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Gongyo

Morning & Evening Recitation


Adapted from Raihai Seten Nichiren Shu
Service Book Companion 2000 by Los
Angeles Nichiren Shu Beikoku Sangha
Association
and
Nichiren Shu Gongyo Book of San Jose
Nichiren Buddhist Temple
The beautiful Gohonzon on the previous page was inscribed
by Nichiren Shonin in November of 1280, and bestowed on
his disciple Nissho. It is currently kept at Myohokke Temple
in Tamazawa, Japan
Shakyamuni Buddha
Siddhartha Gautama
463 BCE - 383 BCE
The Messenger of the Buddha
Nichiren Shonin
1222 - 1282
Morning & Evening Recitation
1. Bow with hands in gassho.
2. Odaimoku Sansho
3. Kanjo - Requesting Buddhas, Bodhisattvas
and Nichiren Shonin to present themselves.
4. Kaikyo-ge - Verses for Opening the Sutra.
5. Hoben-pon - Chapter 2
6. Nyorai Juryo Hon - Chapter 16
7. Nyorai Juryo Hon Ge - Chapter 16, Gathas
8. Writings of Our Founder and/or Devotion
9. Chanting of Daimoku
10. Hotoge - Difficulty of Retaining the Sutra
11. Eko - Prayer
12. Shiguseigan - Four Great Vows
13. Devotion to the Three Treasures
14. Dismissal - Yui gan sho...
15. Odaimoku Sansho
Pronunciation Guide
Vowels Consonants
A as in father CH as in chair
E as in egg G as in go
I as in machine J as in jewel
O as in north S as in sun
U as in rule SH as in show
Y as in yes Z as in zebra
UI as in louie H is always sounded
AI like the English I
Opening Homage
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Kanjo
(Place your hands together in gassho)
Tsutsushinde kanjo shitatematsuru
Namu rinnen gusoku mizou daimandara Gohonzon,
Namu kuonjitsujo honshi Shakamuni-butsu,
Namu shomyo Hokke Taho Nyorai,
Namu jippo hunjin sanze sho butsu,
Namu byododai-e ichijo Myohorengekyo,
Namu Jogyo, Muhengyo, Jyogyo, Anryugyo to,
Beshshitewa mappo nogu no
Daidoshi koso Nichiren Daibosatsu,
Kaigai guzu no senshi Nichiji Shonin,
Honge guzu no senshi sentetsu,
Hokekyo ogo no shoten zenjin to,
Raito dojo gohomi noju.
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Kaikyo-ge
Mu jo jin jin mi myo no ho wa,
Hyaku sen man go ni mo a hi
ta te ma tsu ru ko to kata shi,
Ware ima ken mon shi ju ji
su ru ko to wo e ta ri,
Negawa ku wa Nyo rai no
dai ichi gi wo ge se-n,
Shi goku no Dai jo shi gi
su be ka ra zu,
Ken mon soku chi,
mina bo dai ni chika zu ku,
No sen wa Ho shin,
sho sen wa Hosshin,
Shiki so no mon ji wa,
sunawa chi ko re O jin na ri,
Mu ryo no ku doku mina
ko no kyo ni atsu ma re ri,
Ko no yue ni ji zai ni,
myo ni kun ji mitsu ni yaku su,
U chi mu chi tsumi wo
messhi zen wo sho zu,
Mo shi wa shin,
mo shi wa ho,
to-mo ni butsu do o jo ze-n
San ze no sho butsu,
jin jin no myo den na ri,
Sho jo se se,
chi gu shi cho dai se-n
Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo.
Wonderful Dharma of the Lotus Flower Sutra
Ho ben pon. Dai ni.
Expedient Means. Chapter 2.
Ni ji Se son.
Thereupon the World Honored One emerged quietly
Ju san mai an jo ni ki.
from his samadhi and said to Shariputra,The Wisdom
Go Shari hotsu. Sho But chi e.
of the Buddhas is profound and immeasurable. The Gate
Jin jin mu ryo. Go chi e mon.
to it is difficult to understand and difficult to enter. Their
Nan ge nan nyu. Is sai sho mon.
wisdom cannot be understood by any shravaka or
Hyaku shi Butsu. Sho fu no chi.
pratyekabuddha because the present Buddhas
Sho i sha ga.
attended on many hundreds of thousands
Butsu zo shin gon. Hyaku sen
of billions of past Buddhas, and practiced the
man noku. Mu shu sho Butsu.
the innumerable teachings of those Buddhas bravely and
Jin gyo sho Butsu.
strenuously to their far-flung fame until they
Mu ryo do ho.
attained the profound Dharma which you
Yu myo sho jin.
have never heard before, and also because
Myo sho fu mon.
they have been expounding the Dharma
Jo ju jin jin. Mi zo u ho.
according to the capacities of all living beings in such
Zui gi sho setsu.
various ways that the true purpose of their
I shu nan ge.
various teachings is difficult to understand.
Shari hotsu. Go ju jo But chi rai.
Shariputra! Since I became a Buddha, I have been
Shu ju in nen. Shu ju hi yu.
been expounding various teachings with various
Ko en gon kyo. Mu shu ho ben.
stories of previous lives, with various parables and with
In do shu jo.
various similes. I have been leading all living beings
Ryo ri sho jaku.
with innumerable expedients
Sho i sha ga. Nyo rai
in order to save them from various attachments,
ho ben. Chi ken hara mitsu.
because I have the power to employ expedients and
Kai i gu soku.
the power to perform the paramita of insight.
Shari hotsu. Nyo rai chi ken.
Shariputra! The insight of the Tathagatas is deep
Ko dai jin non.
and wide. The Tathagatas have all the states
Mu ryo. Mu ge. Riki. Mu sho i.
of mind towards innumerable living beings, unhindered
Zen jo. Ge datsu. San mai.
eloquence, powers, fearlessness, dhyana-concentrations,
Jin nyu mu sai.
emancipations and samadhis. They entered deep into
Jo ju is sai. Mi zo u ho.
boundlessness and attained the Dharma
Shari hotsu. Nyo rai
which you have never heard before. Shariputra!
no shu ju fun betsu.
