About Nichiren Shoshu
Buddhism was established by Shakyamuni Buddha in Lunbini 3,000 years ago. Although he expounded the Buddhist Law for a period of 50 years, it was not until the last eight years of his life that he taught the Lotus Sutra, his supreme revelation.
Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the ultimate truth hidden in the depths of the Lotus Sutra into the form of a mandala called Gohonzon, to serve as the focus of Buddhist faith and practice.The Daishonin teaches that when one faces Gohonzon and with sincere faith chants Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo , he will certainly actualize the life state of Buddhahood radically transforming the sufferings inherent within birth, old age, sickness and death, (not to mention physical, financial and interpersonal problems) into true happiness, without fail.
The Daishonin goes on to say that when the people of the world take faith in the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra, nature will become tranquil and disasters such as earthquakes, floods, famine, and pestilence will be controlled
The head temple of Nichiren Shoshu, called Taisekiji, is located at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Today, approximately 600 branch temples have been established throughout Japan, with an additional 29 temples located in other countries around the world where many people are practicing this Buddhism.
What is the Gohonzon?
What is Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo?
Each religion has its entity or principle to be revered and which specifically represents its teachings and doctrines. This focus of faith is supposed to be respected as most fundamental. In other words, it is that which one should take faith in and revere as the basis of one’s own life. This fundamental focus of faith in Nichiren Shoshu is the supreme and absolute objective reality to be revered, the Gohonzon, which was inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin and embodies the Buddha’s enlightened life itself.
When one wholeheartedly respects and believes in the Gohonzon while chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, his life and the Gohonzon’s deeply connect: subject and object fusing into one. As a result, the inherent Buddha nature hidden deep within one’s life can be brought forth. When one leads his daily life using this boundless life force of the Buddha as his own driving force, he can overcome all kinds of sufferings and problems such as illness and financial difficulties. This will lead to true happiness. One should always remember that he is practicing this Buddhism in order to achieve his own aspirations because if the Buddhist practice is done only out of a sense of obligation, then fusion with the Gohonzon is impossible and no benefit will be gained. On the other hand, good fortune naturally accumulates in the life of one who positively chants with heartfelt sincerity to Gohonzon.
If one’s focus of religious faith is of inferior quality or evil, then his life will be profoundly influenced by such low-grade religion and also be inferior in quality and filled with misfortune, suffering and stalemate. Although there are many kinds of doctrines in Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra, which was Shakyamuni Buddha’s final teaching, is the only teaching that reveals the entirety of the truth.
What will happen when one chants Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo?
When something bad happens, there are invariably reasons why. If one continues to do bad things without realizing the cause of misfortune, he will make evil causes or negative karma. Once one makes negative karma, it will come back to him without fail, which is to say, something bad will happen to him.
Buddhism teaches that each person’s life exists eternally, continually repeating birth and death throughout the past, present and future. This means everyone has made negative causes not only in this present life, but also in past existences. In order to eradicate this negative karma, it is essential for each of us to sincerely chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and thereby transform the cause for suffering into a powerful energy to attract good fortune. This good fortune will bring resolution to the problems plaguing humanity including: the transformation of illness into health, financial stalemate into security, and interpersonal conflict into harmony. Virtually, every area of life will be positively affected by the elevation of one’s fundamental life state and purification of karma through chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo.
What is negative karma?
Please imagine a dirty hose, which has been clogged with dirt over a long period of time. Even when one runs clear water through such a hose, only dirty water will flow out. The cause of one’s misfortune can be compared to this dirt accumulated in the hose. The dirt or the cause for misfortune was made by oneself alone. It is no one else’s fault or responsibility when misfortune occurs. When one faces the Gohonzon and chants Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo the dirt putting one’s life in a stalemate will be cleared. In the beginning, one may still see chunks of dirt discharged, but one day the filth will most definitely be exhausted and when it is, only pure clean water will flow. On the other hand, if one does not chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, the clogging dirt will continue to accrete, emitting a stench. In such a case, one will have lived his life in vain.
What is a benefit?
The purified body of a person, whose negative causes have been extinguished, is filled with positive energy. This energy attracts fortuitous conditions and provides unlimited power to achieve victory in all arenas of life. The more one chants Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo the greater this power grows and as a result, one can resolve absolutely any problem that may have previously been insurmountable.
What is Shakubuku?
By chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and eradicating his negative karma, a Nichiren Shoshu believer will enjoy actual benefits and resolve problems as they arise. When enjoying such good fortune, it is important to show one’s heartfelt appreciation to the Gohonzon.
It is only natural that once one receives such tremendous benefits he will want to tell his family and friends about this wonderful faith. Sharing the benefit of practicing true Buddhism with others is also the way to repay one’s debt of gratitude to the Gohonzon and the cause to accumulate positive virtues and gain stronger life force.
When one wishes those surrounding him to become happy and teaches them about this Buddhism, it is called shakubuku.
Examples of actual benefits
*Even after Nichiren Shoshu believers were diagnosed as having terminal cancer with just a few months to live, their tumors disappeared.
*Believers, who used to suffer from mental illnesses such as depression and panic disorder, have established mentally healthy and happy lives.
*Despite catastrophic car accidents, in which the automobiles were totally demolished, the Nichiren Shoshu drivers escaped without a scratch.
*One believer overcame hopeless financial difficulties and deep debts when his company’s sales skyrocketed 200 times its original volume!
*One believer, who would become violent when drunk, was unable to hold a job, abused his friends and family and lost all human relations. Despite all this, through this Buddhist practice he was able to overcome his alcoholism, save his family and friendships and open his own successful business.