis of other worlds (hyaku sen man noku nayuta asogi koku, dori shujo).
The principles of Shakyamunis Buddhism (Kyoso) are used in the Buddhism of Nichiren
Daishonin (Kanjin) after Kuon Ganjo is revealed. In the light of Kuon Ganjo, all
Buddhist principles will become eternal teachings.
When the True Buddha makes His advent, all the former Buddhas become, transient
Buddhas who attained enlightenment, by Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
We as disciples of Nichiren Daishonin have promoted various activities. in innumerable
lands since Kuon Ganjo. The eternity of the True Buddhas life represents the eternity of
our lives.
In the Juryo Chapter, Shakyamuni said, It is actually an infinite and boundless time many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of aeons since I attained Buddhahood.
From the viewpoint of the Combined Theory of the Three Mystic Principles (SanmyoGoron), the quotation explains Honga-Myo (The Mystic Principle of True Effect). The
other, two are Honnin-Myo (The Mystic Principle of True Cause) and Honkokudo-Myo
(The Mystic Principle of True Land).
The Honnin-Myo represents the practice with which the Buddha attained enlightenment,
and the Honga-Myo signifies the effect of the Buddhahood attained through the practice
of Buddhism. The Honkokudo-MYO is the place where the Buddha appears.
Until the Juryo Chapter was revealed, the place of the Buddha was unknown. For
example, Amida Buddha, according to the pre-Hokekyo teachings, dwells in the illusive
Pure Land known as Gokuraku Jodo. However, the Juryo Chapter clarifies that the
Buddha appears in this world.
This is the Combined Theory of the Three Mystic Principles as expounded by
Shakyamuni Buddha.
However, according to the Daishonins Buddhism, the Honga-Myo (the effect of
Buddhahood attained by the Buddha) is indicative of Nichiren Daishonin, the Honnin-Myo (the practice for attaining Buddhahood), of Nikko Shonin, immediate and rightful
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successor to the Daishonin, and the Honkokudo-Myo, of Head Temple Taisekiji where the
Dai-Gohonzon is enshrined.

Sho zen nanshi, o ze chugen, ga setsu nendobut-to, u bu gon go nyu o nehan. Nyo ze
kai i hoben funbetsu.

According to this part of the sutra, during the passing of the ages (chugen), the True
Buddha manifested himself as the Buddha Nentobutsu (Dipamkara) and others
(nendobut-to), saying that He would enter Nirvana (nehan). All this have I done
intentionally through different methods (hoben).

In the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, Buddhas such as Nentobutsu, Amida,


Shakyamuni and Dainichi are but shadows of the True Buddha of Kuon Ganjo, or the
Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
All the Buddhas are, so to speak, the reflections of Nichiren Daishonin. Their lives are
also eternal.
Merely because we are the children of the True Buddha, our lives are eternal and even if
we die in this existence, we will be born again, thus repeating birth and death.
You may say, If life is eternal, I will idle away this life and will work diligently in the
next existence of life. However, you are wrong.

In the first chapter of the Hokekyo, Jo-hon, when Bodhisattva Myoko expounded the
Hokekyo and taught eight princes of Buddha Nichigetsu-tomyo, there was a man named
Gumyo. He was very idle and soon forgot everything he learned. He was interested in
moneymaking and sought fame, thus associating with laymen. However, Gumyo
practiced Shakubuku.

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Though you may think it strange, Bodhisattva Myoko appeared as Bodhisattva Monju in
the ceremony of the Hokekyo because of his profound relationship with the sutra, and
Gumyo attended the ceremony under the paine of Bodhisattva Miroku.

This is why I recommend Shakubuku to you. If you practice Shakubuku on your friends,
you will be able to be born with them in the next existence of life. Even if you may carry
out Shakubuku for them, they may not take faith immediately. You may even be slandered
by them, but you will be born with them in the next life and will believe in the true faith
together.
Since you practice Shakubuku in this life, you will naturally be healthy, fortunate and
have a prosperous business in your next life. The friends who did not take faith despite
your earnest persuasion will also appear with you, although there is no knowing who they
will be. A friend of yours may become a housemaid in your home, and yet another your
chauffeur. Still another may be a neighbor suffering from illness, but, there is a chance
that you will meet your friends wherever they may be. In that time they will accept your
advice and be converted to this religion.

Such persons trouble us very much - not only in this life but also in the next. At any rate
you had better practice Shakubuku for your wife and children. If you are a woman, you
should persuade your husband into this religion. Even if he cannot embrace the faith, it is
all right, but it is important to do Shakubuku for him. It is because you will be able to see
your mate in the next life also.
If you do not do Shakubuku for your marriage partner, you will be unable to be born
together in the same age. You will not see your beloved children any more. If you are
born next time, your children will not, or when they happen to appear, you will not be
there. Therefore, you are required to convert your family.

Some wives may say, Then I must be born with my husband again in the next life? I am
sick of him. However, it does not necessarily follow that because you are husband and
wife in this world, you be will born again as such. Your husband may appear as your
grandfather, your child, or even your patron in business.
You can by and by understand this profound principle of life, when you chant many
Daimoku and devote yourself to the practice of Shakubuku.

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Sho zen nanshi, nyaku u shujo raishi ga sho,


ga i butsugen kan go shin to sho kon ridon, zui
sho o do, shosho ji setsu myoji fudo nenki
daisho, yaku bu gen gon to nyu nehan, u i shuju
hoben, setsu mimyo ho, no ryo shujo, hokkangi shin.

This passage means, Men of devout faith, when some came to me, I perceived with the
eye of Buddha the degree and other basic elements of their faith. Then determining the
method for their salvation, I taught under different names and varied my length of
teaching in the divergent worlds. On other occasions, I made my advent saying that I
would pass away, and also by diverse means did I expound the subtle Law, gladdening
their hearts.

When we worship before the Gohonzon, we will be endowed with the great mercy of the
Gohonzon which enables us to improve our conditions in life, since the Gohonzon knows
the degree of our faith, wisdom, concentration, wish and effort. These are known as the
five roots (Gokon) of people. Therefore, the sutra reads in this part, You men of devout
faith, when some came to me, I perceived with the eye of Buddha the degree of his faith
and others. Then determining the method for salvation, I taught under different names
and varied my length of teaching in the divergent worlds.
The Daishonin, therefore, states that it is not the fault of the Daishonin even if you cannot
receive divine benefits without practicing Buddhism in earnest.
The True Buddha of Mappo, Nichiren Daishonin, left behind Him the Dai-Gohonzon for
us to worship. We have to be deeply grateful to Nichiren Daishonin.

When the True Buddha was alive, He called himself Nichiren [Daishonin] and just before
His death, He put down His life in sumi (black Chinese ink) and named it the Dai-

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Gohonzon. This is what the sutra means, I taught under different names and varied my
length of teaching. (Myoji fudo nenki daisho) This is the true aspect of the Buddha.

You may have a question, Why did the Daishonin pass away even though His life is said
to be eternal? Death is the immortal truth of life. Death is the most wonderful problem.
The last problem of Buddhism is that of death. The Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin
gave the most clear-cut answer to this question.
All Buddhas expound their subtle laws, gladdening the hearts of people. Then can we
worship any Buddha? No; there is the era in Buddhism. According to the era, Buddhas
who gladden peoples hearts differ. Even if Shakyamuni, the Buddha of Shoho, were to
make advent in our era of Mappo, he would have no power to gladden our hearts.
However, Nichiren Daishonin is the True Buddha of Mappo who established the DaiGohonzon, for all humanity. When we worship the Dai-Gohonzon, He will expound the
subtle law for us. It is the subtle law that the Gohonzon causes benefits and makes us
happy. It is beyond our understanding how these benefits appear, but the Gohonzon
gladdens our hearts.
The Gohonzon knows the way to redeem mankind. The Gohonzon favors us with His
great mercy. We will never become unhappy insofar as we practice the morning and
evening services of Gongyo with pure faith and do Shakubuku activity.

Some believers may say, As I believe in the Gohonzon, my business will prosper even
without my effort. Nothing is as unreasonable as this ! They misinterpret the words of
the Gosho to justify themselves. It reads, When the sky is clear, the ground is visible. A
believer in the Hokekyo will naturally know the worldly law. The Hokekyo of Mappo is
the Gohonzon. They are so idle as to try to earn money without working for it.

Then it is not absolute benefit, is it? Some may say this, but it is far from true. To earn
money without working is the same as roasting a chicken without adjusting the ovens
temperature. Even if you put the chicken in the oven, it cannot be cooked without lighting
the fire however hard you may chant Daimoku to the Gohonzon.
However earnestly you may practice Shakubuku, you will suffer punishment if you
neglect your work. A passage from the Gosho reads, Make your best service in your
occupation; that is the practice of the Hokekyo. Working even equals belief in the
Gohonzon.
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Suppose you work diligently for your company but you refuse to go to the accounting
office to receive your salary. Then can you get it? Even if.your employer may wish to
give you a salary, he cannot do so. Likewise, you must work earnestly and in the most
effective manner to earn money.
A believer in the Hokekyo will naturally know the wordly law means that you believers
should know the best way to manage your business through worshipping the Gohonzon.
As you advance in your faith, you will come to understand various phenomena of the
world and become wiser.
Next, the Gohonzon gladdens our hearts as the sutra reads, no ryo shujo hok-kangi
shin.

Therefore, we always feel grateful to the Gohonzon. However, man is actually greedy and
avaricious. New believers will be grateful when they receive the Gohonzon but on other
occasions, they may sometimes continue faith for the sake of formality, saying to themselves, If I neglect my Gongyo I will suffer punishment; so, I have to do Gongyo. Such
an attitude is not healthy.
On the contrary, you thank the Gohonzon, thinking, It is extremely rare to see the
Gohonzon, yet I can worship the Gohonzon now. How fortunate! You will have even
greater blessings from the Gohonzon. However, you cannot be delighted even if you try
to do so.
He told me to be delighted. I will gladden my heart. However as you feel your legs
numb while seated in Gongyo, you may complain, Isnt it over yet? and still I must
feel delight in faith. Such delight is not genuine. I think you should come to feel natural
delight in the faith as soon as possible.

Sho zen nanshi. Nyoral ken sho shujo gyo o


shobo toku hak-ku ju sha, i ze nin setsu. Ga
sho shukke, toku anokutara sanmyaku sanbodai. Nen ga jitsu jobutsu i rai, kuon nyakushi. Tan ni hoben kyoke shujo, ryo nyu
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butsudo sa nyo ze setsu.

The quotation means: You men of devout faith, observing that mankind, meager in
virtue and laden with sins, pursues inferior laws, the Buddha (Daishonin) taught thus: I
entered the priesthood in my youth and attained enlightenment. However, the truth is that
it is an eternity since I attained Buddhahood. I taught this provisional view of life to make
the people attain the enlightenment of eternal life.

Nikkan Shonin, the 26th High Priest, said that today in Mappo those who do not know
the True Buddha of Kuon Ganjo or the Daishonin are what the sutra defines as gyo o
shobo toku hak-ku ju sha (men meager in virtue and laden with sins, pursuing inferior
laws). They are believers in misleading religions.

Many people do not know that Nichiren Daishonin is the True Buddha. They take a very
superficial view of Buddhism and regard the Daishonin as Bodhisattva Jogyo and no
better than that. Even Toki Jonin, one of the greatest disciples of Nichiren Daishonin,
asked the Daishonin, When will Bodhisattva Jogyo appear in this world ? Even Toki
who received the important thesis Kanjin-no Honzon Sho (Writings on the Supreme
Object of Worship in Mappo) was unaware of the fact that the Daishonin sometimes
called himself Jogyo.

However, in many parts of the Gosho, the Daishonin expressed His conviction that He
himself is the True Buddha through the three proofs - literal, theoretical and actual. Also
He wrote many works to awaken us to the fact that we are the disciples of the True
Buddha. The inheritor of this spirit is only Nichiren Shoshu.
Those who do not believe in Nichiren Shoshu can scarcely understand the eternity of life.
They believe that they were born to this world and will perish here. Christianity expounds
the eternity of life. Many other religions may stress the eternity of life. However, their
view of life is simply ideological. They do not recognize in the end that their bodies will
last eternally. No one is bold enough to declare that man will he born to this world again.

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This problem will remain unsolved unless one recognizes the idea of Ku.22 [22] The eternal
existence of the Ga of the Jo-Raku-Ga-Jo23 [23] is Ku, which is not soul. There can he no
eternity of soul. Ku is the profound philosophy of life.
Ga which literally means Ego or Self is human life. The principle of Jo-Raku-Ga-Jo
means that one can live in absolute happiness only by purifying his life and realizing the
eternity of life through his faith and practice of the True Buddhism.

When you make unimaginably hard study of Buddhism, you may realize that your life
exists eternally in the universe. But it will be much easier for you to believe that your life
is eternal. After much study, you will realize that you should have believed in the eternity
of life instead of devoting yourselves to such difficult and sometimes rewardless study.

Sho zen nanshi, Nyorai sho en kyoden kai i


do das-shujo. Waku sek-koshin, waku settashin, Waku ji koshin, waku ji tashin, Waku
ji koji, waku ji taji. Sho sho gon setsu kai
jitsu fu ho.

The quotation means, Men of devout faith: it is therefore for the purpose of leading
mankind to enlightenment that the Buddha expounded various sutras, either using himself
as an exemplar or another, either present ing himself or another, and either citing his
actions or those of another. All of the doctrines of the Buddha are true and none are
false.
22[22]

Ku: Indicative of the ultimate condition of life, which is neither existence nor nonexistence.

23[23]

Jo-Raku-Ga-Jo: The first Jo means eternity and the last Jo purity. Re/ru means
happiness and Ga, Self or Ego. This theory of life means that one can live in absolute
happiness by purifying his life and realizing the etcrnity of life through his faith and
practice of the True Buddhism.

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111

It is solely for the purpose of leading mankind to enlightenment that the Buddha
expounded various sutras (Nyorai sho en kyoden kai i do das-shujo).
The Buddha in Mappo, as stated before, is Nichiren Daishonin. All the Buddhas who
made their advent in innumerable lands according to the inborn nature of the people
attained enlightenment by embracing Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The sutras expounded by
Nichiren Daishonin are the Gosho (the Daishonins writings), the essence of which is
none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
If we believe in and practice Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we are sure to be saved from
unhappiness. Otherwise, the Buddha would be a prevaricator.

Then what is the meaning of the part Waku sekkoshin, waku set-tashin, Waku ji
koshin, waku ji tashin, Waku ji ko ji, waku ji taji? It literally means either using
himself as an exemplar or another, either presenting himself or another, and either citing
his actions or those of another.
Koshin means oneself or Buddhahood (Bukkai) and tashin means another or the rest
of the Ten Worlds (Jikkai) -the Nine Worlds (Kyukai). Bukkai indicates the Buddha and
Kyukai, ordinary people.

Nichiren Daishonin teaches us and manifests the life of the Buddha and reveals the
Buddhas actions. This is indicative of the mercy of Nichiren Daishonin who continually
ponders the way to save all people from unhappiness.

Thus Nichiren Daishonin teaches, either as Bodhisattva Jogyo or as the eternal True
Buddha, and manifests himself as the former or the latter on occasion. Furthermore, the
Daishonin clarifies the benefits to a person who offers his contribution to the Daishonin
and the punishment which a person undergoes for persecuting the Daishonin. Here, the
actions of the Buddha are expounded.
In this teaching, the sutra reads, All of the doctrines the Buddha teaches are true and
none are false (Sho sho gon setsu kai jitsu fu ko).

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Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha of Mappo, expounded only one sutra, although
Shakyamuni Buddha taught innumerable sutras contained in the so-called library of
80,000 sutras. The Daishonins only sutra is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo which was
expounded for the salvation of all mankind.
Daishonin, will you please reveal to us the most important teaching? All right, be
seated. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, that is all. Just as the above conversation shows, His
thirty years of teaching can be reduced to the one law, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is
why we can be saved from unhappiness or distress merely by chanting the Daimoku and
teaching the Mystic Law to the unhappy.

Shoi sha ga. Nyorai nyo jit-chiken sangai


shi so. Mu u shoji nyaku tai nyaku shutsu,
yaku mu zai se gyu metsudo sha. Hi jitsu, hi
ko, hi nyo, hi i. Fu nyo sangai ken no sangai.
Nyo shi shi ji nyorai myo ken mu u shakumyo.

The sutra reads, The reason is that the Buddha perceives the threefold world in its actual
existence. There is neither birth nor death; nor is there a pre- or postlife. Life is neither
actual nor unreal, there is neither existence nor extinction, and neither is it the same nor
different. The threefold world is not what those who dwell in it perceive it to be.
However, the Buddha sees it all clearly and without error.

The threefold world (Sangai) is the Buddhist view of the universe in which the universe
is divided into three - the world of matter (Shiki-kai), the world of spirit (Mushiki-kai)
and the world of desires (Yokkai).
Nichiren Daishonin (Nyorai) has the true view of the world and of the universe. He
teaches that, from the viewpoint of the true aspect of life, it is merely a condition of the
change of life that man dies or is born.

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Such is the true aspect of death or birth, pre- or post-life, which is viewed from
Buddhism. Our pleasures and troubles are both activities which are inherent in our lives.

When we come to realize that life is eternal and that it has neither a beginning nor an end,
we need not fear either death or post-life. It is the true aspect of life to be neither actual
nor unreal, nor is it true that one life is the same or different from others.
For instance, when asked, Do you have a life?, a person will answer Yes, but he does
not know what life is. It is neither body nor mind. Then, life apparently does not exist in
him. Since its existence is not clear, it is not actual. Then has he no life? Certainly he has,
since he is living, The life in question is what Buddhism calls Ku.

Likewise, your life at present is not the same as that when you were a baby. However,
former is not fundamentally different from the latter. This is what is meant by neither is
it the same nor different (Hi nyo, hii).

Fu nyo sangai ken no sangai in the quotation means The threefold world is not what
those who dwell in it perceive it to be.
Nichiren Daishonin does not perceive the threefold world partially as an ordinary person
does from his own view, but knows the whole world correctly with Buddhas wisdom
(Hoshin). The True Buddha of eternal existence is Nichiren Daishonin who expounds the
true aspect of life.
We common mortals cannot see the true aspect of the threefold world (Sangai) - the
world of desire, the world of matter and the world of spirit - but the Buddha can do it
perfectly. Therefore, we need to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and obtain the power of
the Gohonzon through which we can see it. Only then will we be able to perceive all the
phenomena in the world correctly. Lets lead a successful life filled with happiness by
keeping faith in the Gohonzon.

I sho shujo u shuju she shuju yoku shuju gyo


Shuju okuso funbek-ko, yoku ryo sho sho
zengon, i nyakkan innen hiyu gonji shuju
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seppo. Shosa butsuji mi zo zan pai. Nyo ze
ga jobutsu irai jindai kuon. Jumyo muryo
asogi ko jo ju fu metsu.

The Daishonin states through this passage, Since people have differing natures, various
desires, disparate ideas and judgment, I propounded different teachings in the Gosho
through various parables of causal relationship, examples and other words in my desire to
plant the roots of righteousness in the hearts of all mankind.

This Buddhist practice have I continued unceasingly. An infinity has passed since I
attained enlightenment. My life has been one of many uncountable kotis of aeons, has
always existed and shall never end.
Viewing the people in the period of Mappo, Nichiren Daishonin found that people have
various qualities and different ways, have various ways of thinking or thoughts according
to the cause they created in their past existences.
Thus the Daishonin pondered how He could save the people. Just as the sutra reads, In
His desire to plant the roots of righteousness in the hearts of all mankind (yoku ryo sho
sho zengon), the Daishonin decided to teach us the practice of Buddha (zengon).

With a wish to let us practice Buddhism, the Daishonin expounded various parables of
causal relationship (innen), and said that it is because one created a cause for poverty in
the past that he is now distressed with a poor life, and that he can accumulate the cause
for wealth which he did not have in the past existence, by chanting the Daimoku and
practicing Buddhism. A parable of causal relationship (innen) means that a happening is
caused or motivated by something in the past.
Moreover, the Daishonin teaches many examples (hiyu) of accumulating good fortune
through contributions to the Daishonin.
When we read the Gosho, we must take the contributions of believers and their benefits
as parables or examples. Even if we were to send a Kimono (Japanese-style clothes) to
the Daishonin today, it would not be a great task which requires much effort.

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However, it was great trouble for people of His day to offer clothing to Nichiren
Daishonin. Once they planted cotton in the spring, they had to wait until the fall to
harvest. They then spent much time in spinning thread out of the cotton and in weaving it
into cloth and finally sewing it into Kimono. When we compare our faith in the
Gohonzon with the pure faith of the people in those days, their contributions serve as fine
examples for us today.
We can also learn a great deal from testimonials of people who became happy by
obtaining benefits from the Gohonzon, or say, He became poor for slandering the
Gohonzon, or She cannot get blessings from the Gohouzon, as she always speaks ill of
other believers and the like.

The other words (gonji) in the quotation are indicative of the Daishonins teaching and
passages of the Gosho. From the standpoint of the True Buddhism, we can see far into the
future of society by reading the newspapers or listening to the radio.
The Daishonin encouraged us to practice Buddhism by propounding different laws
through various parables (hiyu) and other words (gonji) so that we can obtain benefits
from the Gohonzon.

Even today, 700 years after the death of the Daishonin, the Dai-Gohonzon never ceases to
plant the roots of righteousness in our hearts. In this way, the life of the Daishonin has
continued since the infinite past. Shakyamuni revealed the period of Gohyaku-jintengo
but not the infinite past. However, Asogi ko (many uncountable kotis of aeons) means
Kuon Ganjo, from the standpoint of the True Buddhism, and the life of the Daishonin is
eternal and will never perish in the future.

Nichiren Daishonin is the True Buddha of the Kuon Ganjo (infinite past). What is most
significant is that Nichiren Daishonin appeared in this period of Mappo.
This Buddhist principle is also shown in Shakyamunis Buddhism. For instance, the
Buddha existed in Gohyakujintengo and far later, another Buddha named Nentobutsu
appeared. Bodhisattva Judo who was related to Nentobutsu was born in India as
Shakyamuni Buddha.
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Although we are inclined to think that the Daishonin appeared for the first time in the
period of Mappo, it is not true. In Kuon Ganjo, He attained enlightenment instantly,
realizing that He was the entity of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
The True Buddha made His advent in Japan in the period of Mappo, while sending His
messenger Buddhas on His behalf to other worlds. It is correct to think this is the way of
the appearance of the Daishonin.

Shakyamunis Buddhism has the practice of making offerings to priests. Offerings may
be classified into two categories - things and the Law. Shakyamuni taught that since there
is a limit to making material offerings, people should make offerings of the Law. Making
offerings of the Law means to make others understand and enjoy the great blessings of
Buddhism, that is, Shakubuku.
In the sutra, there is a passage, mi zo zan pai (This Buddhist practice have I continued
unceasingly). We common mortals have Sunday holidays but the Gohonzon does not. It
would be inconvenient if Nichiren Daishonin says, I am taking today off. Even if we
prayed the Gohonzon at midnight because of stomachache, the Gohonzon would stay
asleep. It is because of mi zo zan pai that such a thing never occurs.

The True Buddha protects the believers without pause even during the night. The heart of
the Daishonin is much like that of a planter who is eagerly waiting for the time when the
plant will put forth buds or when the buds begin to bloom.
Taking into consideration that the Buddha never rests even for a little while, it is natural
that we devote ourselves to the practice of Buddhism only for an hour or two a day.
Compared to the work of the Buddha, ours is very slight. So, even if we are sleepy, we
are inspired to go out for helping the unhappy.

She zen nanshi, Ga hon gyo besatsu do sho


jo jumye ken yu mi jin. Bu bai Jo shu. Nen
kon hi jitsu metsudo, ni ben she gon, to shu
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metsu do. Nyorai I ze hoben kyoke shujo.

The above passage means: You men of devout faith, once I also practiced the
Bodhisattva austerities and the life which I then acquired still remains undepleted. Nay, I
shall continue to exist for yet twice that number of aeons. Although I may predict my
own death, in actuality I do not pass away. With this means, I the Buddha instruct
mankind.

In the above-cited passage of the sutra, bosatsu do (Bodhisattva austerities) is


indicative of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. There are 52 stages of Bodhisattva austerities, the
eleventh of which is called Shoju, where Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is elucidated from the
viewpoint of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism.
Although Nichiren Daishonin has been long gone, life is eternal in the eye of the Buddha.
It is the true aspect of life.

Just as the sutra states, Shakyamuni Buddha in India expounded the supreme doctrine of
the eternity of life in the Juryo Chapter, but it is of no use for people in the period of
Mappo. Nichiren Daishonin established the Dai-Gohonzon for the salvation of all
mankind in Mappo, and teaches us that we can be well versed in the life-philosophy by
praying to the Dai-Gohonzon of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The Daishonins philosophy has
a deeper meaning than that of Shakyamuni.