The Tathagatas divide the Dharma into
Gyo ses sho ho.
various teachings and expound those teachings
Gon ji nyu nan.
to all living beings so skillfully, and with
Ek ka shu shin.
such gentle words, that the
Shari hotsu. Shu yo gon shi.
living beings are delighted. Shariputra! In short,
Mu ryo mu hen. Mi zo u ho.
the Buddhas attained the innumerable teachings which
Bus shitsu jo ju. Shi. Shari hotsu.
you have never heard before. No more, Shariputra,
Fu shu bu setsu. Sho i sha ga.
will I say because the Dharma attained by the
Bus sho jo ju. Dai ichi ke u. Nan
Buddhas is the highest truth, rare to hear and difficult
ge shi ho. Yui Butsu yo Butsu.
to understand. Only the Buddhas attained
Nai no ku jin. Sho ho jis so.
the Highest Truth, that is, the reality of all phenomena
[Sho i sho ho.
in regard to
Nyo ze so.
their appearances as such,
Nyo ze sho.
their natures as such,
Nyo ze tai.
their entities as such,
Nyo ze riki.
their powers as such,
Nyo ze sa.
their activities as such,
Nyo ze in.
their primary causes as such,
Nyo ze en.
their environmental causes as such,
Nyo ze ka.
their effects as such,
Nyo ze ho.
their recompence as such, and
Nyo ze hon matsu ku kyo to.]
their equality as such despite these differences.
Text in [ ] is read or recited three times.
Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo.
Wonderful Dharma of the Lotus Flower Sutra
Nyo rai ju ryo hon. Dai ju roku.
The Duration of the Life of the Tathagata. Chapter 16.
Ni ji Butsu go sho bo satsu. Gyu
Thereupon the Buddha said to the great multitude
issai dai shu. Sho zen nan shi.
including bodhisattvas and others, Good people!
Nyo to to shin ge. Nyo rai jo tai
Understand my sincere and infallible
shi go. Bu go dai shu. Nyo to to
words by faith! He said to the great multitude again
shin ge. Nyo rai jo tai shi go.
Understand my sincere and infallible words by faith!
U bu go sho dai shu. Nyo to to
He said to them once again,
shin ge. Nyo rai jo tai shi go.
Understand my sincere and infallible words by faith!
Ze ji bo satsu dai shu.
Thereupon the great multitude of bodhisattvas,
Mi roku i shu. Gas sho byaku
headed by Maitreya, joined their hands together and
Butsu gon. Se son. Yui gan ses
said to the Buddha, World Honored One,
shi. Ga to to shin ju Butsu go.
tell us! We will receive your words by faith.
Nyo ze san byaku i. Bu gon.
They said this three times. Then they said once again,
Yui gan ses shi. Ga to to shin ju
Tell us! We will receive your words by faith. Thereupon
Butsu go. Ni ji Se son. Chi sho
the World Honored One, seeing that they repeated
bo satsu. San sho fu shi.
their appeal even after they repeated it three times,
Ni go shi gon. Nyo to tai cho.
said to them, Listen to me attentively! I will tell you
Nyo rai hi mitsu. Jin zu shi riki.
about my hidden core and supernatural powers.
Is sai se ken. Ten nin.
The gods, humans and asuras
Gyu a shu ra. Kai i kon
in the world think that I,
Shaka muni Butsu. Shus Shaku
Shakyamuni Buddha, left the palace of the Shakyas,
shi gu. Ko Ga ya jo fu on.
sat at the place of enlightenment not far
Za o do jo. Toku a noku ta ra
from the City of Gaya, and attained Anuttara-samyak
san myaku sam bo dai. Nen zen
sambodhi forty and odd years ago.
nan shi. Ga jitsu jo But chi rai.
To tell the truth, good people, it is many hundreds
Mu ryo mu hen. Hyaku sen man
of thousands of billions of nayutas of kalpas
noku. Na yu ta ko. Hi nyo go
since I became the Buddha. Suppose someone smashed
hyaku sen man noku. Na yu ta.
into dust five hundred thousand billion nayuta
A so gi. San zen dai sen se kai.
asamkhya worlds, which were each composed of one
Ke shi u nin. Mat chi mi jin.
thousand million Sumeru worlds, and went to the east
Ka o to bo. Go hyaku sen man
carrying that dust. When they reached a world a
noku. Na yu ta. A so gi koku.
distance of five hundred thousand billion nayuta asamkhya
Nai ge ichi jin.
worlds from this world, they put a particle of the dust on
Nyo ze to gyo.
that world. Then they went on again to the east, and
Jin ze mi jin.
repeated the putting of a particle of the dust until the
Sho zen nan shi. O i un ga.
particles were exhausted. Good people! What do you
Ze sho se kai. Ka toku shi yui
think of this? Do you think that the number of worlds they
kyo ke. Chi go shu fu.
went through is conceivable, countable, or not?
Mi roku Bo sat to.
Maitreya Bodhisattva and others
Ku byaku Butsu gon. Se son.
said to the Buddha, "World Honored One!
Ze sho se kai. Mu ryo mu hen.
Those worlds are innumerable, uncountable,
Hi san ju sho chi. Yaku hi shin riki
inconceivable. No shravaka or pratyekabuddha
sho gyu. Is sai sho mon. Hyaku
could count them even by their
shi Butsu. I mu ro chi. Fu no shi
undefiled wisdom. We are now
yui. Chi go gen shu. Ga to ju.
on the stage of non-retrogression,
A yui ot chi ji. O ze ji chu. Yaku
but cannot count them either.
sho fu datsu. Se son. Nyo ze sho
World Honored One! Those worlds
se kai. Mu ryo mu hen.
are innumerable." Thereupon the Buddha said
Ni ji Butsu go. Dai bo sas shu.
to the great multitude of bodhisattvas,
Sho zen nan shi. Kon to fun
Good people! Now I will tell you clearly.
myo. Sen go nyo to. Ze sho se
Suppose those worlds, whether they were marked
kai. Nyaku chaku mi jin. Gyu fu
with the particles of the dust or not, were smashed into
chaku sha. Jin ni i jin. Ichi jin ik
dust. The number of kalpas which have elapsed since
ko. Ga jo But chi rai. Bu ka o
I became the Buddha is one hundred thousand billion
shi. Hyaku sen man noku.
nayuta asamkhyas larger than the number of dust particles
Na yu ta. A so gi ko. Ji ju ze rai.
produced. All this time I have been living in this
Ga jo zai shi. Sha ba se kai.
Saha World and teaching the living beings of this world by
Sep po kyo ke. Yaku o yo sho.
expounding the Dharma to them. I also have been leading
Hyaku sen man noku. Na yu ta.
and benefiting the living beings of one hundred thousand
A so gi koku. Do ri shu jo.
billion nayutas of asamkhya worlds outside this world.
Sho zen nan shi. O ze chu gen.
Good people! During this time I gave various names to
Ga setsu Nen to But to.
myself, for instance, Burning Light Buddha. I also
U bu gon go. Nyu o ne han.
said, That Buddha entered into nirvana.
Nyo ze kai i. Ho ben fum betsu.
I did all these things only as expedients.
Sho zen nan shi. Nyaku u shu jo.
