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Pg. 1 Introduction to P. Ikeda’s Lecture on The True Aspect of All Phenomena Pg. 3 P. Ikeda’s Lectures to the High School Division Pg. 5 Pubs CD Search: President Ikeda quoting from WND, 385
Selected Lectures on the Gosho by SGI President Ikeda
1. The True Aspect of All Phenomena — Shoho Jisso Sho
Spirit of Buddhist Study SLG, 13 Seeing the sun of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism rise among each of us, I would like to speak to you about Shoho Jisso Sho (The True Aspect of All Phenomena) with prayers for the good health of each of you. First, let me recount a story that relates to the Soka Gakkai’s study movement as it opens the way for the “religion of man.” It concerns Kumarajiva (344-409 A.D.) of Kucha in Central Asia. He was responsible for great waves of Buddhist thought which flowed across China over a thousand years ago. As you know, he was a priest who completed the unexcelled translation of the Lotus Sutra from Sanskrit into Chinese, and he rendered the sutra’s title and essence as Myoho-renge-kyo. However, what moves me more than his work is the passion with which he went to China and dedicated his entire life to the transmission of the true spirit of Buddhism. It is said that Kumarajiva was over fifty when he entered Ch’angan, after long years of hardship. That was the starting point of his struggle to fulfill the purpose he had long cherished. From then on, the hard work of passing on the Buddhist teachings started. He carried out his translation work at a great pace, as if all the power pent up within him were released all at once. Hearing of his arrival, priests came from every district in China to form a great religious order under him. It is said that he ended his days eight or twelve years later, and that during this period more than three hundred volumes of sutras were translated at the tremendous speed of two or SLG, 14 three a month. His enterprise was a vivid movement of Buddhist study that went far beyond translation. According to the prefaces of various scriptures he translated, a large number of capable people — eight hundred on one occasion and two thousand on another — gathered around him to engage in the translation effort. Carrying the translated sutras with him, Kumarajiva unfolded his interpretation of Buddhism before these audiences. He elucidated each teaching clearly and thoroughly, explaining why the wording of a sutra had been rendered in such a way and wherein the true meaning lay. He patiently answered many questions from the people assembled under him until they truly understood the meaning of each sutra. One would think he had devoted decades to these difficult translations, confined to his study with nothing but dictionaries around him, but that was not the way he worked. He worked with the people, acutely sensing their innermost feelings as he carried on discussions about Buddhism with them. His translation of the Lotus Sutra was the fruit of this broad and sensitive approach. I am convinced this is why Kumarajiva was able to produce such a smooth and still accurate rendition of the sutra’s original meaning. No matter how important or valuable the teachings of Buddhism may be, if they cannot be correctly understood, they will never become part of the lives of the people. Philosophy’s true value can only shine through communication between people and in their daily experience. Without the work of Kumarajiva and his group to propagate the sutras, the development of Buddhism and its flowering with T’ien-t’ai in China and Dengyo in Japan could never have taken place. I do not want simply to praise the greatness of Kumarajiva and his mission, but to suggest what we can learn from the way he approached his mission and apply it to our own SLG, 15 study of Buddhism. He devoted himself to dialogue with the people, always remaining among them. In a sense we are the Kumarajivas of today. He helped introduce the Buddhist scriptures from India to China through translation, and the Kumarajivas of this day must bring to life the seven-hundred year-old scripture of the Latter Day of the Law by introducing it and propagating it to people of modern times. Our
Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5, 2006
And we unfold Buddhism through dialogue. With the Gosho as our sutra. He carried on in the same spirit as Shakyamuni. or true Mahayana. to reveal the teaching to some and keep it secret to others at the same time. In the latter. are: 1) tonkyo. The True Aspect of All Phenomena is a comparatively short Gosho. filled with the understanding that comes from direct confrontation with the suffering that is an inseparable part of every man’s existence. It lives in human society and has been handed down among the people — this is the true flow of Buddhism. That is why the sutras consist of questions and answers throughout. The truth is that Shakyamuni taught in the form of encouragement to poverty-stricken people — to an old woman afflicted with illness. he revealed the core of Buddhist practice SLG. Nichiren has herein committed to writing the teachings of his own enlightenment. explaining the Gohonzon from the viewpoint of the Law. lower provisional Mahayana teachings. The first are: 1) zokyo. in other words. 2) zenkyo. During the last period Shakyamuni expounded the Lotus Sutra. When someone speaks of the many sutras taught by Shakyamuni or their classification by T’ien-t’ai into five periods and eight teachings1. not escapist. Hannya and Hokke-Nehan periods. but there is something significant in what that scholar said. the supreme object of devotion. 17 in the Latter Day of the Law by explaining the Dai-Gohonzon. to reveal the teaching gradually. questions and answers.. clarified the significance of hohonzon. that is. Nichiren Daishonin. All his sutras were the natural result of his lifelong devotion to the people. Buddhism is intensely practical. To think of Buddhism as a placid teaching expounded in a bucolic setting under the shade of a tree is a totally false image. The voluminous Gosho we study is the crystallization of the Daishonin’s continuous struggle to save the people through hundreds of letters and thousands of dialogues. it sounds as though Shakyamuni preached according to some detailed.. the Lotus Sutra. The second. and the way for all people to attain enlightenment. By all means keep these matters to yourself. a division by method of teaching. One extremist Buddhist scholar goes so far as to say that Shakyamuni did not expound Buddhism. In the postscript Nichiren Daishonin wrote. we use the forms each occasion requires — lectures. and 4) fujokyo. 3) bekkyo. to reveal the teaching to make it understood at various levels.” It then reveals the essence of the Lotus Sutra — Myoho-renge-kyo and its embodiment. and personal guidance. and 4) engyo. He did not confine himself to a library to write the Gosho but talked and wrote right at the site of his battle — among the people. to reveal the teaching of enlightenment directly. The same is true with Nichiren Daishonin. fully revealing his enlightenment. the Gohonzon. “Those I have revealed to you in this letter are especially important.. 1273). These are what were finally compiled in the form of the sutras we have today. The teachings of Shakyamuni sprang from his disciples’ memories and records of his talks with the people and his behavior among them. 3) himitsutyo. “The true aspect of all phenomena [can only be understood and shared between Buddhas. Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. The five periods are the Kegon... Shakyamuni Buddha also expounded his teachings among the people. This reality consists of the appearance. 1273. 2) tsugyo. sharing their joys and sorrows until he passed away. The True Aspect of All Phenomena begins with a passage from the Expedient Means chapter — the heart of the theoretical teaching (shakumon) of the Lotus Sutra — which reads. prearranged system. Of course there can be no question that Shakyamuni gave birth to Buddhism. higher provisional Mahayana teachings.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 2 study movement follows the same pattern as Kumarajiva’s. He fought for the people. After elucidating the ultimate teaching 1 T’ien-t’ai’s classification of Shakyamuni’s teachings according to the order and content of their preaching. the accumulation of every compassionate word he spoke to alleviate the pain of people oppressed by the cruel caste system. 2006 . a month after he wrote The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind (April 25. nature . The eight teachings are subdivided into two groups: four teachings of keho (doctrine) and four teachings of kegi (method).” Nichiren Daishonin wrote this Gosho on May 17. and] their consistency from beginning to end. in terms of the Law (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo). Agon. talking with them and writing them individual letters of encouragement. or warm encouragement to a youth in the grip of deep spiritual suffering. Hodo. 16 felt her pain as his own and carried her on his back. The teachings he left still shine. but it contains important elements of the Daishonin’s Buddhism. as if he SLG. Hinayana teachings. keeping in direct touch with the hearts of the people.
