“We Definitely Will Be Able to Move the Hearts of Others”
On the Occasion of the November Kosen-rufu Shodai Ceremony
November 6, 2011
Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji
Good Morning, everyone!
On this occasion of the November 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.
November already has arrived, and there are only two months left in the year. I assume that all Hokkeko chapters are striving forward day and night, with unity between priesthood and laity, aiming for the achievement of their shakubuku goals for this year.
As you know, this year, we experienced not only the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, which occurred in March, but also typhoons and abnormal weather, which have been causing heavy rain and flooding, resulting in extensive damage in various locations. We grieve the loss of these many peoples’ lives and pray for them during this time of loss.
Now, we are witnesses to this cruel predicament. In order to actualize the true Buddha land, we must figure out exactly what we need to do by discerning the source of the problem.
In the Rissho ankoku-ron (On Securing the Peace of the Land through the Propagation of True Buddhism), Nichiren Daishonin reveals the fundamental cause of unusual occurrences in the heavens and natural disasters on earth, chaos in the world, adversity, and anguish:
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)
The fundamental cause is that “all people have gone against the correct Law and become wholly devoted to evil doctrines.” This fundamental cause comes from the poison of slandering the Law. Therefore, we must now refute slander by conducting shakubuku. In the Rissho ankoku-ron, the Daishonin further 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. 238;
The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 39)
If we wish for people in society to be happy, both in this lifetime and the next, and pray for the nation’s peace and security, then we should understand that first it is vital to refute slander against the Law, which is the source of all misfortune.
Shakubuku is the greatest act of compassion. In order to save mankind from suffering and establish the security of the land and world peace, compassionate behavior is the best action.
Therefore, we must sow the seed of Myoho-Renge-Kyo into the hearts of the people by conducting shakubuku, so that they will chant Myoho-Renge-Kyo and awaken their Buddha nature. This is the highest form of Buddhist practice, which is exactly what the bodhisattvas of Mahayana must do.
For this reason, the first of the four universal vows within the general vows taken by all bodhisattvas, is the vow to save innumerable living beings.
The four universal vows are: the vow to save innumerable living beings, the vow to eradicate countless earthly desires, the vow to master limitless Buddhist doctrines, and the vow to attain the supreme enlightenment. All bodhisattvas make these same vows; therefore, it is called a general vow.
Among these four, the first vow is to save innumerable living beings. This means that bodhisattvas make a pledge to lead all the people, who are bound by the sufferings of life and death and are filled with distress, to the path of attaining enlightenment. The reason why the vow to save innumerable living beings is the first of the four universal vows is that the other three vows are for the sake of one’s own practice or benefit, whereas this one vow emphasizes the practice for benefiting others. The strict duty of a bodhisattva is to teach all living beings and thus, it is a key practice.
The Daishonin states the following in the “Recorded Lectures” (“Onko kikigaki”):
After all, the most essential of the four universal vows is the pledge to save innumerable living beings. Now, Nichiren and his disciples and followers work to save all mankind through Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. There is no means other than this.
(Gosho, p. 1862)
In general society too, it is said that when one offers service for society and the people, one feels joy and a purpose in life. One also gains maturity, and is able to have a continuously fulfilling life.
In Buddhism, this has an even deeper meaning. Doing shakubuku, to save as many people as possible and provide them with true happiness, is the most important matter for followers of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. This is their greatest joy. The act of shakubuku possesses great benefit, both for oneself, and for others (jiri rita).
People in the Latter Day of the Law do not possess the seed of Buddhahood. In order for a common mortal to attain enlightenment, one exerts efforts to practice for oneself and others through embracing Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo of the meaning hidden in the depths of the Life Span (Juryo; sixteenth) chapter. Thus, common mortals in the Latter Day of the Law are able to attain enlightenment without conducting impossible practices, such as the six paramitas or practicing the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings over countless kalpas.
The Sutra of Infinite Meanings (Muryogi-kyo) states:
The six paramitas naturally will be present in them, though they cannot yet practice the six paramitas.
(Hokekyo, p. 43)
“The True Object of Worship” (“Kanjin no honzon-sho”) states:
The two ways of practice and the resulting virtues of Shakyamuni are inherent within the five characters of Myo-Ho-Ren-Ge-Kyo. If we embrace these five characters, we naturally will be bestowed with the benefits of his cause and effect. The four great men of learning heard this teaching and realized, “We can receive the benefit of the greatest treasure without even seeking it.”
(Gosho, p. 653)
The way to attain Buddhahood is different for those possessing the seed of Buddhahood in the Former and Middle Days of the Law, and those without the seed of Buddhahood in the Latter Day of the Law. A common mortal in the Latter Day of the Law can become a Buddha with this secret Law—Myoho-Renge-Kyo of the meaning hidden in the depths of the Life Span chapter. The only way to gain true happiness is to uphold Myoho-Renge-Kyo.
For this reason, it is imperative that the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood and laity try to help the people through shakubuku—teaching as many people as possible about the immeasurable benefits of the Dai-Gohonzon with strong confidence.
We all have been making strong progress toward the achievement of our great goals for the auspicious years of 2015 and 2021. The most important point is to exert ourselves with tireless energy to take action in doing shakubuku. We must overcome difficulties and put aside obstacles with absolute trust in the Dai-Gohonzon.
Therefore, we must chant abundant Daimoku. The benefits of chanting Daimoku and our tremendous joy are key, and will enable us to accomplish our vow when we conduct shakubuku. The benefit of chanting Daimoku provides us with great wisdom, strength, energy, and courage. Based on this, each and every word we speak will be stated with confidence, and we definitely will be able to move the hearts of others.
There are still two more months remaining this year, and I pray that each one of you will assiduously conduct shakubuku with great confidence.
The value of time is determined by its contents. We can spend our time for kosen-rufu or not; it is up to our actions from now on. The results certainly will influence our ability to attain Buddhahood or not.
I would like to conclude my address by asking the members of all chapters to exert themselves more than ever to achieve their shakubuku goal, by conducting shakubuku with unity between priesthood and laity, and keeping the spirit of itai-doshin. You definitely will be able to realize your goals if you don’t waste the precious and limited time remaining during these final two months. •