Religion as well as Buddhism is a type of science whose object of study is mans daily
life and human life. That science which is the basis for religion is called religious
philosophy. For example, the religious philosophy clarifies the wonder why human
beings are different and how to live happily in this life.
However, in the Juryo Chapter of the Hokekyo, eternal life is elucidated, making further
research into human life. Moreover, the contradictions and the greatest doubts in the lifephilosophy are solved fundamentally in the Juryo Chapter. The question of how we can
become happy and how to do away with unhappiness is thoroughly explained in this
chapter.

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There are two kinds of Juryo Chapter - one which gave people benefits in the age of
Shakyamuni and the one propounded by the Daishonin which provides us with vital lifeforce and happiness, but the latter is by far superior to the former.

As mentioned earlier, in Shakyamunis Buddhism, Ga hen gyo bosatsu do she jo


jumyo... (I also practiced the Bodhisattva austerities and thc life which I then acquired
still remains undepleted) reveals the Honnin-Myo [The Mystic Principle of True Cause)
from then acquired still remains undepleted] reveals the Three Mystic Principles). The
Honnin-Myo represents the practice with which the Buddha attained enlightenment. Ga
jitsu jobutsu irai, muryo muhen hyaku sen man noku nayuta ko (It is actually an
infinite and boundless time - many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of aeons since I
attained Buddhahood) represents the Honga-Myo (The Mystic Principle of True Effect).
Ga Jo zai shi shaba sekai, seppo kyoke, (From that time have I been in this world to
teach the Law) is the Honkokudo-Myo (The Mystic Principle of True Land). Honga-Myo
means the result (Buddhahood) attained through the practice of Buddhism, and
Honkokudo-Myo signifies the place where the Buddha appears and expounds his
teachings.

In this Juryo Chapter, the Three Mystic Principles mentioned above are combined for the
first time in all the teachings of Shakyamuni.

Shoi sha ga. Nyaku bukkuju o se. Hakutoku shi nin fu shu zengen. Bingu gesen ton
jaku go yoku, nyu o okuso moken mo chu.

Now, it is proper to speak of the reason why Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha of
Mappo, passed from this world despite His having the eternity of Buddhas life.
If the Daishonin existed eternally in this world as the Buddha, ordinary people who are in
the Nine Worlds would also live forever, from the viewpoint of the theory of Jikkai Gogu
(each of the Ten Worlds comprises within itself the Ten Worlds) - the eternal life of the
Buddha existing within ordinary people.

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Also, if the Daishonin existed eternally in this world and did not pass away (Nyaku
bukkuju o se), people of meager virtue (Hakutoku shi nin) would neither worship the
Gohonzon nor plant the roots of righteousness (fu shu zengon) through the practice of
the True Buddhism. Therefore, they would fall into poverty-stricken and vulgar lives
(Bingu gesen) and would not be able to attain happiness because of their adherence (ton
jaku) to the Five Base Desires (go yoku). Moreover, they would be. enmeshed in the
snare of misleading thoughts or inferior ideas (nyu o okuso moken mo chu), according
to the sutra quoted above.
What is worse, if people never died whatever they might do, they will never struggle to
improve their own abilities, and they will be driven into unhappier situations.

From the standpoint of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism, the Buddha named in the sutra,
strictly speaking, is indicative of the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, but in a broader
sense, it means all people. A passage from Ongi Kuden (the Record of the Oral Teachings
of the Daishonin on the Hokekyo) goes, In my view, the Buddha is indicative of all
people in a broader sense.

According to the Daishonin, if human beings were not destined to die, people of meager
virtue wpuld not respect the Gohonzon, the entity of the True Buddha of the eternal
aeons. Nothing is more fearful than not dying. Suppose not only man but also all
creatures including cats, dogs and rats should not die. Even if beaten, killed, run over by a
streetcar or being deprived of food, none of them would ever die, and the world would be
thrown into confusion.

The number of elderly men and women would gradually increase. They cannot of course
be healthy as long as they like, and as they grow older, they fall prey to illness, but they
never would die but continue to live in this world to no purpose.
Thus, it would be troublesome if man did not die. However, it would also be perplexing if
we could foretell the time of our death. How could we read our favorite books, if we
could foresee that we would die three days hence?
It is mysterious that man is mortal, and he cannot anticipate the exact moment of his
death. Thus he can worship the Gohonzon. Indeed, life is inscrutable. Man eagerly hopes
to live in this world, not knowing the time of his demise but he eventually passes away.
This is why Nichiren Daishonin calls it the birth and death inherent to human beings.
Taking the above factors into consideration, we can do nothing but worship the
Gohonzon. Just as stated by the Daishonin, we must become truly happy before our
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deaths, acquiring the two laws of cause and effect (the cause of practicing religious
austerity and its meritorious result - attaining eternal happiness), favored by the benefits
of the Gohonzon.

Nichiren Daishonin states that people can live with wealth, good health and peace at
home thanks to their strong faith in the Gohonzon for several years before their death.
Otherwise, who can prove happiness - enlightenment in the next existence of life?

We cannot endure being ill and unhappy until our last moments. By worshipping the
Gohonzon, a sick man never fails to recover from his serious illness which has confined
him to bed, and feel peaceful in mind. He will become able to enjoy travelling.

However, if we become truly happy only too soon, we will have to die several years after.
In this sense, when we are distressed, we can find the greater propspect of development
in the future. Then you can feel reassured since you have to live and practice Buddhism
for many more years to attain enlightenment or absolute happiness. This conviction will
change your illness, poverty or any other worry into the cause of reassurance. This is the
view of life based on eternal life.

Nyakken nyorai jo zai fu metsu, ben ki kyo


shi, ni e endai, fu no sho o nan zo shi so kugyo
shi shin. Ze ko nyerai i hoben setsu biku to
chi sho bus-shusse nan ka chigu.

This passage means: If Nichiren Daishonin were always with us in this world, people of
Mappo, with selfish minds, would tend to neglect the practice of Buddhism. Moreover,
they cannot realize the difficulty of approaching the Daishonin nor could they respect
Him. Thinking Him an ordinary person, they would not follow the teachings of the
Daishonin. Without knowing forever that the Daishonin is the True Buddha of the Latter
Day of the Law, they cannot become happy since they do not practice True Buddhism.

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For this reason, the Daishonin passed away, revealing to us the true aspect of life.
Disciples of Nichiren Daishonin cannot attain Buddhahood - enhightenment - without the
advent of the Daishonin. Thus, this sutra expounds the difficulty of encountering
Nichiren Daishonin.

We can read the above passage from the Juryo Chapter from two viewpoints. If Nichiren
Daishonin should make His advent today, we would welcome Him and follow His
profound teachings by arousing pleasure within us, I believe. However, how did the
people in those days feel about the Daishonin? The Daishonin, shabbily dressed in wornout clothes, strictly pointed out mistakes of the heretical Buddhist sects in Japan. He lived
in a humble cottage and ate plain food. Though today many people think of Him as great
and worthy of respect, none paid due respect to Him in His own day.

It is very difficult for people to meet the Buddha. Therefore, they must always have a
mind seeking for the Buddha. What a great joy it would be for us to see Nichiren
Daishonin, and again nothing is more sorrowful than not seeing Him.
However, today when some 700 years have passed since Nichiren Daishonin began to
chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can express our great joy of worshipping the DaiGohonzon and of striving for Kosen-rufu.

From a different standpoint, if our life should exist eternally in this world, we would not
make vigorous efforts to develop ourselves and thus, would be apt to fall into confusion.
We face the basic problem of death in reality. The presence of death in this world makes
us feel the precious value of ljfe and we aspire to further develop ourselves. Is it good to
make light of our life, thinking it difficult to be born again as Man [rather than as an
animal]?

We have the life of Buddha - Nam-myoho-renge-kyo - within us. It is pitiful that people
should die without realizing the life of Buddha. Thinking much of our lives, we must
realize the life of Buddha springing out from within us. The Buddha in our life is similar
to the life of Nichiren Daishonin.
Thus, when we believe in the Dai-Gohonzon established by Nichiren Daishonin, the life
of Buddha within us manifests itself but it is very difficult for people to encounter
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Buddhismabove all, even more difficult to embrace the Righteous Buddhism. Still
more difficult is to see the Dai-Gohonzon. We must realize our good fortune to have seen
the Dai-Gohonzon, the very core of all Buddhist scriptures.

Shoi sha ga. Sho hakutoku nin ka muryo


hyaku sen man nokko, waku u ken butsu,
waku fu ken sha. I shiji ko, ga sa ze gon.
Sho biku, nyorai nan ka tokken. Shi shujo to
mon nyo ze go, hit-to sho o nanzo ski so, shin
ne renbo, katsugo o butsu, ben shu zengon.
Ze ko nyorai sui fu jitsu metsu, ni gon metsu
do. U zen nanshi, sho butsu nyorai ho kai nyo
ze. I do shu jo, kai jitsu fu ko.

The passage means: The reason is that in the course of many hundred thousand myriads
of kotis of aeons, people of meager virtue may chance to see a Buddha or again, may not.
(Shoi sha ga.. .fu ken sha) Therefore I declare thus: Priests, it is a rare event for one to
see the Buddha. (I shiji ko, .. nan ka tokken) The people then, on hearing these words,
will thereby realize the rarity of seeing the Buddha and thus will yearn for and thirst after
Him, thus planting the roots of righteousness (in their hearts). (Shi shujo to.. .ben shu
zengon) It is for this reason that the Buddha prophesies His own death although He does
not die in actuality. (Ze ho nyorai. . .ni gon metsu do)

Once more I say to you, men of devout faith, the Laws of all the other Buddhas are
likewise similar to this since all these Buddhas are, so to speak, the shadows of the True
Buddha. Thus any law of any Buddha is true and without error if based on the True
Buddhism. (U zen nanshi...kai jitsu fu ko)

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In the course of many thousands of myriads of kotis of aeons, people of meager virtue in
Mappo may or may not chance to see Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha. Even if the
Daishonin may make His advent in some world, we might not be alive as men. Therefore,
it is evidence of our profound relationship with the True Buddhism that we have been
able to meet the DaiGohonzon.

Referring to it, the Daishonin says For a great many people in Mappo, it would be a rare
event to see the True Buddha. So, hearing, these words, the people in Mappo will
thereby realize the rarity of seeing the True Buddha and thus will yearn for and admire
the Daishonin.
Those who cannot see the Daishonin thirst eagerly after the Dai-Gohonzon left behind for
them in Mappo as the life of the Daishonin. They practice religious activities in order to
plant the roots of righteousness (zengon).

In daily life, many people are troubled with poverty, illness and are worried about their
children and the like. There are many people who fall into unhappiness in this world. It is
Nichiren Daishonin who is assiduous in leading such unhappy people to happiness night
and day, by troubling His mind about how to save unhappy people from delusion.

However, if one does not yearn for and thirst after the Gohonzon in his heart, it can be
said that his faith in the Gohonzon is very weak.
Since I neglected to do Gongyo this morning, must I undergo punishment, Bachi ? or I
will do it, lest I should be scolded by my group leader. - this is not genuine faith. We
merely want to live for thirty or forty years with gratitude, pride and joy in having seen
the Dai-Gohonzon which is actually well-nigh impossible to meet even once during the
period of some million or ten million years. We should lead a life centered around the
Gohonzon with sincerity and devotion.

It is for this reason that the Daishonin prophesied His own death although He did not die
in actuality from the viewpoint of the true aspect of life. Certainly the Daishonin perished
in His body, but His life, which is the Buddhas life of Ichinen Sanzen actually exists in
the Great Universe. He revealed the phenomenon of death.
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The sutra quoted means that all the other Buddhas were but provisional. They saved the
people just as the Daishonin does, by showing their death. Any laws of any Buddha in
any time, therefore, is true and is without error.

Hi nyo roi chi-e sodatsu, myo ren ho yahu,


zen ji shubyo. Go nin ta sho shisoku. Nyahu
ju ni ju, naishi hyahu shu. I u jien, on shi jokoku.

This sutra poses the following analogy: Suppose there be an excellent physician of deep
wisdom who is skilful at compounding medicines and can cure any disease. This
physician has many sons, numbering ten, twenty, nay over a hundred. One day he goes
out to see his patient in a province in a distant part of the land.

In this passage, an excellent physician means the True Buddha who attained
Buddhahood in the infinite past of Kuon Ganjo realizing that He himself was the entity of
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Just as mentioned, an excellent physician of deep wisdom, he is well versed in Nammyoho-renge-kyo. To be skilful at compounding medicines means that the physician
compounds the most effective medicines which can cure any disease, physical or mental to solve worries or difficulties in a family or a nation. The medicine is nothing but the
Gohonzon of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
The Gohonzon has the great power to cure all disease, including worries in love or the
disease of poverty. The True Buddha has a great many children - all mankind. One day,
this excellent physician, the True Buddha, had been travelling in a distant province on a
professional visit before the coming of Mappo.

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Sho shi o go on ta dokuyaku. Yaku hotsu


monran, enden u ji. Zeji go bu gen rai ki ke.
Sho shi on doku, waku shitsu honskin, waku
fu shis-sha. Ye ken go bu, kai dai kangi,
haiki monjin, Zen nan non ki. Gato guchi
gobuku dokuyaku. Gan ken kuryo, kyo ski
jumyo.

During the absence of the True Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the sons (people of
Mappo) happened to take some medicine by mistake which poisoned them. In other
words, the people of Mappo took faith in inferior religions. Shakyamuni Buddha
definitely expounded in the Hokekyo (Juryo Chapter) that anything other than the True
Buddhism is poison.

In the period of Zoho, Tendai (Tien-tai) the Great, Myoraku (Miao-lo) the Great,
both in China, and Dengyo the Great of
Japan gave theoretical explanations of the sutra. The Daishonin himself clearly
mentions in the Ongi Kuden that poison means inferior religions.
There are many parables in the sutras and seven in the Hokekyo. They are
known as the Seven Parables of the Hokekyo.

The parable of an excellent physician (Roi) related here is one of them. The
sutra reads:
Some time after their fathers departure, the sons happen to take some medicine
which poisons them, and they moan violently, writhing on the ground. At this very
moment, the father returns from his journey to find that all his sons have taken
poison, some of them having lost their reason and others still lucid. Seeing their
father returning from afar, they are overjoyed and kneeling down, beg him:

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We are happy to see your safe return. We were foolish enough to have taken
poison by mistake. We entreat you to cure us and save our lives.

The father, seeing his sons in great agony, takes fine medicinal herbs possessing
the exquisite color, ordor and taste. Then under various prescriptions, he grinds,
sifts and mixes them. Giving it to his sons, he says:

This fine efficacious medicine is possessed of color, odor and taste. Take it, my
sons, and you will be relieved of your agony and all your other afflictions.
Among the many sons, some who have not lost their senses, notice the excellent
color and ordor of the fine medicine, immediately take it and are cured
completely of their agony.

The others, who have lost their reason are also delighted to see their fathers
return and ask him to cure them. However, when the father offers them the
medicine, they refuse to take it. This is because the poison has entered their
systems and they have lost their senses; therefore they think this medicine,
although possessed of fine color and odor, to be ineffectual.

Then the father muses:


My poor sons! Their hearts have been turned by the poison. They are happy to
see me and beg for relief but they do not take this fine medicine I offer them.
Now I must adopt some way to induce my sons to take it. So he makes this
statement:

You should know this. Now I am old and feeble and the term of my life is nearing
its end. Now I will leave this fine medicine here for you to take. So think not that
your sickness is incurable.
Thus admonishing them, he journeys to another land from where he sends a
messenger to announce, Your father has passed away.

Hearing of their fathers death, the sons are sorely grieved and reflect: Were our
father alive, he would pity and protect us, but now he has forsaken us and died in
a distant land. Now we are orphaned with no one on whom to rely.

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127

In their perpetual grief, they are finally awakened to the truth. Realizing that this
medicine actually does possess the color, odor and taste, they at once take it and
are delivered from their poisoned illness.

The father, hearing that his sons are cured, returns home and makes himself
known.

After taking the poison, they moaned violently, writhing on the ground, because
the poison had passed into their system (Sho shi o go on ta dokuyaku Yaku
hotsu monran, enden u ji). This is indeed terrible, because we cannot discover
harmful effects of poison caused soon after taking it. It makes us realize its
baneful influence ten years or twenty years later.

There are many kinds of poisons causing them to writhe about on the ground in
agony on account of taking the poison.

By believing in an inferior religion some parents are distressed with their children
contracting polio. It shows the aspect of writhing on the ground that many people
are worried about their stagnant business or with family discord. Both Nichiren
Daishonin and Shakyamuni Buddha say that any inferior religion is terrible.

The sutra Zeji go bu gen rai ki ke means that at this very moment, the father
returns home from his journey. At this very moment in the above sentence is
indicative of the period of Mappo.

In Buddhism, time (ji) is that of Shoho, Zoho and Mappo. It also means the time
when a Buddha, realizing that people are seeking Buddhism in their hearts,
makes his advent for them.

The father returns home from his journey indicates that Nichiren Daishonin, the
True Buddha of the infinite past, makes His advent in the period of Mappo.

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Home means this world we live in - Shaba which is so called because it is filled
with troubles and therefore requires endurance (Shaba) on the part of mankind.

In Mappo, when Nichiren Daishonin made His advent in this world, all His sons
were writhing with pain after taking poison. Namely, taking faith in various inferior
religions, some of them had lost their reason, while others still rendered lucid.

Some who had lost their reason, so to speak, represent people of Gyaku-en who forget to
plant the seed bestowed by the True Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in the infinite
past, and others who are still lucid - people of Jun-en who remember planting the seed of
Buddha in their minds and feel great joy in their hearts to hear the Nam-myoho-rengekyo.

All the people are overjoyed and kneeling, worship Him, observing Nichiren Daishonins
advent: We are happy to see your safe return. We were so foolish in taking the poison of
inferior religions by mistake, and are in agony as the poison spreads in our veins. We
entreat you to cure us and save our lives.

In the above passage cited from the sutra, to save our lives truly means to give the
benefits and vital life-force to solve any difficult problem or to overcome any hard life.
Later, Nichiren Daishonin promises to give us all we want to have.

We have one doubt about these passages from the sutra. The sutra says that seeing their
father returning from afar, they are overjoyed and welcome him to the Shaba. But when
Nichiren Daishonin made His advent in this world, all the people in Japan of that day
rudely slandered the Daishonm.

However this doubt will soon be cleared away if one considers that such tremendous
opposition to the Daishonin means, in a sense, a hearty welcome.
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Shijo Kingo and Nanjo Tokimitsu, devout samurai believers, well-known among
Nichiren Shoshu followers, Hakii Sanenaga who later turned against the Daishonin, Toki
Jonin, the founder of a heretical sect temple, and Ikegami brothers all welcomed and
served Nichiren Daishonin, just as the sutra reads.

The passage, Kyo shi jumyo (to give longer life) is literal proof that one can receive
benefits from the Gohonzon if he has strong faith. The Daishonin promises to give longer
life to believers in the Gohonzon who beg Him for it.

We can cure our diseases because the fate of falling ill can be removed and vital life-force
can be given by the Gohonzon. During the silent prayer of the fifth or fourth prayer, if we
pray to the Gohonzon with devotion and sincerity, Give me a promise of Kyo shi
jumyo in my business, no earnest prayer will go unanswered.

Bu ken shi to, kuno nyo ze, e sho kyo bo, gu


ko yakuso shiki ko mimi kai shitsu gusoku.
Toshi wago, yo shi ryo buku. Ni sa ze gon,
Shi dai royaku shiki ko mimi, kai shitsu
gusoku. Nyoto ka buku. Soku jo kuno, mu bu
shugen.

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Our father, Nichiren Daishonin, seeing His sons in the depths of terrible agony, gave
them fine medicinal herbs.
Various prescriptions in the e sho kyo bo means a considerable amount of
Shakyamunis sutras or teachings in the world.. The fine medicine was chosen from
among his various teachings.
The father, an excellent physician, gave his sons (mankind of Mappo) the most
efficacious medicine with the requisite color, odor and taste, by grinding, sifting and
mixing the medicinal herbs. From the viewpoint of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism, the
most efficacious medicine means the Dai-Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws.

Nichiren Daishonin says in the following (ni sa ze gon) that the fine efficacious medicine
is the Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws and is possessed of color,
odor and taste.
In other words, the excellent medicine of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has each of the Three
Great Secret Laws - Honzon, Dairnoku and Kaidan of the True Buddhism (Honmon).

The True Buddha promises us believers in the True Buddhism, Take it, my sons, and
believe in the Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws, and you will be relieved of your
agony and all other afflictions.

I will briefly explain the word shiki ko mimi. In Buddhism, there is a doctrine of Kai
(precept), Jo (meditation) and E (wisdom) called San-gaku (three studies) by the
Buddhism of Tendai the Great of China. These three doctrines are indicated by the
passage shiki ko mimi (color, odor and taste) in the Hokekyo (Lotus Sutra).
In Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, Kai, Jo and E are indicative of Kaidan, Honzon and
Daimoku respectively in the Three Great Secret Laws. Therefore, Kaidan,. Honzon and
Daimoku are equal to Shiki, Ko and Mimi in the Hokekyo.

This world, Shaba, is really the place where we were born in order to lead a happy life,
but we cannot understand its delight unless we experience bitterness also. Only when we
know the taste of salt are we able to taste sweet things. If we taste sweets only, we cannot
recognize the sweetness.
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In this trouble-ridden world, we are far from enjoying life. The world is full of misfortune
and tragedy.

Therefore, Nichiren Daishonin bestowed the Gohonzon upon us to save from great agony
all the people born in this world to lead a happy life. Thinking of our lives before
conversion, we used to worry about our homes while at the office, and our minds turned
to the office when at home. In this way, we were always annoyed by something - hence
the world of ceaseless trouble.

Go sho shi chu fu shisshin ja ken shi royaku


shiki ko gu ko, soku ben buku shi, byo jin jo yu.
Yo shisshin ja ken go bu rai, sui yakkangi,
menjin gushaku ji byo, nen yo go yaku, ni fu
ko buku.

Then, among the many sons, some who have not lost their senses are cured of their illness
by taking the excellent medicine which has good color, odor and taste. In other words, it
is said that our worries completely disappear when we take faith in the Dai-Gohonzon of
the Three Great Secret Laws which the Daishonin bestowed upon us.
On the other hand, the others, who have lost their reason, were also delighted to see their
father return and asked him to cure them; but when the father actually offered them the
efficacious medicine, they refused to take it. The sons who refused to take the medicine
are those who oppose the True Buddhism when they are told about it.
Some of them pay respect to the Daishonin in their hearts. However, although they want
to improve themselves or escape from the world of agony, they dare not join Nichiren
Shoshu. Indeed, it is a pity. The reason is clearly explained in the following passage.

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Shoi sha ga. Dokke jinnyu, ship-pon shin ko,


O shi ko shiki ko yaku ni i fu mi. Bu sa ze nen,
Shi shi ka min. I doku sho chu, shin kai ten
do. Sui ken ga ki gushak-ku ryo, nyo ze ko
yaku ni fu ko buku. Ga kon to setsu hoben
ryo buku shi yaku. Soku sa ze gon, Nyoto to
chi, Ga ken sui ro, shiji i shi. Ze ko ro yaku
kon ru zai shi. Nyo ka shu buku. Mot-tsu
fu sai.

The reason why the sons will not take faith in the True Buddhism is because the
poison has paralyzed their systems (Dokke jinnyu) and they have totally lost
their senses (ship-ponshin ko). Therefore, they think the Dai-Gohonzon of the
Three Great Secret Laws, the fine medicine, is ineffective. When we tell them of
the benefits of the Gohonzon, they still refuse to join Nichiren Shoshu, and
worse, they even speak ill of the Gohonzon.

Nichiren Daishonin pities such poor sons or non-believers of His Buddhism. He is


also impatient with them. It can be positively said that people can improve their
home life and become rich, if only they worship the Gohonzon and participate in
religious activities with a pure heart.

The Daishonin grieves over the fact that people who cannot believe in Nichiren
Shoshu are deluded in their hearts, steeped in the poisons of inferior religion,
and that they will not worship the Gohonzon, while hoping to become happy.

In an earnest attempt to save the unhappy, the Daishonin taught as follows: Both the
Buddhas life and ours last eternally. Despite the eternity of life as mentioned earlier, both

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the Buddha and we ourselves meet the phenomenon of death, being controlled by the law
of birth and death. That is why
Nichiren Daishonin passed away at the age of sixty-one in order to clarify the true aspect
of life.

