On the Occasion of the February Kosen-rufu Shodai Ceremony
February 1, 2009
Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji
On the occasion of the February Kosen-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.
As you know, this year of “Revealing the Truth and Upholding Justice” is the year to complete our goals. We must accomplish, without fail, the objectives of the Commemorative Grand Ceremony, the General Meeting of the Great Assembly of 75,000 believers, and the Commemorative General Tozan.
At the same time, all of the chapters around the world must achieve this year’s shakubuku goals without fail, in order to repay our debt of gratitude to the three treasures of true Buddhism.
As I mentioned on the occasion of the Kick-off Ceremony held on January 3rd, the General Meeting of the Great Assembly of 75,000 believers is the greatest assembly that has ever taken place. It is the greatest assembly of the century, where the 75,000 most devoted Hokkeko believers will gather together.
The 75,000 most devoted Hokkeko believers who gather at the Head Temple will be central to future kosen-rufu activities. If the 75,000 most devoted Hokkeko believers come together at the Head Temple where the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary is enshrined, and stand up as the soldiers of shakubuku, with the determination to advance our great propagation activities, upholding the spirit of willing to give one’s life to propagate the Law, then this will change the world significantly, and the path for kosen-rufu will open up.
Thus, I would like everyone who has gathered here today to participate in the General Meeting of the Great Assembly of 75,000 believers and join the ranks of the soldiers of kosen-rufu.
As you know, this is the month when the Daishonin was born. The purpose of the advent of Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha, is to lead all living beings in the Latter Day of the Law equally to enlightenment. Those who have correctly carried out the will of the Daishonin up to this day are the true Nichiren Shoshu priesthood and laity.
Presently, the world is in extreme disarray. People’s hearts are in a state of deterioration, casting the shadow of uncertainty for the future. The Daishonin teaches in “A Father takes Faith” (“Hyoe sakandono- gosho”):
“It is the usual way of things that when the latter age begins, sages and worthy men all vanish, and only the slanderers (zanjin), flatterers (neijin), smiling backstabbers (wazan) and those of crooked principles (kyokuri) fill the land. So we read in the sutras.
“To illustrate, as the water dries up, [fish in] the pond will be disturbed, and when the wind blows, the sea will not remain calm. We also read that in the latter age, because droughts, epidemics and great rains and winds come in succession, even the large-hearted become narrow, and even those who seek the Way lapse into erroneous views. This being the case, the sutras tell us, father and mother, husband and wife, and elder brother and younger brother will be pitted against one another, like a hunter and a deer, a cat and a mouse, or a hawk and a pheasant—to say nothing of quarrels among strangers.”
(Gosho, p. 1270; MW-6, p. 239)
To put it in simple terms, when the Latter Day of the Law begins, both sages and wise people disappear. Only slanderers remain. There will be people who speak ill of others leveling false accusations, flatterers, those who grovel, smiling backstabbers, people who quietly prey on others while acting gentle as a lamb in public, those with crooked ethics, and self-centered people who twist the words of others. These types of people become pervasive throughout the country. When the water level in the pond sinks, the fish become disturbed. When the wind blows, the sea will not stay calm. Likewise, when the Latter Day of the Law begins, droughts, pestilence, floods, and gales will come, one after another. These disturbing events cause even broad-minded people to become narrow-minded. Even people seeking the truth become twisted. Subsequently, conflicts break out between fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, and brothers and sisters, not to mention conflicts among people who are not related. It is like a quarrel between a hunter and a deer, a cat and a mouse, or a hawk and a pheasant.
When the defiled age of the Latter Day of the Law begins, human minds become confused. When human minds are confused, the whole world falls into chaos, and this extends into the realm of the environment, inviting droughts, plagues, floods, gales, and so on. This becomes a vicious cycle, as human minds become even more and more disturbed, and the entire land falls into disarray. Family quarrels become ubiquitous, and the world assumes a miserable aspect. As a result, everyone in the entire country falls into the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering.
What is the biggest cause for such confusion of human minds? It is the poison of slandering the true Law due to erroneous ideas, mistaken views, and heretical teachings; and to be even more specific, it is the Ikeda sect, which, among other heretical acts, denigrates the three treasures.
Thus, the Daishonin teaches in “Letter to Akimoto” (“Akimoto-gosho”):
“Those persons who happen to live in a country where there are slanderers of the Law will all—everyone in the entire country—be condemned to the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering.”
(Gosho, p. 1450; MW-7, p. 200)
The most fearful thing is slander of true Buddhism. On the other hand, eradicating this slander can actually make the world peaceful.
Herein lies the significant reason for us to root out slander of the true Law and carry out shakubuku, praying for true happiness and the realization of the Buddha Land.
The Daishonin expounds in “The Embankments of Faith” (“Abutsubo ama goze-gohenji”):
“I strictly advise you to be determined to denounce slanders against true Buddhism to the best of your ability.”
(Gosho, p. 907; MW-1, p. 160)
Throughout our lives, we should never forget these golden words. Therefore, in this year of the completion of our goals, we must engrave these golden words into our hearts and devote ourselves to practice shakubuku, in order to meet the expectation of accomplishing the goal of “Doubling the number of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.”
I would like to conclude my address today with my sincere wish that you will meet the expectation of fulfilling our goals—the General Meeting of the Great Assembly of 75,000 believers, the Commemorative General Tozan, and the achievement of every chapter’s shakubuku goal.