On the Occasion of the August Kosen-rufu Shodai Ceremony
August 2, 2009
Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji
Good Morning, everyone!
On the occasion of the August Kōsen-rufu Shodai Ceremony, conducted 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 am extremely grateful that the General Meeting of the Great Assembly of 75,000 Believers in Commemoration of the 750th Anniversary of Revealing the Truth and Upholding Justice through the Submission of the Risshō ankoku-ron was splendidly conducted with great success on July 26. This was due to the persistent efforts of the priests and believers of the Hokkeko chapters across the country. Exceeding our expectations, 78,423 believers gathered at the Head Temple.
I would like to extend my deepest congratulations to you.
As you know, the General Meeting of the Great Assembly of 75,000 Believers in Commemoration of the 750th Anniversary of Revealing the Truth and Upholding Justice through the Submission of the Risshō ankoku-ron was the goal presented by the Honorable Retired High Priest Nikken Shonin in 2002. This great success is the result of each chapter’s concerted and full-scale efforts over the past seven years. It will go down in the history of each chapter for ages to come.
This successful result is the fruit of the hard work of many chapters that followed through with their efforts until the very end. I imagine such hard work is beyond description. However, I firmly believe it will greatly help each chapter to attain the new goals in the future.
As I mentioned at the General Meeting of the Great Assembly of 75,000 Believers, the Hokkeko has been achieving every single goal: the General Meeting of the Thirty Thousand Believers in 1990, the Great Gathering of the Sixty Thousand Believers associated with the Bodhisattvas of the Earth in 1994, the [Ten-day] Tozan of One Hundred Thousand Believers to commemorate the reconstruction of the Reception Hall in 1998, the Grand Commemorative General Tozan of Three Hundred Thousand Believers celebrating the 750th Anniversary of the Establishment of True Buddhism in 2002, the Kick-off Meetings in 2008, and the General Meeting of the Great Assembly of 75,000 Believers of this year. In this manner, the Hokkeko definitely gained a stable power every time a goal was given, and has made a remarkable progress.
With the inspiration and momentum of this success, the Hokkeko believers must now focus on shakubuku activities and devote every effort to the practice, aiming toward the achievement of Eight Hundred Thousand Believers in 2021.
Shakubuku is an absolute prerequisite for the achievement of kosen-rufu. The purpose of the advent of the True Buddha is the realization of the establishment of the Buddha land through leading all people in the Latter Day of the Law to the mystic Law (Myohō) of the Buddhism of sowing of the true cause.
It is said that, “The Daishonin’s life begins with the Risshō ankoku-ron and ends with the Risshō ankoku-ron.” Thus, it is taught that we must secure the peace of the land through the practice of shakubuku.
When we look at the current social conditions, all kinds of calamities, such as the three calamities and seven disasters, are frequently occurring. The way to fundamentally purify the five impurities, including these calamities, is to actualize the principles expounded in the Risshō ankoku-ron, and the actual practice to achieve this is shakubuku.
So far, the Hokkeko has accomplished every single goal of assembly. However, the next target is to achieve total success in the goal of shakubuku. Without shakubuku, kosen-rufu can never be achieved.
The Daishonin teaches in “The True Entity of Life” (“Shoho jisso-sho”):
“At first only I, Nichiren, chanted Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, but then two, three and a hundred followed, chanting and teaching others.”
(Gosho, p. 666; cf. MW-1, p. 93)
In other words, the path to the achievement of kosen-rufu is one’s steady efforts of teaching the five characters of the mystic Law (Myohō) to two, three, and one hundred people through a gradual process. It is vital that each individual makes serious efforts in conducting shakubuku. This is the basis of our shakubuku practice today.
Shakubuku means that each of us has absolute faith in the Gohonzon. With great conviction, we strongly appeal to people that all heretical teachings, including the Ikeda Soka Gakkai, are the root cause of misfortune, and that the only way to attain true happiness is to practice the mystic Law (Myohō) of the Buddhism of sowing of the true cause. This is the most important point.
Therefore, when doing shakubuku, it is important to teach others, clearly and precisely, that misfortune, confusion, and suffering is caused entirely by the poison of heretical teachings.
The Daishonin expounds in “Admonitions against Slander” (“Soyadono-gohenji”):
“Trying to attain enlightenment without admonishing slander of the Law is like seeking water in fire or trying to light a fire under water. How futile!”
(Gosho, p. 1040; cf. MW-1, p. 165)
When conducting shakubuku, it is important for one to refute all heresy by teaching others with confidence that heretical teachings are the root cause of unhappiness and jeopardize the society.
In other words, one should not take a passive stance or be vague on distinguishing right from wrong while doing shakubuku.
The Daishonin teaches in “The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei” (“Zenmui sanzo-sho”):
“Even though one may resort to harsh words, if such words help the person to whom they are addressed, then they are worthy to be regarded as truthful words and gentle words….when I proclaim that the practitioners of the Nembutsu will fall into the hell of incessant suffering or declare that the Zen and Shingon sects are likewise in error, people may think I am uttering harsh words, but in fact I am speaking truthful and gentle words.”
(Gosho, p. 445; MW-4, p. 82)
It appears that the Daishonin uses strong language when he strictly declares that Nembutsu leads one to fall into the hell of incessant suffering and Zen and Shingon are erroneous teachings. However, in actuality, his words are compassionate words to save the people and guide them to the life condition of Buddhahood. They are not senseless or tough words. Rather, they are truthful and tenderhearted words.
Pointing out an error; coming out and saying, “You should discard erroneous teachings, because the only way to obtain true happiness is taking faith in the Daishonin’s Buddhism,” is the best solution to save others. This is shakubuku. Shakubuku is the compassionate practice to pray for the true happiness of other people.
I would like to conclude my address today with my sincere prayer that, keeping these points firmly in mind, the members of each chapter work together with single-minded dedication and devote themselves to do shakubuku, aiming toward the achievement of our new goals and contributing to the achievement of kosen-rufu.