The Liturgy of

Nichiren Shoshu
Nichiren Shoshu Head Temple
Taiseki-ji Edition

Introduction To Gongyo
The Significance of Gongyo
In Nichiren Shoshii, the most important signifi-
cance of Gongyo can be found within the titles
and meanings of the actual sentences of the
Silent Prayers, The First Prayer is an offering to the
Shoten Zenjin, who are nourished by the flavor of
the Law of My6ho-Renge-Ky6, The Second Prayer
is an offering to the Dai-Gohonzon, the only true
and absolute, o11hodox Object of Worship of the
Essential Teachings, which is the embodiment of
the Person and the Law. We conduct the Third
Prayer as an offering to the Treasure of the Buddha.
Nichiren Daish6nin and the Treasure ofthe Priest-
Nikk6 Sh6nin, Nichimoku Shonin and all the other
successive High Priests of Nichiren Sh6shl1. In the
Fourth Prayer, we pray for the attainment of the
Great Aspiration of Kosen-rufu, the eradication of
our past slanders against the Law and our enlight-
enmentin this andall future lives. In the Fifth Praver
weprayforall ofourdeceascdancestors. c o m m e ~ c ­
ing with our fathers, mothers, hrothers and sisters,
and conclude with prayers for the salvation of all
existence.
The second Significance of doing Gongyo is the
offering of our sincere requitals of gratitude to the
Three Treasures of the Buddha. the Law and the
i
Priest, We offer the Second and Third Prayers in
order to repay our debt of gratitude to the Three
Treasures. The Fourth Prayer is to pray for the
salvation of, and repay our debt of gratitude to
all existence, as well as to pray for the attainment
of Kosen-rufu. The Fifth Prayer correlates to our
repaying of our debt of gratitude to our parents,
ancestors and again, all existence.
The third Significance is that it is only this Gongyo
which is based on the transmission of the inheri-
tance and ceremonies (kegi) of the Daishonin'5
Buddhism. It is the basis of faith for the only truly
significant practice in the age of llJappo, as taught
by the Buddha.
The fourth Significance is that when we do Gongy6,
we bathe ourselves in the benefits ofthe Gohonzon
and develop life conditions of happiness. Gongy6
is the source and generative power through which
we attain Buddhahood.
The fifth significance is that through our daily prac-
tice ofGongyo, we are able to polish our minds and
bodies, eradicate the slanders from our impure and
sullied hearts and bodies, and transform our lives,
purifying the six senses. Herein lies the importance
of Gongy6,
We carry out our practice of Gongy6 as disciples
ii
and believers of Nichiren Daishonin, understand-
ing and basing our practice on the aforementioned
significances, thereby amassing great fortune in
our lives while striving for the accomplishment of
the Daishonin's original aspiration for Kosen-rufu.
Attitude and Posture During Gongyo
One should have a correct appearance, posture
and attitude when offering the recitation of
Gongyo and Daimoku to the Gohonzon. One
may sit either in the traditional Japanese "setza"
fashion, cross-legged in western style, or in a
chair. However, what is important to remem-
ber is that no matter which style one chooses,
Gongyo should always be done out of profound
respect for the Gohonzon. Therefore, one should
sit up straight, placing the right and left hands
together centrally on the chest in prayer, with
both elbows resting evenly against the sides of
the body. If one prefers to use a chair, then both
feet should be properly touching the ground.
One should not sit in such casual manners as sit-
ting askew, having legs crossed or the like.
Wben reciting Daimoku or Gongyo, eyes should be
focused on the character"My() ,. in the center ofthe
Gohonzon; one's voice should have a speed that is
properly matched to the rhythm of one's breathing
and be of a medium volume. One should chant
iii
strongly and correctly, dearly pronouncing each
word, syllable and letter. Wl1en reading the Silent
Prayers, one should fully concentrate on Sincerely
offering these prayers to the Gohonzon.
During Gongyo. it sometimes occurs that one
has random or distracted thoughts. However, we
need not be swayed by such thoughts, but should
rather have strong confidence that if we practice
this Buddhist training 10 this marvelous Gohonzon
with correct faith, without a doubt, we will all be
able to manifest the greatest of benefits in our
lives. Day by day, we should carry out our practice
with a fresh spirit, and put forth our utmost effort
to do the best and most concentrated Gongyo
possible.
As a standard rule, we conduct Gongyo twice daily,
once in the morning and once in the evening.
Wbile there is no set or particular time that we
must do Gongyo, we should choose a time that is
most convenient according to lifestyle, and exert
ourselves to make Gongyo the most important
aspect of daily life.
iv
Pronunciation Guide
Here is a guide to Japanese pronunciation.
Vowels Consonants
a as in father ch as in cherry
e as in let g as in go
as in machine as in just
0,0 as in post s as in say