apart from his lectures on the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Daishonin suggests that he is the incarnation of Bodhisattva Superior Practices. 8. giving them guidance and working as the guideline for our activities. Then too. Nichiren Daishonin reveals the prime object of reverence to the people of the Latter Day. 1. 18 Gosho reveals clearly and concisely the profound essence and practice of Buddhism for the Latter Day of the Law. was originally published in 1977. I have heard that our first president.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 3 of the Lotus Sutra the Daishonin declares that only Bodhisattva Superior Practices. High School Division Lectures on The True Aspect of All Phenomena Chapter 2 — Young Phoenixes On Jan. this Gosho has continued to have special importance in deepening the members’ faith. In the latter half of this Gosho. the Daishonin predicts that kosen-rufu will be attained in the future. In the final analysis. let us go on to explore The True Aspect of All Phenomena in greater depth. explaining the Gohonzon in terms of the Person. can propagate it. But a deeper understanding lets us know that the Daishonin is the Buddha who is to establish the Dai-Gohonzon for the salvation of the people of the Latter Day and the original Buddha of kuon ganjo. this SLG. With these comments as a brief introduction. Superficially. In terms of both the Person and Law. The translation or use of Japanese words in the book reflects the conventions of that time. A majority of the high school division was made up of “second-generation” Soka Gakkai members. 2006 . In commemoration of the 46th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding . They had become members almost unknowingly when their parents joined the organization. Vol. I myself have given frequent lectures on The True Aspect of All Phenomena to the high school division and selected members of the headquarters staff. two days after the high school division meeting. Shin’ichi had been thinking of doing this for some time and had informed High School Division Leader Masaya Ueno of his intention the previous autumn. practice and study. Thus. I was one of those present at that time. But every time I read this Gosho. When you refer to the book. this Gosho contains the main points expounded in The Opening of the Eyes (nin-honzon) and elaborated on in The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind (ho-honzon). Consequently. we hope these edits assist in presenting the material in a more updated form. Shin’ichi began lectures on Nichiren Daishonin’s writings for representatives of the high school young men’s and young women’s division members. The book Selected Lectures on the Gosho. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. I revised my many lectures on this Gosho and set them in context of our era. I am always impressed and moved anew at the strength and depth of Nichiren Daishonin’s conviction. and that the Daishonin himself was carrying out the mission entrusted to Bodhisattva Superior Practices. moreover. very few of them had any personal experience of overcoming difficulties or illness through faith. Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. you will encounter the original wording. and concludes by setting down the core of Buddhist practice throughout the Latter Day on into eternity — the way of faith. the first Gosho on which President Josei Toda lectured before a small group of disciples was The True Aspect of All Phenomena. Thus. in this Gosho the Daishonin also reveals nin-honzon. but if you are using this file as a resource for a presentation. Note: The text boxes and nearby word in blue font are intended to identify the first word on the page indicated. SF Research Group has chosen to make some edits to the text in this file to reflect conventions that are used in 2006. Because we in the Soka Gakkai stress the need for people to return to the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin as the prime point in their lives. constantly gave guidance to people by referring to this Gosho.