Good people! When some people
Rai shi ga sho. Ga i Butsu gen.
came to me, I saw the strength of the power
Kan go shin to. Sho kon ri don.
of their faith and of the other faculties of theirs with the
Zui sho o do. Sho sho ji setsu.
eyes of the Buddha. Then I named myself differently,
Myo ji fu do. Nen ki dai sho.
and told them of the duration of my life differently,
Yaku bu gen gon. To nyu ne han.
according to their capacities. I also said to them, I shall
U i shu ju ho ben. Setsu mi myo
enter into Nirvana. I expounded the Wonderful Dharma
ho. No ryo shu jo. Hok kan gi
with these various expedients, and caused all
shin. Sho zen nan shi. Nyo rai
living beings to rejoice. Good people! When I saw that
ken sho shu jo. Gyo o sho bo.
some people of little virtue and of much defilement were
Toku hak ku ju sha. I ze nin
seeking the teachings of the Lesser Vehicle, I told them,
setsu. Ga sho shuk ke. Toku a
I renounced my family when I was young and
noku ta ra san myaku sam bo
attained Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi
dai. Nen ga jitsu jo But chi rai.
forty and odd years ago. In reality, I became the Buddha
Ku on nyaku shi. Tan ni ho ben.
in the remotest past as I previously stated.
Kyo ke shu jo. Ryo nyu Butsu
I told them so as an expedient to teach them, to lead them
do. Sa nyo ze setsu. Sho zen
into the Way to Buddhahood. Good people! All the sutras
nan shi. Nyo rai sho en kyo den.
that I expounded before were for the purpose of saving
Kai i do das shu jo.
all living beings. I told the stories of my previous lives
Waku sek ko shin. Waku set
[in some sutras] and the stories of the previous lives
ta shin. Waku ji ko shin.
of other Buddhas [in other sutras]. I showed my replicas
Waku ji ta shin. Waku ji ko ji.
[in some sutras], and my transformations [in other sutras].
Waku ji ta ji. Sho sho gon zetsu.
I described my deeds [in some sutras], and the deeds of
Kai jippu ko. Sho i sha ga.
others [in other sutras]. All that I say is true, not false,
Nyo rai nyo jit chi ken.
because I see the triple world as it is. I see that the
San gai shi so. Mu u sho ji.
triple world is the world in which the living beings have
Nyaku tai nyaku shutsu.
neither birth nor death, that is to say, do not appear or
Yaku mu zai se.
disappear; that it is the world in which I do not appear or
Gyu metsu do sha. Hi jitsu hi ko.
from which, I do not disappear; that it is not real or unreal;
Hi nyo hi i. Fu nyo san gai.
and that it is not as it seems or as it does not seem. I do
Ken no san gai. Nyo shi shi ji.
not see the triple world in the same way as [the living
Nyo rai myo ken. Mu u shaku
beings of] the triple world do. I see all this clearly and
myo. I sho shu jo. U shu ju sho.
infallibly. The living beings are various in their natures,
Shu ju yoku. Shu ju gyo.
desires, deeds, thoughts and opinions. Therefore, I
Shu ju oku so. Fun bekko.
expounded the Dharma with various stories of previous
Yoku ryo sho sho zen gon.
lives, with various parables, similes and discourses,
I nyakkan in nen.
In order to cause all living beings
Hi yu gon ji. Shu ju sep po.
to plant the roots of good. I have never stopped
Sho sa Butsu ji. Mi zo zam pai.
doing what I should do. As I said before, it is
Nyo ze ga jo But chi rai.
very long since I became the Buddha.
Jin dai ku on. Ju myo mu ryo.
The duration of my life is innumerable, asamkhya
A so gi ko. Jo ju fu metsu.
kalpas. I am always here. I shall never pass away.
Sho zen nan shi.
Good people! The duration of my life,
Ga hon gyo bo satsu do.
which I obtained by the practice of the Bodhisattva Way,
Sho jo ju myo. Kon yu mi jin.
has not yet expired. It is twice as long as the length
Bu bai jo shu. Nen kon hi jitsu
of time previously stated. Although I shall never enter into
metsu do. Ni ben sho gon. To
Nirvana, I say to people of little virtue, I shall pass away.
shu metsu do. Nyo rai i ze
I teach them with this expedient.
ho ben. Kyo ke shu jo. Sho i
Why is that? It is because
sha ga. Nyaku Buk ku ju o se.
if they see me for a long time,
Haku toku shi nin. Fu shu
they will not plant the roots of good, but become
zen gon. Bin gu ge sen.
poor and base, and cling to the five desires
Ton jaku go yoku. Nyu o oku so.
so much that they will be caught in the nets of
Mo ken mo chu. Nyak ken
wrong views. If they think that I am always here,
Nyo rai. Jo zai fu metsu.
and do not think I shall pass away, they will become too
Ben ki kyo shi. Ni e en dai.
arrogant and lazy to realize the
Fu no sho o. Nan zo shi so.
difficulty of seeing me, and they will not
Ku gyo shi shin. Ze ko Nyo rai.
respect me. Therefore, I say to them
I ho ben setsu. Bi ku to chi. Sho
expediently, Bhikshus, know this! It is difficult to see a
Butsu shus se. Nan ka chi gu.
Buddha who appears in this world.
Sho i sha ga. Sho haku toku nin.
Why is that? It is because some people of little virtue
Ka mu ryo hyaku sen man
cannot see me even during many
nok ko. Waku u ken Butsu.
hundreds of thousands of billions of kalpas
Waku fu ken sha. I shi ji ko. Ga
while others can. Therefore, I say to them,
sa ze gon. Sho bi ku. Nyo rai nan
Bhikshus! It is difficult
ka tok ken. Shi shu jo to. Mon
to see a Tathagata. Those who hear this
nyo ze go. Hit to sho o. Nan zo
and know it is difficult to see me
shi so. Shin ne rem bo. Katsu
will adore me, admire me, and plant the roots of good.
go o Butsu. Ben shu zen gon.
Therefore, I say to them,
Ze ko Nyo rai. Sui fu jitsu metsu.
I shall pass away, although I shall not.
Ni gon metsu do. U zen nan shi.
Good people! All the Buddhas, all the Tathagatas
Sho Butsu Nyo rai. Ho kai nyo
do the same as I do. They expound their teachings for
ze. I do shu jo. Kai jip pu ko.
the purpose of saving all living beings. Therefore their
Hi nyo ro i. Chi e so datsu.
teachings are true, not false. I will tell you a parable.
Myo ren ho yaku.
There was once an excellent and wise physician.