The Daishonin said, Listen to me. My death approaches. Now I will leave this DaiGohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws here for you to take. Take earnest faith in the
Gohonzon, and you can resolve any worry or difficulty.

I will comment on the sutra, kon ru zai shi from the two Buddhist viewpoints. From
Shakyamunis Buddhism, Tendai the Great said that the word here in the passage to
leave this fine medicine here (kon ru zai shi), is indicative of the life of Buddha innate
in all people. However, the Daishonin makes it clear in the Ongi Kuden (Records of oral
teachings of Nichiren Daishonin on the Hokekyo) that here means Japan.

The Daishonin predicted that His Buddhism shall spread from Japan to the world and, so,
He left the DaiGohonzon to save all mankind, in Japan, the starting point of the
propagation of True Buddhism.

I would like to give a minute interpretation of the sutra kon ru zai shi. The word here
in the sentence, to leave the Dai-Gohonzon here for you to worship means Head Temple
Taisekiji in Fujinomiya City, Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan. We can realize the true
meaning of kon ru zai shi, Nyo ka shu buku when we find that what Nichiren
Daishonin left here for us is the Dai-Gohonzon enshrined in the Hoanden (High
Sanctuary) at Taisekiji. He also left His words not to think that our sicknesses are
incurable.

The fact that Nichiren Daishonin ,passed away shows that He took a journey to another
land after preaching to His sons. The messengers whom He sent from another land are the
successive High Priests of Nichiren Shoshu.

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Sa ze kyo i, bu shi takoku, ken shi gen go,
Nyo bu i shi. Zeji sho shi mon bu haiso, shin
dai uno, mi sa zenen, nyaku bu zai sha, jimin
gato no ken ku go. Kon ja sha ga, on so ta
koku. Ji yui koro, mu bu jiko. Jo e hikan,
shin zui shogo, nai chi shi yaku shiki ko mimi,
soku shu buku shi, dokubyo kaiyu. Go bu
mon shi shit-chi toku sai, Jin ben rai ki, gen
shi ken shi.

This part of the sutra reads:


Thus admonishing them, he journeys to another land (takoku) from where he sends a
messenger to announce (ken shi gen go), Your father has passed away (Nyo bu i shi).

Hearing of their fathers death, the sons are sorely grieved and reflect: Were our father
alive, he would pity and protect us, but now he has forsaken us and died in a distant land.
Now we find that we are orphaned with no one on whom to rely. (Zeji sho shi ... mu bu
jiko).

In their perpetual grief, they are finally awakened to the truth. Realizing that this
medicine actually does possess the color, odor, and taste (shi yaku shiki ko mimi), they
at once take it (soku shu buhu shi) and are delivered from their illness (dokubyo kaiyu).
The father, hearing that his sons are cured, returns home and makes himself known.
(Go bu mon shi ... gen shi ken shi).

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In a broader sense, the messengers mean us, the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who practice
the True Buddhism with the spirit of Nichiren Daishonin. We are the messengers
dispatched by the Daishonin, the True Buddha. Then, is there anything for us to fear in
this world? If we bow to poverty or borrow money from others, then we would be
unqualified to become honorable messengers of the Daishonin.

Anyone who opposes this religion is not confident of his daily life. Even if he relies on
something else, no protection comes to him. A passage saying that one feels lonely and
has nothing on which to rely describes the aspect of our lives before conversion to
Nichiren Shoshu.

We have a well-known proverb which goes, A friend in need is a friend indeed. When
our business goes well and we are rich, many friends will gather around us, but when
falling into poverty and saddened with debts because of bad business conditions, we will
surely find ourselves unwanted. No matter where we may go in search-of money, no one
will lend us any.

When the time of death is near for people because of illness, they feel even more
solitary. At that decisive moment.what can they re1y on? They may be awakened for the
first time then to the punishment for slandering the Gohonzon.

If one worships the Gohonzon with a resolution to become a good believer in Nichiren
Shoshu, he can settle any problem.

The, parable in the passage quoted above tells us that the father, hearing that his sons are
cured, returned home and presented himself before them saying he is actually alive.

This Buddhist principle is very interesting. Shakyamuni was already dead, and the True
Buddha of infinite past had not been in the Shaba world either until He made His advent
about seven hundred years ago as Nichiren Daishonin.

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However, although we were not born in the days of the Daishonin and not directly
receiving the teachings from the Daishoniri on account of our karma, today we are
practicing the True Buddhism and chanting the Daimoku with firm faith in the Gohonzon.
If we offer our sincere prayers to the Gohonzon, our life and the Daishonins life are
unified into one, according to the profound Buddhist principle of Kyochi Myogo (oneness
of subject and object).

People who say that the Dai-Gohonzon looks like Nichiren Daishonins face are wrong.
There is no reason for written characters to resemble a human face. It is also ridiculous to
say that the characters of the Gohonzon represent the figure of the Daishonin.

With the oneness of our life and that of the Daishonin, we can realize in our hearts the
presence of Nichiren Daishonin in the form of the Gohonzon, but we cannot fully express
in words how we feel about it.
In Buddhism, there is a principle of Jo-raku-ga-jo (Eternity, bliss, ego and purity), and
Ga (Ego) within us perceives the True Buddhas life. However, no one can surmise where
the Ego exists within our bodies.
We take Ga to be the ultimate of our life, which has a close relationship with the
Buddhas life. Then, it can be said that the Ga within us has a chance to meet that of the
Daishonin. This is indicative of the part of the sutra jin ben rai ki, gen shi ken shi,
(The father returns home and makes himself known).

We often see the word father in the sutra. It has the important meaning which tells us
that the spirit of the Hokekyo is the fathers noble affection, not that of the gentle mother.
Shakyamunis Buddhism is close to the affection of the gentle mother. It appears that a
mother cares very much for her child. Moreover, it is the type of love preached in the
Hinayana Buddhism or Provisional Mahayana Buddhism.

On the contrary, the teachings of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are based on the fathers noble
affection. Benefit or punishment clearly appears in our daily lives depending on whether
or not we take pure faith. It is with the Fathers affection and not from motherly love that
Nichiren Daishonin scolds us for doing what we should not or loves us for doing what we
should, thus saving us completely from unhappiness.

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We hold the Gohonzon with us. Some people say that they chant only three Daimoku a
day and depend solely on the Gohonzon when an emergency arises. We all have the Great
Father, therefore when we worship the Gohonzon with devotion, our prayer is answered
without fail.

However, unreasonable wishes cannot be answered - for instance, if you say, I want to
become a milionnaire by the day after tomorrow. I think it is correct for you to expect
your father to help you only after making your own utmost efforts.
Thus, we have nothing to worry about in-our mind and can remain at ease.

Repentance in Buddhism is commonly called the grand majestic repentance (DaisogonZange). Nichiren Daishonin said, If you wish to be penitent, sit upright and fix your
mind on the true aspect of the universe. A great many sins will disappear like frost or
dewdrops. The sun can disperse them from sight. Sit upright and fix your mind on the
true aspect of the universe admonishes people to take faith in the Gohonzon. Even a
great many sins are unstable as the dewdrops or frost, which soon disappear as the sun
can disperse them from sight.

Ji yui koro (now we find that we are orphaned with no one on whom to rely) teaches
us that we actually feel the punishment of the Gohonzon because of our opposition to the
Gohonzon. We experience the state of unhappiness in our lives.

Sho zen nanshi, o i un ga. Ha u nin no sesshi


roi komo zai fu. Hot-cha, seson. Butsu gon,
Ga yaku nyo ze. Jobutsu i rai, muryo muhen
hyaku sen man noku nayuta asogi ko. I
shujo ko, i ho ben riki, gon to metsudo. Yaku
mu u no nyo ho setsu ga komo ka sha. Niji
seson yohu ju sen shi gi, ni setsu ge gon.
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The passage reads: Now, you men of devout faith, what do you think? Shall anyone call
this excellent physician a prevaricator? Nay, my Lord (they answer).
Then the Buddha speaks, This is the same for me. I attained enlightenment an
immeasurable and uncountable hundred thousand myriad kotis of aeons ago, but using
these means, for the sake of mankind, I prophesy my own passing. Let no one charge me
with falsehood!

Nichiren Daishonin states, through this passage of the Hokekyo, that although people may
have thought Him to be a
Buddha only 700 years ago, He attained enlightenment an immeasurable and uncountable
hundred thousand myriad kotis of aeons ago.

As the Daishonin definitely states, it is the same for us, the common people. We have
continued to live for no less than an immeasurable and uncountable hundred thousand
myriad kotis of aeons. Our own life will last eternally as it is. In order to save mankind
He used the means of death. It is natural from the standpoint of life-philosophy, for there
are no false principles in the Buddhist law.

As mentioned earlier, our life exists eternally in the universe. However, since an old man
cannot turn into a baby, he must die to recover his youth and again appears in this world
as a baby. This never means reincarnation. Looking back on ourselves, our life has been
existing from our birth up until now without even a moments rest. However, in a sense, it
seems to break off at one time or another. When we fall asleep, we are unaware of the
presence of our life. However, it is improper to say that we were re-born in the morning.
Likewise, we are not re-born in the next life, but our life continues to exist from this life
to the next and basically there is no-vital change in human life.

For instance, even if we arise in high spirits early in the morning, we are dead tired late at
night, and fall into a deep s1eep. Thus, we can renew our spirits the next morning.
Similarly, we will die as we grow old, but reappear in the next world in the form of a
baby. We repeat this cycle of birth and death eternally.

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As our life exists not only in this life but also in the next, we must respect religion. In the
next world, we certainly do not want to repeat an unhappy life without riches and good
fortune or with ill health - wearing filthy clothes and living in a tiny apartment.

The next time we come into the world, we want to live, for example, in a stately mansion
with thirty maids and five menservants, graduate from a first-class university, marry a
fine girl and enjoy supreme happiness together with our gifted children until we depart
this world.

We are striving for the practice of the True Buddhism in the hope of attaining true
happiness which will last into the next existence of life. However, unless we obtain it in
this world, we have no actual proof of true happiness in our future existence. Only
through our experience of happiness can we be convinced of leading a happy life in the
next existence.

Some people often say, Why cant I enter into the supreme state of happiness ? - when
they have been believers in the Gohonzon for only a year or two. They need not be so
hasty. If one is destined to die at the age of 60, I think he can feel satisfied if he can fully
enjoy a happy life for five years after the age of 55. Is it not satisfactory to live happily
day after day for five full years without any anxiety?

However, I hear some people say, Although I have been practicing this religion for
years, I am yet unable to reach the destination of happiness. Unless they experience the
sorrows of life, they cannot realize its joys.
I do not mean that they should endure a poor life, but they must fight against their evil
destiny until they can see the evidence of happiness.
Devote yourselves to the practice of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism with pure faith and
sincerity. It is improbable that you have practiced this religion so devotedly for no
purpose.

I know very well that there is no believer who is assiduous in this faith but who failed to
build a happy life. The divine blessings of the Gohonzon are so great as to make us wise.

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Ji ga toku bur-rai

Nichiren Daishonin teaches us how to interpret the verse, Ji ga toku bur-rai, which
literally means Since I attained Buddhahood. It means to attain Sanjin Nyorai for
oneself.

From the standpoint of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism, the word ji in Ji ga toku burrai means oneself, and toku, to attain. Therefore, Ji toku means to attain for
oneself. Out of ga bur-rai in Ji ga toku bur-rai, ga means Hosshin Nyorai (the
life of Buddha), bur (butsu), Hoshin Nyorai (the wisdom of Buddha) and rai, Ojin
Nyorai (the appearance of Buddha). These three compose Sanjin Nyorai (three phases of
Buddhas life).

As for the Sanjin (three phases of life), Hosshin signifies the life which is inherent in the
Buddha, Hoshin, the wisdom of the Buddha who can realize the three existences of life,
and Ojin, the figure of Nichiren Daishonin who made His advent in Mappo.
One must attain the enlightenment of Sanjin soku Isshin -that these three phases of life
exist within a single person - for oneself, since he can never learn it from another. Even if
a student of the Hokekyo or the profound principle of the Buddhism, asks, What is the
Buddha?, no one can give a correct answer. I will answer, You should master it for
yourself by chanting the Daimoku.

Buddhahood is the Ga bur-rai or Sanjin which one has attained for himself. Nichiren
Daishonin says that if we chant the Daimoku facing the Dai-Gohonzo, we can attain the
enlightenment of Sanjin soku Isshin (Ga bur-rai) for ourselves. This is the meaning of
the verse, Ji ga toku bur-ai.
This doctrine is shown below in this page.
I will make a minute interpretation of the verse Ji ga toku bur-rai citing a passage
from Ongi Kuden.
Ongi Kuden is a collection of oral teachings on the Hokekyo presented from the
Daishonin to the second High Priest Nikko Shonin who wrote them down as the

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Daishonin dictated. It is one of the most important teachings of Nichiren Daishonin for
both clergy and laity. There are three meanings in this single verse.
1)

Ga indicates Hosshin Nyorai,


Butsu indicates Hoshin Nyorai, and
Rai indicates Ojin Nyora.
The eternal True Buddha has obtained all these
three phases for himself. Ji toku means to ob
tain for oneself.
2)

Ji indicates the Nine Worlds, and


Ga indicates Buddhahood.
These comprise the Ten Worlds which represent
the eternal and original Buddha with the three
phases of life.

3)

The Buddha (butsu) who has acquired (toku)


both Ji (Nine Worlds) and ga (Buddhahood)
has come (rai). Hence the verse shows the
innate possession of the Ten Worlds by theTrue Buddha.
This will be explained more clearly in the Ongi Kuden cited in the next page:

An important passage from the Ongi Kuden reads:

No. 11: On Ji ga toku bur-rai


Ongi Kuden elucidates: This verse clearly expounds the true meaning of Sanjin.
Ji means the Nine Worlds and Ga, the Buddhas World. These Ten Worlds are
indicative of the eternal and original Sanjin or the True Buddha who made His
advent. The True Buddha who had obtained both Ji and Ga appeared. This verse
clarifies that the True Buddha originally has the Ten Worlds in His life. Ga means
Hosshin, Butsu equals Hoshin, and Rai is Ojin. These three had been obtained
by the venerable Buddha of the infinite past. Consider the verse: We have
obtained the priceless gem of perfection without earnestly seeking it. (a passage
from the Shinge Chapter of the Hokekyo). The teachings of Kempon Onju (to
reveal the Buddhas eternal life) is not found in any other teaching but only in the
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Hokekyo. Nichiren Daishonin and His disciples who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
now in Mappo are the devotees of Ji ga toku bur-rai.

*Ji means the Nine Worlds and Ga, the Buddhas World.

The Nine Worlds comprise Jigoku (Hell), Gaki (Hunger), Chikusho (Animality), Shura
(Anger), Nin (Tranquility), Ten. (Rapture), Shomon (Learning), Engaku (Absorption), and
Bosatsu (Aspiration for Enlightenment).

The first six paths are repeated by turn in our daily lives. Ga signifies the Buddhahood or
the life of the Gohonzon, which contains the vital life-force and great mercy to save all
mankind by all means.

*These Ten Worlds are indicative of the eternal and original Sanjin or the True Buddha
who made His advent.

Buddhahood and Nine Worlds, or Ten Worlds are eternal and inherent in our life. They
are not anything man produced. They have been present in our life since the infinite past.
There is none who can create the world of Hell or the world of Rapture. The world of
Hell or the world of Rapture also appears in our daily lives, but we cannot know from
where they come. This is because our life is eternal and has neither beginning nor end
(Honnu Joju). The True Buddha has attained the eternal and original Sanjin for himself,
and appeared in this world.

*The True Buddha who had obtained both Ji and Ga appeared.


Nichiren Daishonin states that He himself has obtained both ji and Ga, and that our life is
eternal and inherent in the universe, as it is.
*Ga means Hosshin, Butna equals Hoshin and Rai is Ojin. These three (Sanjin) had
been obtained by the venerable Buddha of the infinite past.

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This passage means that the Buddha of Sanjin soku Isshin is the venerable Buddha of the
infinite past (neither beginning nor end). Buddhahood can be obtained for oneself, but
not made up by man. Therefore, it is said in Buddhism that one can realize Buddhahood
for himself: but that it can never be taught by a teacher. So, it is also told that the
enlightenment can be attained with ones own wisdom without a teacher.

*Consider the verse We have obtained the priceless gem of perfection without earnestly
seeking it.

What is the priceless gem which is said to fulfill all our wishes? Nikkan Shonin, the 26th
High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu, defined it as the Dai-Gohonzon. Certainly, there is
nothing more priceless than the DaiGohonzon. Therefore, we have had the good fortune
to obtain the priceless gem.

*The teachings of Kempon Onju is not found in any other teachings but in the
Hokekyo.
What does the phrase Kempon Onju mean? It means that the Juryo Chapter of the
Hokekyo elucidates the eternity of life. This profound doctrine is fbund in no other
teaching.

*Nichiren Daishonin and His disciples who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo now in


Mappo are the devotees of Ji ga toku bur-rai.
We believers of Nichiren Shoshu who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are also devotees of
Ji ga toku bur-rai. Nichiren Daishonin, as mentioned earlier, had attained the
enlightenment of Sanjin soku Isshin as the venerable Buddha of the infinite past.
Accordingly, He naturally deserves the name of the Devotee of the Hokekyo. Strictly
speaking, the Devotee of the Hokekyo means the True Buddha of Mappo.
In a broader sense, it is indicative of us, believers in Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism,
who chant the Daimoku as sons and disciples of the Daishonin. Thus, we are also
devotees of Ji ga toku bur-rai.

Sho kyo sho kosshu Muryo hyaku sen man

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144
Oku sai asogi. Jo seppo kyoke Mushu oku
shujo Ryo nyu o butsudo.

These verses mean:

Since I entered Buddhahood,


The kotis of aeons which have passed
Number a myriad million.
Throughout this time I taught the Law
Leading mankind to Buddhahood.

In other words, Nichiren Daisbonins life of Ji ga toku bur-rai or Sanjin soku Isshin has
always existed in the Great Universe. It was not just when He made His advent into this
world 700 years ago that He first attained eternal life, or Buddhahood. It is not true that
He attained Buddhahood after practicing Buddhism or while studying Buddhism at
Enryakuji temple on Mt. Hiei near Kyoto, then the capital of Japan.

The above quotation indicates that Nichiren Daishonin has been teaching the Buddhist
law in this Great Universe since time immemorial. The True Buddha of the infinite past
made His advent into this world under the name of Nichiren Daishonin. All the Buddhas
in the universe attained enlightenment by practicing under the True Buddha of the infinite
past. Amida Buddha (Amitabha), Yakushi Buddha (Bhaisajya-guru), Shakyamum Buddha
and many others - all were children of the True Buddha.

Therefore, the teachings of any Buddha consist of what he learned from the True Buddha.
The Daishonin states in the Jiga-ge (verses of the Juryo Chapter) that He has led to
Buddhahood an unimaginably great number of people scattered throughout the universe.
This means that all the Buddhas who appeared in our Shaba world are Buddhas whom He
taught, as mentioned earlier. From this viewpoint, the Daishonin inspires the profoundest
meaning into the verses of Jiga-ge.
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145

From the standpoint of this Buddhist principle, Amida, Yakushi, Dainichi


(Mahavairocana-tathagata) and all other Buddhas are, so to speak, the shadows of the
True Buddha. Unless they chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they do not deserve to be so
called. Therefore, they never fail to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Nirai muryo ko, I do shujo ko, Hoben gen


nehan, Ni jitsu fu metsudo. Jo jushi seppo.

From that day, a myriad aeons


To save mankind, I used the means
Of death, though I do not die.
For I am here with you always,
Eternally to teach the Law.

Nichiren Daishonin defined His death as a means to redeem mankind from the sea of
suffering and it is for this sole purpose that He underwent death innumerable times since
the infinite past. Here the Daishonin elucidated the reason why He passed away although
His life is eternal.
Concerning Hoben gen nehan (I used the means of death), Nichiren Daishonin
explains that He dies to reveal to us the law of birth and death. We grow older to
become grandfathers or grandmothers. Thus, when our life-fbrce is completely exhausted
or if it is not strong enough to live on in this world, we are obliged to die.
Unless we die, many troubles occur, as explained before. It is only because we are
destined to die that everything goes well.
After death, our life returns to the vast expanse of the Universe, just as bubbles merge
into water. Our life never changes into what is generally called the soul, but Ga (the
ultimate of life) exists in this universe. This Ga existing in the universe feels both joy and
sorrow.
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As the conditions become perfect, we are born again in this world. By this I do not mean
that we are re-born.
While performing Gongyo every day and burning incense, we see the stick of incense
burn and become shorter and shorter. In this case, we never say that a long stick is reborn into a short one.

Our life continues to exist from this to the next existence of life. It exists eternally and
has neither beginning nor end in itself just as the Great Universe has no beginning nor
end. Thus, the life of the Great Universe and ours are united in one.

How we acted in our past existences is inscribed on our life itself. Hence the necessity of
Buddhism. Although some people say, I will have nothing to do with what I do in this
existence when I am born anew in the next, yet they cannot get along as they expect.
Why was I born in such a poverty-stricken home? Why have I a dull head? What on
earth causes such trouble in my business when I am exerting every effort ? These are
caused by something you did in your past existence. How to overcome difficulties or
change poison into elixir is clarified by Nichiren Daishonins Buddhisnt
From the physiological point of view, a human body completely changes in every part,
from the eyeballs to the marrow of the bone, every five to seven years. This is a wellknown fact in medical science.
Taking advantage of this doctrine, some people may say, I do not need to pay my debts
which are five years overdue, because my body is not what it was at that time. In reality,
however, creditors come to them to collect money. We are naturally responsible for the
results of our activities or behavior in our past.

We can understand it theoretically, but not as a matter of course. Nichiren Daishonin said
that we are people of meager virtue, but if we worship the Dai-Gohonzon, we are
forgiven our wrong deeds of past existences. Moreover, we can obtain the same rewards
as those we get for our good deeds, by worshipping the Gohonzon. So the Daishonin
teaches us.

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Ga jo ju o shi, I sho jinzuriki, Ryo tendo shujo
Sui gon ni fu ken.

In this world I am always,


But through my many mystic powers,
These persons of corrupted mind,
Though I be near, they shall not see.

Nichiren Daishonin or the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo exists in this world.


However, persons of corrupt mind who do not devote themselves sincerely to faith, shall
not see Him because of His mystic power, though He is very near.
Out of the passage Ga jo ju o shi (In this world I am always), shi (this world) means
the Shaba world. Shaba (Saba in Sanskrit) may also be interpreted to mean patience.

The Dai-Gohonzon we worship every morning and evening is the Daishonins life itself.
However, although it is close to us, we cannot identify it as the True Buddha.
This is the true meaning of Sui gon ni fu ken (Though I be near, they shall not see.)
His life exists eternally as you know through the sutra. Many people think that it exists
only in this world. People of corrupt mind who interpret things in the world the wrong
way can never recognize this fact.
If one thinks that the Gohonzon is anything other than the Buddha or merely a paper
scroll on which characters are inscribed, he is one of those who take a distorted view of
matters. Indeed, Nikkan Shonin clearly states, Offer your earnest prayer to the
Gohonzon, and you will see the Buddha in the scroll of the Gohonzon.

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Shu ken ga metsudo, Ko kuyo shari, Gen kai
e renbo, Ni sho katsugo shin. Shujo ki shinbuku, Shichijiki i nyunan,

Thus, on seeing my demise


My relics they revere.
Then with pure receptive faith,
They yearn and thirst for me.

Thus, seeing Nichiren Daishonins demise, people came to worship the Gohonzon. As for
the verse Ko kuyo shari (My relics they revere) we must know two kinds of shari
(sarira in Sanskrit). One comprises relics of the True Buddha, and the other, the
Gohonzon of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism. The latter is called relics of the law.
From another viewpoint, if the life of the True Buddha appears within us, we can
overcome any type of unhappiness. In other words, when we pray to the Gohonzon, the
Gohonzon clearly appears within our life unawares.
However, unhappy people think that the True Buddha passed away. Falling into distress,
sorrow, poverty, bitterness and so on, they will become anxious to worship the True
Buddha, being unable to bear with these unhappinesses. This means that they revere the
relics.
Thus, people want to offer their hearty contributions to the Gohonzon with thirsty minds.
This is the development of their faith in the Gohonzon. It is with genuine faith that we
pray to the Gohonzon just as fervently as if we thirsted for water. Some believers do
Gongyo merely for fear of divine punishment stemming from their negligence of
Buddhist practice - for formalitys sake.
Others offer earnest prayers merely for their own profit. Their faith is not true in the strict
sense, but soon they will come to have genuine and sincere faith, yearning for the
Gohouzon while keeping their faith.
Shichijiki in the verse Shichijiki i nyunan means honesty in English. There are two
types of honesty - worldly and Buddhist. What is called Buddhist honesty is indicative
of the pure mind which abides by the Buddhist law.