the high school division members gathered in the main hall on the third floor of the Soka Gakkai Headquarters with their school bags in tow. At the time. The only study material available was a portion of a lecture included in President Yamamoto’s Collected Editorials and Lectures. But the high school division members. the young woman began to study in preparation for President Yamamoto’s lecture. so does one’s comprehension of the teachings.” When Ueno. 8. he would hold monthly lectures on the Daishonin’s writings for them. but none of the young women she knew had a copy. but they found the content quite challenging. he was overjoyed when he heard that the high school division members would also have an opportunity to learn directly from Shin’ichi. They were filled with a mixture of excitement. Shin’ichi selected “The True Aspect of All Phenomena” as the writing they would study. though. I thought that even if we couldn’t leave you anything of material value. but he felt it was a good choice because it presented the essential teachings of Nichiren Buddhism in a concise manner. President Yamamoto arrived just after 1:30. One young woman who would be participating in the upcoming lecture series was eager to get her hands on that book. a complete lecture on “The True Aspect of All Phenomena” had yet to be published. “We may be poor. it was crucial that they study Buddhist doctrine. was a Saturday. he was worried that the lectures might be too difficult for them. but I have always tried to buy Soka Gakkai publications. Many of them were stumped by the opening phrase. but I want to give you an opportunity to challenge yourselves. Some 50 boys and 50 girls were chosen from among the members in the Tokyo metropolitan area to attend the lectures. Shin’ichi decided that to foster the real growth of the high school division members. she received a surprising answer: “We have a copy right here. while in exile on Sado Island. The Daishonin wrote this letter to Sairen-bo Nichijo in May 1273. Jan. asked for volunteers to read the passage.” Shin’ichi responded. At the same time. They could not figure out why it was referred to here as “the first. I’m so happy that they’ll now be of use to you!” With tears of gratitude for her mother. Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. Thinking of that. the day of the first lecture. Ueno had participated in lectures on the “Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings” by Shin’ichi as a representative of the student division in the past. Understanding Buddhist principles gives rise to faith. The members put considerable effort into preparing for the lecture. did not know that it was the volume number that “the first” referred to.] Shin’ichi realized that it might be a little difficult for high school students. [Sairen-bo was a former Tendai priest who was also exiled to Sado Island for some reason and became a follower of the Daishonin in February 1272. the lecture began. The confusion arose because they knew from reciting the sutra that the “Expedient Means” chapter was actually the second chapter of the Lotus Sutra.” After their sutra recitation. The experience had become a golden treasure of his life. 2006 . I’ll follow up with my lecture as an explanation. which seemed to refer to the “Expedient Means” chapter of the Lotus Sutra as “the first” [in the original Japanese text].” her mother said. Shin’ichi said to the participants: “I could do everything myself. and as faith increases. The energetic voices of the young phoenixes rang out with a resounding “Hello!” “Thank you for coming. and that the “Expedient Means” chapter was in the first of those. resuming after winter vacation. I want you to read the passage aloud first and then paraphrase what you’ve read in modern Japanese.” It was a fairly rudimentary problem. After the half-day of school typical on Saturdays. When she asked her mother what she should do. expectation and nervousness. who was acting as the moderator. unaware even that the Lotus Sutra consisted of eight volumes. beginning in January. “Let’s start by reciting the sutra. It was also the day of the start of thirdterm classes.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 4 In order for these young people to deepen their conviction in Buddhism. the hands of everyone in the room shot up. we could at least leave you with books that would help deepen your faith.
you return home in a good mood. then the way you respond to your environment will also change. In light of the principle of the oneness of life and its environment. their community. It stems from the desire to control and conquer others. to have power — and from hatred and antipathy. you can change your environment. 9. Or you may find that you enjoy your meals more. however. “This is why it is crucial that we establish a correct philosophy of life and strive to transform the way of life and thinking of humanity. a student at a prestigious Tokyo metropolitan public high school. 137-42 PubSearch President Ikeda quoting from WND. He had practiced reading it aloud a total of 130 times in preparation. One in Mind: The Victorious Solidarity of Comrades in Faith Dedicated to an Eternal Vow Morinaka: The Lotus Sutra repeatedly teaches that after the Buddha’s passing. pp. and the environment itself will change as well. and they may even increase your allowance. or oneself. he said: “The e of esho refers to eho. The 90-minute lecture seemed to end in an instant. Even the growing problem of environmental pollution is the product of greed of people in modern society. and they all read with confidence. Shin’ichi closed by saying: “Please do your best not only in studying the Daishonin’s writings but in your school studies as well. which is the subject. right? The way your parents look at you may also change. 2006 . War is essentially caused by the human mind. which means that by changing yourself. That’s why human revolution is the foundation for world peace. The relentless pursuit of convenience and wealth by people who have forgotten the importance of living in harmony with nature is a major cause of this issue.” Shin’ichi became more passionate as he spoke: “If one person stands up with earnest faith and shines with strong life force and wisdom. or even the nation. This is human revolution. It was the Daishonin who practiced in this exact manner. He did. make a conscious effort to link the teachings to the high school students’ actual lives. in the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law. They were. which changes how you feel there. For example. so that they would acquire more than just a conceptual understanding.” The New Human Revolution. Watching the students giving their all. the Lotus Sutra should be spread with a spirit of selfless devotion. The environment and oneself are inseparable. He addressed them as he had the leaders of the young men’s and young women’s divisions and representatives of the student division during their lectures. Vol. “When you study hard and achieve good grades in school. Others followed. or the environment that surrounds us. Sho is short for shoho. This is what is meant by the oneness of life and its environment. more adept at reading the passage than the student division members Shin’ichi had lectured on the “Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings” and “One Hundred and Six Comparisons” had been. when explaining the oneness of life and its environment (Jpn esho funi). they can transform their family. I initiated this lecture series for the sake of your futures. his voice strong and vigorous. 385  Many in Body. Listening to the high school division members read the passage and hearing their excellent paraphrasing. it is clear that the destruction of the environment leads directly to the suffering of human beings. If your inner reality — your life — changes. We must also strive to make the heart of the Lotus Sutra and the Daishonin’s spirit our own.” The eyes of the pure-hearted young phoenixes sparkled with excitement as they learned about the profound philosophy of Buddhism. He read the passage with ease. Shin’ichi could feel their pure seeking spirits and their determination to respond to his expectations. Shin’ichi decided that there was no need to simplify his lectures for them.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 5 Ueno chose Shigeo Asada. in fact. Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5.