u,u as in rule sh as in shell
y as in yes ts as in gets
ai as in "I" z as in needs
ui as in Louie r as in the
ei as in "lei" Spanish name
Ricardo
'h' is always sounded-notethe differencebetween
yaku and hyaku. Long marks over the 0 (0) and u
eli) do not change their pronunciation, but indicate
a spelling differentiation in Japanese. The sign, ,
indicates the elision of two words or syllables, e.g.,
on pg. 1, "but chi-e" is an elision of "butsu chi-e."
Onpage 22, at the beginningofthe "Jigage" section,
the first syllable ofthe elidedword"bud'···· rai" is pro-
nouncedlike the tlrst syllable ofthe word "Buddha,"
except that the "d'" is clipped short. Hyphens
are used to divide words into one beat syllables.
There will generally be one Chinese character per
beat in the rhythm of Gongyo, with the following
exceptions:
v
\,-c
~ ;;g
shari - hotsu ( two beats)
i.PJ. ~
hara - mitsu (two beats)
f ~ i 1 J j ;
shaka
S (41\
muni - butsu (three beats)
,Cr :fi
Siiigi, p.22 (one beat)
Because each syllable or group of syllables is a
word or phrase which contains profound meaning,
mispronunciation of a word will change the mean-
ing of the sutra. Hence, each syllable should be
pronounced separately and distinctly. Words have
been hyphenated to aid rhythm and pronuncia-
tion. These instructions are intended as guidelines.
To master Gongyo, there is no substitute for learn-
ing from one who has mastered it.
vi
How to do Gongyo
Gongyo consists of a series of prayers. Recite
all five prayers in the morning. In the evening,
recite the second. third and fifth prayers only. For
convenience, the sutra book is divided into four
sections:
A Excerpt from the Hoben chapter, p. 1-4.
B - Chogyo or prose section of the Jury() chapter,
p. 5-22.
C -Jigage or verse section of the Juryo chapter, p.
22-31.
D -Silent Prayers, p. 32-37.
Here is the order of recitation.
First Prayer
Face the Gohonzon, chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-
Kyo three times (Daimoku Sansho), bowing
in reverence to the Three Treasures of True
Buddhism (the True Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin,
the True Law, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and the
Priest, i.e., Nikko Shonin, Nichimoku Shonin and
each of the successive High Pliests). Face east,
chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo three times, bow,
and recite part A. The portion of part A from
"Sbo-i s!Jo-!JiY to "nyo ze bon-makku-kyo to" is
always repeated three times. Bow after the third
recitation. Recite the title of the Juryo chapter
uit
(first twO lines of pal't B), omit remainder of part
B and recite part C, bowing at the end of part C.
Chant three prolonged Daimoku (Hiki-Daimoku,
which is pronounced Namu-Myoho·Renge-Kyo,
i.e.. chant Namu, breath, chant JVlyoho-Renge-
Ky{), Namu, breath, chant Myoho-Renge-Kyo,
Namu, breath. chant My{)hf)-Renge-Kyo). Bow.
chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo three times and
while bowed. offer the tlrst Silent Prayer. (I11e
bell is not rung during the first prayer.)
Second Prayer
Face the Gohonzon, sound bell seven times.
Recite part A, sound bell three times. Recite
parts B, C, chant three prolonged Daimoku and
bow. Sound bell tlve times, chant Nam-Myoho-
Renge-Kyo three times. bow and offer the second
Silent Prayer. This is the only time that the whole
sutra is recited straight through. (The places indi-
cated for bowing in the first prayer are the same
for all five prayers. The number of times the bell
should be struck is always the same as indicated
above, except as indicated in the fifth prayer.)
Third Prayer
Sound bell, recite part A. Sound bell. recite first
two lines of part B, omit remainder of B and recite
part C. Chant three prolonged Daimoku, sound
bell, chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Ky6 three times,
viii
and offer the third Silent Prayer.
Fourth Prayer
Sound hell, recite part A. Sound hell, recite first
two lines of part B, omit remainder of B and recite
part C. Chant three prolonged Daimoku, sound
bell, chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo three times,
and offer the fourth Silent Prayer.
Fifth Prayer
Sound bell, recite part A. Sound bell, recite first
two lines of part B, omit remainder of B and recite
part C. Sound bell seven times while beginning
the chanting of Daimoku (Nam-Myoho-Renge-
Kyo). To end the recitation ofDaimoku, sound bell
with each syllable of the last Myoho-Renge-Kyo
and bow. Chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo three
more times, and while bowed, offer the fifth Silent
Prayer. Sound hell and conclude Gongyo by chant-
ing Nam-My6ho-Renge-Kyo three times and bow-
ing.
i:x
The Liturgy of
Nichiren Shoshu
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27 28
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29
tic
I ji 0- shi ko.
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Ho -itsu jaku go-yoku .
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30
Silent Prayers t,-

