On the Occasion of the June Kosen-rufu Shodai Ceremony
June 7, 2009
Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji
Good Morning, everyone!
On the occasion of the June 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.
The month of June has arrived and we have just over a month left until our goal of the Great Assembly to take place. I imagine you must be devoting yourselves day and night, aiming toward the achievement of this goal.
As you know, the goal of the Great Assembly, together with the goal of doubling the number of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth was presented by the Honorable Retired High Priest Nikken Shonin in 2002. Thus, in this year of completing these goals, we must accomplish the Great Assembly by all means so that, we can report our complete success to the Three Treasures as well as Nikken Shonin who gave us these goals.
Moreover, this Great Assembly is also a significant Kick-off Ceremony for the next challenge of our practice. Therefore, 75,000 devoted believers who will assemble at the Head Temple on July 26 are the persons of talent who are central to future kōsen-rufu activities. They are the soldiers of kōsen-rufu.
When I look at today’s chaotic state of Japan and the rest of the world, I believe everyone feels insecure with a sense of crisis. Then, how can we get through the crisis of this chaotic condition? In the public mind, people grope in the dark for finding a way of fundamental solution. Unfortunately, they live in idleness in the bustle of everyday life and have no breakthrough in the solution.
Now, we must revere the true intention that the Daishonin demonstrated in his Risshō ankoku-ron and advance forth in complete solidarity with the spirit of itai dōshin, aiming toward the realization of the establishment of the ideal world. We must also become aware that we have a significant and noble mission.
The Daishonin teaches in his Risshō ankoku-ron by revealing the root cause for the chaos of the world:
“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 root cause of confusion, misfortune and suffering is because “all people have gone against the correct Law and become wholly devoted to evil doctrines.” In other words, the world misfortune is attributed to the erroneous teachings, mistaken views and, incorrect ideas. They are the heretical teachings including the Ikeda Soka Gakkai who slanders the Three Treasures. Unless we eliminate all slanderous teachings and take faith in the “supreme teaching of the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra,” we cannot establish true happiness.
Needless to say, the supreme teaching of the one vehicle [of the Lotus Sutra] supposedly refers to the Lotus Sutra. However, the true intention of the Daishonin lies not on the surface of the words of the Lotus Sutra. Instead, it lies hidden in the depths of the Myoho-Renge-Kyo, the sole essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra. Taking faith in the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching, the supreme Law of the Three Great Secret Laws is to take faith in the supreme teaching of the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra.
However, If we want to achieve all people in Japan and the rest of the world to take faith in the supreme teaching of the one vehicle [of the Lotus Sutra,] we have no other way but to do shakubuku. Therefore, we must first devote all our energies to complete the Great Assembly of 75,000 believers. This Great Assembly is also the Kick-off Ceremony where the most devoted Hokkeko believers will gather and make a vow for the new advancement, aiming toward the achievement of kōsen-rufu in the entire world.
The chapters who have already achieved the goals must take all possible means to ensure not to have vacancies on the day of the assembly, through visiting the members at their homes once again.
For the chapters who have not yet achieved the goals, now comes the important part. They must tell the fellow members the benefits of tozan and the significance of the Great Assembly of 75,000 believers to accomplish the goals without fail.
Naturally, as they say “Happy events tend to be accompanied by problems,” we are prepared to meet the various obstacles and difficulties from the beginning, because it is unavoidable that the practice of Myoho is accompanied by hardships. Overcoming such difficulties through one’s firm faith brings forth immeasurable benefits and profound inspiration. It is vital that, the more obstacles and difficulties you confront, the more you strengthen your faith with absolute conviction toward the Dai-Gohonzon.
Thus, the Daishonin teaches:
“The greater the hardships befalling him the greater the delight he feels, because of his strong faith. Doesn’t a fire burn more briskly when logs are added? All rivers run to the sea, but does its fullness make the rivers flow backward? The currents of hardships pour into the sea of the Lotus Sutra and rush against its votary. The river is not rejected by the oceans; neither does the votary reject suffering. Were it not for the flowing rivers there could be no sea. Likewise, without tribulation there would be no votary of the Lotus Sutra.”
(Gosho, p. 1555; MW-1, p. 9)
We must humbly revere the golden words of “The greater the hardships befalling him the greater the delight he feels, because of his strong faith” and move ahead with conviction, aiming toward the achievement of kōsen-rufu.
The point is, no matter what obstacle and adversity arise, the Great Assembly of 75,000 believers must be achieved at any cost based on the unity of the whole chapter, as this is the best opportunity for the attainment of Buddhahood in this lifetime.
I would like to conclude my address today with my sincere prayer that you will make further advancement during the remaining just over a month with unity between priesthood and laity in the spirit of itai dōshin, aiming toward the achievement of the Great Assembly by the whole chapters.