Guidance from Sixty-eighth High Priest Nichinyo Shonin
On the Occasion of the August Kosen-rufu Shodai Ceremony
August 5, 2012
Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji
Good morning everyone!
On this occasion of the August 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.
In particular, I believe the Teen Group members, who are attending the First Hokkeko Teen Group Training Meeting, have gained valuable experience through their participation in today’s Kosen-rufu Shodai Ceremony. I earnestly hope that each of you will grow and develop, keeping today’s ceremony as a golden memory in your heart.
Recently, I went to Taiwan, to officiate the Ceremony for the Relocation and Completion of Myosho-in Temple in Giranken. I also attended the Fourth Taiwan Hokkeko General Meeting. I felt the same great energy from the believers in Taiwan as I did during my previous visit there. It was truly wonderful.
The Taiwan Hokkeko achieved 127 percent of its shakubuku goal last year. Each local temple in Taiwan accomplished its goal, which means that the entire Taiwan Hokkeko organization successfully fulfilled its mission.
During this visit, I learned that the members already have achieved 85 percent of their shakubuku goal for this year. I am convinced that all the local temples in Taiwan will accomplish their shakubuku goals without fail this year.
The Taiwan members are truly cheerful. This characteristic gives them a lot of energy. Because of this, they are able to progress in their shakubuku activities. I feel that both their cheerful natures and their energy are the source of their great power.
Certainly, there also are many Hokkeko chapters here in Japan that already have achieved their shakubuku goals for this year. Recently, a chapter tozan was conducted here at the Head Temple celebrating the shakubuku achievements of the chapter members. Each member of this chapter is like a mighty warrior, following the excellent teaching method of the chief priest of the temple. Among them, I heard that a female student in her sophomore year in high school, who received the Gojukai Ceremony last year, already has done shakubuku to ten people this year. Perhaps she is participating in today’s Shodai ceremony. Another member of this temple is an adult male who took faith in our teaching last year. He also has conducted shakubuku and already has led ten people to the Daishonin’s teaching this year. Both of these believers have just begun their practice.
These new members took faith only last year, but their behavior is proof that those who recently have received Gojukai can do shakubuku with a compassionate determination to save as many people as possible, if they have firm conviction that faith in the Daishonin’s true object of worship is the only way to gain true happiness.
Anyone can achieve shakubuku if one takes it very seriously. It is not necessary to discuss difficult concepts and principles when conducting shakubuku. The most important point is to teach others sincerely and confidently that the path to true happiness is none other than faith in the Gohonzon—the true object of worship of Nichiren Shoshu.
The distinguishing feature of each chapter that moves forward toward the achievement of its shakubuku goal is the energy of the members. They waste no time in taking action and have unshakeable confidence in the Gohonzon.
I feel that the foundation of this energy is Shodai—chanting Daimoku to the Gohonzon. Thus, the believers of the chapters that proceeded to accomplish their shakubuku goals have been chanting Daimoku vigorously. Through this, they have achieved great results in conducting shakubuku.
Regarding chanting Daimoku, the Daishonin states the following in “On the Six Difficult and Nine Easy Acts” (“Rokunan kui-sho”):
Even if one does not study the sutra, chanting the Daimoku alone is a tremendous good cause. [The Lotus Sutra states that] evil people, women, those of the worlds of animality and hell—those of all the ten worlds—will be able to attain enlightenment. This is analogous to a rock taken from the bottom of a river possessing the ability to ignite a fire, or a lamp having the ability to illuminate a place that has been dark for one hundred and ten million years. Such mysterious phenomena are found even in trivial matters of society, not to mention the mystic power of the Law of Buddhism.
(Gosho p. 1244)
In this passage, the Daishonin teaches that the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra—Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo—possesses great mystic power. Therefore, even if one chants the Daimoku based on faith alone, without understanding the meaning, this action is the good cause and the source of accumulating benefit. The Daishonin also states that all living beings in the ten worlds, including evil men, women, animals, and those who have fallen into the world of hell can attain enlightenment. It is just like the phenomenon of a rock taken from the bottom of a river igniting a fire, and a place that has been shrouded in darkness for one hundred and ten million years being illuminated by a single lamp. In fact, mysterious phenomena do occur in everyday life, such as a rock that contains the potential to ignite a fire and darkness changing to light. Therefore, there is no doubt that women, animals, and beings in the world of hell can attain enlightenment without fail, through the mystic power of Myoho-Renge-Kyo.
The Daishonin further states in “Attaining Enlightenment at the Initial Stage of Faith through the Lotus Sutra” (“Hokke shoshin jobutsu-sho”):
Myoho-Renge-Kyo signifies that the mystic Law (Myoho), to which all the Buddhas of the three existences are awakened, is fused and one with the Buddha nature inherent in us humans, as well as the Buddha nature of Bonten, Taishaku, and the other guardian deities; the Buddha nature of Shariputra, Maudgalyayana, and the other disciples of the two vehicles; the Buddha nature of Manjushri, Maitreya, and the other bodhisattvas. This principle is named Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Thus, once we chant Myoho-Renge-Kyo, this sound calls forth and manifests the Buddha nature of all Buddhas; all phenomena; all bodhisattvas; all people in the world of learning; all guardian deities, such as Bonten, Taishaku, King Emma, the sun and moon, innumerable stars, deities of the heavens and earth; and all living beings—including individuals in the worlds of hell, hunger, animality, anger, humanity, and rapture. The benefit of revealing this Buddha nature is immeasurable and unfathomable.
(Gosho, p. 1320)
The immeasurable and unfathomable benefit [of the mystic Law (Myoho)] will manifest through one’s faith and the verbal cause of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Therefore, all living beings, including those who have descended into the world of hell by accumulating evil karma, will be able to attain enlightenment through the great power of the mystic Law (Myoho).
By sowing the seed of the immeasurable mystic Law through doing shakubuku, we can lead others to gain the benefit of attaining Buddhahood in their present form. Thus, we always must remember that this is the best way to uphold the aspiration of the True Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin.
The priests and lay believers of Nichiren Shoshu have been making concerted efforts, in the spirit of itai doshin, to advance toward the achievement of our goals for 2015 and 2021.
At this crucial time, let all of us—men and women of all ages—awaken a strong sense of our mission to advance kosen-rufu and take action. Then, we bravely must exert ourselves to our full potential and do shakubuku, based on the benefit and joy of chanting Daimoku, while conducting Shodai more than ever. I would like to conclude my address by praying from the bottom of my heart that all Hokkeko chapters will achieve their shakubuku goals this year without fail, in order to repay our debt of gratitude to the three treasures. •