Guidance from Sixty-eighth High Priest Nichinyo Shonin – February 7, 2010

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On the Occasion of the February Kōsen-rufu Shodai Ceremony
February 7, 2010
Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji

On the occasion of the February 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.

As I have mentioned many times, “The Year of Advancing toward Kōsen-rufu” marks the first year toward the new goals for 2015 and 2021. Thus, this is an extremely important year for the achievement of these goals.

Time passes quickly, and the years 2015 and 2021 will be here before we know it. I hope that every chapter will waste no time, and will begin to participate this year in the practice of shakubuku for the achievement of these goals. I hope that no one will be left behind in the practice of shakubuku.

When I look at the chaos taking place both here and abroad in recent years, I see that civil war, terrorist attacks, and riots have been breaking out in the Middle East and in many other parts of the world. Within Japan, we are faced with a number of difficult problems, such as political, economic, and diplomatic issues, and so on. We too, have no time to be complacent.

Our life is very closely related to society or the realm of the environment. If the realm of the environment deteriorates and becomes disturbed, whether it is due to natural calamities or human disasters, we are undoubtedly affected by it.

Natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, extreme climate, famines, and environmental destruction due to global warming are the primary threats to us. In today’s decayed society, human minds are depraved to the highest degree due to the powerful three poisons of greed, anger, and stupidity. Thus, if a large-scale war breaks out, an individual’s life and one’s dignity instantly will be infringed upon. As a result, the country will decline and collapse. In some cases, the whole world could be brought to ruin, which would bring forth tragic results.

The Risshō ankoku-ron states:

“If the nation is conquered and homes are lost, where will you flee? If you truly desire your own peace and security, should you not first pray for peace of the entire nation?”

(Gosho, p. 249; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 2, p. 40)

As the Daishonin teaches, the destruction of a country will result in a dire situation for the entire nation and no way out for the people. The peace and security of the country is what all human beings desire. The security of the nation supports the peace and security of an individual’s life.

The Risshō ankoku-ron teaches:

“If the nation never declines and the land is indestructible, you will find safety and peace of mind.”

(Gosho, p. 250; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 2, p. 42)

Therefore, the rise and fall of the nation is directly related to each person’s life. Unless a country is prosperous and the land is secured, the peace of an individual’s life cannot be achieved. For this reason, if you wish for a tranquil life of your own, the peace of the whole country must first be secured.

[The Chinese philosopher] Han Feizi states:

“If you wish to benefit your own family, you should first benefit your country.”

In other words, if you desire the prosperity of your family, you should first enrich your country and make it prosperous.

And the previous passage from the Risshō ankoku-ron states:

“If you truly desire your own peace and security, should you not first pray for peace of the entire nation?”

(Gosho, p. 249; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 2, p. 40)

This passage means, if you hope for the peace and security of your own life, you should first pray for the entire nation to be governed peacefully.

Then, how we can pray for the peace and security of the country, so that our land, our society, and the entire world will become peaceful and prosperous? Why do the three calamities and seven disasters that cause confusion in society occur in the first place? The Daishonin reveals the cause for misfortunes as follows:

“When I, with my limited knowledge, read the sutras, I find that all people have gone against the correct Law and become wholly devoted to evil doctrines. This is why all the guardian deities have abandoned this country and sages have left this land, not to return. Seizing this opportunity, devils and demons rush in, bringing disasters and calamities. This is most fearful. We must speak out!”

(Gosho, p. 234; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 2, p. 3)

In other words, morality dies out, the minds of the people become corrupted, calamities occur, and the realm of the environment is disturbed because “people have gone against the correct Law and become wholly devoted to evil doctrines.” The confusion, misfortunes, and sufferings of the world all occur because the people are affected by the poisons of slander against the true Law.

Unless we eliminate this slander, each individual’s happiness and the security of the country cannot be achieved and world peace cannot be realized. The Risshō ankoku-ron states:

“If you desire a secure land, and wish to pray for peace in your present and future existences, you should waste no time, ponder on the correct path, and immediately eliminate slanders.”

(Gosho, p. 248; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 2, p. 39)

Furthermore, it states:

“If one desires peace to reign throughout the entire nation without delay, he should first and foremost put an end to the slanders that prevail throughout the country.”

(Gosho, p. 247; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 2, p. 35)

Using the words, “immediately eliminate slanders” and “he should first and foremost put an end to the slanders that prevail throughout the country,” the Daishonin is teaching us to do shakubuku. Through conducting shakubuku, we can eradicate slander and lead people to the true Law. This is the only act that will enable us to realize the security of the land and peace throughout the world.

So-called learned individuals in society are making efforts in their respective fields to promote peace. If, however, slander exists at the root, we will end up with a result that is described by the Daishonin in the following passage:

“This is why all the guardian deities have abandoned this country and sages have left this land, not to return. Seizing this opportunity, devils and demons rush in, bringing disasters and calamities.”

(Gosho, p. 234; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 2, p. 3)

Now, in the Latter Day of the Law, the happiness of all people and true, eternal world peace can only be achieved through Myoho-Renge-Kyo of the Buddhism of the sowing, hidden in the depths of the Lotus Sutra, the secret Law for the salvation of all living beings. This great Law was revealed by our founder Nichiren Daishonin.

The Risshō ankoku-ron teaches:

“You must immediately renounce your erroneous belief and take faith in the supreme teaching of the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra. Then, this entire threefold world will become the Buddha land. How could the Buddha land ever decline? All the lands in the ten directions will transform into treasure realms. How could a treasure realm ever fall to ruin? If the nation never declines and the land is indestructible, you will find safety and peace of mind. These are the very words that you must believe and revere.”

(Gosho, p. 250; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 2, p. 42)

“The supreme teaching of the one vehicle” means the most profound and true Mahayana teaching, in comparison with the provisional Mahayana teachings. This signifies the Lotus Sutra. The Daishonin’s intention, however, is for us to uphold faith in the Myoho-Renge-Kyo of the sole essential teaching hidden in the depths of the Lotus Sutra, the Dai-Gohonzon of the Essential Teaching of the Three Great Secret Laws, instead of the surface meaning of the words of the Lotus Sutra.

It is most essential that we take these golden words to heart, strengthen our faith and do shakubuku with firm resolve and unshakable courage. This will lead to the realization of the happiness of all people and the establishment of the Buddha land. This is the most appropriate action for “The year of Advancing toward Kōsen-rufu.” Herein lies the happiness of each and every one of us. If you wish for your own happiness, it is most important that you conduct shakubuku, in order to attain the aspiration of the establishment of the true Buddha land.

Nikko Shonin teaches in his “Twenty-six Admonitions of Nikko” (“Nikkō yuikai okimon”):

“Until kosen-rufu is achieved, propagate the Law to the full extent of your ability, without begrudging your life.”

(Gosho, p. 1884)

I sincerely hope that you will take this guidance to heart and carry out your practice in “The Year of Advancing toward Kōsen-rufu.” This will lead you to establish firm faith. I pray that you will make further advancement toward the achievement of the great aspiration of kōsen-rufu.