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In the same verse, I nyunan is indicative of the gentle and meek mind of believers in
Buddhism or the Dai-Gohonzon. Taking honest faith only in the Gohonzon with our
gentle minds, we will surely obtain immense blessings in our lives. The following verses
clarify this.

Isshin yok-ken butsu, Fu ji shaku shinmyo.


Ji ga gyu shu so Ku shutsu ryojusen.

In heartfelt desire to see the Buddha,


Their lives they do not begrudge.
Then, accompanied by priests
In Grdhrakuta I appear.
The profound principle of Three Great Secret Laws is revealed in this part of the sutra.
It says:
Isshin yok-ken butsu, Fu ji shaku shinmyo. - Daimoku of the True Buddhism.
Ji ga gyu shu so Ku shutsu Honzon (object of worship) of the True Buddhism.
Ryojusen - Kaidan (High Sanctuary) of the True Buddhism.

When people do not begrudge even their lives in their heartfelt desire to see the True
Buddha with pure receptive minds, Nichiren Daishonin appears in Ryojusen24 [24]
(Grdhrakuta), accompanied by many priests. Our bodies become the Ryojusen - the home
of the Buddha. Then, our entire beings are filled with the vital life-force of Nichiren
Daishonin or the great power of the Dai-Gehonzon.

Ryojusen: Here Ryojusen is not the mountain (the Eagle Peak) where
Shakyamuni expounded the Hokekyo. It is indicative of the sacred place where
the True Buddha lives or the Gohouzon is enshrined.
24[24]

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This is why these verses are indicative of the Three Great Secret Laws. In the practice of
faith or the chanting of Daimoku, believers never begrudge even their lives in their
heartfelt desire to see the True Buddha. Not cherishing the sublime mind of Fu ji shaku
shinmyo (we do not even begrudge our lives), we cannot chant the Daimoku. Moreover,
without this elated spirit, Kosen-rufu cannot be realized.
If you are liable to lose your faith in the Gohonzon only because others may speak ill of
this faith, you had better not join Nichiren Shoshu, to begin with.

Nichiren Daishonin appears, accompanied by many priests at that time in the form of
the Gohonzon. Here, at that time indicates the period of Mappo. To make a minute
interpretation of Ji ga gyu shu so Ku shutsu ryojusen, ga means the Buddha, gyu, the
Bodhssattvas, shu so, Nijo (the two vehicles of Shomon and Engaku), and Ku shutsu,
Rokudo (the six paths of Jigoku, Gaki, Chikusho, Shura, Nin and Ten).

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo - Nichiren inscribed in the center of the scroll of the Gohonzon


is indicative of ga, and gyu means the two Buddhas of Shakyamuni and Taho (Prabhutaratna) and the Four Bodhisattyas headed by Jogyo Bosatsu (Visistacaritra-bodhisattva)
inscribed on both sides of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo - Nichiren.

Sharihotsu (Sariputra) and others stand for shu so in the verse.


Certainly, when we observe the Gohonzon, we find Nam-myoho-renge-kyo - Nichiren
inscribed in the center, and Taho and Shakyamuni Buddhas seated on both sides.
Beside them are the Four Bodhisattvas of Jogyo, Muhengyo, Jyogyo and Anryugyo, and
further below, representatives, of all the Ten Worlds - from Yakuo Bosatsu (Bhaisajyaraja-bodhisattva) to Daiba-datta (Devadatta) - appear on the Gohonzon.

Therefore, Ji ga gyu shu so Ku shutsu represents the Gohonzon of True Buddhism.


The reason why Ryojusen stands for the Kaidan (high sanctuary) of True Buddhism is
that it points to the place where the Buddha always exists. Therefore, the altar wherein
the Gohonzon is enshrined can be called Ryojusen. There can be no unhappiness in
Ryojusen where the Gohonzon exists. Our attainment of true happiness depends solely
on whether or not we have a strong faith.

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This passage makes clear the Three Great Secret Laws embodied in the form of the
Gohonzon in Nichiren Daishordns Buddhism.

Ga ji go shujo, Jo zai shi fumetsu. I hoben


rik-ko, Gen u metsu fumetsu. Yokoku u shujo
Kugyo shingyo sha, Ga bu o hi chu, I setsu
niujo ho.

Thus I speak then to the crowd:


Deathless am I, and always here.
They are but means - my birth and death.
If on other worlds there be
Those who respect and believe in me,
Among them also will I teach
The Supreme Law.

These verses expound the power of the True Buddha. Ga of Ga ji go shujo (Thus I
speak then to the crowd) means Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha of Mappo. He told
all people that Jo zai shi fumetsu or that the True Buddha will always stay here and
will never perish. Out of Jo zai shi fumetsu, shi (here) means this world. The
Gohonzon always exists in this world, and also in our lives. Therefore, chanting the
Daimoku leads us to enlightenment as the chanting will call into full play the Buddhas
life within us.
However, the True Buddha reveals that the phenomena of life and death are the means
of His teaching. Actually the life of common mortals exists also in the universe eternally,
but goes through the process of life and death.

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If people on any other world outside of ours eagerly search for the Buddhist law, the True
Buddha says He will appear in their hearts or lives immediately, and teach them the
supreme law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The Buddhist view of life not only treats the
earth alone, but also the innumerable other celestial bodies. Modern astronomy attests to
this.

In all the worlds, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws is expounded
by the True Buddha. All the Buddhas of other worlds were able to attain Buddhahood by
practicing Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Nyo to fu mon shi Tan ni ga metsudo. Ga


ken sho shujo, Motsuzai o kukal. Ko fu i
genshin, Ryo go sho katsu go. In go shin
renbo, Nai shutsu i seppo. Jinzuriki nyo ze.

But you, heeding not my words,


Think only that I die.
I see all submerged in seas of woe,
But myself I do not show.

Them I cause to thirst for me, and


When their hearts commence to yearn,
I at once appear to teach the Law.
This is my mystic power.

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Many people think that the True Buddha is already dead. They can hardly believe that
He exists eternally in this world. In other words, they cannot realize that the True Buddha
exists in our own lives.
Considering this apart from the thought of our life, the True Buddha actually exists in
every part of the world. However, those who do not take faith in Nichiren Daishonins
Buddhism think that the True Buddha is no longer alive in this world. That is why they
are always in distress.
If we want to emerge from the sea of suffering, we must be firmly convinced that the
True Buddha never passed away but does exist here, and that He never fails to save us
from drowning in the sea, when we worship the Dai-Gohonzon.

The True Buddha will never make His advent again to save all mankind; nor will He let
us clearly recognize His existence. This is because when people cannot see the True
Buddha, they will thirst for Him in their agony of drowning in the sea of suffering. The
True Buddha, however, presents himself as the Gohonzon and always teaches us.

This can be known from the fact that the True Buddha bestows on us the divine blessings
if only we embrace faith in the Gohonzon.
Thus, the mystic power of the Gohonzon proves immeasurable. The Gohonzon does not
speak but instructs us: You had better manage your business this way, Your business
does not prosper because of your poor management, or You must do this or that. Then
we can realize what to do.

O asogi ko, Jo zai ryojusen Gyu yo sho jusho.


Shujo ken ko jin Dai ka sho sho ji, Ga shi do
annon, Tennin jo juman. Onrin sho dokaku
Shuju ho shogon, Hoju ta keka, Shujo sho
yuraku. Sho ten gyaku tenku, Jo sas-shu
gigaku, U mandara ke, San butsu gyu daishu.

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Ga jodo fu ki, Ni shu ken sho jin, Ufu sho kuno,
Nyo ze shitsu juman.

In the Innumerable kotis of aeons


I have been on Grdhrakuta
And in various other lands.

Though mankind should see the aeons end,


And the world consumed in flames,
Yet this spot shall be in peace,
Filled with gods and men.

Gardens and palaces adorned with gems,


Trees of treasure laden with fruit
A place where all amuse themselves.

Above, the gods strike heavenly drums


A ceaseless rhythmic strain.
On the Buddhas and his people
Mandaras fall like rain.

While my pure land rests untouched,


Men, scorched in flames of lust,

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See the world filled to oerflow
With countless sorrow, fears and woe.

The Buddhas life without beginning or end exists eternally in Ryojusen. Moreover, it
also exists in many other lands. Since the Dai-Gohonzon, or the embodiment of the
Buddhas life, is enshrined at the Hoanden (High Sanctuary) of Head Temple Taisekiji, it
can also be called Ryojusen. As for many other lands, the Gohonzon is also enshrined in
the Nichiren Shoshu local temples and in the believers homes. These are also Ryojusen.
Even though mankind should witness this world come to an end in flames, this place
where I exist shall be in peace. (Shujo ken ko jin Dai ka sho sho ji, Ga shi do annon).
From the viewpoint of the Daishonins Buddhism, flames are indicative of earthly
desires. Even if the world is in flames of desires, the palace where we embrace the
Gohonzon will remain peaceful.
Then the sutra reads, Buddhist gods and men fill the palace with many gardens and
buildings adorned with various kinds of jewels. There grow trees laden with fruits of
gems. It is a place where all people amuse themselves. Further, many gods strike
heavenly drums, ceaselessly play music and scatter flowers of Mandara-ke over the
Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and all other people. Mandara-ke are white flowers which grow
in heaven, and Manjusha-ge are red flowers there.
Our pure land, i.e., the place wherein the Gohonzon is enshrined, is indestructible.
However, other people who follow inferior religions without knowing the greatness of the
Gohonzon are in flames of affliction and therefore, are forced into the idea that the
world is filled with worry, fear and distress. This is what the quoted verses of the
Hokekyo mean.
I would like to read these passages from the viewpoint of the profound principle of
Ichinen Sanzen (three thousand worlds in the momentary existence of life). The verses
from Dai ka sho sho ji to Ufu sho kuno vividly describe the Gohonzon and they are
the original sutras on which the profound theory of Ichinen Sanzen is based. This is
shown in the table below in this page.
I will explain fully what each passage means.

Three Kinds of Difference


Ga shi do annon

...

Difference of lands
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Shujo sho yuraku

...

Difference of Inhabitants

Hoju ta keka . . .

Difference of five elements

Ten Worlds
San butsu gyu daishu ...

Buddhahood and Bodhisattva

Onrin sho dokaku

Absorption

...

U mandara ke ...

Learning

Tennin Jo juman ...

Rapture and Tranquility

Ufu sho kuno,


Nyo ze shitsu juman ...

Anger and Hunger

Sho ten gyaku tenku ...

Animality

Dal ka sho sho ji ...

Hell

Dai ka sho sho ji (this world is consumed in flames) - this means the world of Hell
(Jigoku). We can apply this to ourselves. However hard the world may be, if we embrace
the Gohonzon, the Gohonzon appears within ourselves, and our homes where every
family tnember is faithful become a peaceful place of Ga shi do annon (this place
where I exist shall be in peace).
Tennin jo Juman (Buddhist gods and men fill the palace) - our surroundings must be
filled with people of Rapture (Ten) with faces beaming with delight or the calm people of
Tranquility (Nin).
On the contrary, it is far from the state of Tennin jo juman when the mother sulks,
father is in a rage and the children are crying loudly, and when a person occasionally does
come, he is nothing but a bill collector.
Lets turn our eyes to our own homes. Are they in such a state of Tennin Jo juman?
Whoever visits us is a good person. Evil persons intending to commit fraud will never
visit our homes. Moreover, our families are composed of persons of Ten or Nin.

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Onrin sho dokaku, Shuju ho shogon (our gardens, forests and houses are adorned
with various priceless gems and treasures) - this seems to be divorced from reality.
However sincerely we may pray to the Gohonzon, we cannot suddenly begin to live in
such a dreamy palace.
However, if we think of the deeper meaning of this passage, we need not give up our
hope of obtaining a magnificent palace, garden or forest.

We can make miniature gardens or palaces out of our own homes. We cannot lay out a
large garden or forest around our houses situated in the heart of Tokyo. Putting soil into a
small box and planting a Shikimi (aromatic tree) or other tiny trees in it, the small box
instantly becomes a miniature garden. It fully deserves to be called a garden in which we
can enjoy some time in the morning in watering the plants.

Our small houses can be decorated with the gems of our pure hearts in the confidence that
ours are palaces though they are small.
If a wall in. our house has a hole made by mice, it can be changed into a treasure of the
heart when the hole is stuffed with pebbles and its surface covered with wall paper.
Keeping it in order and not leaving it untidy, the room will be adorned with the treasures
of the housewifes heart.

If a father stops smoking and buys an inexpensive oil painting, the house will be
decorated with the treasure of the fathers heart. Or again, when children get good grades
at school and paste their report cards on the wall, their parents can amuse themselves at
the sound growth of their children. We can consider that the room is adorned with our
childrens treasures.
Hoju ta keka (the trees of treasures have many flowers or fruits growing on them) Trees of treasure is indicative of a father, mother and their sons in the peaceful land of
Ga shi do annon. A father is likened to a tree of treasures because he brings his
salary home, but on the contrary, if he indulges in drinking or gambling without bringing
home any money, he may be called a tree of poverty. He must earn enough money to
buy his wife a new dress without going into debt. He will not deserve to be called a tree
of treasures if he relies on pawn tickets.

The same holds true with a mother. If she can manage with the salary her husband earns
and can even save some pin money, she may be called a tree of treasures. In an ideal
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family, the children are good, their father earns much money and the mother keeps the
house well. This means that the tree of treasures has many flowers and fruit.

This seemingly trouble-filled world is the place where people enjoy living, as clarified in
the quoted sutra Shujo sho yuraku (a place where people enjoy their lives). Actually,
however, as. the entire country is filled with worry and distress, people cannot live
happily. Nichiren Daishonin stated in bestowing the Gohonzon upon us, Offer your
earnest prayers to the Gohonzon, and you can enjoy yourselves in this life. The saying
ofthe True Buddha can be realized without fail.

Sho ten gyaku tenku (many gods strike heavenly drums) - it does not mean that the
gods or people in the world of Ten come to this world to strike heavenly drums. We are
all in good health, and enjoy good food. When we are hungry, we are in the world of
Gaki, and we eat any plain food whatsoever and say How delicious I The proverb says,
Hunger is the best seasoning. In such a case, it can be safely said that we can stay in the
state of Shoten gya.ku tenku.

Likewise, when we are thirsty, we can drink water and say, Very good ! The same is
true in this case. If a father drinks a glass of beer once or so a month and says Good, he
is in the same state.
Jo sas-shu gigaku (ceaselessly play music) - this means that music is always heard
there, but it does not mean that we keep the radio on. For example, upon returning home
from work, a father says with a smile, Today, I had a good time at the office. This is
what happened.

Then, his wife says, Really? Dear, today the cat next door cried, Mew. Their children
also report to him, I saw my schoolteacher walking in the street. In this way, if a family
can lead a happy life full of smiles and delight, they are- enjoying music of life.

On the contrary, if a father always shouts loudly like a broken drum, the mother screams
hysterically and their children cry inside the house, they are not making any harmonious
melody.

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U mandara ke (white flowers fall like rain) - it is indicative of an extraordinary
income or a bonus. Our office may be in straitened circumstances, and the average bonus
is not statisfying. Actually, however, if we are paid more than usual, the extra money is
equal to U mandara ke.

San butsu gyn daishu (scatter those white flowers over the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas
and all other people) - as I have obtained an unexpected profit, I will use it for the
pilgrimage to Head Temple Taisekiji. Or, I will purchase a bell for daily prayer. I will buy
a new Buddhist altar or contribute the money to the Head Temple.

Ga jodo fu ki (thus, our pure land will never be destroyed by anything) - people who
believe in the Gohonzon are always peaceful and happy just as is explained in the sutras:
Ga jodo fu ki and Ga ski do annon. People who are opposed to faith are driven into
the world of distress and worldy desires, just as Dai ka sho sho ji (the world is
consumed in flames) apd Ufu sho kuno (Various kinds of worry, fear and distress)
signify.
With devout faith in the Gohonzon, we should be confident that our.pure land is
indestructible.

Ze sho zai shujo I akugo innen, Ka asogi ho,


Fu mon sanbo myo

These myriad peoples, filled with sin,


With evil karma sore oppressed.
For kotis of aeons have not heard
The names of Three Great Treasures blest.

Ufu sho kuno as was explained previously, means distress, fear and affliction. People
who have worries or agonies hold a mistaken yiew of the Three Treasures and did not
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believe in the True Buddhism throughout the infinite past. This is the reason why they are
afflicted even in this world.

Indeed, people all over the world are filled with worry, fear and various types of distress,
just as expounded in the sutra, Ufu sho kuno. There are few who really enjoy absolute
happiness in this world. Many people feel the sorrow and grief of life or are distressed.
Others are always in anger. The reason is that they do not know the Three Treasures,
which are the basic principles of Buddhism.

What are these Three Treasures of Buddhism? They are called Bupposo which means the
Treasure of Buddha, Treasure of Law and Treasure of Priest. The basic difference
between this religion and other heretical Buddhist sects lies in their interpretation of the
Three Treasures. For instance, heretical Nichiren sects interpret the Treasure of Buddha
as Shakyamuni Buddha, Treasure of Law as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and Treasure of
Priest as Great Bodhisattva Nichiren.

In other words, they regard Nichiren Daishonin as a mere Bodhisattva and not as the True
Buddha of Mappo. Those sects inherit nothing of the pure lineage of True Buddhism
from the Daishonin.

Moreover, this is nonsense and completely against the Buddhist principle that the Person
is equal to the Law. Shakyamuni was a provisional Buddha who taught the Hokekyo
(Lotus Sutra) and not the True Buddha who reveals the profoundest doctrine of Nammyoho-renge-kyo. We will have to suffer divine punishment if we misinterpret the Three
Treasures, just as stated in the Daishonins writings, Even if you hold Nichiren in
reverence, the country will come to ruin if you respect me in the wrong way. It is a
terrible thing, indeed, to misunderstand the Three Treasures.

Then, what is the correct meaning of the Three Treasures? In Nichiren Shoshu, the
Treasure of Buddha represents Nichiren Daishonin, the Treasure of Law, Nam-myohorenge-kyo, and the Treasure of Priest, the second High Priest Nikko Shonin, who is
widely known as the founder of Head Temple Taisekiji.
Realizing the correct meaning of the Three Treasures, we believers of Nichiren Shoshu
can live in this world without the worry, fear or distress of Ufu sho kuno. The

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immense difference between Nichiren Shoshu and other heretical Buddhist sects lies in
this.

Sho u shu kudohu, Nyuwa shichijiki sha


Sokkai ken ga shin Zai shi ni seppo. Wakuji
i shi shu Setsu butsuju muryo. Ku nai ken
bussha I setsu butsu nan chi. Ga chiriki nyo
ze.

The gentle-minded and the meek,


Receiving all the blessings sought
Can view my presence on this earth
And hear the Law I taught.
Oft, for these I elucidate
The eternal Buddha-life.
They who greet me in each age
Marvel at their fortune great Thus doth work my wisdoms power.

These quoted verses expound the benefits people can enjoy by offering prayers to the
Three Treasures.
In other words, Three Treasures exist entirely in the Dai-Gohonzon. Sho u shu
kudoku (to practice Buddhism and obtain various benefits) indicates that we believers
of Nichiren Shoshu devote ourselves to the practice of Gongyo (daily worship) every

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morning and evening, participate in religious activities and enjoy happy and peaceful
lives.
Nyuwa shichijiki sha (gentle and honest people) means pure-minded believers of the
True Buddhism who are honest in their faith. We must know that there are two types of
honesty: that is, of the Buddhist law and worldly law. Honesty in the Buddhist law
represents people who are faithful to the True Buddhism. In other words, we face the
Gohonzon with gentle and honest minds, and never recite any other sutra except the
Hoben and Juryo Chapters of the Hokekyo.
If we remain in such a mental state, we can realize that the True Buddha actually exists in
this world and propounds the Buddhist law for all people at every moment. We can then
obtain immeasurable blessings in our lives. Similarly, we also realize that the life of
Nichiren Dalshonin, the True Buddha, is immeasurable, and that the life of man exists
eternally.
However, it is hard for us to see the True Buddha. When we feel the immense delight of
having encountered the True Buddha, we find great joy flowing from within ourselves.
We should not think that we can easily worship the Gohonzon at any time.
It is not certain that we will be able to meet the Gohonzon in our next existence of life.
We should be grateful for the fact that we have had the inestimable good fortune to meet
the Gohonzon in this world.

Eko sho muryo, Jumyo mushu ko Ku shugo


sho toku. Nyoto u chi sha Mot-to shi sho gi
To dan ryo yo jin.

Thus wisdoms rays illuminate The Buddhas life endures


Infinite aeons of austerities
Have let him this procure.

Ye men of wisdom, banish doubt

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Believe this ever more.

The verse Eko, sho muryo means the great blessings of the Dai-Gohonzon are
eternally inexhaustible, and fill the entire universe.
Jumyo mushu ko stands for the eternity of Buddhas life. Ku shugo sho toku (what
the Buddha attained through long practice) means the true aspect of life - that which
Shakyamuni attained by practicing True Buddhism. This is equal to the passage, Ga hon
gyo bosatsu do (Once I also practiced the Bodhisattva austerities). In a word, it means
that Shakyamuni practiced the Buddhist austerities in a former life. Ku shugo sho
toku represents the cause for Buddhahood, and Eko sho muryo (the light of
wisdom illuminates infinitely), the effect of Buddhahood.
Shakyamuni Buddha some time before Gohyaku-jintengo practiced Daimoku just as the
Juryo Chapter states:
Ga hon gyo bosatsu do. However, Nichiren Daishonin is the eternal Buddha and He
did not practice the austerities for as 1ong a time as Shakyamuni did, but only chanted
Daimoku Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Therefore, a person of wisdom should not have any
doubt about this, but should chant Daimoku to the Gohonzon.

Butsugo jip-puko. Nyo i zen hoben, I ji


Oshi ko, Jitsu zai ni gon shi, Mu no sek-komo.

The Buddha word is true, not false:


A doctor with skilful method says
He dies, though he may live,
Yet no one blames for his lie
For his deluded sons new life he gives.

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The Buddha never lies. Needless to say, the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, the True
Buddha of Mappo, are not false in any way. He merely takes various means for the
sa1vation of all mankind. For example, it is also a means for saving people that the
Buddha reveals the phenomenon of death in this world, just as taught in the parable of the
excellent physician, in which the physician sent a messenger to announce, Your father
has passed away to make his deranged sons yearn for him (Buddha).
To tell the truth, our life never perishes from the universe. Death is a passing
phenomenon. Therefore, it is untrue that the Buddha passed away. It is a means of the
Mystic Law.

Let me cite a story from a famous Chinese history book called Shiki (Shi Chi) or
Records of History. Shibasen (Ssu Ma Chien) who wrote the Shiki was executed on a
false charge. He was a well-known Chinese historian whose work Shiki is widely read
among scholars of Chinese. Without reading his great work, no scholar is considered to
have studied Chinese literature.

Two men named Hakui (Po I) and Shukusei (Shu Chi) appear in this book. The book also
states that it was the respectworthy Taikobo (Tai Kong Wang) who assumed command of
the entire force in the battle in which Bu-o (Wu Wang), the king of Shu (Chou) Dynasty,
destroyed Chu-o (Chou Wang), the king of the In (Yin) Dynasty. Taikobo was fond of
fishing, but always fished with a straight hook so that no fish could be caught. Asked why
he was doing such a useless thing, he answered, Because it takes a great deal of trouble
to unhook the fish.
When this eccentric person became a staff officer of the forces of Shu, both Hakui and
Shukusei warned him, saying, Never start a revolution. In spite of their earnest advice,
Bu-o commenced a campaign against the In Dynasty, and eventually reigned over the
whole country after winning. For having had their sincere desires ignored, the two sages
went up to Mt. Suyo (Shou Yang Shan) saying, We will not eat any millet of Shu, and
starved themselves to death.
Although the leader of bandits who killed 3,000 honest persons enjoyed abundant wine
and meat throughout his entire life, the two saints, Hakui and Shukusei, were obliged to
starve to death.
Even Shibasen, the great Chinese historian, questioned this: What does this fact mean
and why this difference? Even this scholar could not explain why such a contradiction
should exist in this world. It could not be clarified in Chinese classics or by
Confucianism, but is exactly the problem of our past existence to be expounded in
Buddhism.

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I think we should chant as many Daimoku as possible while in this world. We can carry
over to our next existence of life the good fortune we have accumulated in this world
through Daimoku-chanting, although we cannot do the same with money. Moreover, we
can take our benefits derived from our practice of faith, and we find them appear as good
fortune in our next existence.

