New Year’s Address, January 1, 1996
I offer my heartfelt New Year’s greetings to all of you, the believers of Nichiren Shoshu throughout the world. Our founder, the Daishonin, stated:
New Year’s Day marks the first day, the first month, the beginning of the year and the beginning of spring. A person who celebrates this day will gain virtue and be loved by all people, just as the moon becomes full gradually, moving from west to east, and the sun shines more brightly moving from east to west.
(Gosho, p. 1551)
Let us sincerely take to heart these instructions from the True Buddha and chant Daimoku that will fuse the eternal past and future into a single determinant moment in the present. Moreover, let us continue to be vivacious and to sincerely understand the essential sentiments of each and every person we encounter during the new year.
I feel that this will be a significant year when the effects and karmic retribution of the various good and evil deeds of mankind from the past will become apparent, and when further advancement will take place based on these manifestations.
When you neglect to act from the standpoint of faith in your daily lives, you will be hounded by hardships and suffering. When you muster your faith and chant sincere Daimoku to the Gohonzon, however, you will experience a mysterious, unwavering stability in the fundamental joy that will emerge from within your life. This is because you will independently attain a superior life condition based on the virtues of freedom, equality and dignity, as you grow increasingly confident of the power of the Mystic Law in your lives.
The Daishonin indicated this point in the following passage from the “Oral Teachings” (Ongi Kuden):
Now, since Nichiren and his followers believe in and solidly embrace Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, they will attain the great gem, the most superior treasure, without even seeking it. Faith is the seed of wisdom. (Thus,) you must embrace the realization that all laws are manifestations of the Mystic Law and believe this to be the single principle of the true entity.
(Gosho, p. 1738)
All the circumstances, professions, sentiments and daily activities concerning all mankind are manifestations of Buddhism, and the entirety of the theoretical principle—that is, the three truths of non-substantiality, temporary existence and the Middle Way—is contained within the Gohonzon and the Daimoku of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Thus, by embracing the Gohonzon, tremendous benefits will emerge in your individual lives and daily phenomena, even without deliberately seeking them.
(Note: This lecture can be read in its entirety in the book: Sermons 1992-2002 by Sixty-seventh High Priest Nikken Shonin. For more information, please contact your local temple.)