Zen ji shu byo. Go nin
He was good at dispensing medicines and curing
ta sho shi soku. Nyaku ju. Ni ju.
diseases. He had many children, numbering ten, twenty,
Nai shi hyaku shu. I u ji en.
or a hundred. One day he went to a remote
On shi yo koku. Sho shi o go.
country on business. After he left home, the children
On ta doku yaku. Yaku hotsu
took poison. The poison passed into their bodies
mon ran. En den u ji. Ze ji go
and the children writhed in agony, rolling on the ground.
bu. Gen rai ki ke. Sho shi on
At that time the father returned home. Some children had
doku. Waku ship pon shin.
already lost their right minds while the
Waku fu shis sha. Yo ken
others still had not. All the children
go bu. Kai dai kan gi. Hai ki
saw their father in the distance and had great joy.
mon jin. Zen nan non ki. Ga to
They begged him on their knees, saying, You came back
gu chi. Go buku doku yaku.
safely. We were ignorant. We took poison by mistake.
Gan ken ku ryo. Kyo shi ju myo.
Cure us and give us back our lives!
Bu ken shi to. Ku no nyo ze.
Seeing his children suffering so much, the father
E sho kyo bo. Gu ko yaku so.
consulted books of prescriptions and collected good
Shiki ko mi mi. Kai shitsu gu
herbs having a good color, fragrance, and taste.
soku. To shi wa go. Yo shi ryo
He compounded a medicine by pounding and sieving the
buku. Ni sa ze gon. Shi dai ro
herbs and gave it to them, saying, This is a very good
yaku. Shiki ko mi mi. Kai shitsu
medicine. It has a very good
gu soku. Nyo to ka buku. Soku
color, smell and taste. Take it! It will remove
jo ku no. Mu bu shu gen.
the pain at once and you will not suffer any longer.
Go sho shi chu. Fu shis shin ja.
The children who had not lost their right minds
Ken shi ro yaku. Shiki ko gu ko.
saw that this excellent medicine had a good color and
Soku ben buku shi.
fragrance, took it at once, and were cured completely.
Byo jin jo yu. Yo shis shin ja.
But the children who had already lost their right minds
Ken go bu rai.
did not consent to take the medicine given to them.
Sui yak kan gi mon jin.
Although they rejoiced at seeing their father come home
Gu shaku ji byo. Nen yo go
and asked him to cure them, because they were so
yaku. Ni fu ko buku. Sho i sha
deluded they did not believe
ga. Dok ke jin nyu. Ship pon
that this medicine, having a good color and smell,
shin ko. O shi. Ko shiki ko yaku.
had a good taste.
Ni i fu mi. Bu sa ze nen.
The father thought, these children are pitiful.
Shi shi ka min. I doku sho chu.
They are so poisoned that they are deluded.
Shin kai ten do. Sui ken ga ki.
Although they rejoice at seeing me and
Gu shak ku ryo. Nyo ze ko
ask me to cure them, they do not consent to take
yaku. Ni fu ko buku. Ga kon to
this good medicine.
setsu ho ben. Ryo buku shi
Now I will have them take it
yaku. Soku sa ze gon. Nyo to to
with an expedient. He said to them, Know this!
chi. Ga kon sui ro. Shi ji i shi.
Now I am old and decrepit. I shall die soon.
Ze ko ro yaku. Kon ru zai shi.
I am leaving this good medicine here. Take it! Do not be
Nyo ka shu buku. Mot tsu fu sai.
afraid that you will not be cured! Having thus advised
Sa ze kyo i. Bu shi ta koku.
them, he went to a remote country again. Then he sent
Ken shi gen go.
home a messenger to tell them, Your father has just died.
Nyo bu i shi. Ze ji sho shi.
Having heard that their father had passed away from this
Mon bu hai so. Shin dai u no.
world, leaving them behind, they felt extremely sorry.
Ni sa ze nen. Nyaku bu zai sha.
They thought, If our father were alive, he would love and
Ji min ga to. No ken ku go.
protect us. Now he has deserted us and died in a remote
Kon ja sha ga. On so ta koku.
country. They felt lonely and helpless because they felt
Ji yui ko ro. Mu bu ji ko.
parentless and without shelter. Their constant sadness
Jo e hi kan. Shin zui sho go.
finally caused them to recover their right minds. They
Nai chi shi yaku. Shiki ko mi mi.
realized that the medicine had a good color, fragrance, and
Soku shu buku shi. Doku byo kai
taste. They took it, and were completely cured of the
yu. Go bu mon shi.
poison. On hearing that they had recovered their health,
Shit chi toku sai. Jin ben rai ki.
the father returned home and showed himself to them.
Gen shi ken shi. Sho zen
Good people! What do you think of this? Do you think
nan shi. O i un ga. Ha u nin no.
that anyone can accuse this excellent physician of
Ses shi ro i. Ko mo zai fu.
falsehood? No, World Honored One! The Buddha said,
Hot cha. Se son. Butsu gon.
I am like the father.
Ga yaku nyo ze. Jo But chi rai.
It is many hundreds of thousands of billions of nayutas
Mu ryo mu hen.
of asamkhyas of kalpas since I became the Buddha.
Hyaku sen man noku. Na yu ta.
In order to save the deluded people, I say expediently,
A so gi ko. I shu jo ko. I ho ben
I shall pass away. In order to save all beings,
riki. Gon to metsu do. Yaku mu
I say expediently, I shall pass away.
u no. Nyo ho setsu ga. Ko mo
No one will accuse me of falsehood by customary law.
ka sha. Ni ji Se son. Yoku
Thereupon, the World Honored One,
ju sen shigi. Ni setsu ge gon.
wishing to repeat what he had said, sang in gathas:
Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo.
Wonderful Dharma of the Lotus Flower Sutra
Nyo rai ju ryo hon. Dai ju roku.
The Duration of the Life of the Tathagata. Chapter 16.
Ji ga toku Butsu rai.
It is many hundreds of thousands
Sho kyo sho kos shu.
of billions of trillions
Mu ryo hyaku sen man.
of asamkhyas of kalpas
Oku sai a so gi.
since I became the Buddha.
Jo sep po kyo ke.
For the past innumerable kalpas I have always
Mu shu oku shu jo.
been expounding the Dharma to many
Ryo nyu o Butsu do.
hundreds of millions of living beings in order
Ni rai mu ryo ko.
to lead them into the Way to Buddhahood.
I do shu jo ko.
In order to save the deluded people,
Ho ben gen ne han.
I expediently show my Nirvana to them.
Ni jitsu fu metsu do.
In reality I shall never pass away.
Jo ju shi sep po.
I always live here and expound the Dharma.
Ga jo ju o shi.
Although I always live here,
I sho jin zu riki.
with the deluded people,
Ryo ten do shu jo.