Ga yaku i se bu, Ku sho kugen sha. I bonbu


tendo, Jitsu zai ni gon metsu.

I too am father of this world


To save man from his myriad woes.
Since common men are perverse in heart
My death I teach, though I truly live.

Ga yaku i se bu, Ku sho hugen sha (I am the father of the world, and can save people
from distress or worry.) - Nichiren Daishonin puts special emphasis on these verses. Ga
yaku i se bu means that Nichiren Daishonin is the father of the world, and saves us
from all kinds of distress and worry. Ga (I) of Ga yaku i se bu means Nichiren
Daishonin, that is, the Dai-Gohonzon. As the True Buddha promises us to save all from
all kinds of distress and worry, we should be convinced of the validity of His promise
when we recite the Jiga-ge portion of the Juryo Chapter every morning and evening. It is
correct for us to believe that the Gohonzon can surely save all mankind from any worry
or distress.

I honbu tendo, Jitsu zai ni gon metsu (Because common mortals lose reason, the
Buddha says that he will die, although his life is eternal.) Despite the Daishonins
promise, it is man who takes the world in reverse and doubts the Gohonzon from the
standpoint of worldly law, not the Buddhist law. Such people think that our life is
perishable despite the law of eternity of life.

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However, the writings of the Daishonin do not contain such contradictions. That is why
the Daishonins Buddhism is extremely intelligible. The Daishonin says to a widow,
Your husband died in order to reveal the law of life and death.

I Jo ken ga ko, Ni sho kyoshi shin, Hoitsu


Jaku goyoku, Da o akudo chu. Ga jo chi
shujo Gyo do fu gyo do. Zui o sho ka do, I
ses-shuju ho.

If they see me here alway,


Their selfish hearts are filled with pride
Hold five base desires, and disobey,
The path of evil down they stride.

Always knowing if mankind


Follows Buddha or does not
I expound the various laws
Most fit for their salvation.

If the Buddha were to exist eternally in this world, as mentioned earlier, man would not
devote himself to the practice of Buddhism and cling to his Five Base Desires (Goyoku),
thereby sinking into the pit of hell.
Five Base Desires mean those of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Indulging
ourselves in the Five Base Desires, we are liable to fall into the pit of hell. We may take
delight in satisfying those desires, but should not cling to them.

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Gyo do fu gyo do, Zui o sho ka do, I ses-shuju ho clarifies the great power of the
Gohonzon. Gyo do (to practice Buddhism) means that we take firm faith in the
Gohonzon and are assiduous in various activities, and fu gyo do means the reverse.
The Gohonzon, knowing all gives us great benefit or punishment so as to save each,
according to his state of faith. The Gohonzon does not despise those who do not yet have
the faith, but saves them from distress by awakening them to the faith. The True Buddha
knows precisely whether or not a personis practicing True Buddhism.

For example, I once asked a sick believer during a question-and-answer session, When
did you join Nichiren Shoshu? He replied, I have been a Nichiren Shoshu believer for
four years, but I am still ill.
I say positively that his attitude toward faith was wrong, or fu gyo do There is never
such an absurd thing in the benefits of the Gohonzon.
If we practice True Buddhism sincerely, we can doubtless enjoy the great blessings of the
Gohonzon. What counts is our faith itself.

Mai ji sa ze nen, I ga ryo shujo Toku nyu


mujo do, Soku joju busshin.

I am always pondering Law


To open for them the perfect way
And with what means enable them
To reach enlightenment without delay.

Mai ji sa ze nen means that the Gohonzon is always mindful of how the Gohonzon
can lead all people to the supreme road (mujo do), or can make them find the life of
Buddha within themselves. Here, the supreme road means Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the
highest teaching of Buddhism.

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This is the conclusion of the Jiga-ge portion. The Gohonzon always wishes to make all
people attain Buddhahood with the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Let us attain
Buddhahood as soon as possible by chanting many Daimoku and being assiduous in the
practice of Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism.

Three Mystic Principles


In the Juryo Chapter, the combined theory of the three mystic principles known as
Sanmyo-Goron is expounded. The three mystic principles are Honnin-myo (the mystic
principle of true cause), Honga-myo (the mystic principle of true effect) and Honkokudomyo (the mystic principle of true land).

In Shakyamunis Buddhism, the sentence beginning with Ga jitsu jobutsu ira-i (since
I attained enlightenment) signifies the effect. The pre-Hokekyo sutras and doctrines
state that the Buddha exists only in a pure and peaceful land, and not in this world of
Shaba - dirty and troublesome. However, the Juryo Chapter clarifies the land of Shaba.
This indicates that the Buddha exists in this world together with common mortals and
Bodhisattvas, and that all the Ten Worlds including Shomon and Engaku (Learning and
Absorption), Chikusho and Gaki (Animality and Hunger) exist in this world. This mystic
phenomenon of living together is indicative of the mystic of the mystic principle of
true land. In other words, it indicates that the true land of the Buddha is the World of
Shaba.

The attainment of enlightenment requires the true cause which is expounded in the
sentence starting with Ga hon gyo bosatsudo (Once I practiced the austerities of
Bodhisattva for attaining enlightenment).

Ga jitsu jobutsu irai is indicative of Shakyamuni Buddha.


The passage literally means that since Shakyamuni attained enlightenment, it has been
many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of aeons. Go hyaku sen man - noku nayuta
asogi san zen dai sen sekai ke shi u nin matchi mijin, ka o tobo go hyaku sen man
noku nayuta asogi koku, nai ge ichijin, nyo ze to gyo, jin ze mijin means, Suppose
there be one who, reducing five hundred thousand myriads of kotis of worlds into
particles of dust, goes eastward, traversing another five hundred thousand myriads of
kotis of worlds, drops one particle. Suppose that he continues to repeat this process until
he exhausts the entire mass. As this parable teaches us, it has been an immeasurably
long time since Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood.
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However, from the viewpoint of the True Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, the sentence
starting with Ga jitsujo butsu irai is construed to mean that the life of Nam-myohorenge-kyo is included in the Great Universe.

The True Buddha does not exist in any other land except in the world of Shaba. The
Buddha who does not live in the world of Shaba is only a provisional or a transient
Buddha. Only the Buddha who exists in this world deserves to be called the True Buddha.
All the Buddhas practice Bodhisattvas austerities in order to attain enlightenment. This is
the meaning of Ga hon gyo bosatsudo.
From the standpoint of Shakyamunis Buddhism, Ga jitsu jobutsu ira-i means the
Buddha himself, as earlier mentioned, and therefore, it clarifies the Buddhism of Hongamyo. Shakyamuni himself who appeared in the form of the Buddha is the Buddha of
Honga-myo.

On the contrary, Nichiren Daishonin made His advent as a common mortal instead of as
the Buddha. The Daishonin expounded the true cause for attaining enlightenment, and put
it into practice himself. Therefore, He is called the Buddha of Honnin-myo. If He had
appeared as the Buddha, there could not have been any austerities of the Bodhisattva or
what the sutra calls Bosatsudo in Mappo. Bosatsudo means the practice of Buddhism
which leads one to enlightenment. This the Daishonin carried out himself to instruct
people.

The Daishonin appeared as a common mortal, but since He is actually the True Buddha,
He never stated that He would attain Buddhahood.
In the light of True Buddhism, Nichiren Daishonin is the True Buddha. However, as a
means of instructing the people, He carried out the practice of the Bodhisattva. Analyzing
the practice, we can see from the viewpoint of the True Buddhism that the practice of
Nam-myohorenge-kyo is revealed in the 11th of the 52 stages of Bodhisattva austerities.
We will be able to attain Buddhahood by believing in the Buddha of Nam-myoho-rengekyo (Nichiren Daishonin) and by practicing His teachings. Thus the Daishonin reveals the
cause (practice) for attaining enlightenment. Hence the Buddhism of Honnin-myo as
against Shakyamunis Buddhism of Honga-myo.
Therefore, Nichiren Daishonin is called the Buddha of Honnin, and Shakyamuni the
Buddha of Honga. Herein lies the distinction between Honga-myo and Honnin-myo.
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Chapter IV
Meaning of Silent Prayers

Gokannen means to offer silent prayer to the Gohonzon. Practice-wise, it is to recite in


mind the Gokannen-mon (the sentences specifically dedicated for this service).

Some members say: While I chant the Daimoku, earthly thoughts come into my mind. Is
this wrong? Even if I say that is wrong, you cannot help it. Nor can I say, Avoid those
thoughts. Yet we must be careful not to let them in while we offer silent prayer to the
Gohonzon.

For example, suppose that you think of someone quite disagreeable to you during this
particular moment. Then you might have a grudge against him. Your sentiment
immediately reflects in your silent prayer.
Again you might swear in your mind, I will hit that fellow next time I see him. This
would become your substantial prayer even if you are reciting the Gokannenmon. As this
example shows, what matters in the silent service is the content of the worshippers mind,
and not his reading of the sentences.

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SHOZA (First Prayer)
Shoshin myokaku jigyo no goriyaku, Dai
bonten-no, Taishakuten-no, Dai-nichiten-no,
Dai-gatten-no, Dai-myojoten-no to, sojite hokke
shugo no shoten-zenjin, shoten chuya joi hoko
ni e goshi no goriyaku, homi baizo no ontame ni.

In the morning, we begin Gongyo by chanting the Daimoku three times to the Gohonzon,
then turn eastward. Simultaneously all the Buddhist gods are supposed to assemble
around Dai-nichiten-no (God of the Sun). Among them are Dai-bonten-no, Taishakutenno, Dai-gatten-no, Dai-myojoten-no and many others. These gods are omnipresent in the
universe.

According to the Hokekyo, all the Buddhist gods pledged to protect believers in the
Gohonzon. The sutra further clarifies that they had previously chanted the Daimoku for
their own sakes (they did not spread it for others). From this cause, they became Buddhist
gods. Therefore, the Daimoku is a kind of pabulum for them to live on. We offer the
Daimoku to them as a token of our gratitude for their day-and-night protection.

Shoten chuya joi hoko ni e goshi - this sentence is quoted from the Hokekyo which
refers to what is mentioned above. The quotation reads to the effect that the Buddhist
gods protect us day and night by virtue of our devout faith in the Gohonzon. We must
accordingly thank them. The sentence we read silently in the Shoza is dedicated for this
purpose.

After the silent prayer of the Shoza, we face the Gohonzon again. The Buddhist gods now
come and gather behind us. Among them are Kishimo-jin and Yasha - the goddesses who
joined in. the pledge to protect devotees of the Hokekyo. They were once very cruel to
humanity, but after their conversion to the Hokekyo they became benevolent Buddhist
goddesses. All these protectors listen attentively as we recite the sutra and chant the
Daimoku. Gongyo is a solemn rite of such significance.
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Some people retort: If that is so, the Buddhist gods would be too busy in the morning.
They are supposed to attend every Gongyo service you start doing around the same hour
and just everywhere in the world! How could they manage this? Some of them go so far
as to say: Bonten and Taishaku would not be present past nine oclock. These are
unknowing arguments.

The Buddhist gods are omnipresent in our own lives as well as in the universe. This fact
is expounded in the Buddhist term Bunshin Santai. It summarily signifies the
omnipresence of the gods. Such transcendent existence is indicated in Christianity as
well, but its substantial entity is clarified only in the supreme life-philosophy of Nichiren
Daishonin. You can realize it empirically and prove it factually through actual happenings
in your daily life.

NIZA (Second Prayer)


Namu Honmon juryo-hon no kanjin, Montei
hichin no taiho, honchi nanshi, Kyochi myogo,
Kuon-ganjo, jijuyu-hoshin, Nyorai no gototai,
Jikkai honnu-joju, Ji no ichinen sanzen,
Ninpo ikka, Dokuitsu-honmon-kaidan no DaiGohonzon, go-iko baizo goriyaku kodai go-hoon shatoku no on-tame ni.

These words stand for the ten honorable titles of the Dai-Gohonzon. A similar phrasing
ten honorable titles is inscribed in the Gohonzon that we have. It refers to the ten
honorable titles of Shakyamuni Buddha, completely different from those of the DaiGohonzon. Therefore, the phrasing says good fortune to supersede the ten honorable
titles (of Shakyamuni). We can accumulate the good fortune through our faith in the
Gohonzon. In addition, our good fortune as believers in the Dai-Gohonzon is by far
greater than that of believers in Shakyamunis Buddhism.
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By reciting silently the Gokannen-mon of the Niza, we praise the ten virtues of the
Gohonzon. They may also be called ten kinds of status or prestige inherent in the
Gohonzon.
Introduced below are the ten virtues and what each of them signifies:

1) Namu Honmon juryo-hon no kanjin


Literally, juryo-hon no kanjin means the heart of the Juryo Chapter (of the
Hokekyo). The Chapter itself is a mere symbol of the Dai-Gohonzon, whereas the Juryo
Chapter read by Nichiren Daishonin is more than the symbol. He embodied the core of it
into the Dai-Gohonzon. Hence, the scripture in the Daishonins Buddhism is as valid as
life. In other words, the essence of the sutra is the Daimoku - Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
2) Montei hichin no taiho
Literally, this means the great law inherent in the sentences (of the Juryo Chapter). The
great law as such is indicative of the Dai-Gohonzon which is the true original cause for
all livings to attain Buddhahood or absolute happiness.
3) Honchi nanshi
The ultimate origin of the Dai-Gohonzon is beyond human knowledge. This is
meant by the words Honchi nanshi. The Dai-Gohonzon is tremenddously
powerful. The entity of the Dai-Gohonzon is, so to speak, as vast as the universe.
It is the cosmos itself.
4) Kyocki myogo
Kyo means the object. By contrast, Chi means the subject. Kyochi myogo signifies the
integral union of these two different factors. In Buddhism, they must be well in
accordance with each other. Generally, a happy life finds itself in such a state.

The Dai-Gohonzon as the Kyo ranges in time over the sequence of past, present and
future, and prevails in space as vast as the entire universe. The Chi of the Dai-Gohonzon
is the True Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin whose mercy extends
beyond the bounds of time and space. Therefore, the Dai-Gohonzon is the true integral
entity of Kyo and Chi, that is, Kyochi myogo.

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5) Kuon-ganjo jijuyu-hoshin
Kuon-ganjo signifies the limitless and eternal entity of the Dai-Gohonzon. In contrast
with this, the entity of Shakyamuni Buddha is limited and transient. Space-wise, Kuonganjo implies the entire universe itself:
Time-wise, it denotes the eternity from no beginning to no end (including the present).
As for Jijuyu-hoshin, Hoshin is one of the three phases of life expounded in Buddhism
by the term Sanjin. Hoshin represents mentality - especially wisdom. The other two are
Hosshin (life in itself) and Ojin (materiality - particularly the body).
Jijuyu signifies how the True Buddha lives. He lives at His own will, neither restricted
nor swayed by anything whatever. Therefore, the True Buddha is otherwise called
Jijuyu-hoshin. The life of the True Buddha is materialized into the Dai-Gohonzon.
6) Nyorai no gototai
Nyorai is a Buddha. Nyo means every moment of time. Rai connotes vital activities.
Gototai denotes the entity of life. Together, Nyorai no gototai signifies the entity of the
True Buddha who never ceases even for a moment to save all living beings. This is the
Dai-Gohonzon.
7) Jikkai honnu-joju
Jikkai or the Ten Worlds are the elemental classification of states of all living things,
which range from Jigoku (Hell) to Butsu (Buddhahood). The Dai-Gohonzon prevails in
each of the Ten Worlds. In turn, the Dai-Gohonzon itself contains all of them. This is the
meaning of Jikkai honnu-joju. It is for this reason that we can attain Buddhahood
through our faith in the Dai-Gohonzon, whatever state we may be in.
8) Ji no ichinen sanzen
This phrase is indicative of the Dai-Gohonzon. Ji means the action of the True Buddha
which accords with His own intention. The establishment of the Dai-Gohonzon - was the
ultimate intention of Nichiren Daishonin as the True Buddha. He established the DaiGohonzon on October 12, 1279.

The Dai-Gohonzon is the embodiment of the profound doctrine of the Ji-no Ichinen
Sanzen (practical elucidation of the 3,000 worlds in a momentary existence of life).

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As is compared with this, Tendai (Tien-tai) the Great expounded Ri-no Ichinen Sanzen
as the Transient Buddha of the Zoho period. His teaching is merely a theoretical approach
to the Dai-Gohonzon. Ri means theory or doctrine.

9) Ninpo ikka
Nin stands for Person; and Po (a phonetic change of Ho), Law. Ninpo ikka together
means the oneness of Person and Law. In the True Buddhism of the Three Great Secret
Laws (San-dai-hiho), the Person is Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha; and the Law is
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Therefore, the Dai-Gohonzon is the very embodiment of Ninpo
ikka.

In addition, in True Buddhism, the Person equals the Law and vice versa. This is the true
aspect and content of the Dai-Gohonzon. The reason: If Nichiren Daishonin had not made
His advent in this world, the Dai-Gohonzon could not have been established. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo was first chanted and spread by the Daishonin. Hence, Person and Law
are never separate from each other.

10)

Dokuitsu-honmon-kaidan no Dai-Gohonzon

Literally, Dokuitsu stands for the phrase only one. Honmon means true teachings.
In Shakyamunis Buddhism, the 28-chapter Hokekyo is divided into two parts according
to their doctrinal difference. The one is the first 14 chapters, categorically called
Shakumon (transient teachings). The other is the latter 14 chapters likewise called
Honmon (true teaching).

In Nichiren Daishonins Buddhism, both of Shakyamunis teachings are treated alike as


Transient Teachings; and Nam-myoho-renge-kyo alone stands out as True Teachings.
Hence the name Dokuitsu-honmon (the Only True Teaching).
As is shown above, the True Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin is completely different
from Shakyamunis Buddhism. The former supersedes the latter by far. This further

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signifies that the Dai-Gohonzon eclipses the provisional validity of Shakyamunis
Buddhism.

By citing the above-mentioned ten honorable titles, we praise the absolute powers of the
Dai-Gohonzon. Thus we also express our thanks for the immense benefits and blessings
already bestowed upon us, and at the same time invoke the Dai-Gohonzon for further
bestowal.

SANZA (Third Prayer)


Namu honninmyo no kyoshu, isshin soku
sanjin, sanjin soku isshin, san-ze jogo no
goriyaku, shu-shi-shin san-toku, dai-ji dai-hi,
shuso Nichiren Daishonin go-iko baizo, goriyaku kodai, go-ho-on shatoku no on-tame ni.

This long sentence is meant for us to praise the virtues of Nichiren Daishonin with a view
to thanking Him. Hereon, the Daishonin is addressed by His title honninmyo no
kyoshu, This means the Buddha of the true mystic cause. By contrast, Shakyamuni is
called hongamyo no kyoshu (the Buddha of the true mystic effect). Kyoshu means the
Buddha.
Shakyamuni could attain enlightenment by practicing Nam-myoho-renge-kyo under the
True Buddha in the infinite past called Kuon Ganjo.

In Buddhism, there are sutras which reveal the life of Hosshin Nyorai (Buddhas life). A
certain sutra reveals Dainichi Nyorai as such. Hoshin Nyorai (Buddhas wisdom) is
revealed, too, in some sutras including Hannya-kyo (the Sutra of Wisdom). Ojin Nyorai
(Buddhas body) also is revealed in Agon-kyo (Agama Sutra). As these examples show,
the three qualities of Buddha are revealed separately.
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In other words, every Buddha in the pre-Hokekyo sutras represents only one of the three
qualities, whereas Nichiren Daishonin alone contains all of them. Therefore, the
Daishonin is both Hoshin Nyorai and Ojin Nyorai as well as Hosshin Nyorai. In the
otherway round, these three Nyorai are found in the single life of Nichiren Daishonin.
This adds importantly to the reason why the Daishonin is regarded as the True Buddha.
The expression isshin soku sanjin, sanjin soku isshin
involves such signification.

San-ze jogo no goriyaku: This part of the sentence means that Nichiren Daishonin
bestows unending benefits over the eternal sequence of time.
Shu-shi-shin: This wording stands for the San-toku (Three Virtues) at the Daishonin
Sovereign, Teacher, and Parent. The True Buddha protects us as Sovereign, guides us as
Teacher, and rears us as Parent.
We express our heartiest gratitude to Nichiren Daishonin by praising Him with these
significant words.

Namu hossui shabyo, yuiga yoga, honmon


gutsu no daidoshi, dai-niso byakuren ajari
Nikko Shonin go-iko baizo, goriyaku kodai,
go-ho-on shatoku no on-tame ni.

With this silent prayer, we express our sincere thanks to the Second High Priest Nikko
Shonin, the founder of Head Temple Taisekiji.

Hossui shabyo: Hossui is the Law or Buddhism metaphorically compared to clean water.
Shabyo means transfer. Now suppose here are two glasses, one of which is filled with
water. The water is transferred from one glass into the other. The quality of the water remains unchanged through this transfer - even though the shapes of the glasses may differ.
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Similarly, the Hossui of Nichiren Daishonin was handed down from Nikko Shonin to
Third High Priest Nichimoku Shonin. However, its genuine purity was not changed in the
least. This solemn tradition has been strictly maintained by the successive high priests of
Nichiren Shoshu.

Yuiga yoga: This means that the life of Nikko Shonin equals that of Nichiren Daishonin.
A Gohonzon called Tobi (Flying) Mandala is enshrined at Butsugenji Temple in Sendai
City in northeast Japan. It was inscribed co-operatively by the Daishonin and His immediate successor Nikko Shonin. This fact evidences what yuiga yoga signifies.
Namu ichienbudai no on-zasu, daisanso
niidakyo ajari Nichimoku Shonin, go-iko baizo,
goriyaku kodai, go-ho-on shatoku no on-tame
ni.

This silent prayer conveys our thanks to the Third High Priest Nichimoku Shonin.
A distinguished debater, Nichimoku Shonin contributed much to refuting the heretical
doctrines of other sects. Nichiren Daishonin trusted remarkably in his ability. In fact, he
attempted to remonstrate with the authorities of his day as many as 42 times including the
times he acted in the Daishonins stead.

After the Daishonin passed away, Nichimoku Shonin served long under Nikko Shonin,
who named him as the third High Priest. At 74, he set out for Kyoto to ex-postulate with
the Emperor, and ended his life at Tarui on the way. Thus he literally devoted himself to
fulfilling his sacred mission..
On our pilgrimage to the Head Temple, we offer our hearty donations to acolytes there.
On January 15, the memorial day of Nichimoku Shonin, the High Priest invites the
acolytes to dinner. This is observed because Nichimoku Shonin may be among them. A
tradition has it that he will again make his advent at the time of Kosen-rufu. He may
already have appeared.

Namu Nichido Shonin, Nichigyo Shonin to,

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go-honzan rekidai no go-shoshi, go-iko baizo,
go-ho-on shatoku no on-tame ni.

This is the expression of gratitude further extended to the successive high priests of
Nichiren Shoshu. We thank them all for their lives dedicated to maintain the True
Buddhism in its purity.

YOZA (Fourth Prayer)


Kinen shi tatematsuru, warera gulio no seii,
Dai-Gohonzon ni tasshi itten shikai, honninmyo no Kosen-rufu, taigan joju go-kito no
on-tame ni.

In this silent prayer, we ask for the earliest attainment of worldwide propagation of the
True Buddhism. This attainment is the very will of Nichiren Daishonin as well as the
ultimate goal of us, His followers.
At Head Temple Taisekiji, Ushitora Gongyo has been observed every day past midnight
by the successive high priests for over 700 years. This solemn ritual is simply dedicated
for this great cause. We members of Nichiren Shoshu pray for its achievement every
morning.

Soregashi kako onnongo genzai manman no


hobo, zaisho shometsu, gento nise taigan joju
no tame ni.

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Here, we offer all our own prayers to the Gohonzon.
I know a woman believer who began to pray to the Gohonzon about twenty-five years
ago. She now has a mint of money, having a splendid home, but at the time of her
conversion to Nichiren Shoshu, she was living an extremely rugged life, poor and
troubled. Her only wish then was to secure a life of modest means. Now she has had her
wish answered - unimaginably more than she ever wished for. There is a story about
her and her Gongyo. In those early days, it is said, her prayer bell rolled two yards when
she struck it at this part of the silent prayer. We do not necessarily have to ring the bell
that hard, but this episode tells how strongly she used to ring for her wish. We may well
make our wishes perhaps as earnestly as she did.

GOZA (Fifth Prayer)


To-monryu shinko no menmen, naitoku
shinko no menmen, ono ono senzo daida no
sho shoryo tsuizen-kuyo, sho dai-bodai no
tame ni.
Soregashi senzo daidai no shoryo tsuizen
kyuo sho dai-bodai no tame ni.