no matter who they are. T’ien-t’ai or Dengyo!” (WND. Morinaka: The Daishonin asserts that all those who exert themselves in their practice with the “same mind” as himself. be they men or women. And if you are a Bodhisattva of the Earth. 765). The sutra states. no matter what hardships they encounter. “distinction” might also connote a vanguard or forerunner. In “The True Aspect of All Phenomena. chanting and teaching others. On that model. Nichiren. It was these efforts that led to the existence of the harmonious community of practitioners of “disciples of Nichiren. and surpass even Mahakashyapa or Ananda. At first only Nichiren chanted Nam-myohorenge-kyo. a hundred people and so on. Those who. three. Does this not signify ‘emerging from the earth’?” (WND. pp. I’d like to discuss the significance of the Daishonin’s reference to his accurate predictions as a “distinction. they could not chant the daimoku.’2 There should be no discrimination among those who propagate the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo in the Latter Day of the Law. At this point.” he writes: “Now at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law. 21-2]  The Daishonin’s “Three Instances of Gaining Distinction” and the Fulfillment of His Predictions Morinaka: So far in our discussion. 385). he persisted in sharing the teaching with two people. 3.” The World of Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings. “Nichiren alone took the lead in carrying out the task of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth” (WND. but then two. no matter what. am the first to embark on propagating. “Three times now I have gained distinction by having such knowledge [of future events]” (WND. we have confirmed the content of the Daishonin’s “three instances of gaining distinction” based on “The Selection of the Time” and other writings. chapter 15. The term distinction includes a sense of pride in leading the way for the enlightenment of all people. Were they not Bodhisattvas of the Earth. 142-3 [LB1002. Nichiren Daishonin stood alone as the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. and a hundred followed.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 6 Saito: Those who carry on Nichiren Daishonin’s spirit and practice and exert themselves for kosen-rufu are genuine disciples. The World of Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings. 385). which are the heart of the Lotus Sutra and the eye of all Buddhas. Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well. It is an exhortation that to be “of the same mind” as the Daishonin means to make this spirit our own. 579). are Bodhisattvas of the Earth. form your ranks and follow me. or the meritorious deeds and achievements whereby fame and honor are earned. Ikeda: Most prized in the warrior culture of the time were achievements leading the way in battle and the honor gained thereby. Ikeda: Prior to this passage. throughout Jambudvipa. Nichiren Daishonin uses terms such as the first and the lead in reference to his efforts to lead the way for the enlightenment of all people as the forerunner of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Vol. I. 34-5] 2 3 Lotus Sutra. In many of his writings.” he says. In “The Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra. continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the happiness of themselves and others. July 5. 2006 Translation updates by SF Research Group .. ‘Ever since the long distant past I have been teaching and converting this multitude.” the Daishonin says: “Now. you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth. there is not the slightest doubt that you have been a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha from the remote past. If you are of the same mind as Nichiren. three people. 91-2 [LB0903. My disciples. in this evil age of the Latter Day of the Law. and remain my disciple for the rest of your life..”3 Saito: The Japanese term here translated as “distinction” generally means fame or honor. strive in faith and be known as a votary of the Lotus Sutra. The Daishonin teaches that the act of spreading the teaching while enduring persecution constitutes proof. are Bodhisattvas of the Earth who have been entrusted with propagation. While enduring a succession of persecutions of various kinds. the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. Vol. 1. pp.. In “The True Aspect of All Phenomena. the Daishonin describes his compassionate spirit to spread the teaching while fearlessly enduring persecution by the three powerful enemies.
three. Saito: The Daishonin wrote many important treatises and letters. Saito: We could say that shakubuku is the specific action necessary to achieve these ends. Anyone can cause the flower of Myoho-renge (lotus of the Mystic Law) to blossom in the soil of his or her heart. Buddhism enables people to develop their capacity for good actions and to defeat the fundamental ignorance that scorns the sanctity and dignity of human life. pg 118-20 [LB1003. Nevertheless. it is vital that such genuine disciples emerge. Does this not signify ‘emerging from the earth’?” (WND. that if they did so. the Daishonin boldly called on them to practice shakubuku. and a hundred followed. of the Lotus Sutra. Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well. Vol. the polluted current of the Latter Day of the Law cannot be stemmed unless the Daishonin’s disciples stand up with the “same mind as Nichiren” (WND. This is as the Daishonin indicates in “The True Aspect of All Phenomena” when he says: “At first only Nichiren chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. It is important that we believe this. however. Only when there are disciples ready to take action with the same spirit as their mentor can kosen-rufu be accomplished. The World of Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings. chanting and teaching others. an undertaking to enable each person to bring forth his or her inherent Buddha nature. based on our efforts to dispel fundamental ignorance and to enable all people to bring forth their enlightened Dharma nature so that they can transform the inner realm of their lives. 385). 37]  The Westward Transmission of Buddhism Ikeda: In a word. Buddhism strongly proclaims that there is nothing greater than the human being.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 7  The Practice of Respecting Others <Part 1> Ikeda: Fundamentally. He also says: “‘Earth’ refers to the life of us human beings. ‘Emerging’ indicates that at the time of kosen-rufu all people in the entire world will become votaries of the Lotus Sutra” (GZ. as he had. Ikeda: The realization of kosen-rufu is not possible without the passing of the torch of the Mystic Law from mentor to disciples. In any age. Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well. Another key reason was that he wanted to foster disciples who would actively champion the cause of kosen-rufu. The Daishonin says with regard to the meaning of “Bodhisattvas of the Earth”: “At first only Nichiren chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. And anyone can become a votary. Both Shakyamuni and Nichiren Daishonin ultimately taught that a single individual can save the world. and a hundred followed. a life filled with compassion and courage. but then two. Even while oppressed by the ruling powers. 385). the most important thing is to reach out and inspire others to share our aspiration for world peace. chanting and teaching others. We have to tenaciously expand our circles of dialogue and understanding. shakubuku may be thought of as a battle between the inclination to respect human beings and the tendency to diminish them. including “The Opening of the Eyes” and “Letter from Sado. President Ikeda: Nichiren Daishonin urged all his followers to pursue this lofty course. It sets forth the “behavior as a human being” (WND. That is the substance of Buddhist practice in the Latter Day. but then two. 3. or practitioner. He knew.” To elevate the life-state of humankind. they were also likely to encounter persecution. and that we possess an open mind and take action to engage others in dialogue. he proclaimed that this was precisely the time to undertake shakubuku. 385). Does this not signify ‘emerging from the earth’?” (WND. 834). Buddhism enables people to develop a solid character and selfidentity. three. Each practitioner has to become a courageous “lion king. Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. 852) indispensable for pursuing the highest and most humane way of life. for only by following this noble path could true happiness be found. 2006 . just as he had. forging an alliance of good dedicated to realizing that cause.” at a time when he and his followers were experiencing harsh persecution.
Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. first one person stands up and begins chanting the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra with the spirit to continue. This itself is the path to attaining Buddhahood for oneself and others. and eventually a hundred. 1589–90). The World of Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings. but then two. an ocean of great nirvana. 2006 . The World of Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings. Ikeda: In the writing “On Jambudvipa” (GZ. ten thousand. 4. pg 37 [LB1203. For example. In the depths of their lives.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 8 To widely spread the Buddhism of the sun to dispel the darkness of fundamental delusion — this is our mission. When I. strive in faith and be known as a votary of the Lotus Sutra. The World of Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings. in “The True Aspect of All Phenomena. This is an immense honor. I was like a single drop of water or a single particle of dust in all the country of Japan. there is not the slightest doubt that you have been a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha from the remote past” (WND. Seek no other path by which to attain Buddhahood!” (WND. you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth. then they will form a Mount Sumeru of perfect enlightenment. 55 [LB0104. In other words. He says much the same thing in “The Selection of the Time. Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well” (WND. then that person transmits it to another. 385). 4. three people. And if you are a Bodhisattva of the Earth. Vol. pp. 46-7 [LB0104.” he writes: “At first only Nichiren chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. and remain my disciple for the rest of your life. the Daishonin himself stood up alone and then went on to awaken first one person and then another to their mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth. He clearly indicates that all believers who emulate his struggle are votaries of the Lotus Sutra who practice in perfect accord with the Buddha’s teaching.” which he wrote while at Mount Minobu. ten people. 37]  Disciples Encounter Persecution for the Sake of the Law — The Path of Mentor and Disciple Ikeda: The Daishonin identifies not only himself but all of his followers as these practitioners. all people eagerly long to encounter the Buddhism of the sun. no matter what. These words must have profoundly inspired the more conscientious among his followers to renew their determination to propagate the Lotus Sutra with the same spirit as the Daishonin. chanting and teaching others. Nichiren. the Daishonin clarified the principle of emerging from the earth — how bodhisattvas would appear one after another — as the way in which widespread propagation would unfold and lead people to enlightenment. Saito: “The True Aspect of All Phenomena. contains the following well-known passage: “Now.” which the Daishonin also wrote while on Sado. 38-9]  Disciples Encounter Persecution for the Sake of the Law — The Path of Mentor and Disciple Ikeda: After his exile to Sado. In other words. Vol. 579-80). three. Vol. when two people. the Daishonin even calls on his disciples to follow his example and never begrudge their lives. and a million people come to recite the Lotus Sutra and transmit it to others.4 The Daishonin went to Minobu to dedicate himself to fostering full-fledged disciples and building a current of kosen-rufu that would endure for the ten thousand years and more of the Latter Day of the Law. 4. pp. and tiny particles of dust accumulate to form Mount Sumeru. He unequivocally declares that those who devote themselves to propagating the Law with “the same mind as Nichiren” are Bodhisattvas of the Earth. 42]  The Atsuhara Persecution — Part 1 Ikeda: The correct path of kosen-rufu lies in reciting and transmitting the Lotus Sutra. If you are of the same mind as Nichiren. and a hundred followed. first took faith in the Lotus Sutra. But later. 385). no matter what. 4 The Daishonin writes: “Little streams come together to form the great ocean. a thousand.
2006 . sharing his resolve. 385) by making his spirit and commitment their own — no matter who they are — have in fact already opened wide the path to attaining Buddhahood. And. and (3) the Buddha of the Latter Day. The World of Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings.” the Daishonin indicates that he is: (1) the true votary of the Lotus Sutra. While these passages constitute declarations of his personal resolve and commitment. 4. the intent of the passage “I and my disciples…” (WND. Kosen-rufu advances when the courageous Bodhisattvas of the Earth arise. Ready to brave all consequences. he reveals the core of his own spirit. Shin’ichi talked about the mission of women in a broader sense: “The Daishonin further states: ‘There should be no discrimination among those who 5 In the “Emerging from the Earth” (15th) chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Here. Saito: It could be said that the Atsuhara Persecution epitomizes this dynamic of kosen-rufu — in other words. 283). their leader Bodhisattva Superior Practices vows to accomplish this mission. 28]  “I and My Disciples” — Attaining Buddhahood Through Steadfast Faith at the Crucial Moment As we have seen so far in “The Opening of the Eyes. Ikeda: That’s right. This is my vow. I will be the eyes of Japan. and I will never forsake it!” (WND. pg. Kosen-rufu is the struggle to increase the ranks of these champions of humanism. pg 94-5 [LB0204. I will be the great ship of Japan. they reveal themselves as Bodhisattvas of the Earth. who battles the fundamental evil of slander of the Law. too!” It is the unfolding of a great movement of inner awakening. The earnest struggles of individuals of powerful determination serve to awaken and inspire those around them and cause those people in turn to awaken many others. When people we encounter begin to practice Buddhism and teach others to do the same. he declares his resolve: “This I will state. Vol. Then. based on an unwavering belief that everyone can attain Buddhahood. who forestalls the loss of the correct teaching and the ruin of the nation. Let all persecutions assail me. as long as they follow this path to the end. stand up to struggle alongside him and work energetically for kosen-rufu. his disciples from the remote past. (2) the pillar of Japan. Kosen-rufu means more and more people rejoicing: “I am a Buddha! And you are a Buddha. Let the gods forsake me. In the “Supernatural Powers” (21st) chapter of the Lotus Sutra. 72 Chapter 4 — At The Helm After touching on the roles of women as wives and mothers. who illuminates the darkness of the age long into the distant future by revealing the supreme Law for the enlightenment of all people. Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. 385). with an indomitable lion’s roar. the Daishonin. and entrusts them with the mission to propagate the Mystic Law after his passing. 280). Living Buddhism. these Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Still I will give my life for the sake of the Law” (WND. The principle of “emerging from the earth” thus indicates the effort to transmit this spirit from one person to the next. Shakyamuni calls forth from the ground the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. dedicated to spreading the Mystic Law. Bodhisattvas of the Earth do not simply appear out of nowhere. It is as if he were saying: “Follow my example! Cast aside your doubts and laments as befits cubs of the lion king! Don’t foolishly discard your faith at the crucial moment!” The Daishonin indicates that his true disciples are those who. 280–81). of expanding good and eliminating evil. March-April 2006. they will attain Buddhahood “as a matter of course” (WND. 283) is clearly to underscore the importance of having faith that responds to the spirit of the mentor. he makes the powerful pledge: “I will be the pillar of Japan.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 9 Morinaka: The Daishonin says that this propagation from one person to another represents the principle of “emerging from the earth”5 (WND. All who become genuine “disciples of Nichiren” (see “The True Aspect of All Phenomena. where we cannot help extolling this wonderful path of happiness and good and cannot help denouncing arrogance and evil.” WND.
