“When Great Evil Occurs, Great Good Will Follow”
On the Occasion of the April Kosen-rufu Shodai Ceremony
April 3, 2011
Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji
Good morning, everyone!
On this occasion of the April Kosen-rufu Shodai Ceremony, conducted here today at the Head Temple, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the large number of participants in attendance.
First of all, I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to everyone, including the believers of our denomination, who experienced the recent Eastern Japan Great Earthquake and tsunami. I feel deep sorrow, due to the fact that a large number of lives have been lost in this great earthquake. I offer my sincerest prayers for the repose of the victims.
I pray that those who were struck by the great earthquake and tsunami will overcome their pain without further delay, powerfully rise from this misery, and look toward the future once again. I sincerely hope that they will overcome this great hardship through their firm faith.
After witnessing this recent great earthquake, I felt that I strictly had been reminded that the Daishonin’s warning in his Rissho ankoku-ron is real and not imaginary.
The Rissho ankoku-ron states that in recent years, there have been unusual occurrences in the heavens, and natural disasters on earth, including the great earthquake on the twenty-third day of the eighth month in the first year of Shoka (1257). Famine and epidemics rage in all lands. The cause for these disasters is the fact that all people have gone against the correct Law and become wholly devoted to evil doctrines. This has caused all the guardian deities to abandon this country and instead, devils and demons have rushed in.
Citing various passages from the Sutra of the Benevolent King (Nin’no-kyo), the Sutra of the Great Assembly (Daishik-kyo), and the Sutra of the Medicine Master (Yakushi-kyo), the Daishonin explains that believing in evil doctrines and going against the true Law will invite misfortune, such as the three calamities and seven disasters. He teaches that all the causes for misfortunes, confusion, and suffering arise from slandering the true Law. If all the slanderous teachings are refuted and the mystic Law (Myoho) is established, then all the calamities and disasters will disappear and the national crisis will be resolved. This will lead to the establishment of the Buddha land, where peace and security are realized throughout the nation. Furthermore, the Daishonin strictly admonishes that one must immediately renounce his erroneous belief and “take faith in the supreme teaching of the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra.”
“Take faith in the supreme teaching of the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra” means that all people must sever their attachment to erroneous teachings and instead, take faith in the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra, the Dai-Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws. This is the requirement that is absolutely essential in order to ensure the people’s happiness and the security of the land.
Buddhism teaches the principle of the oneness of life and its environment. This principle signifies that life, the subjective self, and its physical environment are not two, but one.
The Daishonin teaches in “On Omens” (“Zuiso-gosho”):
The ten directions are the objective environment. Sentient beings are the subjective self. Objective environment is like the shadow, and subjective self is like the body.
(Gosho, p. 918)
Therefore, every function of our six senses, which signify the subjective self or life, has a great impact on the realm of our environment.
Another Gosho, “A Comparison between the Lotus Sutra and other Sutras” (“Shokyo to hokekyo to nan-e no koto”) teaches:
Because Buddhism has gradually declined due to the influence of evil teachings, the secular world will become defiled and chaotic. Buddhism is like the body and the secular world is like the shadow. If the body is crooked, so is the shadow.
(Gosho, p. 1469)
Furthermore, the Gosho, “On Omens” states:
If the people are filled with joy, a good omen will manifest in the heavens, and the Heavenly King Taishaku will work to protect the people in the land. On the contrary, if the people have strong evil minds, unusual occurrences will manifest in the heavens, and natural disasters will occur on earth.
(Gosho, p. 920)
The principle of the oneness of life and its environment is immeasurable and beyond the knowledge of a common mortal. It is based on the absolute, penetrating wisdom of the Buddha, who perceived the immeasurable time and space of the ten directions throughout the three existences and revealed the truth of the universe.
Thus, there is no true solution for the miserable and extremely chaotic conditions arising from the recent disaster unless one takes into consideration the great principle of the oneness of life and its environment. This principle was revealed from the perspective of the mystic Law (Myoho), the fundamental Law of the universe.
We must keep in mind the Daishonin’s true intention described in his Rissho ankoku-ron. If each one of us, the subjective self, discards all slanderous ideas and takes faith in the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra, the supreme Three Great Secret Laws—the Dai-Gohonzon of the Essential Teaching—then each of our lives will be purified due to the power of Myoho, which is unfathomable and mystic. Each individual’s benefit will extend to all the people in the land, thus purifying the entire society. Eventually, the realm of the environment will be reformed and become the Buddha land.
On the contrary, if our lives are defiled by evil doctrines, our clouded minds will pervade our entire society. This will lead to various ominous manifestations throughout the land, such as unusual occurrences in the heavens and natural disasters on earth.
This is the principle taught in the Rissho ankoku-ron. Keeping in mind the Daishonin’s intention conveyed in the Rissho ankoku-ron, we must conduct shakubuku, the compassionate practice to save all people, and we must aim toward the realization of the Buddha land. This is the important mission of the priesthood and laity of Nichiren Shoshu.
Needless to say, those who have been dispatched from various groups [to the areas struck by the recent disaster], volunteers, and people giving support both from home and abroad—all those who are helping to reconstruct the disaster areas—deserve recognition. There is no doubt that their deeds are worthy of praise.
At the same time, however, from the viewpoint of Buddhism, each of us now should sow the seed of the mystic Law (Myoho) into the life of each individual. We must shakubuku as many people as possible, as soon as possible, and work toward the realization of the ideal land described in the Rissho ankoku-ron.
A Gosho passage states:
When great evil occurs, great good will follow.
(Gosho, p. 796)
I sincerely hope that you will have conviction in these golden words, and devote yourselves more than ever to do shakubuku with firm faith, based on unity between priesthood and laity.
With regards to the recent great earthquake, Nichiren Shoshu has been accepting monetary donations for the sake of the victims. We received a large amount of contributions from temples, priests, priest families, and lay believers across the country. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you. The Nichiren Shoshu Head Office will determine the allocation of these funds, and contribute them for disaster restoration. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for your cooperation. •