As we recite in mind the first sentence, we pray for the repose ofthe deceased ancestors
not only of our own but also of all mankind.
The second sentence is meant in particular for the repose of our own ancestors. Recall
their names as you ring the bell for each one of them.

Naishi hokai byodo riyaku, jita guan, doki


Jakko.

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Lastly, we offer our prayer to the Gohonzon for the entire universe including the human
world, that it be equally blessed with the great benefits of the Gohonzon, so that the
whole world may become the prosperous and peaceful land of Buddhahood.

APPENDIX

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Correct Way of Gongyo

For every believer in Nichiren Shoshu, Gongyo is the most basic daily practice. It is
observed both in the morning and evening. The correct and regular observance of daily
worship is indispensable for the believer to enjoy receiving great blessings.
Gongyo consists of three main parts - sutra-reciting, Daimoku-chanting and silent prayer.
The sutras to be recited are the Hoben and Juryo Chapters of the Hokekyo Practically, the
Juryo Chapter is recited in two separate sections - Chogyo and jigage. (explained below)

MORNING PRAYER
Before starting the first Gongyo of the day - morning service, the worshipper offers a cup
of fresh water, changes the water in the Shikimi vases, lights candles and burns incense.
When the preparatory service before Gongyo is adequately done, the worshipper observes
the plenary service in the following order.

Shoza (First Prayer)


Sit upright in front of the Gohouzon, ring the bell three times and chant the Daimoku
three times. Then turn eastward.

1) Facing estward, read the liturgy, Myo ho ren ge kyo Hobenpon. Dai ni. Niji seson
ju sanmai anjo ni ki... Repeat three times the last lines of the Hoben Chapter
(Hobenpon) which begin with Shoi sho ho, nyo ze so...

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2) Then, proceed to the Juryo Chapter (Juryohon) and read the title.
3) Skip the part following the title, which is called Chogyo (the longer part). Read the
Jigage, beginning with Ji ga toku bur-rai... Jigage is the sutra in verse ending with
...Soku joju busshin.
4) Chant Hiki-Daimoku (prolonged Daimoku) three times - Na-mu, Myo-ho-ren-gekyo. Voice each syllable in a prolonged and articulate sound.
5) Then, read the silent prayer (Go-kannen-mon) of the first prayer (Shoza) in your mind.
6) After the silent prayer, chant the Daimoku again three times.

Niza (Second Prayer)


Now, turn to face the Gohonzon.
1) Reed the Hoben Chapter in the same manner as in the first prayer.
2) Read the Juryo Chapter completely - from the title through Chogyo to the end of
Jigage.
Chogyo begins with Niji butsu go sho bosatsu gyu... and ends with Niji seson yoku
ju sen shi gi, ni setsu ge gon. It is only here during the second prayer that the whole
part of the Juryo Chapter is read through.
3) Chant the Hiki-Daimoku three times.
4) Read the silent prayer of the second prayer, and chant the Daimoku three times.

Sanza (Third Prayer)


1) Read the Hoben Chapter, the title of the Juryo Chapter and Jigage.
2) Chant the Hiki-Daimoku three times.
3) Read the silent prayer of the third prayer. Chant the Daimoku three times at the end of
reading each of the four silent prayers.

Yoza (Fourth Prayer)


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1) Read the Hoben Chapter, the title of the Juryo Chapter and Jigage.
2) Chant the Hiki-Daimoku three times.
3) Read the silent prayer of the fourth prayer in the same way as in the third prayer.
The first sentence of the silent prayer here is meant for the worshipper to pray for the
attainment of worldwide propagation of the True Buddhism. The second sentence is
meant for the worshipper to pray for his or her personal desires. Here, the worshipper
prays for the fulfillment of his or her wish whatever it may be.

Goza (Fifth Prayer)


1) Read the Hoben Chapter, the title of the Juryo Chapter and Jigage.
2) Skip the Hiki-Daimoku and chant the regular Daimoku as many times as the
worshipper likes.
3) After Daimoku-chanting, read the silent prayer of the fifth and last prayer.

EVENING PRAYER
In the evening service, the first and fourth prayers (Shoza and Yoza) are omitted. The
worshipper reads the sutra in the second, third and fifth prayers (Niza, Sanza and Goza)
exactly the same way as in the morning service. In the evening service, the worshipper
prays for the fulfillment of his or her wish at the end of the silent prayer of the fifth
prayer.

Meaning of Silent Prayer


First Prayer: With the silent prayer, the worshipper asks to be bestowed with the
unceasing protection of the Shoten Zenjin - the Buddhist gods including Dai-nichitenno
(God of the Sun) in the eastern heaven.
According to the Hokekyo, all the Buddhist gods vowed to protect believers in the True
Buddhism. The Daimoku chanted by the believers vitalizes the activities of the Buddhist
gods.

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Second Prayer: In the sentence of the silent prayer are cited the ten virtues of the DaiGohonzon. Through the offering of the silent prayer by the worshipper, the merciful
power of the Dai-Gohonzon is gratefully acknowledged and further invoked for.

Third Prayer: The first sentence of the silent prayer represents the worshippers
appreciation of the great mercy of Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha, who has the
Three virtues of Sovereign, Teacher and Parent.
In the second sentence, the worshipper thanks Nikko Shonin, the immediate successor to
the Daishonin as well as the founder of Head Temple Taisekiji, for having kept the True
Buddhism in its purity.
In the third sentence, the worshipper thanks Nichimoku Shonin, the Third High Priest. In
the fouth, the worshipper offers his or her gratitude to the successive high priests of
Nichiren Shoshu.

Fourth Prayer: The worshipper prays sincerely for the earliest attainment of Kosen-rufu
(worldwide propagation of the True Buddhism) for the ultimate purpose that world peace
be realized.
Then, the worshipper prays for the solution of his or her evil karmas as well as for the
fulfillment of his or her good wishes ranging from the present to the future. Here the
worshipper may pray to the Gohonzon for whatever he or she desires.

Fifth Prayer: The worshipper prays, first, for the peace pf the deceased Nichiren Shoshu
believers; second, for the repose of his or her own ancestors; and third, for the whole
world or the entire universe to be blessed with the great benefits of the Gohonzon,
thereby making this world a happy and peaceful place to live in.
In the evening service, the worshipper offers his or her various prayers here at the end of
all the silent prayers.

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President Ikedas Guidance (I)

Gongyo, Daily Worship

The Record of Nichiren Daishonins Oral Teachings, Ongi Kuden, contains the passage
which reads, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the greatest of all joys.
Through this teaching, the Daishonin points out that to discover the Buddhahood innate
in ones life is the greatest of all joys. Needless to say, the mainspring of such joy is the
practice of Gongyo which believers in Nichiren Shoshu observe daily.

Gongyo literally means exerting ones own self in practice. Practically, it is the ultimate
form of observing Buddhist philosophy which serves the human purpose of establishing
Buddhahood or absolute happiness in ones life.
In other words, Gongyo is a personal practice to unify ones life with Buddhas, which is
the Dai-Gohonzon. The Dai-Gohonzon is the entity of what is known in the True
Buddhism as Jikkai Gogu and Ji-no Ichinen-Sanzen.
We perform Gongyo in order to realize that our own life has in itself the very entity of
what is signified by Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

In the present world where humanity suffers continuous worries and troubles caused by
the chaos of ideas, it is extremely difficult to maintain delight, confidence and hope. A
worthy life is far from attainable merely by studying techniques and morals.
I am convinced that the only solution to this problem ist to practice Gongyo. This practice
alone enables us to acquire Buddhas life, naturally, accumulate good fortune and
improve our personalities. As trees grow inconspicuously day by day, spreading their
branches and roots to absorb the energy of the sun and water from the earth, so do we
achieve our human revolution and build the foundation for our happiest lives through
daily practice of Gongyo and Daimoku-chanting.
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Nichiren Daishonin states in His writings: Voice is the essential part of Buddhist
practice. Our lives and prayers influence the entire universe. Chanting Nam-myohorenge-kyo may be likened to a blowing gale.

It must be understood that these statements refer to the great benefits of Gongyo when
they are applied to our daily lives. Here, it need hardly he added that Gongyo is a
persevering practice, where one chants the Daimoku determinedly and ceaselessly at all
times with faith in the Gohonzon.

The same principle holds true in every aspect of life. If we want to be accomplished in
the field of learning, art or technology, unremitting effort and daily drill are required. It is
obvious, therefore, that if we give up halfway, what we have thus far accomplished will
in no time begin to dwindle or fade away.

These are mostly of a physical nature. Gongyo is principally of metaphysical nature, for
its aim is to establish Buddhahood or absolute happiness within our lives.

Indeed, Gongyo is indispensable for us to excise our evil destinies and accumulate an
inexhaustible good fortune. For this reason, the practice of Gongyo serves our own interests. If one asks for divine blessings without doing Gongyo, he is expecting a harvest
without sowing or is waiting to be paid without working. Again such a person may be
likened to the owner of a highly efficient machine. To be sure, he has the machine, but
what can he gain if he fails to connect his machine to the electric power and use it?
In the end, for mankind in Mappo whose good fortune is exhausted, the only source of
immeasurable divine benefits is the practice of Gongyo.

The Dai-Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws possesses the power to benefit, a
power as vast as the universe. This is mentioned in many parts of the Gosho as well as in
the sutras. We can distinctly relate from our own experience that our daily lives vary
according to whether or not we observe Gongyo diligently. This fact allows us no doubt
that the faithful practice of Gongyo for ten or twenty years will produce a prodigious
effect upon our actual lives.

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The true, great religion is the science of life. It contains a great philosophy free from the
least of contradictions. It is not only the guiding principle of life but also the law of the
universe itself. Nichiren Daishonin named this fundamental law Nam-myoho-renge-kyo,
and embodied it in the .form of the Gohonzon.
This Gohonzon we embrace. With unfaltering perseverance, let us each observe Gongyo,
and thus develop our vital life-force, acquire widsom and establish a life as solid as
diamond and as genuine as gold. Lets further advance toward the creation of peaceful
and prosperous world of humanity through promoting the propagation of True Buddhism.

President Ikedas Guidance (2)

Every Wish Comes True

I visit here today for the first time in five years. I must apologize to you for my long
absence.
Seeing all of you, I have come to believe that if you unite with Vice-general Director
Koizumi who is concurrently the Chubu Joint Headquarters chief as the central figure, the
Yamanashi Headquarters will be steadfast. I am glad as well as feel reassured. From now
on, please continue your efforts even more cordially and energetically.
I hope you will complete your Buddhist practice steadily and cheerfully, taking good care
of your health.

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It is generally said that the disposition of people in Yamanashi Prefecture is introverted,
but this is a mistaken view. As long as one embraces the Gohonzon, he can put into full
use his own supreme life and attain his human revolution to enjoy the greatest life
humanly possible.
This was the province of Kai (which literally means worth). There are ten or more
million members in the Sokagakkai, but you can live a life most worthwhile to live.
Therefore, please advance with the conviction and motto that the place where you now
live is the best in Japan, where you can lead a life most worthwhile to live among all the
members of the Society.

Today, I came here from the Head Temple. On the way, I found the road very bad at first,
but after a while, my car came to a stretch of pavement, then again struggled along a
rugged road. If the condition of the road is good, the car runs easily without dust getting
into the seats, We can feel comfortable. About this, I spoke with some members of the
Board of Directors.
This holds true with our Gongyo and discussion meetings. If these two are perfectly
done, we will feel as if driving along a paved road with a smooth surface. If they are
imperfect, we will feel as if driving on a gravel road and it will be difficult to progress
toward the goal of Kosenrufu. This is a simple principle. We are correct in explaining
Buddhism with such reasonable principles.

As you see now, most important is to do Gongyo devotedly, and to chant Daimoku in
earnest. Daimoku is important whether you may be in good or bad conditions. It is the
ultimate principle - which you will find after reading through the Gosho, the Hokekyo
(Lotus Sutra) or any of the other sutras - that to chant the invocation of Nam-myohorenge-kyo to the Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws enables you to attain
enlightenment or to carve out your evil destiny.

Whoever may give you guidance, you have no other way than to chant Daimoku. It is for
your own sake. It is the source of daily life and religious activity. The practice of Gongyo
and Daimoku is comparable to the engine of a motorcar and the spring.of a watch. This
all of you know and practice every day. However, let me stress that you should do
Gongyo in which your life responds to the Gohonzon according to the Buddhist principle
of Kyochi Myogo. If you sleep over your Gongyo late at night, it is as if cleaning
windows with a greasy rag. Then you get up late the next morning, hurriedly rush
through Gongyo and leave. Such a way of Gongyo is discouraging. I wish you to take
enough time to chant Daimoku composedly as well as practice Gongyo and Daimoku
regularly.
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Vice-general Directors Koizumi, Kashiwabara and Tsuji were Mr. Makiguchis disciples
and have thus been believers for more than two decades. The reason they are great is that
they have kept embracing the Gohonzon even in air-raids, under oppression or in the days
of the reconstruction of the Sokagakkai.

They may have been unable to do Gongyo some days, because they were involved in airraids or had to prepare to evacuate Tokyo. However, they strove to keep the Gohonzon by
all means. As long as you embrace the Gohonzon, you can find a way and have your
wishes come true. This is what Buddhism calls the Shin-no-Daimoku or literally, the
Daimoku of Faith.
Another Daimoku is Gyo-no-Daimoku or literally, the Daimoku of Practice which means
to practice morning and evening Gongyo regularly. These two comprise the Daimoku of
Faith and Practice. Faith means never to doubt. It is to believe that all prayers come true
without fail.

Because you believe so, you must practice. This is the Daimoku of Faith and Practice.
This is the true Gongyo. It is my sincere hope that from now on you will renew your
resolution to do Gongyo and Daimoku, becoming one with the Gohonzon, until you have
all your wishes come true and attain your human revolution.
You are great if you chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and have your wishes realized. Then
Gongyo is easy for you. To become such, you must strive for ten or twenty years,
following the example of your senior leaders. You will doubtless have your wishes whatever they are - fulfilled because, as the Daishonin put it, We have obtained the
priceless gem of perfection without seeking it earnestly.

Religious activities are necessary to make Gongyo and Daimoku more powerful. You are
required to teach others the wonderful power of this religion. This practice is faith itself,
although, needless to say, Gongyo is the coupling of faith and practice. Therefore, a
perfect faith comprises three - the Daimoku of Faith, Daimoku of Practice and practice as
an envoy of the True Buddha. When these three are perfect, you can enjoy the greatest of
blessings. You are the greatest of believers. You can attain a perfect human revolution.
To explain further, the relationship between Gongyo and .Shakubuku or awakening others
to the Gohonzon is likened to the earth which, turning on its own axis, moves, around the
sun. The practice of Gongyo is comparable to the rotation of the earth; and that of
activities for Kosen-rufu, to the revolutlon of the earth around the sun. The movement of
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our planet is perfect when it carries out both. This is the principle fully revealed in the
Daishonins Rissho Ankoku Ron.25 [24] The ultimate teaching of the other Gosho including
San-dai-hiho Sho26 [25] boils down to this.
Those. who do all these can develop day by day just as saplings grow into giant trees,
absorbing the sunlight and water. This is the proof as evidenced by the progress of your
seniors. Yet, there are some who neglect what they should do or do not fulfill their
responsibilities and complain, I wonder whether the Gohonzon really has power. I
cannot enjoy the divine blessings but am always ill. They doubt the Gohonzon, criticize
the True Buddhism and feel bitter against other believers.

Everything depends on your firm determination. What matters is you yourselves. Socrates
said, Know thyself. Those who earnestly practice Buddhism witnessed by the
Gohonzon cannot become unhappy for ten and twenty years hence. If you were to do
what you should and become unhappy, the Gohonzon would be strange. This can never
happen. If it did, it would be a believer who is to blame. Please continue your strong faith
for a long time.

As long as you are devoted to the faith, later in retrospect, you will find all your wishes
realized. You should never be too impatient. If you do not devote yourselves to daily
Daimoku and other practices bearing in mind the Daishonins teaching Regard this as
the last moment of your life, you will surely repent later.

Rissho Ankoku Ron: One of Nichiren Daishonins ten most important


writings (Judaibu). The title means Thesis on the Pacification of the Land through
Establishment of the True Buddhism. In this article, the Daishonin prophesied
Mongolian invasion and admonished the Hojo Regent to cease their faith in
misleading sects of Buddhism.
2524

San-desi-hiho Sho: Nichiren Daishonins writings which have been handed


down in Nichiren Shoshu. It reveals the most important teaching, of the
Daishonin, San-dai-hiho (the Three Great Secret Laws) - l) Honmon-no Honzon
(the supreme object of worship), 2) Honmon-no Doimoku (the invocation of Nammyoho-renge-kyo), and 3) Honmon-no Kaidan (the high sanctuary).
26[25]

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Even if you become skilful in Japanese fencing or playing the piano after hard training,
you will lose the skill you have mastered, should you stop training. Unless you
accumulate your power little by little, you will retrogress in art, skill, and technique. This
holds true with any other thing.
Set your target for ten or twenty years hence and courageously practice your faith,
abiding by Nichiren Daishonins teachings.

If you become earnest, your looks will change without your realizing it. As the
Gohonzons benefits are Myoyaku (inconspicuous benefits), your environment will
gradually improve. Even if it should become unfavorable, it will be only temporary, and
you should believe that it foretells your future improvement. Adversity will never last for
long. You are only taking a circuitous route to your destination. This is the function of
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I hope you will reaffirm your resolution to follow your
organization till the last moment. I wish for your future effort.

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Questions and Answers

Q:

With what attitude should we observe Gongyo?

A: Gongyo is a solemn liturgical practice of Buddhism. According to the Hokekyo, all


Buddhist gods assemble behind the worshipper during the morning service. A passage
from Nichiren Daishonins Gosho also says: Bonten, Taishaku, Nichi-gatsu, Shiten and
all other Buddhist gods protect day and night the one who chants Nam-myoho-rengekyo. For this reason, you should sit upright and pray sincerely to the Gohonzon.
1) Single-minded Prayer
What is more, Gongyo is the concrete expression of your faith in the Gohonzon. A daily
life overflowing with vitality derives from the rhythmical practice of this daily service. It
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is of little avail to do Gongyo absentmindedly merely from force of habit. Therefore, you
should offer pure-and-single-minded prayers. Also important is to form the habit of
chanting the Daimoku as constantly as a river flows. Such an observance of Gongyo is
the basis for having your wishes answered.

2) Proper Posture
You may sit on a chair, but sit upright. Being neatly dressed is desirable, too. Your respect
for the Gohonzon is reflected in the way you observe Gongyo.
During the service, you should look straight at the Gohonzon with your eyes wide-open.
In a normal conversation, the speaker and listener face each other. They do not close their
eyes or look aside. If one has something special to communicate, he would look intently
at the other. In Gongyo, you are communicating directly with the Gohonzon; you are
expected to direct your eyes straightnot aside or glancing.

3) Fold Your Hands


At Buddhist prayer, the worshipper folds his hands together. This should be observed in
Gongyo. A human body is symmetrical and shows the perfect form when the hands are
joined together in the center above the chest. Thus you can set your mind at the utmost
concentration on your prayer.

4) What Troubles Your Prayer


You may have various feelings or thoughts during Gongyo. Even if you pray to the
Gohonzon concentratedly at one moment, you may doubt at the next moment whether
your prayer will really be answered. If you reproach a fellow member in your mind for
some reason or other during Gongyo, the Gohonzon will know that instantly.

Practice of faith is nothing ideological. Our faith reveals itself in our daily lives. This is
why we should make efforts never to be troubled by trifles and to pray for great
objectives.
In the beginning, you may not be able to control your mind, but as you chant more and
more Daimoku, your mind will become serene and begin to concentrate on the
Gohonzon. This state is called Hokke-zanmai - the most enjoyable state of faith devoted
in the Gohonzon.
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Q:

Can we enjoy the same blessings of the

Gohonzon even though we do not know the


meaning of the sutra we recite in Gongyo?

A: Certainly you can. It is like a baby who thrives on milk. The infant does not know the
fact that what he drinks nourishes him, but he grows all the same by his instinctive intake
of his food.
Knowledge and utilization are two different things. You may not know the meaning of the
sutra. Still you can gain the same blessings by turning to its practice. Gongyo including
this sutra-reciting is the practice. This is because the Gohonzon has an absolute and
benevolent power.

The converse is true in this case. You may know what the sutra means, but what would
you gain from it if you neglect the practice, though? Nothing. The sutra has no beneficial
power in itself. The Gohonzon possesses every power, and the sutra is meant to reveal
and praise the greatness of the Gohonzon, so the study of the sutra will help you
understand all the better how important the faithful practice of Gongyo is for you.

Q:

In Gongyo, may we chant the Daimoku

alone without sutra-reciting?

A: If you are unable to read the sutra because of blindness or some other reason, you may
do so. In this case, though, you should spend as much time more in Daimoku-chanting as
is required for sutra-reading.
However, you can still learn how to recite the sutra by following other members
Gongyo. It will not be easy for you in the beginning, but gradually you will be able to

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learn the sutra by heart. Many have experienced this. Besides, the sutra is very
rhythmically composed. Accordingly, you will find it easier than you might think to
acquire the practice of sutra-recitiug.

Q:

How should we practice Gongyo when

we do not have the Gohonzon with us?

A: You can still do Gongyo. In this case, sit facing the direction of Head Temple Taisekiji
where the Dai-Gohonzon is enshrined. Then visualize or form a mental image of the
Gohonzon and practice Gongyo in the same way as you do in front of the Gohonzon. This
method can be applied especially when you are far away from home on a trip or when
you have not yet received the Gohonzon.
If there is another member of Nichiren Shoshu in your neighborhood, you may well call
at his home. He will be glad to let you worship the Gohonzon enshrined in his domestic
altar. Of course, you may also visit a Nichiren Shoshu temple if there is one in your
vicinity.
In any situation whatsoever, you can receive the same blessings of the Gohonzon as long
as you observe Gongyo faithfully.

Q: How long should we chant the Daimoku?

A: This is a very difficult question to answer. As a matter of fact, there is no


commandment to define how long we should chant the Daimoku. It depends on your
internal urge as well as external circumstances.
If you have some special wish - this is your internal urge, then you will chant the
Daimoku as many times as you come to feel content at heart. If you have some particular
problem - this is your external circumstances, again you will chant the Daimoku until you
become convinced that your problem will be solved. In any event, nothing could be better
for you than to chant as many Daimoku as you can.
Nichiren Daishonin states in the Gosho: A single recitation of Daimoku is not
insufficient; nor are a million Daimoku sufficient. This statement suggests that what
counts most in Daimoku-chanting is your earnestness and sincerity. We should remember

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that the ultimate goal of our faith is to establish Buddhahood or absolute happiness in our
own lives.

Q:

Why do we offer candles and incense to

the Gohonzon?

A: This offering signifies the worshippers sincerity toward the Gohonzon. Needless to
say, the candles are to illuminate the altar where the Gohonzon is enshrined; and the
incense to make fragrant the sacred place. This should be done with the spirit of Gokuyo
(contribution to the Buddha).
A passage from Nichiren Daishonins writing Issho Jobutsu Sho says: Chanting
Daimoku, reciting Buddhas Sutra, offering Shikimi and burning incense - these are the
deeds of piety which become the root of good effects as well as the source of benefits; to
practice them is faith. Shikimi are the branches of an evergreen aromatic tree (Chinese
anise).
Our sincerity in offering these various objects to the Gohonzon yields great blessings in
our daily lives, so we should observe these services not for firmalitys sake but for faiths
sake.

Q: Other Buddhist sects offer colorful


flowers to their objects of worship. Why do
we, in Nichiren Shoshu, offer branches of
Shikimi ?

A: Skikimi is an ever-green plant with a fragrant aroma. It is also perennial. These


characteristics of the plant best suit the significance of offering it to the Gohonzon. In
contrast, colorful flowers look beautiful, but they are very short-lived and soon wither.

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The vitality of Shikimi is symbolic of the strong life-force to be endowed by the
Gohonzon. Its longevity is indicative of the everlasting validity of the Gohonzon. It is
also suggestive of eternal life which is taught in the Hokekyo (Lotus Sutra) as well as
the life-philosophy of Nichiren Daishonin.
In contrast with this meaningful plant, colorful flowers offered by other sects represent
the uncertainty of life which is revealed in the inferior pre-Hokekyo sutras of Shakyamuni
Buddha.
If Shikimi is not available in your area, you need not offer it to the Gohonzon. Instead,
you may offer pine twigs or other evergreen plants.

Q:

What part of the house is the best to

place the Gohonzons altar?

A: There is no specific rule to designate what part of the house is best suited for this
purpose. Nevertheless, the Gohonzon is the very object of our worship, being most
valuable to us. Accordingly, we should place the altar where we consider the best part of
the house.
It is quite natural that you avoid placing the altar near a window or the doorway where
your family frequently goes in and out. To put it plainly, you should treat the Gohonzon.
as carefully as you do your most respected guest.