“It also goes without saying that your tireless efforts to care for your families.” The New Human Revolution. 17th HQ Leaders Meeting. Such is the grand mission we possess. pg. 05/31/2002. in that is your happiness. we will move on to some other land or planet in the universe and carry out kosen-rufu there. Japan Words of truth can transform the times. There are billions of planets like Earth in the universe. 2004. Genuine leaders. And when we have accomplished that. pg. In regard to this. 2006 . I hope you will all work together in unity and friendship. work to develop yourselves and freely contribute in the field of your choice. abilities and personalities. Nagano. the Daishonin writes: “Shakyamuni Buddha will enfold in his robe those who [even though they encounter great persecution by the three powerful enemies] persevere in propagating [the Mystic Law]. 385). has a strict order. the women’s division members who are striving for kosen-rufu. Tokyo The benefit of those who share the Mystic Law with others is boundless and immeasurable. 06/21/02. be they men or women’ (WND. And it is here that we are now spreading the Mystic Law. the solar system is hurtling toward the constellation Hercules at a speed of 12 miles a second. “My earnest wish is that you.. are those who guide others to the correct path. The Daishonin asserts that those who engage in propagation with the same spirit as he are far more respectworthy than the ruler of the nation. with his indomitable fortitude and love of the people. we have chosen to be born here. The universe. This is clearly stated in the Lotus Sutra. science.. as vast and infinite as it is. Representatives Conference. 2000. in the true sense. “It is by propagating the Lotus Sutra that people can enjoy ‘peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences’” (GZ. education or medicine. As these words underscore. 825). 6 Rise Up With Absolute Determination. If we do. August. says the Daishonin. and carry them on their backs. 2. Remind them of their ideals. he says. They possess great roots of goodness and deserve to be great leaders for all living beings” (WND. [The Daishonin states. of equal rights for men and women. PARTS 21–22 The Importance of Telling Others. World Tribune. The Daishonin also promises us that those who teach people about the Mystic Law will. I am reminded of the valiant French poet Victor Hugo.. 230). 385). 7. your close attention to details that men may tend to overlook and your sincere support of your fellow members are all noble activities in the struggle for kosen-rufu. Vol. Heavenly gods will make them offerings. 10/06/00. I hope all of you will also treasure your ties with your fellow members. we each have a profound mission. Be true to it. calling out to the Italian people on the eve of their nation’s unification: “Brothers…. In that is your liberty. The law that governs the universe and all life is the Mystic Law. This is a statement of democracy. we will create a world that “remains safe and tranquil” and “where living beings enjoy themselves at ease” (LS.] World Tribune.” These are stirring words. Japan According to astronomers. encourage them heartily. August 11. We must widely propagate the Mystic Law. If problems or difficulties are getting someone down. the arts. be it the media. they could not chant the daimoku” (WND. 385). in accord with your individual circumstances. of their promise to carry Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. 1. will. Do not forget your fine and solemn Roman ideal. “Were they not Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Hugo once wrote to the 19thcentury champion of Italian independence Giuseppe Mazzini. Nagano. support them with their shoulders. 8 Nationwide Executive Conference. Among all those planets.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 10 propagate the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo in the Latter Day of the Law. pg. enjoy peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences.
