Audience for Overseas Believers at Grand Ceremony of the Airing of the Sacred Treasures, Grand Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji, April 6, 1995
It fills me with great pleasure to see that so many believers from countries around the world have made a pilgrimage here today for this year’s Grand Ceremony of the Airing of the Sacred Treasures at the Head Temple. I am sincerely delighted to see how spirited you are, and how dignified you appear owing to the merit of chanting the Daimoku.
The most fundamental part of this Grand Ceremony of the Airing of the Sacred Treasures is the sacred event we hold once a year to clear away dust from the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary, which is the primary basis of the Three Great Secret Laws of the Essential Teaching, and which our founder the Daishonin inscribed so that all people of the ten thousand years of the Latter Day of the Law would actually attain Buddhahood.
Next, we conduct the event known as the “Airing of the Sacred Treasures,” in which we display and air out various important Gohonzons that have great significance for kosen-rufu, Gohonzons that were inscribed by the Daishonin, Nikko Shonin, and Nichimoku Shonin and other successive High Priests. This is done to preserve these Gohonzons for posterity, as they are treasures that can never be replaced. In addition, we strive to preserve for posterity our treasures related to the Law, most importantly the Gosho, by reverentially airing them out once a year. Among the Goshos of the Daishonin that have been passed down until today, the ones that have been carefully preserved at the Head Temple especially include the Goshos that were bestowed on Lord Ueno.
In a typical year it is usually slightly warmer than this. Many years, the cherry trees are in full bloom [by now], but this year they are a little bit late. It’s really too bad that you will not be able to view the cherry blossoms in full bloom. But the weeping cherry trees in the Tatchu area bloom somewhat earlier [than the others], so I think you will be able to enjoy their beauty.
You have made this pilgrimage of long distances to the Head Temple where the soul of Nichiren Daishonin dwells, and this is a truly precious thing. Long ago, there was a person named Abutsu-bo who longed to see the Daishonin when he was in residence at Minobu. In order to see the Daishonin, Abutsu-bo journeyed about 100 ri (about 400 kilometers) from Sado to Minobu on foot. For him, one round trip apparently took as long as fifty days. Compared with this, you are able to come to the Head Temple in a shorter period of time than Abutsu-bo, even though you have come from distant countries around the world. Even so, the distances you have traveled are immense. Not only that, you have had to conquer various hindrances to get here. The Daishonin deeply appreciates your faith in making this pilgrimage for the Airing of the Sacred Treasures at the Head Temple from the bottom of his heart.
Now, the true Law of the Daishonin will progress into the future without ending and will never cease to save the people of the world. In terms of documentary, theoretical, and actual proof, the documentary proof of this is predicted in the many teachings that Shakyamuni Buddha taught over a fifty-year period.
Many teachings were preached [by Shakyamuni Buddha]. There are many sutras, said to be five thousand or seven thousand volumes. Most regrettably, though, the living spirit of the teachings that Shakyamuni Buddha himself taught would become concealed and would disappear after the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days of the Law passed and the age of the Latter Day of the Law began. For this reason, Shakyamuni Buddha himself clearly stated that these teachings would not be able to save the people in the extremely defiled age of the Latter Day of the Law.
He indicated that he would preach the only supreme Way, which leads all living beings to enlightenment. This is the Lotus Sutra, and in it he clearly states that the Lotus Sutra alone would never die out for eternity, and moreover that the merit of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra would become clearly manifested in the Latter Day of the Law.
However, this did not simply mean that the written passages of the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra would remain. The Lotus Sutra teaches that the quintessential teachings of the Lotus Sutra would be propagated in the Latter Day owing to the tremendous character of Bodhisattva Jogyo, the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, who appears in the Lotus Sutra. These quintessential teachings are the Three Great Secret Laws—the Object of Worship, High Sanctuary, and Daimoku of the Essential Teaching. The one who revealed these in the Latter Day of the Law is our founder Nichiren Daishonin, the fundamental Buddha of the Life Span (Juryo; sixteenth) chapter.
(Note: This lecture can be read in its entirety in the book: Sermons 1992-2002 by Sixty-seventh High Priest Nikken Shonin.
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