-3;Q

Ga jo chi shu-jo.
,':;'-
fr
"'"7
First Prayer
Gyodo fu gyo do.
Offering to the Shoten Zenjin
i' \\ 2-
L" -

pfT
I!t
Zui o sho ka do.
I sincerely pray that Daibontenno,
i Lft iii
Taishakutenno, Dainittenno, Daigattenno,
I ses -- shu -ju ho.
Daimyojotenno and aU the other Shoten
l' L - -tf-
Zenjin, sworn guardians of the Lotus Sutra,
§=l 0
may increasingly be nourished by the power
Mai ji sa ze nen.
oL\1.yoh6-Renge-Kyo, so that they will be able
0
tocontinuaUyprotect thosewho embrace True
I ga ryo shu-jo.
Buddhism.
-j t,'- t -')
A )]:0
Toku nyu mu-jo-do.
Chant: Nam-1'41yoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-
Ii 0
iHyoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
Soku jo - ju bus-shin.
32
31
Second Prayer
Offering to the Dai-Gohonzon
I express my sincere devotion to the Oai-
Gohonzon-the soul of the ]uryo chapter of
the Essential Teachings and the Supreme Law
concealed within its depths, the fusion of the
realm of the Original Infmite Law and the
inherent wisdom within the Buddha of Kuon
Ganjo, the manifestation of the Buddha of
Intrinsically Perfect Wisdom, the etemal coex-
istence ofthe TenW orIds, the entity of Ichinen
Sanzen, the oneness of the Person and the
Law, and the Supreme Object of Worship of
the High Sanctuary. I also express my heartfelt
gratitude for Its beneficence and pray that Its
profound benevolent power may ever more
widely prevaiL
Chant: Nam-Myobo-Renge-Kyo, Nam-
Myobo-Renge-Kyo, Nam-Alyobo-Renge-Kya
33
Third Prayer
Offering to Nichiren Daishonin and
the Successive High Priests
I express my sincere devotion to the Founder of
True Buddhism, Nichiren Daishonin. the bound-
lessly compassionate Buddha who revealed the
True Cause of Original Enlightenment; who pos-
sesses the Three Enlightened Properties, and whose
Three Enlightened Properties comprise His single
being; whose beneficence transcends the Three
Existences; and who possesses the Three Virtues of
sovereign, teacher, and parent. I also express my
heartfelt grJtitude for His beneficence and pray
that His profound benevolent power may ever more
widely prevaiL
Cbant: Nam-illyobo-Renge-Kyo, Nam-
Myobo-Renge-Kyo, Narn-Atlyobo-Renge-Kyo
I express my sincere devotion to the Second High
Priest Byakuren Ajari Nikko Shonin, the first among
the Treasure of the Priest and the Great Master
of Propagation who directly received the Living
Essence of the True Buddha from Nichiren Daishi:inin.
I also express my heartfelt gratitude for His benefi-
cence and pray that His profound benevolent power
may ever more widely prevaiL
Cbant: Nam-lvlyobo-Renge-Kyo, Nam-
Alyl5bo-Renge-Kyo, Nanh'l;Iyoho-Renge-Kyo
34
I express my sincere devotion to the Third
High Priest Niidakyo Ajari Nichimoku Shonin,
the Master of the Seat of the Law, who
directly inherited the Living Essence from
Nikko Shonin. I also express my heartfelt
gratitude for His beneficence and pray that
His profound benevolent power may ever
more widely prevail.
(Silently): Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-
jlJyohi5-Renge-Kyo,
I express my sincere devotion to the Fourth
HighPriestNichido Shon1n, theFifth HighPriest
Xichigyo Shonin and all the successive High
Priests, who have inherited andcorrectly hand-
ed down the Living Essence. I also express my
heartfelt gratitude for Their beneficence and
pray that Their profound benevolent power
may ever more widely prevail.
Chant: Nam-iHyohi5-Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myohi5-
Renge-Kyo,
35
Fourth Prayer
Prayer For Worldwide Propagation
I sincerely pray for the attainment of the Great
Aspiration of the True Buddha - Kosen-rufu,
the worldwide propagation of the Buddhism
oftheTrue Cause through the power ofMyoho-
Renge-Kyo.
Chant: Narn-Myoho-
Renge-Kyo, Narn-ltIyobo-Renge-Kyo
I pray to eradicate my many past and present
slanders against the taw, and to continually
purify and deepen my faith and practice so
that I may attain enlightenment in this and all
future existences.
(Olfer personal prayers here.)
Chant: Nam-llJyoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-i},lyoho-
Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
36
Fifth Prayer
Memorial Prayers for the Deceased
I pray that all my deceased relatives, all
deceased Nichiren Shoshu believers, and all
others who have departed this life may attain
Buddhahood through the power of Myoh6-
Renge-Kyo. Nam-Myoh6-Renge-Kyo.
(Offer special memorial prayers while
sounding the bell continuously.)
Chant: Nam-llfyoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myoho-
Renge-Kyo, Nal1hlfyoho-Renge-Kyo
May the impartial benefits of Myoh6-Renge-
Kyo spread equally to the farthest reaches
of the universe so that I, together with all
other existence, may attain the tranquil state
of enlightened life.
Chant: Nam-illyoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myoho-
Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myohi5-Renge-KJlo
37

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