three people. through valiant actions. “Material prosperity is not spiritual happiness. in “The Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra. unfailingly illuminating your descendents for generations. 579–80). and eventually a hundred. Nichiren. The French writer and social activist Simone Weil stressed the importance of transmitting the treasure of religion to youth. Seek no other path by which to attain Buddhahood!” (WND. of their vow or their past dedication. Tokyo The Daishonin frequently spelled out his vision of the limitless expansion of kosen-rufu. If you are of the same mind as Nichiren. and tiny particles of dust accumulate to form Mount Sumeru. no matter what. IV Faith Equals Limitless Hope. Stay well.” written during his exile on Sado Island. and a million people come to recite the Lotus Sutra and transmit it to others. and do your best as leaders of our great movement for kosen-rufu! World Tribune Special Pullout. let us make even greater efforts to globally expand our movement for peace. you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth” (WND. the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. Hugo also declared. And in “The True Aspect of All Phenomena.” he writes: “Little streams come together to form the great ocean. The effort. ten people. 10/01/04. “No matter how innumerable the waves of malice and insult. first took faith in the Lotus Sutra. But later. this fundamental formula will hold true. saying. In “The Selection of the Time.” the Daishonin solemnly exhorts his followers: “Now. a thousand. will inscribe your names in the golden annals of kosen-rufu. It begins with us.” So many people are unhappy and miserable despite having material wealth and social recognition. which are the heart of the Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5.kyo. as surely as an arrow aimed at the earth cannot miss the target” (WND. 12/10/2003.” As we demonstrate the universality of Nichiren Daishonin’s humanistic Buddhism. joyfully writes. it is found only amid the struggle to carry out one’s unique mission in life. and a hundred followed. Nichiren. the entire Japanese nation will chant Nam-myoho-renge. Advancing with the same mind as the Daishonin and with the conviction that you are Bodhisattvas of the Earth. and remain my disciple for the rest of your life. an ocean of great nirvana.” He also said. pg. 385). throughout Jambudvipa. am the first to embark on propagating. chanting and teaching others. culture and education. “Religious thought is genuine whenever it is universal in its appeal. at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law. Please adorn your noble lives with victory. ten thousand. Kosen-rufu begins with one person. I. Does this not signify ‘emerging from the earth’? At the time when the Law has spread far and wide. three. a history won through the workings of cause and effect. Likewise. when two people. in the short time allotted to him. strive in faith and be known as a votary of the Lotus Sutra. Mr. to the people. You are all outstanding leaders of kosen-rufu. True happiness lies in strength of spirit. Toda once said to me sternly: “Our lives are short. celebrating and rejoicing over the Soka Gakkai’s victories and progress along the way. the practice. a magnificent history that will live on forever. then they will form a Mount Sumeru of perfect enlightenment. Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well. Please live out your lives spearheading the way for countless members who follow behind you in the great struggle for world peace and the happiness of all humankind. people of profound mission. Soka Gakkai prefecture leaders conference. The crowning brilliance of the benefits that will adorn your lives through your unceasing dedication will shine on forever. When I. The Daishonin writes: “Now. please lead vigorous lives dedicated to kosen-rufu.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 11 out kosen-rufu. 385). but what we achieve for kosen-rufu endures. the Daishonin proclaims his unshakable conviction that the Mystic Law would spread widely in the future: “At first only Nichiren chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. No matter how the times or society may change. to realize one’s ideals is where true freedom and happiness are found. I was like a single drop of water or a single particle of dust in all the country of Japan. but then two. Be a person who. 2006 . never be defeated!” I hope all of you.
Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well” (WND. In one of his famous writings. “In light of the principles of Buddhism. and stars all reside within the depths of our own lives. World Tribune. three. 764-65). and a hundred followed. Wherever it may be. your receiving the Gohonzon will eventually liberate the lives of all people in Kyushu from misery!” He drove home to her the profound mission she had to fulfill. 05/14/04. has risen into action in response to this lion’s roar of the Daishonin. 09/10/2003. The Daishonin teaches that spreading the Mystic Law across the globe in such an age is a task utterly impossible for any but genuine Bodhisattvas of the Earth. as our hearts desire. three and a hundred others in Kyushu who embrace the Gohonzon. actualizing the goal of kosen-rufu in order to bring peace and happiness to all humanity. On that occasion. You are undisputedly Bodhisattvas of the Earth. he was all alone. pg. The heavenly deities — the benevolent forces of the entire universe — will protect all of you working to advance kosen-rufu. the spread of the Daishonin’s Buddhism always begins with one person. Blazing with the Soka Gakkai spirit and brimming with such fresh energy and vitality that others will notice the difference. but also by the sun and moon and myriad stars in the universe. moon. pg. 28th SGI General Meeting. his powerful determination to kindle the flame of mission and hope in the hearts of those listening pervaded his words. an organization that has inherited the Buddha’s intent and decree. but then two. 10/10/03. and surpass even Mahakashyapa or Ananda. the Daishonin tells us that the sun. Mr. Each of you will be praised and safeguarded as people worthy of supreme respect not only by Brahma and Shakra (the two main protective Buddhist gods). will now chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to this wondrous Gohonzon means that in the future there will definitely appear two. may you open new frontiers of kosen-rufu in your respective areas and pave the way for the eternal perpetuation of the Law.” the Daishonin writes. 385). Moreover.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 12 Lotus Sutra and the eye of all Buddhas…. “The True Aspect of All Phenomena. World Tribune. My disciples. The Latter Day of the Law is an age of conflict. the fact that you. To this woman in Kyushu he declared. we have now entered a time of unprecedented opportunity for enabling increasing numbers to form a connection with Buddhism.” Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. President Makiguchi shared the following passage from “The True Aspect of All Phenomena”: “At first only Nichiren chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 2006 . He was urging her to advance with the stand-alone spirit. Makiguchi was said to have explained: “When the Daishonin chanted Nammyoho-renge-kyo for the first time at Kasagamori in Chiba. This is the teaching of Buddhism. they could not chant the daimoku” (WND. 1997. 7th HQ Leaders Meeting. Through the all-out efforts of our noble members. T’ien-t’ai or Dengyo!” (WND. The Soka Gakkai. 2 A Magnificent Drama Begins With One Person. an age of unceasing quarrels and disputes. The Daishonin will protect you. When he spoke. form your ranks and follow me. 3 Toward Victory in 2004. chanting and teaching others. Let us once again deeply recognize our proud mission in this lifetime as Bodhisattvas of the Earth. one person. Makiguchi never did anything halfway. 385). We who embrace and uphold the Mystic Law can live our lives freely. Hachioji Mr. Tokyo Spreading the Mystic Law is a task only for Bodhisattvas of the Earth. In light of the principle of bodhisattvas emerging from the earth to propagate the Law. you are chanting and spreading the Mystic Law. which expounds the principles of three thousand realms in a single moment of life and the indivisibility of our lives and the universe. “Were they not Bodhisattvas of the Earth. in accord with the law of the universe. January 7. With great feeling. In exact accord with the Daishonin’s teachings.
