Next, let's observe the relationship between the true Buddhism and happiness or unhappiness in life. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is the only way to develop the superlative vitality called the Buddha nature in our life and achieve true happiness.Then, what if we go against the law involving the development of the Buddha nature? If we do so, it will be obscured and destroyed. Vitality will wither, as a result; one's business, health, and mental condition will reach a deadlock or deteriorate until the individual experiences anguish. This is the very root cause of unhappiness in life. The Buddhist term, "punishment," signifies the phenomena in our lives when we face a loss instead of a gain, or when we encounter negative instead of positive things.

Many people tend to grasp the idea of punishment unscientifically, as a punishment given by Buddha or by God. The punishment in Buddhism is not like this sort of superstition. It is based on the law of "cause and effect," and thus it is a matter of strictness. For example, traffic regulations are rules by which we live in our present society. Whether you know about traffic regulations or not, when you ignore the traffic lights, it will bring forth various negative phenomena, such as a car accident or fine. Even though one does not know the rules, the penalty is still the same. When we suffer a loss, no other person has caused the loss to happen, nor given a punishment. It is as though one has plunged oneself into unhappiness or loss.

In our everyday life, we have various laws such as a country's regulations and the collective common sense of the public. By going against these rules, one brings forth negative phenomena--an appropriate form of punishment. Punishment in Buddhism is basically a similar idea. That is, it is not something to be given, but is born out of one's own actions, and no one other than that person may receive it. Thus, no one who goes against the truth of Buddhism can evade numerous punishments or be saved from unhappiness. Whether they are aware of it or not, people disregarding the truth of Buddhism are continuously receiving various punishments, even if they look happy on the surface. These punishments can be financial losses, illness, family discord, the inability to make reasonable judgments and to think logically, abnormalities in personality, etc. Because of the accumulation of bad karma in one's whole lifetime, it is not unusual for a person who does not notice this grave fact or who notices but persists in disregarding it to develop mental illness or to die prematurely.