I disappear from their eyes
Sui gon ni fu ken.
by my supernatural powers.
Shu ken ga metsu do.
When they see me seemingly pass away,
Ko ku yo sha ri.
and make offerings to my relics,
Gen kai e ren bo.
and adore me, admire me,
Ni sho katsu go shin.
and become devout, upright and gentle,
Shu jo ki shin buku.
and wish to see me,
Shichi jiki i nyu nan.
with all of their hearts
Is shin yoku ken Butsu.
at the cost of their lives,
Fu ji shaku shin myo.
I reappear on Mt. Sacred Eagle
Ji ga gyu shu so.
with my Sangha,
Ku shutsu Ryo ju sen.
and say to them,
Ga ji go shu jo.
I always live here.
Jo zai shi fu metsu.
I shall never be extinct.
I ho ben riki ko.
I show my extinction to you expediently
Gen u metsu fu metsu.
although I never pass away.
Yo koku u shu jo.
I also expound the unsurpassed Dharma
Ku gyo shin gyo sha.
to the living beings of the other worlds
Ga bu o hi chu.
if they respect me, believe me
I setsu mu jo ho.
and wish to see me.
Nyo to fu mon shi.
You have never heard this,
Tan ni ga metsu do.
therefore, you thought that I pass away.
Ga ken sho shu jo.
I see the deluded people sinking
Motsu zai o ku kai.
in an ocean of suffering.
Ko fu i gen shin.
Therefore, I disappear from their eyes,
Ryo go sho katsu go.
and cause them to admire me.
In go shin ren bo.
When they adore me,
Nai shutsu i sep po.
I appear and expound the Dharma to them.
Jin zu riki nyo ze.
I can all do this by my supernatural powers.
O a so gi ko.
I live on Mount Sacred Eagle
Jo zai Ryo ju sen.
and also in other abodes
Gyu yo sho ju sho.
for asamkhya kalpas.
Shu jo ken ko jin.
The deluded people think,
Dai ka sho sho ji.
This world is in a great fire.
Ga shi do an non.
The end of the kalpa of destruction is coming.
Ten nin jo ju man.
In reality this world of mine is peaceful.
On rin sho do kaku.
It is filled with gods and humans. The gardens,
Shu ju ho sho gon.
forests, and stately buildings are adorned with
Ho ju ta ke ka.
various treasures; the jewelled trees have many
Shu jo sho yu raku.
flowers and fruits; the living beings are enjoying
Sho ten kyaku ten ku.
themselves; and the gods are beating heavenly
Jo sa shu gi gaku.
drums, making various kinds of music,
U man da ra ke.
And raining mandarava flowers
San Butsu gyu dai shu.
on the great multitude and me.
Ga jo do fu ki.
This pure world of mine is indestructible,
Ni shu ken sho jin.
but the deluded people think,
U fu sho ku no.
It is full of sorrow, fear and other sufferings.
Nyo ze shitsu ju man.
It will soon burn away.
Ze sho zai shu jo.
Because of their evil karmas,
I aku go in nen.
these sinful people will not be able
Ka a so gi ko.
to hear even the names of the Three Treasures
Fu mon san bo myo.
during asamkhya kalpas.
Sho u shu ku doku.
To those who have accumulated merit
Nyu wa shichi jiki sha.
and who are gentle and upright,
Sok kai ken ga shin.
and who see me living here
Zai shi ni sep po.
expounding the Dharma,
Waku ji i shi shu.
I say, The duration of my life
Setsu Butsu ju mu ryo.
is immeasurable. To those who
Ku nai ken Bus sha.
see me after a long time, I say,
I setsu Butsu nan chi.
It is difficult to see a Buddha.
Ga chi riki nyo ze.
I can do all this by the power of my wisdom.
E ko sho mu ryo.
The light of my wisdom knows no bounds.
Ju myo mu shu ko.
The duration of my life is immeasurable
Ku shu go sho toku.
kalpas. I obtained this longevity by ages
Nyo to u chi sha.
of practices. All of you who have
Mot to shi sho gi.
wisdom! Have no doubts about this!
To dan ryo yo jin.
Remove your doubts, have no more!
Butsu go jip pu ko.
My words are true, not false.
Nyo i zen ho ben.
The physician who sent a man expediently
I ji o shi ko.
to tell his deluded children of the death
Jitsu zai ni gon shi.
of their father, in order to cure them, was not
Mu no sek ko mo.
accused of falsehood, although he was alive.
Ga yaku i se bu.
In the same manner, I am the father of the
Ku sho ku gen sha.
world. I am saving all living beings
I bon bu ten do.
from suffering. Because they are deluded,
Jitsu zai ni gon metsu.
I say that I shall pass away although I shall not.
I jo ken ga ko.
If they always see me,
Ni sho kyo shi shin.
they will become arrogant and licentious
Ho itsu jaku go yoku.
and cling to the five desires
Da o aku do chu.
so much that they will fall into the evil regions.
Ga jo chi shu jo.
I know who is practicing the Way and who is not.
Gyo do fu gyo do.
Therefore, I expound various teachings
Zui o sho ka do.
to all living beings
I setsu shu ju ho.
according to their capacities.
Mai ji sa ze nen.
I am always thinking,
I ga ryo shu jo.
How shall I cause all living beings
Toku nyu mu jo do.
to enter into the unsurpassed Way
Soku jo ju Bus shin.
and quickly become Buddhas?
Unso
Tonae tatematsuru
Myoho wa kore sanze
shobutsu shosho no kyogai
jogyo satta ryozen beppu no
shinjo daiho nari.
Hitotabi mo
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
to tonae tatematsureba sunawachi
ji no ichinen sanzen shokan joju shi
jojakkodo genzen shi musa sanjin
no kakutai araware warera gyoja
issai shujo to onajiku hossho no do ni
koshite jiju horaku sen
Kono hoon o megurashite hokai ni
juman shi sambo ni kuyo shi amaneku
shujo ni hodokoshi daijo ichijitsu
no kyogai ni irashime butsudo o gonjo
shi shujo o riyaku sen.
Chanting of Odaimoku
Hotoge
Shi-kyo nan ji_
nyaku zan ji_sha_
ga-soku kan gi_
sho-butsu yaku nen
nyo-ze shin_nin
sho-butsu sho_tan
ze-soku yu myo
ze-soku sho jin
ze-myo ji-kai
gyo-zu da_sha_
so-kui shit-toku
mu-jo butsu-do
no_o_rai se
doku-ji shi-kyo
ze-shin busshi
ju jun zen ji_
butsu metsu do_go_
no ge go_gi_
ze-sho_ten nin
se-ken shi_gen
o-ku i_se_
no shu_yu_setsu
issai ten nin
kai o ku-yo.