” I pray that my beloved Chiba will develop into a flourishing new center of a value-creation based civilization in the 21st century. 1997. Accordingly. the millions of friends who have emerged Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. To win a name for oneself through dedication to the Lotus Sutra is the highest honor. In “Emergence of the Treasure Tower. bloom with an eternal fragrance.” In that respect. pg. will accomplish a magnificent “Chiba Revolution. and as a result. We do not become “of the same mind as Nichiren” merely by praying. Those whose hearts are aflame with the passion to introduce others to the Daishonin’s Buddhism. and.” the eleventh chapter of the Lotus Sutra. voices far and wide are extolling the worth of Buddhism.” This propagation. the great achievement of those who actually spread the Lotus Sutra cannot fail to be known to the beings in the worlds of the ten directions. And plans are also in the works for a new culture center. 180– 81) And Nichiren Daishonin says: “But now you must build your reputation on the Lotus Sutra and give yourself up to it” (WND. as ‘Shijo Kingo. World Tribune. which has brought the Mystic Law to as many as 115 countries and territories. to widely propagate the Law for the happiness of all. “If you are of the same mind as Nichiren. 319). I sincerely thank the Chiba members for the beautiful blossoms that adorn the stage today. March 14. each of your lives is a precious treasure. all Buddhas. I hope you will exercise wisdom and common sense and be sure to take regular breaks along the way. Nichiren Daishonin. Only the SGI is. Therefore. a magnificent Chiba Training Center is under construction in Tateyama. the sutra explains. “Bring forth the great power of faith. This might be seen as corroborating the words. if one can uphold it even for a short while [after I have entered extinction] I will surely rejoice and so will the other Buddhas. 10 5 — A Revolutionary View of Buddhahood: ‘Embracing the Gohonzon Is in Itself Enlightenment’ The reason for this. I sincerely hope that this year the members of Chiba. Shijo Kingo of the Lotus school!’” (WND. You.” Let’s advance boldly as genuine comrades who are truly “of the same mind as Nichiren.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 13 And just as he predicted. land of pioneers! Advancing With ‘the Same Mind as Nichiren’ The Daishonin declares. making the Daishonin’s heart and President Makiguchi’s spirit their own. Chiba will play an increasingly important role in the future. 385). and will forever remain. Shakyamuni says: “This sutra is hard to uphold. Chiba is vast. The Daishonin’s intent is for each person to shine as a “celebrity of the Mystic Law” in the community and in society. The ideals and the movement of the SGI have now spread throughout the world. They are definitely known to all Buddhas in the ten directions. both high and low. A person who can do this wins the admiration of the Buddhas” (LS11.” The Daishonin surely praises most highly those who protect and work to develop the SGI. “his name is universally known. so members often travel by car to do activities. presidents Makiguchi and Toda truly fought with the same spirit as the Daishonin. please be careful not to overdo it. By making dedicated efforts in faith. are “of the same mind as Nichiren. When driving long distances. The names of those who struggle for kosen-rufu alongside the original Buddha. or by all the people of Japan. is that spreading the correct Buddhist teaching in the Latter Day of the Law is the most difficult undertaking there is. you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth” (WND. Please take utmost care to avoid traffic accidents. we are certain to develop such a reputation. and be spoken of by all the people of Kamakura. Let’s hear it for indomitable Kyushu. 385). “of the same mind as Nichiren. is certainly without precedent in the history of Buddhism. At present. the seeds of the Mystic Law that he planted have now splendidly borne fruit as the great Soka Gakkai of Kyushu. 2006 . You each have a great mission. bodhisattvas and Buddhist gods in the three existences and the ten directions are sure to protect the courageous men and women who propagate the Mystic Law.
These two motions are inseparable. so too is kosen-rufu like the revolution of a planet around the sun. Teaching respect for women and true human equality was a revolutionary concept at the time. Those who struggle for kosenrufu with the same spirit as the Daishonin are the true Bodhisattvas of the Earth. is necessary to achieve Buddhahood? Nichiren Daishonin says. II 9 — “I Am a Bodhisattva of the Earth”: The Discovery of the Eternal Self The purpose of faith is to realize a state of eternal happiness. The Daishonin had the highest respect for women who upheld the Mystic Law and dedicated their lives to kosen-rufu. Everyone is equal. The Daishonin states. Tokyo A Teaching of Equality The Lotus Sutra preached by Shakyamuni is a great teaching of gender equality. This is a profound and incontrovertible truth. We must never forget that it is the hard work of the women’s and young women’s division members that has supported the remarkable growth the Soka Gakkai has achieved today. pg. Special Pullout pg. September 23. enabling them to give full play to their potential will triumph. “Only in the Lotus Sutra do we read that a woman who embraces this sutra not only excels all other women. pp. We practice faith in order to awaken from this dream and firmly establish a state of eternal happiness in the depths of our lives during this lifetime. This is the fundamental spirit of Buddhism. Everything in the cosmos moves along its own path in exquisite harmony. 2005. No other individuals or groups have dedicated themselves to spreading Buddhism and elevating the Law with such earnestness. In a resounding declaration of gender equality. be they men or women. What. and there’s no justification for looking down on people.President Ikeda on The True Aspect of All Phenomena: Page 14 from the earth. Aug. 62-3 New Year’s representatives’ conference.” Lectures on the Expedient Means & Life Span Chapters. 253 Translation updates by SF Research Group July 5. 1. you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth” (WND. but also surpasses all men” (WND. our individual human revolution is like the rotation of a planet on its axis. we must exert ourselves to the utmost in faith. 385).’ And that’s why. Vol. The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra. Just as the earth naturally follows its own orbit. 464). Were they not Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Praising the strong faith of a female disciple. 2. 2005. 385). Vol. January 2. Your names and the name of the SGI will definitely shine with a golden light in the human history. 2006 . he also states. That is what it means to ‘attain Buddhahood in this lifetime. be they men or women” (WND. This existence is as fleeting as a dream. the Daishonin writes: “There should be no discrimination among those who propagate the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo in the Latter Day of the Law. This is clear in light of the principle “his name is universally known. they could not chant the daimoku” (WND. In the same manner. 2005 — third session A position of authority doesn’t make a person important. as I always say. 2005 Publications CD. Individuals and groups that follow the Daishonin’s instructions to respect and value women. 3. then. This naturally means that men and women are equal. 385). have accomplished this sacred undertaking. Hachioji. “There should be no discrimination among those who propagate the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo in the Latter Day of the Law. reaching the ears of all Buddhas in the ten directions. Bonus Speeches Nationwide Executive Conference. “If you are of the same mind as Nichiren. and also resound throughout the universe. World Tribune.
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