Q:

What can we do with dust on the surface

of the Gohouzon?

A:
You should clean the Gohonzon periodically - for example, once a year. In this
case, use clean and soft paper. Take the utmost care in the cleaning, with a leaf of Shikimi
between your lips.
Do it after the service of Gongyo

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Q:

Is chanting the Daimoku without the

Gohonzon as effective as chanting in front of


the Gohonzon? I often chant the Daimoku
while driving and am not sure if I can get any
benefit from it.

A: Both have the same effects. In Buddhism, to chant the Daimoku in front of the
Gohonzon is Doku, which literally means to read, while chanting the Daimoku without
the Gohonzon is Ju, literally meaning to recite by heart. The divine benefits of both are
the same.
However, even if you practice Ju only, you cannot gain the benefits of the Gohonzon
without practice of Doku.
Basically, we Nichiren Shoshu believers should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo together
with our daily worship.
It is needless to say that we should sit straight before the Gohonzon and chant the
Daimoku to our hearts content. Such an attitude toward the Gohonzon represents sincere
faith.

Q:

What do the prayer beads (Juzu)

signify?

A: Nikkan Shonin, 26th High Priest in the direct line of Nichiren Shoshu, wrote a book
entitled Toke Sanne Sho (Three Robes of Nichiren Shoshu). In this book, there is a
passage to the effect that believers should always take their prayer beads with them.
In Nichiren Shoshu, the prayer beads, the surplice and the robe are called Sanne. They
may also be called guards against evil. There is a well-known story about the prayer
beads. When Tojo Kagenobu, an official of the Kamakura Regime, tried to slay Nichiren
Daishonin with a sword, He parried it with His prayer beads, barely escaping the certain
death.

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When Shakyamuni Buddha taught various doctrines in India about 3,000 years ago,
people did not use prayer beads. About 1,000 years ago in Japan, people chanted the
name of the Buddha by counting with red beans.
Juzu is patterned after the human body. The three tufts represent two hands and the head,
The other tufts represent the two legs. The number of beads totals 108, signifying 108
kinds of Bon-no (worldly desires).
The four pestle-shaped beads of Juzu represent the Four Bodhisattvas (Shi-Bosatsu) and
is also indicative of complete happiness. The Juzu also can be used to count the number
of Daimoku.
The significance of rubbing the prayer beads is to purify oneself in front of the
Gohonzon.

Q:

When believers In the True Buddhism

recite the sutra in Gongyo, their voices seem


to have a kind of rhythm or a fixed tune. Has
it any particular meaning?

A: No; there is no particular meaning. We read the Hoben and Juryo Chapters in a natural
tone. You notice a rhythm in their voices of reading the sutras because the sutras
themselves have a sort of rhythm so as to be recited smoothly. Verses of Jiga-ga in the
Ju~yo Chapter are a good example.
In reciting the sutras or chanting the Daimoku, your tone of voice is very important
because your confidence in faith is, reflected in your vocal expression in doing Gongyo.
The clear and crisp way of recitation is desirable.
Nichiren Daishonin says in Ongi Kuden, Voice makes the essential part of Buddhist
practice.
You should always recite the sutra accurately and precisely, for it is the basis for every
activity.

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Q:

Sometimes, I doze off during my

Gongyo. What shall I do?

A: You should become sincerer in Gongyo. If your prayer to the Gohonzon is really
earnest and sincere, you will not doze off in front of the Gohonzon. Most of such
members are short of sleep because they are too busy at work or they are taking part in
their religious activities till late at night. In such cases, they should take enough sleep to
do Gongyo without falling asleep. It is most fundamental and essential for believers that
they always keep themselves in the best condition to be able to practice Gongyo in high
spirits. The reason is that Gongyo is the mainspring of all activities and is indispensable
for the accomplishment of human revolution.
If you have enough sleep and still doze off during Gongyo, you are doing so simply from
force of habit.
It is evident that through Gongyo one is in tune with the rhythm of life, dispelling fatigue
and arising in high spirits.
President Ikeda says, It is against the True Buddhism to trouble others by causing
accidents through lack of sleep. Dozing off at important meetings shows ones decline in
faith. As one knows his own condition very well, he should lead a rhythmical life every
day through the regular practice of Gongyo.
The Gosho reads in part, Think of the present time as the last moment of your life.

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Words and Phrases in the Sutra

anoku tara sanmyaku sanbodai


Annuttara-samyak-sambodhi in Sanskrit. Means the enlightenment of Buddha or
Buddhahood.
Ashura
Asura in Sanskrit. A devil who is fond of fighting. It is said that when Ashura sees
Buddhist god Taishaku (Deva), he hides under a lotus leaf.
asogi
According to Kusha Ron (written by Tenjin Bosatsu or Yasubandhu-bodhisattva in
Sanskrit), asogi is considered to possess fifty-one zeros (1 ,000,000,000,0004 x 1,000).
Ayuiotchi ji
Avivartika in Sanskrit. A stage of Buddhist practice from which one never regresses.
Upon reaching this stage of faith, one is sure to attain enlightenment.

Bu go daishu
Means Once more [the Buddha] admonished.
butsugen
One of the five eyes (Gogen). Butsugen (the Buddhas eyes) signify the greatest insight
into the true aspect of the universe. The Buddha has all the other four eyes - Nikugen
(naked eyes), Tengen (the eyes of heavenly beings), Egen (the eyes of wisdom) and
Hogen (the eyes of the law).
1) Nikugen: The eyes of human beings.

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2) Tengen: The eyes of heavenly beings which can see distant objects and even in
darkness.
3) Egen: The eyes of Nijo (two vehicles) which perceive the state of Ku (neither
existence nor nonexistence).
4) Hogen: The eyes of Bodhisattvas which shed light on all the teachings of the Buddha
and leads all people along the true path of faith.
Butsugo jip-puko
Means The Buddhas words are all true and none are false.

byojinjoyu
Means to be cured completely of their agonies.

chi-e sodatsu
Having deep wisdom

chiken haramitsu
One of the six kinds of Haramitsu (paramitas in Sanskrit). Chiken (the view of things
with wisdom) means to have great insight into the nature and reasoning of things with
three kinds of wisdom and five eyes. Three kinds of wisdom (Sanchi) are: 1) the wisdom
of Nijo (literally, two vehicles) which is versed in all the sutras and all other ideas; 2) the
wisdom of Bodhisattva which enables common mortals to attain Buddhahood; and 3) the
wisdom of Buddha which has the greatest insight into everything.
The Sanskrit paramita means the way of salvation through which one can reach the
destination of enlightenment through the sea of earthly desires.
To hold Chiken Haramitsu means to attain the Buddhas wisdom.

chugen

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Monjo (From the viewpoint of Shakyamunis Buddhism): The period beginning in
Gohyaku-jintengo when Shakyamuni first attained enlightenment and ending when he
appeared in India about 3,000 years ago. During this period, he appeared many times as
different figures, including Nentobutsu. Montei (From the viewpoint of the Daishonins
Buddhism): However, in the light of the Daishonins Buddhism, it indicates the period
from Kuon Ganjo (the infinitely distant past) when Nichiren Daishonin was already the
True Buddha until Mappo (the Latter Day of the Law) when He made His advent in
Japan some 700 years ago. All the Buddhas who appeared during this infinitely long
period were the transient Buddhas who are likened to the images of the True Buddha
reflected on the surface of ponds.

Dai ichi keu nange shi ho


Means The rarest and most difficult law to comprehend. Monjo: The enlightenment of
Shakyamuni or the law which is so profound in its view of the universe that it defies
description. Montei: The Dai-Gohonzon with the power of the vast universe inherent
within itself. The above words of the sutra exalt the limitless power of the Gohonzon.

Da o akudo chu
Means to fall into the path of evil (akudo).
dojo
Bodhi-manda in Sanskrit. The place under the Bodh Tree where Shakyamuni seated
himself for meditation and attained enlightenment.
Generally, it means the place where people worship the Buddha.

dokke jinyu
The poison has entered their (the sons) systems. The Daishonin states that the poison in
the phrase means the ill effect of inferior religions on their believers.
doku byo kaiyu
Means to be relieved of illness caused by poisoning.
dori shujo

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Means to teach the law and bring divine benefits to people.

ekka shushin
Means To gladden the hearts of all.
Eko sho muryo
Means The rays of wisdom illuminate infinitely. The blessings of the Gohonzon are
immeasurable.
enden u ji
Writhing on the ground. Indicative of the unhappiness stemming from faith in inferior
religions.

Fu mon sanbo myo


Means Have not heard the names of the Three Treasures (sanbo or sampo). In the
translation cited in the lecture on the Juryc Chapter, the Three Great Treasures are used
instead of the Three Treasures. There is no difference in meaning between the two. The
former is used in relation to the rhythm.
funbetsu
To discern the nature of things. The Buddha discerns the inborn nature of people and uses
the methods of birth and death to awaken them to Buddhism.
Nyo ze kai i hoben funbetsu means All this have I done intentionally (funbetsu)
through different methods (hoben).
Fu nyo sangai ken no sangai
The three-fold world is not what those who dwell in it perceive it to be.
fu shu bu setsu
Shakyamuni said, No more, Sariputra, will I teach you. (Shi sharihotsu fu shu bu
setsu) Thus, Shakyamuni thought it was difficult to explain precisely the supreme law

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(Hokekyo) with the vocabulary extant which is extremely limited compared with the
boundless profundity of Buddhism.
However, the Daishonin described the Three Great Secret Laws (San-dai-hiho) in full.
Ga hon gyo bosatsu do
Means Once I also practiced Bodhisattvas austerities. This sentence represents
Honnin-Myo (the mystic principle of true cause).
Monjo: Shakyamuni observed Bodhisattvas practices in some existence before
Gohyaku-jintengo when he attained enlightenment for the first time. As for the basis of
his practices, he worshipped the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (the Gohonzon). This
becomes obvious when the sentence is viewed from the standpoint of the Daishonins
Buddhism.
Montei: Nichiren Daishonin, however, did not practice such austerities since He has been
the True Buddha from the infinite past without a beginning.

Ga jitsu jobutsu irai


Means Since I attained enlightenment. Monjo: Shakyamuni actually attained
enlightenment at Gohyaku-jintengo as depicted in the Juryo Chapter, although people in
his days believed that he reached enlightenment under the Bodh Tree for the first time.
Montei: Nichiren Daishonin has been the True Buddha from the infinitely distant past
known as Kuon Ganjo. He never attained Buddhahood since He was the original Buddha.

ga jobutsu irai
Since I attained enlightenment.

gajodofukij
Means My pure land never perishes. The place where the Gohonzon is enshrined is
never subject to any misery.

ga kon to setsu hoben

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Means: Now I must adopt some way (to induce my sons to take the good medicine).
ga setsu nendobut-to
Means I manifested myself as Nentobutsu (Dipankarabuddha) and others. Others in
this sentence signifies all the Buddhas who appeared in the period of Chugen (See
Chugen). Monjo: Shakyamuni who attained enlightenment at Gohyaku-jintengo
presented himself as Nentobutsu and other Buddhas until he appeared in India 3,000
years ago. Montei: All the Buddhas who gave various teachings in the Chugen such as
Nentobutsu were transient Buddhas in the eyes of the Daishonin, the True Buddha.

Gashidoannon
Means This place where I exist is secure. The place where the Gohonzon is enshrined
is free from all kinds of unhappiness, insofar as believers embrace firm and pure faith in
the Gohonzon.

Ga yaku i se bu
Means I too am the father of this world. Monjo: The father is Shakyamuni Buddha.
Montei: The father is Nichiren Daishonin.
In clarifying the three virtues of Nichiren Daishonin, the Ongi Kuden reads to the effect:
The virtue of Sovereign is represented by Ga shi do annon (the place where I live is
secure). The virtue of Teacher is depicted as Jo seppo kyoke (I always teach them). The
virtue of Parent (Father) is obvious from Ga yaku i se bu (I too am the father of this
world).

ga jo zai shi
Means I have been in this world. This part of the sutra reads, From that time have I
been in this world to teach the Law.
gassho
Means to join ones hands in worship.
Gato to shinju butsugo

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212
Means We will believe in the Buddhas words. Butsugo means the Buddhas words.
Hence a phrase from the Juryo Chapter, Butsugo jip-puko (The Buddhas words are
true, and not false).

gedasThe euphonic change of Gedatsu in connection with sanmai which follows. Gedassanmai. A state free from any derangement and sufferings which one can reach by
attaining enlightenment.
Gen u metsu fumetsu
Means to show birth and death. They are but means - my birth and death.
gobuku dokuyaku
[The sons] happen to take poison unknowingly. Indicates that one takes faith in inferior
religions.
Go chi-e mon
Means The portals of their wisdom. Monjo: Tendai (Tien-tai) interpreted it to mean
portals through which one enters the Buddhas true teaching. In other words, he
compared the portals to the provisional teachings of the Buddha. Montei: Since there are
no provisional teachings in the Daishonins Buddhism, the phrase indicates conversion of
people through Shakubuku.
goyoku
Five base desires originating from five sense-objects: form, sound, smell, taste, and the
tangible.
Gyo do fu gyo do
Gyo do means to practice Buddhism and fu gyo do, not to practice it.
gyo o shobo
Means to pursue inferior laws. Monjo: The inferior laws mean all the sutras other than
the Hokekyo or in other words, Hinayana and provisional Mahayana. Montei: All
religions other than Nichiren Shoshu.
gyo ses-sho ho

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213
Means To define various laws with the most suitable words.

Hi jitsu, hi ko
[Life] is neither actual nor false.

Hi nyo go hyaku sen man noku nayuta asogi san zen dai sen sekai
Hi nyo means for example, it is like... Go (five) x hyaku (l00) x sen (l,000) x man
(l0,000) x oku (100,000) x nayuta (100 billion) x asogi (l,000,000,000,0004 x 1,000).
This many san zen dai sen sekai are reduced into particles in calculating the
unimaginably distant past known as Gohyaku-jintengo. The quoted phrase is the
beginning of the explanations of Gohyakujintengo. Gohyaku-jingengo is so called
because its definition in the Juryo Chapter begins with Go hyaku and the Chapter
calculates its duration with particles of dust (jinten) a man drops, using the unit of ko (go
being the euphoric change of ko) which is said to be eight million years.

hi nyo, hi i
[Life] is neither the same nor different.
Hi nyo ro i
To cite the analogy of an excellent doctor.
Hoben gen nehan
Means I used the means of death. Nehan is the Japanese for Nirvana (Sanskrit) which
means death.
Hoitsu jaku goyoku
Means to hold five base desires. See goyoku.
hyaku sen man noku
Hyaku (100) x sen (1,000) x man (10,000) x oku 100,000). Noku is the
euphoric change of oku as it comes after man.

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214
Hyaku sen man noku mushu shobutsu
Hyaku (100) X sen (1,000) x man (10,000) x oku (100,000) x mushu (infinity).
Such a vast number of Buddhas attained enlightenment by worshipping the Gohonzon.

hyakushibutsu
The Japanese pronunciation of the Sanskrit pratyeka-buddha which means a selfenlightened person (known as Engaku in Japanese). One of the Ten Worlds. Translated as
absorption since it signifies the state of life which an artist realizes when he is absorbed
in his work without any recourse.
Together with Shomon, Engaku comprises the two vehicles (Nijo) against whom
Shakyamuni Buddha discriminated in allowing enlightenment in the pre Hokekyo
teachings.
Today, Engaku is applicable to artists, musicians and the like.

I ga ryo shujo toku nyu mujo do


Means With what means do I enable them to obtain the supreme way?

I setsu mujo ho
Means I will teach the supreme law. The supreme Law is the Gohonzon or the Nammyoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws.
I sho jinzuriki
Means Through many mystic powers.
issai daishu
The masses except the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas, who gathered when Shakyamuni
expounded the Hokekyo.

issai seken tennin gyu ashura

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215
Means All the gods, demons and men in this world. Literally, all (issai) the gods (ten),
men (nin) and (gyu) demons (ashura) of this world (seken).

Isshin yok-ken butsu fu ji shaku shinmyo


Means In heartfelt desire to see the Buddha, their lives they do not begrudge. This
sentence signifies the Daimoku of the True Buddhism (Honmon-no Daimoku), since one
cannot chant Daimoku or practice Shakubuko without this spirit.

Ji ga gyu shu so Ku shutsu ryojusen


Means Then, accompanied by priests, In Grdhrakuta I appear. Ji ga gyu shu so ku
shutsu signifies the Gohonzon (Honmon-no Honzon) and ryojusen (Grdhrakuta)
does the high sanctuary of the True Buddhism (Honmon-no Kaidan).
Together with Isshin yok-ken butsu fu ji shaku shinmyo which represents Honmonno Daimoku, these comprise the Three Great Secret Laws (San-dai-hiho).

Ji ga toku bur-rai
Bur- is a phonetic change of Butsu (Buddhahood). Monjo: Means Since I attained
enlightenment. Montei: The phrase is interpreted by Nichiren Daishonin in three
different ways:
I.

1) Ga indicates Hosshin (the Buddhas life)


2) Butsu indicates Hoshin (the Buddhas wisdom)
3) Rai indicates Ojin (the Buddhas body)

The True Buddha has obtained (Ji-toku) these three for himself in the infinite past.
II.

1) Ji sigr~ifies the Nine Worlds


2) Ga signifies Buddhahood

These Ten Worlds are naturally possessed by the True Buddha.

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216
III
1) The True Buddha who has obtained both Ji (the Nine Worlds) and Ga
(Buddhahood) appeared. (To come or appear is the literal meaning of rai.) This is the
sentence which proves that the Ten Worlds are naturally inherent within the True Buddha.

jinzu shi riki


Means [the Buddhas] mystic powers. The mystic powers of Shakyamuni are not mystic
in the true sense of the word. The Daishonin analyzed this phrase of the sutra into three:
jin, zu and riki. Jin means Hosshin (the Buddhas life), zu means Hoshin (the Buddhas
wisdom), and riki means Ojin (the Buddhas body). The Daishonin is Musa Sanjin, the
True Buddha who has had all of these three phases of life within himself from the
infinitely distant past. The Daishonins mystic powers will be revealed in the Juryo
Chapter.

Ji yui koro mu bu jiko


Means to be orphaned with no one on whom to rely.

jobutsu
Means To attain eAlightenment or Buddhahood.
Monjo Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood at Bodh Gaya some 3,000 years ago. It is only
in the Juryo Chapter that he expounded he had become the Buddha at the distant past of
Gohyaku-jintengo.
Mon tei: Nichiren Daishonin has been the True Buddha from the infinitely distant past
known as Kuon Ganjo which is as old as the universe (which has no beginning in its
existence).

jo ju fu metsu
[The Buddhas life] has always existed and shall never end.

Jo ju shi seppo

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217
Means I am always in this world and teach the Law. When we recite the Hoben and
Juryc Chapters and chant Daimoku before the Gohonzon, we are at the same time
listening to the teachings of the Gohonzon. Our voices represent the Gohonzons
teachings on the Hoben and Juryo Chapters as interpreted from the viewpoint of the
Daishonins Buddhism as well as the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Jo zai ryojusen
Means I am always at Grdhrakuta. Ryojusen (Grdhrakuta) in Mappo is Head Temple
Taisekiji or in a broader sense, wherever the Gohonzon is enshrined.

Jumyo mushu ko
Means The Buddhas life endures infinite aeons.
kai jitsu fu ko
All [the teachings of the Buddha] are true and none are false.

ka toku shiyui kyokei chi go shu fu


Means Can you calculate or even imagine the total number [of all these worlds] ? Ka
toku means to be possible. Shiyui means to imagine and kyokei, to calculate. Chi means
to know, go shu, the number, and fu, or not.

katsugo o butsu
Means to thirst after the Buddha.
ken shi gen go
Means to send a messenger to announce. Monjo: The father travels to another country
from where he sends a messenger to announce, Your father has passed away. This is the
method Sakyaniuni used to make people believe in him. Montei: The father indicates
Nichiren Daishonin and the messenger, the successive high priests of Nichiren Shoshu
who introduce believers to the DaiGohonzon.
ko en gonkyo
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218
Means To offer widely-varied teachings. The Buddha gives many teachings derived
from the One Law. Monjo: The One Law is the Hokekyo (Lotsu Sutra). Montei: The One
Law is the Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws.

ko gayajo
Means to leave the Castle Gaya. Located in the kingdom of Magadha in central India or
in what is now Gaya City located some sixty miles southwest of Patna City in Bihar.
About ten miles south of Patna City lies Bodh Gaya where Shakyamuni attained
enlightenment.

kon ru zai shi


Means to leave [this fine medicine] here [for you to take]. Monjo: The father who is a
doctor says to his sons, Now I will leave this fine medicine here for you to take. So think
not that your sickness is incurable.
Montei: This good medicine indicates the DaiGohonzon, now, Mappo and here,
Japan.
kon shakamunibutsu
Kon means now or in this life. Shakamunibutsu means Shakyamuni Buddha. Thus the
phrase, means Shakyamuni Buddha who made his advent in this world - in Bodh Gaya;
India, some 3,000 years ago.

kuon nyaku shi


Means Thus it is an eternity [since I attained enlightenment]. Monjo: It is not an
eternity in the true sense of the word since Shakyamuni attained enlightenment. It is but
Gohyaku-jintengo. Monte: Nichiren Daishonin is the eternal Buddha, not that He reached
enlightenment in any particular period but that He has been the True Buddha from the
infinite past, Kuon Ganjo.

Ku shugo sho toku

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219
Means what has been obtained after an infinite period of practice. Shakyamuni had to
practice austerities for that period, but the Daishonin has been the True Buddha from the
infinitely distant past without practicing any austerities.

Ku sho kugen sha


Means to save man from his many woes.
kyo shi jumyo
[The Gohonzon] gives you a longer life. This is the phrase which means that the
Gohonzon will bestow great blessings on His believers.

Mai ji sa ze nen
Means I am always pondering... The Gohonzon is always pondering how to save
mankind from the sea of suffering.

miroku
Maitreya in Sanskrit. The name of the Bodhisattva to whom Shakyamuni addressed in
expounding the Juryo Chapter. He was in the position to succeed the Buddha. However,
he died before the Buddha and is said to have gone to the Heaven of Tosotsu (Tusita).
Maitreya means mercy.
In the eye of the Daishonins Buddhism, Miroku in Mappo indicates the votary of the
Hokekyo as Shoan (Chang-an) said, One who clears another of the evil for his sake is
his parent. Shoans words signify mercy.

Miroku bosat-to
Means Bodhisattva Miroku (Maitreya in Sanskrit) and others

Mizou ho

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220
Means The unprecedented law. Monjo: Shakyamunis Hokekyo consisting of twentyeight chapters. Montei: The Daishonins Buddhism of Three Great Secret Laws.

zo zan pai
I have never stopped [the Buddhist practice] up till now.

moken mo chu
In the snare of [illusion and] falsity. Mo of moken means false words in the provisional
teachings and ken means misleading views such as underestimating the True Buddhism.
Mo chu (in the snare) means the houses of those who believe in inferior religions. The
believers in Nichiren Daishonin who believe in and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are free
from the sutras of moken and leave the houses of mo chu.

Motsuzai o kukal S.
Means [I see] all submerged in the seas of woe.
Mot-to shi sho gi
Means You should never doubt this. Believers must banish doubt and believe in the
Gohonzon even more.
Mot-tsu fu sai
Do not be depressed.
muhen
Means boundless. Muryo muhen means infinite and unbound.

mu ro chi
Anasrava-jnana in Sanskrit. Wisdom free from any taint of illusion. The Buddhas
wisdom is so called because it is perfect. Mu ro (anasrava) means to be without illusion.

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221
muryo
Means infinite or immeasurable. Muryo muhen means infinite and boundless, and jinjin
muryo means infinitely profound and immeasurable.
Muryo
This is different from muryo of muryo muhen (meaning, to be infinite and unbound.)
Muryo of muryo muge riki is the short form of Shi-muryo-shin, four kinds of limitless
minds. They are: 1) the mind which gives limitless pleasures; 2) the mind which ends
limitless sufferings; 3) the mind which causes limitless delight by satisfying mans
wishes; and 4) the mind which is limitless in eliminating hatred and partial love. Thus
Buddha provides his believers with limitless blessings. However, these four fall into the
category of Shakyamunis Buddhism. The Gohonzon, however, has a far more profound
and broader mind than Shakyamuni, since the two laws of Cause and Effect (Making the
assiduous practice the cause, its meritorious results are obtained) expounded by transient
Buddhas including Shakyamuni devolves on the Gohonzon, as the Daishonin states in the
Kanjin-no Honzon Sho (Writings on the Supreme Object of Worship in Mappo).

muryo doho
Monjo: An iLimeasurably large number of teachings. All the Buddhist austerities
needed for attaining enlightenment. Montei: To worship the Gohonzon and practice
Shakubuku with firm faith in the Gohonzon.

mushoi
Means that Buddha fears nothing in expounding his teachings. Mushoi is divided into
four: 1) The Buddha is fearless because he perceives all phenomena in the universe and
has unyielding conviction; 2) The Buddha is fearless because he is free from all earthly
troubles; 3) The Buddha is fearless and teaches others of the various obstacles lying
ahead of them; and 4) The Buddha is fearless and expounds the way to end numerous
sufferings.