Prayer
We respectfully dedicate all our merits now gathered to the Great Benev-
olent Teacher, Shakyamuni, the Eternal Buddha; to the Supreme Teach-
ing, the Lotus Sutra; to the Leader of the Declining Latter Age of the
Dharma, our founder, the Great Bodhisattva Nichiren Shonin; and to the
benevolent forces of the universe who protect the Dharma!
May the Wonderful Dharma spread throughout the Ten Thousand Years
of the Declining Latter Age of the Dharma!
May we realize this world is the Eternal Buddha's Pure Land!
May all beings under the heavens and within the four seas live in accor-
dance with the Wonderful Dharma!
May peace permeate all the world and all beings enjoy peace and happi-
ness!
May all beings live in safety and live long without misfortune!
May this peace and happiness last forever and all beings prosper!
We pray that all beings awaken to the true nature of reality which is the
Buddha Dharma!
May all beings of all realms be helped equally, overcome suffering, and
gain the happiness of blissful liberation through the merits of following
the teaching of the Lotus Sutra!
We pray for our ancestors, deceased relatives, and for all those who have
passed away [especially for_________________]!
May we purify our minds, limit our desires, learn to be content, feel free
to experience the quiet unassuming joys of life, and learn to abandon all
attachments formed in the mind!
With this prayer, we endeavor to increase our understanding and appre-
ciation of what others have given and contributed to us, and to develop
constant, mindful consideration of how our thoughts and actions will
beneficially contribute to others!
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Shiguseigan
Shu jo mu hen sei gan do
Bon no mu shu sei gan dan
Ho mon mu jin sei gan chi
Butsu do mu jo sei gan jo
Namu Butsu
Namu Ho
Namu So
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Dismissal
Yui gan sho sho shu
Ketsu jo shi chi ga
Kaku to zui sho an
Go bu sui ai hu.
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
St. Nichirens
Words
(1st DAY)
Strengthen Your Faith
A Response to the Nun, Widow of Lord Ueno
Ueno-dono Goke ama Go-henji
Endeavor to strengthen your faith after listening to this important
teaching. He who endeavors to strengthen his faith after listening to
the teaching of the Lotus Sutra is a true seeker ofBuddhahood.
Grand Master Tien-fai says:
"Indigo becomes deep blue even though it is created from indigo
leaves." This means that if dyed blue over and over, indigo blue will
become deeper than its original color. Practicing the Lotus Sutra is
the same. By practicing the teaching of the Lotus Sutra over and
over, you will be a true follower. Practice is the best master.
(2nd DAY)
The Buddha in Our Mind
Upholding the Lotus Sutra and Attaining Buddhahood
Kanjin Honzon Sho
"Those who uphold the teaching of this sutra are deemed to serve
Me, Sakyamuni, and Taho Buddha. They also serve the Buddhas in
manifestation here who adorn and glorify their respective worlds."
This means that Sakyamuni Buddha, Taho Buddha, and all the Bud-
dhas in manifestation are in our minds, and that we, upholders of
the Lotus Sutra, will follow their steps and inherit all the merits of
those Buddhas.
(3rd DAY)
The Same in Meaning
Kembutsu Mirai-ki
Although the twenty-four characters ofJofukyo Bodhisattva differ
in wording from the five characters which I, Nichiren, spread, they
are the same in meaning. We both appeared in the world under the
same conditions: he toward the Age of the Imitative Dhanna after
the death oflonno Buddha, and I at the beginning of the Latter Age
after the death of Sakyamuni Buddha. Also Bodhisattva Jofukyo
and I, Nichiren, are at the same stage of progress in the practice of
the Lotus Sutra: he is in the initial "rejoicing upon hearing the Lotus
Sutra (sho-zuiki-hon)" rank in the five-stage practice (gohon),
while I am in the second "understanding the Lotus Sutra by listen-
ing to its name and words (myoji-soku)" rank in the six-stage prac-
tice (rokusoku).
(4th DAY)
The Function of Namu-Myohorengekyo
Hoon-jo
Chanting "Namu-Myohorengekyo" swallows up the functions
of'Namu-Amida-Butsu," "Namu-Dainichi-shingon," and "Namu-
Kanzeon-bosatsu" as well as all the Buddhas, sutras, and bodhisatt-
vas. All these will be of no use without the functions of the Lotus
Sutra. This can be seen by everyone, for it has been realized in front
of everyone. When I, Nichiren recite "Namu-Myohorengekyo" the
function of "Namu-Amida-Butsu" disappears just as the moon
wanes, the tide ebbs, grasses in autumn and winter wither and ice
melts under the sun.
(5th DAY)
Learn About Last Moments in Life
My oho Ama Gozen Gohenji
I, Nichiren, have studied Buddhism since I was a child. One's life is
uncertain. Even if you exhale, you are not sure that you can inhale
again. One dies quicker than the dew vanishes in the wind. The
sage and the fool, the young and the old, are under the law of the
transient life. Therefore, one should always know death comes to
everyone and should accept it solemnly and spend their valuable
life meaningfully.
(6th DAY)
Pursuit and Gratitude of Buddhism
Sado Gokanki Sho
I Nichiren, vowed to study and master Buddhism and to attain Bud-
dhahood so that I would be able to save the people from whom I
had received favors. To attain Buddhahood, one must not think self-
ishly even at the cost of his life.
(7th DAY)
Learning and Practicing
Shoho Jisso Sho
Have faith in the Great Mandala Gohonzon, the most superlative in
the world. Endeavor! Endeavor to strengthen your faith, so that you
may be blessed with the protective powers of all Buddhas. Leam
and practice to strengthen your faith. Without learning and practic-
ing there is no Buddhism. Follow these yourself and influence oth-
ers to do the same. To learn and to practice are a part of faith. Even
if only a word or a phrase, spread it to others.
(8th DAY)
Faith and Odaimoku
Myoho Ama Gozen Gohenji
Faith is nothing special. A wife loves her husband, the husband
devotes his life to her, parents do not give away their children, and
children do not desert their mother. Likewise, believe in the Lotus
Sutra, the Buddha Sakyamuni, the Buddha Taho, all Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas, and deities. Then chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.
This is faith.
)
(9th DAY)
Great Compassion of the Buddha
Kanjin Honzon Sho
When the sun shines bright in the sky, everything is made clearly
visible on the earth. In the same manner, when one knows the
teachings of the Lotus Sutra, they will understand the meaning of
the occurrences in the world. For the sake of those who live in the
Latter Age of the Declining Law, who are too infantile to under-
stand the Lotus of the Perfect Truth, and who are ignorant of the
treasure of the truth of the Three Thousand Existences in One
Thought the Eternal Buddha will hang the treasure of the five char-
acters Myo-Ho-Ren-Ge-Kyo around people's necks. The four great
Bodhisattvas who are apostles will protect the keepers of the five
characters, as Tai Kung-wang and the Duke ofChou supported the
young ruler Chen-wang, or as the four elders attended Emperor
Hui-ti in China.