Nichiren Daishonin is far more fearless than Shakyamuni who has all these four merits.
In fact, the Daishonin met much severer persecutions than the latter.

mushu hoben
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222
Means Numerous means. Monjo: Tendai classified the means into seven. They are the
vehicles ol Shomon, Engaku and Bosatsu in Hinayana; Shomon, Engaku and Bosatsu in
Hinayama-cum-Mahayana (Tsukyo); and Bosatsu in exclusive Mahayana (Bekkyo), which
expounds only the practice of Bodhisattvas.
Montei: Numerous means are not necessary in the Daishonins Buddhism. The
Gohonzon guides the believers along the true path of faith with the two means of
blessings and punishment.

Myo ho ren ge kyo Nyorai juryohon. Dai juroku.


Myoho-renge-kyo (Hokekyo for short) indicates the Lotus Sutra. Nyorai means
Buddha. Juryo means to assess the Buddhas blessings and hon, chapter. Daijuroku is
the Japanese word for the sixteenth, signifying that the Juryo-hon is the sixteenth chapter
of the Hokekyo.
Monjo (from the viewpoint of Shakyamunis Buddhism): Nyorai is the Buddha of
Hokekyo or Shakyamuni. Montei (from the viewpoint of Nichiren Daishonins
Buddhism): The Hokekyo is that of Mappo or Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. It follows
therefore that Nyorai is the Buddha of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo or Nichiren Daishonin.
See Page 85.
myoji fudo
Different names. Monjo: Shakyamuni taught under different names such as Nendobutsu
and Daitsuchishobutsu. Montei: The True Buddha made His advent under different names
such as Nichiren Daishonin and Bodhisattva Jogyo.
Nainokujin
Only Buddhas can grasp the true aspect of all phenomena in the universe.

nange nannyu
Means Difficult to comprehend and difficult to enter. Monj: According to Tendai, it is
very difficult for one to expound provisional teachings, each of which is best suited to the
inborn nature of many individuals. Montei: The Daishonins Buddhism has no
provisional teachings. Therefore, the phrase means that it is very difficult for one to be
converted to the True Buddhism (Nichiren Shoshu) through Shakubuku. There is no
comprehending the Daishonins philosophy without faith in it.
nan ka chigu
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223
It is a very rare event for one to see Cthe Gohonzonj.
nayuta
Is said to ge 100 billion.
It is said that nayuta is equal to one 100 ayuta, ayuta to 100 kotis, and koti to 100
million.

nenki daisho
Varieties in the length of teaching. Monjo: Shakyamuni expounded his teachings for fifty
years and his Buddhism lasted during the two millenniums of Shoho and Zolio. Montei:
Nichiren Daishonin taught His doctrine for thirty years from the establishment of the
True Buddhism at the age of 32 until His death at the age of sixty-one. His Buddhism will
last eternally.
ni fu ko buku
Means However, they refuse to take the medicine.
Niji
Means At this time. Monjo (Shakyamunis viewpoint): When Shakyamuni rose from
his meditation on the principle of Muryogi-kyo (the Sutra of Infinite Meaning) to teach
that the infinite meaning comes form the One Law. Montei: (Nichiren Daishonins
viewpoint): In the period of Mappo (the Latter Day of the Law) which began 2,000 years
after Shakyamunis death.

ni setsu ge gon
Means to teach in verses.
no ryo shujo hok-kangi shin
Means to cause delight in the hearts of people. Believers in the Gohonzon feel the
tielight of having faith.
nyaku tai nyaku shutsu

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224
There is neither birth nor death in the eye of the Buddha because life is eternal. Birth and
death are but changes of life. One can transcend the cycle of birth and death through thith
in the Gohonzon.
Nyo ka shu buku
You should take it (medicine).
nyorai himitsu
Means the Buddhas secret. Hi of Himitsu (secret) means what the Buddha has not
expounded and mitsu means what the Buddha only knows. Monjo: Shakyamunis
Hokekyo (especially the Juryo Chapter). Montei: The Gohonzon of Nam-myoho-rengekyo.
Nyorai hoben
Means The Buddha holds the means (to redeem mankind). Monjo: There are three
kinds of means (Hoben) in Shakyamunis Buddhism. They are Hoyu Hoben, Notsu Ho
hen and Himyo Hoben. Hoyu Hoben (means of attraction) and Notsu Hoben (means of
refutation) are used in the provisional teachings, and Himyo Hoben (means of awakening
people to the truth which only the Buddha knows and keeps in secret) is found in the
parables of Hokekyo - -such as the prarable of the wandering son of a millionnaire and
that of a priceless gem sewn inside a poor mans clothes. (See pages 39-46)
Montei: No means (Hoben) is necessary in the Daishonins Buddhism. However, the
parables of the Hokekyo can be interpreted from the viewpiont of this Buddhism.
The Daishonin states in His Kanjin-no Honzon Sho, The two laws of Cause and Effect
(Making the assiduous practice the cause, its meritorious results will be obtained)
preached by Shakyamuni rest in the five characters of Myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo (which are
indicative of the Gohonzon). If we have faith in these five, we will be granted the benefits
of the two laws.

nyorai jotai shi go


Means the True Word of the Buddha.

Nyorai nyo jit-chiken sangai shi go.


The Buddha perceives the three-fold world in its actual existence.

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225

Nyoto tai cho


Means You should hear attentively...
Nyoto tai cho nyorai himitsu jinzu shi riki means Hear than the secret ofthe Buddha
and his mystic powers.

Nyoto to shinge
Literally means should believe in and comprehend ...
nyo ze en
Relationship. That which helps the cause develop itself. One of the Ten Aspects of life
(Junyoze).

nyo ze ho

Reward. The influence which the Effect exerts. One of the Ten Aspects of life (Junyoze).
nyo ze honmak-kukyo to
Nine out of the Ten Aspects of life (Junyoze) are consistent from beginning (nyo ze so,
outer appearance or aspect) to end (nyo ze ho, reward). The nine are the aspect, the
nature, the entity, the power the action, the cause, the relationship, the effect and the
reward.

Honmak-kukyoto (the phonetic change of Honmatsu-Kukyoto) means consistency from


beginning to end.

nyo ze in
Cause.
nyo ze ka

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Effect.
nyo ze riki
Power. One of the Ten Aspects of life (Jua~oze).
nyo ze sa
Function or structure. One of the Ten Aspects of life (Junyoze).
nyo ze sho
Nature.
nyo ze so
Outer appearance. One of the Ten Aspects of life (Junyoze).
nyo ze tai
Entity or actual body. One of the Ten Aspects of life (Junyoze).

nyu o nehan
To enter Nirvana. Nehan (Nirvana in Sanskrit) means a state which is unrestrained and
serene, transcending birth and death. It is the state of happiness which is characterized by
freedom, comfort, pureness, peace and eternity, or the ideal state of life which possesses
all kinds of virtues such as mercy, wisdom, good and vitality.
Generally it means extinction after attaining enlightenment. In this phrase, Nehan means
death.
Nyu wa shichijiki sha
Means Gentle-minded and mild people.

okuso
Illusions of thintdng or belief in heretical sects.

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227
onta dokuyaku
Means to drink other poisons.

riki
Power. The Buddha has ten powers (Juriki): 1) The power to discern the reasonable law
of cause and effect from the unreasonable one disregarding the causal law, 2) the power
to know the three existences of life - past, present and future; 3) the power to keep
himself in the state of enlightenment; 4) the power to realize the various functions of
mind; 5) the power to perceive the intellect of people; 6) the power to discern the living
conditions of people; 7) the power to foresee the future of people; 8) the power to grasp
the causal relationships of people; 9) the power to realize the life of the past existence and
the way to enlightenment; and 10) the power to obliterate the past karma. Shakyamuni
has all the ten powers but Nichiren Daishonin or the Gohonzon has still greater power incomparably great.

ryo ri sho jaku


Means To enable them to cast off their attachment to the affairs of the world. Monjo:
Shakyamunis Buddhism forced its believers to discard their attachment to mundane
affairs. Montei: However, Nichiren Daishonin changed cast off into make clear in His
Ongi Kuden. The Daishonin enables His believers to form calm judgment on whether it is
beneficial for them to be attached to some affairs. Thus they can stand aloof from their
attachment, making the best use of it.
sangai
Literally, three-fold world. Means the universe. Buddhism views the universe from three
standpoints. Yokkai (the world of desires) is to consider the universe a world of desires.
Applying this to modem science, psychology and social science take this view. Shikikai
(the world of matter) is to view the universe as a world of matter as in physics and
astronomy. Mushikikai (the world of non-matter) is to take the universe as a world of
spirit as in Platos theory of ideas or as in the Christian doctrine.
Thus many types of philosophy take any one of the three views while Buddhism takes a
perfect view of the universe.

sanmai

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Samadhi in Sanskrit. Means to concentrate ones mind on a single point. Monjo:
Meditation on the principle of Muryogi-kyo (the Sutra of Infinite Meaning) which says
that infinite meaning comes from the One Law. Hence the name of Muryogi-sho Sanmai.
Montei: The Daishonin concentrated His mind on the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to
save mankind in Mappo from misery and unhappiness. Also the state of mind in which
Nichiren Shoshu believers worship the Gohonzon with concentrated mind.

san sho fu shi


The Bodhisattvas repeated their petition three times and more without ceasing.
In Nichiren Shoshu, the Oneri procession in the Oeshiki ceremony is conducted after the
ceremony of the Hokekyo in which the Bodhisattvas asked the Buddha to teach the Juryo
Chapter, in the form of san sho fu shi.

san zen dai sen sekai


A sekai (literally, a world) consists of a sun, a moon, an earth and other planets. Ten
million worlds form ShoSensekai (minor world), a thousand Sho-Sensekai form ChuSensekai (medium world) and a thousand Chu-Sensekai form Dai-Sensekai or SanzenDai-Sensekai (major world).

seppo kyoke
Seppo means to expound the law and kyoke, to teach or to instruct.

seson
Lord Buddha, one of the ten honorific titles of the Buddha. Literally, se means the world,
and son, to be respectworthy. Seson is the most respectworthy person in the world.
Monjo: Shakyamuni. Montei: Nichiren Daishonin.

setsu mimyo ho
To expound the subtle Law. Monjo: The subtle Law means the Hokekyo. Montei: The
subtle Law means the Gohonzon.
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229

shaba sekai
Means this world. Shaba (Saha in Sanskrit) means to endure. This world is so called
because there are many people influenced by the three impurities of life (Sandoku) avarice, anger and stupidity, and one must endure hardships in the practice of Buddhism
so that he may attain absolute happiness.

shari
There are two kinds of shari in Buddhism. One signifies relics of the Buddha and the
other is the Law the Buddha left for his people.
From the viewpoint of the True Buddhism, shari indicates the Gohonzon.

Sharihotsu
Sariputra in Sanskrit. One of the ten-great disciples of Shakyamuni. Well-known for his
unparalleled wisdom. In the Amida-kyo (the Sutra of Amida Buddha), the Buddha called
his name more than thirty times, but he could not attain Buddhahood. Shakyamuni
expounded the Hoben Chapter especially to Sharihotsu and when Shakyamuni taught the
Shinge Chapter, Sharihotsu believed in the Buddhas words and attained Buddhahood.
Even with his wisdom, Sharihotsu could not comprehend the Buddhas teachings. Only
through his faith in the Buddha, could he attain enlightenment. This is known as the
Buddhist principle of changing belief into wisdom.

An anecdote has it that Sharihotsu at the age of eight defeated all the scholars in the
castle town of Kapilavastu in an academic debate. Two years after Shakyamuni attained
enlightenment, he became the Buddhas disciple. Soon he became a leading Arakan
(arhat in Sanskrit). However, being unable to bear seeing the demise of the Buddha, he
returned to his old home to convert his mother and after achieving the object of his trip he
died. Shakyamuni built a pagoda in memory of his spirit.

A well-known story in the Kaimoku Sho (the Daishonins Gosho) goes that Sharihotsu in
some past existence discontinued his austerities as a Bodhisattva when a Brahminist
begged for one of his eyes and after accepting it from Sharihotsu, he trampled and

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crashed it. Seeing this, Sharihotsu became angry and gave up his practice which he had
continued for sixty aeons (one aeon is said to be eight million years).
From the viewpoint of the Daishonins Buddhism (Mantei), Sharihotsu indicates people
in Mappo.

Shi dai royaku


This excellent medicine. Indicative of the DaiGohonZon
shiki ko mimi
The requisite color, odor and taste. These three indicate the Three Great Secret Laws
(San-dai-hiho). Shiki (color) means the high sanctuary of the True Buddhism, ko (odor)
means the object of worship of the True Buddhism, and mi (taste) means the invocation
of the True Buddhism, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

shin ne renbo
Means to yearn for the Buddha.
ship-ponshin ko
Means Because they (the sons) have lost reason. From the Daishonins standpoint,
Honshin (ponshin in the above is a phonetic change of Honshin or literally, true mind)
means faith in the Gohonzon.

Shi sharihotsu
Monjo: No more, Sariputra, will I teach you.
(Shi sharihotsu fu shu bu setsu) With these words, Shakyamuni drew the attention of
his listeners before revealing the rarest and most difficult law to comprebend (dai ichi
keu nange shi ho).
Montei: The Daishonin reminded the people in Mappo that He is going to teach the
rarest and most difficult law to comprehend.

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sho bosatsu gyu
All the Bodhisattvas and ...
sho bus-shusse
The euphonic change of shobutsu shusse. Monjo: Shobutsu means all the Buddhas.
Shusse means to make advent in this world. Montei: Shobutsu (all the Buddhas) attained
Buddhahood by worshipping the Gohonzon. Therefore, the Gohonzon is the mother of all
the Buddhas. In this sense, shobutsu indicates the Gohonzon. It is a very rare event for
one to see the Gohoozon in this world. (Shobus-shusse nan ka chigu).

Sho but-chie jinjin muryo


Monjo: The wisdom (chi-e) that all the Buddhas (shobutsu) obtained. This phrase praises
the profundity of their wisdom. Montei: The wisdom of Nichiren Daishonin or the
Gohonzon is so profound and immeasurable that it sheds light on the vast universe and
the eternity of life. Thus by reading this phrase, we exalt the Gohonzons wisdom. All the
Buddhas could attain enlightenment through their faith in the Gohonzon. Their faith is
changed into wisdom. Therefore, the Gohonzons wisdom is muds more profound than
that of all the other Buddhas.
Shobut-chi-e is the short form of Shobutsu chi-e.

Sho ho jisso
Also Shoho Jisso. The Buddhist principle that all phenomena in the universe (Shoho)
reveal the true aspect (Jisso). What Jisso is, was not made clear by Shakyamuni.
Nichiren Daishonin defined the true aspect (Jisso) as the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Shoi sha ga
The reason is that ...

sho kon ridon

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The degree of the five roots. Shakyamuni defined five important conditions in the
practice of Bodhisattva austerities. Since they are the basic principles of practice, they are
called the five roots (Gokon). Sho kon in the sutra means various roots signifying these
five: 1) the root of faith, 2) the root of assiduity, 3) the root of attention, 4) the root of
determination; and 5) the root of wisdom. Each of these five will be explained below
since they are necessary in the practice of the True Buddhism.

1)
The root of faith: To believe firmly and never doubt the teachings of the Buddha
(Nichiren Daishonin).
2)
The root of assiduity: To devote oneself to the practice of what he has learned,
well pondering on it.
3)
The root of attention: To take care not to be swayed by misleading ideas without
forgetting even a while what one has learned through faith.
4)
The root of determination: To be determined to carry through ones faith in
Buddhism throughout life and overcome any obstacle whatsoever.
5)
The root of wisdom: Ones progress in the faith and understanding of Buddhism
deepens his wisdom.
Ri don means sharp or dull, or the degree of the five roots.

shomon
Sravaka in Sanskrit. One of the Ten Worlds. Translated as learning since it means the
state of life which one realizes when he comprehends a doctrine or increases knowledge.
Shomon literally means a disciple or a person who hears the Buddhas voice of teachings
and attains enlightenment.
In the provisional teachings, Shakyamuni said that Shomon who was satisfied with what
he obtained from Hinayana and did not seek the Buddhas true teaching was unable to
attain enlightenment. However, when Shakyamuni expounded the Hokekyo, he allowed
his disciples in Shomon to attain Buddhahood.

In this age, Shomon signifies the so-called intellectuals who, self-satisfied with their
extremely specialized knowledge, would not seek the True Buddhism as the way to
eternal happiness. They adhere to the illusion that knowledge leads them to happiness.
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sho zen nanshi
You men of devout faith. Men of devout faith (Zennanshi) generally indicates those who
believe in Buddhism.

Shujo sho yuraku


Means This world is a place where all amuse themselves.

shuju hiyu
Means Various parables. Monjo: Shakyamuni used various parables such as the stories
of bubbles and mirror in order to help uneducated people of his days understand his
teaching. Montei: Nichiren Daishonin cited various parables in the Gosho to make it easy
for His believers to understand the Buddhist principles. Also faithful believers in His days
such as Shijo Kingo appear in these parables written for contemporary believers.

shuju innen
Means Various kinds of causal relationships.
Monjo: Shakyamuni taught various kinds of causal relationships in his provisional
teachings which he expounded for forty-two years. Montei: The causal relationship in the
Daishonins Buddhism is that Nichiren Shoshu believers have been the Daishonins
disciples from Kuon Ganjo. They were born in this world some 700 years after the
Daishonins demise to spread His teaching - Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

shus-shaku shi gu
Means to leave the Palace of the Sakyas. The Sakyas were the most gifted race in India
and lived in what is now Nepal. Prince Siddhartha (the given name of Shakyamuni) left
his castle in Kapilavastu to practice austerities as a traveling monk. After twelve years`
practice, he attained Buddhahood at the age of thirty under the famous Bodli Tree and
was called Shakyamuni, the sage of the Sakyas.

shu yo gon shi


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Means To sum up or in effect.

Soku joju bussin


Means to reach enlightenment without delay.

Soku Jo kuno
Means to be relieved of ones illness.

soku shu buku shi


Means to take it (the medicine) immediately. From the viewpoint of Nichiren
Daishonins Buddhism, the phrase means to become a believer in the Gohouzon when
one hears about the Gohonzon through Shakubuku.

Sui gon ni fu ken


Means Though I be near, they shall not see. Even though the Gohonzon be near,
common mortals cannot regard the Gohonzon as the Buddha.

Tan ni hoben kyoke shujo ryo nyu butsudo


Means Only for the sake of convenience did I teach this to let the people attain
enlightenment. Monjo: It was the method (Hoben) Shakyamuni used in guiding the
people of his days that he attained enlightenment under the Bodh Tree and propounded
various provisional teachings. Montei: It was the Daishonins method of teaching that He
proved himself to be Bodhisattva Jogyo and revealed that He is the True Buddha when
He overcame the danger of possible death at Tatsuno-kuchi near Kamakura.

Tennin jo juman

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Means Filled with gods and men. This signifies the worlds of Rapture (Ten) and
Tranquility (Nin).
toku hak-ku ju sha
Means mankind, meager in virtue and laden with sin. Monjo: Those who believe in the
teachings other than Hokekyo. Montei: Believers in inferior religions. They are living an
unhappy life, straying from the true path of life.
ton jaku go yoku
Means to cling to their five base desires. Five base desires originate from five senseorgans - the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin.

u i shuju hoben
Also by divergent means. Monjo: Shakyamuni expounded provisional teachings for fortytwo years before he fulfilled his purpose of coming into this world by teaching the
Hokekyo. Those teachings are called provisional. Monjo: Nichiren Daishonin never relied
on any provisional teachings in instructing people, hut declared the law of Nam-myohorenge-kyo once for all. The Gohonzon, however, uses two kinds of Hoben - divine
blessings and punishment - in leading all mankind to the correct practice of the True
Buddhism.

U mandara ke
Means Mandaras fall like rain. This indicates the world of Learning (Shomon).
waku fu shis-sha
Means ... and the others still lucid.
Waku sek-koshin, Waku set-tashin, Waku ji koshin, waku ji tashin, Waku ji koji,
Waku ji taji.
This part of the sutra is known as Roku-waku because there are six (Roku) waku
(meaning either... or...). It means The Buddha expounded various sutras, using either
himself or another person as an exemplar, presenting either himself or another person,
and citing either his or another person`s actions.
Monjo: Tendai who interpreted the Hokekyo defined koshin as Hosshin (the Buddhas
life) and tashin as Ojin (the Buddhas body). Tendai said that setsu (meaning to teach or
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expound) is the voice of teaching and ji (meaning to show) is the form. Also Tendai
defined koji as Shoho (the subject) and taji as Eho (the object.)
In a word, Tendai regarded koshin (oneself) and koji (ones behavior) as Buddhahood,
and tashin (another) and taji (anothers behavior) as the Nine Worlds (excluding
Buddhahood).
Montei: Nichiren Daishonin states in the Gosho: The Juryo Chapter of the Hokekyo
reads, Waku sek-koshin, waku set-tashin (using either himself or another person as an
exemplar). Zentoku Buddha in the eastern sphere, Dainichi i3uddha in the central
sphere, ... Bodhisattva Jogyo, Monju-shiri, Sharihotsu ... Their substance is Lord Buddha.
For example, Lord Buddha is the moon in the sky and all the other Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas are its reflections in many ponds.
Lord Buddha is Nichiren Daishonin. The quoted part of the Juryo Chapter signifies the
Daishonins merciful activities in saving mankind from unhappiness and misery,
presenting himself sometimes as the True Buddha, and at other times as a common mortal
(the Nine Worlds).

waku shitsu honshin


Some of them having lost reason and...

Yaku hotsu monran


Some medicine poisoning tlem, the sons moan violently. Jndicative of unhappiness
caused by Ikith in misleading religions.
Yaku mu zai se gyu metsu do sha
There is neither pre- nor post-life.

yo shisshin ja
Means the others who have lost reason. Among the many sons, some who have not lost
senses (fu shisshin ja) take the medicine their father has compounded, but the others,
who have lost reason, would not take the medicine.
Yo shisshin ja indicates those who would not take faith in the true Buddhism through
Shakubukn.
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Yui butsu yo butsu


Means Between two Buddhas. Monjo: The realities of universal phenomena can be
understood and shared between two Buddhas. (Yui butsu yo hutsu. Nai no kujin sho
ho jisso) While the rarest and most difficult law to comprehend (dai ichi keu nange
shi ho) signifies the vast expanse Buddhism expounds, the above quotation indicates the
immeasurable length of time revealed in Buddhism.
Montei: The two Buddhas are Nichiren Daishonin and Nikko Shonin, the immediate
successor to the Daishonin. The enlightenment of the Daishonin is obviously known only
to Nikko Shoruin. Thus we exalt Nikko Shonin, the founder of head Temple Taisekiji.

yumyo shojin
Means Valiant and untiring practice. Monjo: In Shakyamunis Buddhism, one had to
practice Buddhist austerities for uncountably many aeons so that he may attain
enlightenment. Montei: In contrast, one can attain Buddhahood in the Daishonins
Buddhism only by chanting Daimoku to the Gohonzon and practicing Shakubuku
devotedly in this short span of life.

Ze ko ro yaku
Means this good medicine. From the standpoint of the Daishonins viewpoint, it
indicates the DaiGohonzon.

zengon
The root for attaining enlightenment.

zenjo
The state in which one concentrates his mind on a single subject and never distracts his
attention. The supreme level of zenjo is the one in which a believer worships the
Gohonzon with a concentrated mind.
Zen of Zen Buddhism originates in this word, but it is
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an extremely inferior way of zenjo.

Zui gi sho setsu


[Each Buddha] revealed it (the profound and unprecedented law or what is called Jinjin
mizou ho) according to the ability of his listeners to understand, [difficult as it is to
comprehend]. Monjo: Shakyamuni expounded various provisional teachings according
to the inborn natures of his listeners to lead them gradually to the Hokekyo. Montei: The
Daishonin originated the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and spread it among people of
every inborn character. Yet those who believe in it find themselves quite satisfied and
happy. So profound is the Daishonins mercy.

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