(10th DAY)
Endowed by the Merits of the Buddha
Kanjin Honzon Sho
All the good deeds and virtues of the Buddha Sakyamuni are mani-
fested in the title of the Lotus Sutra, that is, in the five characters :
Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo. However sinful we may be, we shall be natu-
rally endowed with all the deeds and virtues of the Buddha if we
adhere to these five characters.
(11th DAY)
Awakening of the Buddha Nature
Hokke Shoshin Jobutsu Sho
A singing bird in a cage attracts uncaged birds, and the sight of
these uncaged birds will make the caged bird want to be free. Like-
wise, the chanting ofOdaimoku will bring out the Buddha-nature
within ourselves. The Buddha-nature of Bonten and Taishaku will
be summoned by the chanting and will protect the chanter. The
Buddha-nature ofBuddhas and Bodhisattvas will be pleased to be
summoned. For attaining Buddhahood quickly, one must lay down
the banner of arrogance, cast away the club of prejudice, and chant
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.
(l2th DAY)
Tears for the Sutra
Shoho Jisso Sho
Tears roll down when I think of the great hardship which I have to
endure today, but I cannot stop the tears of joy when I think of
obtaining Buddhahood in the future. Birds and insects cry without
shedding tears. Nichiren does not cry but tears keep falling. These
tears are shed not for worldly matters. They are solely for the sake
of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, they could be said to be tears of nec-
tar.
(13th DAY)
The Spread of the Dharma
Selecting the Right Time
Senji-Sho
Rivers come together to form an Ocean. Particles of dust accumu-
late to become Mt. Sumeru. When I, Nichiren, began having faith
in the Lotus Sutra, it was like a drop of water or a particle of dust in
Japan. However, when the sutra is chanted and transmitted to two,
three, ten, million and billion of people, it will grow to be a Mt.
Sumeru of perfect enlightenment or the great ocean of Nirvana.
There is no way other than this to reach Buddhahood.
(14th DAY)
Buddha and Hell
Omonsu Dono Nyobo Gohenji
Suppose we ask where the Buddha is, and where hell is. Some
sutras state that hell is below the earth, while others state that the
Pure Land of the Buddhas is in the west. But the explicit truth is
that both hell and Buddha exist within five feet of our bodies. It
probably can be said that hell exists in one's mind when he despises
his father and neglects his mother. As the seed of the lotus brings
forth its root and flower, we have the Buddha in our minds.
(15th DAY)
Showing Gratitude
Kaimoku Sho
To be filial (ko) means to be high (ko); heaven is high but not at all
higher than being filial. To be filial ko also means to be deep (ko);
the earth is deep but not any deeper than being filial. Both sages and
wise men come from filial families. How much more should stu-
dents of Buddhism realize the favors they receive and show grati-
tude for them? Disciples of the Buddha should not fail to feel
grateful for the favors received from parents, people, sovereign of
nation, and Buddha. Show gratitude to them.
(16th DAY)
Repentance
Konichi Bo Gosho
A tiny needle sinks into the water. Rain falls - it cannot float in the
air. These are natural laws. A person who kills a tiny ant falls into
hell. Thus, a person who kills a human being falls into hell. How-
ever, a huge rock can float on water if it is placed on a ship. A rag-
ing fire can be extinguished by the power of water. Without
repentance, even a small sin can make a man fall into hell. On the
other hand, with sincere repentance, even great sins can be erased.
(17th DAY)
Practice in Action, Voice, and Spirit
Tsuchi-Ro Gosho
Tomorrow, I Nichiren will be exiled to Sado Island. This cold
evening, I am thinking of you in the cold dungeon. My thought is
that you have read and practiced the Lotus Sutra with your heart
and action, which would save your parents, brothers, sisters, rela-
tives, ancestors, and everyone around you. Other people read the
sutra vocally without feeling in their hearts. Even though they
might read it with their heart, they do not experience it as the sutra
teaches. Compared with them, you are very precious since you are
practicing the sutra in your actions, voice, and spirit.
(18th DAY)
Three Great Vows
Kaimoku Sho
To desert the teaching of the Lotus Sutra denotes falling into hell. I
have made a vow , Even if someone says that he would make me
the ruler of Japan if I give up the Lotus Sutra and rely upon the
Kanmuryojukyo Sutra of Meditation on the Buddha of Infinite Life
for my salvation in the next life, or even if someone threatens me
saying that he will execute my parents if I do not say "Namu Amida
Butsu," and even if many great difficulties fall upon me, I will not
submit to them until a man of wisdom defeats me by reason. Other
difficulties are like dust in the wind. I will never break my vow that
I shall become a pillar of Japan, I shall become the eyes of Japan,
and I shall become the great vessel of Japan.
(19th DAY)
Spirit of the Buddha Enters Our Mind
Selecting the Right Time
Senji-Sho
It was not I, Nichiren, who made these three important predictions.
I believe it was solely the spirit ofSakyamuni Buddha, entering my
body, who made them. I am overwhelmed with joy. This is the
important 3000 Existences Contained in One Thought doctrine of
the Lotus Sutra. According to it, a mind of any person is equipped
with the seed ofBuddhahood, which could grow to blossom in their
mind when he upholds the right faith. As a result, their mind could
function like that of the Buddha. This is what happened to me,
Nichiren, when I made these three predictions.
(20th DAY)
Buddhahood is Certain
Ueno-no-Ama Gozen Go-henji
It is said that the merit of all the Buddhist scriptures (except the
Lotus Sutra) is that men can become Buddhas after they have done
good deeds, which means that attainment of Buddhahood remains
uncertain. In the case of the Lotus Sutra, when one touches it, one's
hands immediately become Buddhas, and when one chants it, one's
mouth instantaneously becomes a Buddha.
(21st DAY)
Protection by the Buddhas
Ueno-no-Ama Gozen Go-henji
Candlelight brightens the darkness. Even dirty water reflects the
moonlight beautifully. In this world nothing is brighter than the sun
and moon. Nothing is nobler than the lotus flowers. As the Lotus
Sutra is like the sun and moon and the lotus flowers, it is called the
Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma. I, Nichiren,
am also like the sun and moon and the lotus flowers. If you truly
believe in the Lotus Sutra, you will be rewarded and protected by
the Buddhas.
(22nd DAY)
More Valuable Than Appears
Ueno-no-Ama Gozen Go-henji
Although the Lotus Sutra consists of only 8 fascicles, it is as valu-
able as reading 16 fascicles, because it is the teachings expounded
by both Sakyamuni and Taho Buddhas. These 16 fascicles are also
as precious as innumerable fascicles because they were verified by
innumerable Buddhas all over the universe. In other words, a char-
acter of the Lotus Sutra is as valuable as two characters because it
was attested by the two Buddhas, Sakyamuni and Taho; it is as pre-
cious as numerous characters because it was verified by numerous
Buddhas all over the universe. Just as treasures produced by the
wish-fulfilling gem are as precious as those produced by numerous
gems, the merit of one character of the Lotus Sutra is as valuable as
those of numerous characters.
(23rd DAY)
An Extraordinary Practitioner
Ueno-no-Ama Gozen Go-henji
If you contemplate this sutra day and night and read it morning and
evening, you will become an extraordinary practitioner of the Lotus
Sutra. The character sha in the phrase "ze-kyoden-sha" (one who
upholds this sutra) means any person; therefore, the phrase can
mean anyone who has faith in the Lotus Sutra among monks, nuns,
laymen, and laywomen... "..it is only the Lotus Sutra that declares:
"A women who upholds this sutra is superior to not only other
women but also men."
(24th DAY)
Awakening as Buddha's Children
Hokke Shuyo Sho
Since time immemorial all of the people on earth have been the
Buddha Sakyamuni's beloved children. We had not realized the
relationship, because we had been undutiful children. It is a unique
relationship. As the moon reflects on calm water, the Buddha
appears in our calm mind.
(25th DAY)
Aspiration for Enlightenment
Matsuno Dono Gohenji
There are thousands of fish eggs but few become fish. Hundreds of
mango blossoms bloom but few become fruit. It is the same with
human beings because most people are turned aside by evil distrac-
tions. There is an army of warriors wearing armor but few are able
to fight bravely. Many people search for truth but few attain Bud-
dhahood.
(26th DAY)
Merits of the Lotus Sutra
Zui Ji I Gosho
The Lotus Sutra is the true teaching because the Buddha Sakya-
muni preached it from the bottom of his heart exactly as he was
enlightened. Other sutras were taught according to the listeners'
level of understanding. The Buddha teaches righteousness. The
chanting of the sutra will lead us to righteousness unconsciously.
For example, the creeping mugwort grass among the hemp will
grow straight, or the body of a snake will become straight if it goes
into a straight pipe, or if one has good friends, his attitudes will
become good. Likewise, one who believes in the Lotus Sutra will
attain Buddhahood.
(27th DAY)
Merits of Chanting Odaimoku
Myomitsu Shonin Go Shosoku
I, Nichiren, sincerely practice the most profound Lotus Sutra
among all the sutras that have been preached, are being preached,
and will be preached. I also chant Odaimoku, the essence of the
sutra, by myself and teach others to chant it. Mugwort grass grows
straight amidst the hemp field. Trees do not grow straight, but by
cutting them straight, they become useful. If you chant the sutra as
it states, your mind will be straightened. Be aware that it is hard for
us to chant Odaimoku unless the spirit of the Eternal Buddha enters
into our bodies.
(28th DAY)
One Spirit in Different Bodies
Itai Dojin Ji
All things are possible if people are united in one spirit. Nothing
can be accomplished if they are not united. Such teachings also
exist in non-Buddhist scriptures. For instance, a king of Yin in old
China, King Chieh, who had an army of seven hundred thousand
men disunited in spirit, was defeated by King Wu ofChou and his
army of eight hundred men, who were united in one spirit. So that if
a person has two thoughts, nothing can be accomplished. Even if
there are hundreds or thousands of people, if they are united in one,
they are surely able to accomplish their aim.
(29th DAY)
Filial Piety
Bo Jikyo Ji
You Jonin Toki brought your mother's ashes to Minobu and placed
them at the altar where the Buddha Sakyamuni, our original
teacher, is enshrined. Prostrating yourself in front of the altar, hold-
ing your hands together in gassho, you paid homage to the Buddha.
You have overcome your sorrow at your mother's death and firmly
believed your mother was saved by the teachings of the Lotus
Sutra. Thus, you were released from your sorrow. All of your body
- your head, hands, legs, and mouth - are all inherited from your
parents. This kinship between your parents and you is like the rela-
tionship between seed and fruit. Therefore, as your mother is saved,
you are also saved by the teachings of the Lotus Sutra.
(30th DAY)
Attainment of Buddhahood
Myoichi Ama Gozen Goshosoku
Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra are like the winter season for
many hardships come incessantly. Winter is surely followed by
spring. We have never heard nor seen that winter returned to fall.
We have never heard that the believers in the Lotus Sutra go back to
ordinary men. The Lotus Sutra says, "All people who listen to this
sutra will attain Buddhahood."
(31st DAY)
Realization of Buddhahood
Kanjin Honzon Sho
The Saha-world is the world of the Original Buddha and is the eter-
nal Pure Land, which is free from the three calamities and the four
kalpa. In this eternal world, the Buddha never disappeared in the
past, nor is He to appear in the future. In consequence, all living
beings under the Buddha Saha-world are one with Him and eternal.
It is because those who believe in the Lotus Sutra, live in the land
where they have united themselves with the Buddha and attained
the truth of the three thousand existences in one thought.
Buddhahood by All Women
Kaimoku Sho
The example of a dragon girl becoming a Buddha does not mean
only her. It means the attainment of Buddhahood by all women. In
the Hinayana sutras preached before the Lotus Sutra woman is not
thought of in attaining Buddhahood. Various Mahayana sutras
appear to recognize women attaining Buddhahood or going to the
Buddha land, but only after they changed themselves to the good by
giving up the evil. This is not an immediate attainment of Buddha-
hood in this world, which can only be possible through the "3,000
in one thought" doctrine. Therefore what the Buddha promised in
those Mahayana sutras is in name only. On the other hand, the
attainment of Buddhahood by a dragon girl in the Lotus Sutra is
meant as an example among many, opening the way for women of
Latter Age to attain Buddhahood or reach Buddha land.
Encouragement During Difficult Times
Kaimoku Sho
Many ways are claimed for leading to Buddhahood, such as the
'mind-only' of the Kegon School, the Sanron doctrine of 'the middle
path of the eightfold negation," the "consciousness only" doctrine
of the Hosso School, and the Shingon doctrine of the "five wheels,"
but none of these seem to work in actuality. The only way seem-
ingly leading us to Buddhahood is the "3,000 in one thought" doc-
trine ofTien-t'ai. However, we in the Declining Latter Age of the
Dharma do not possess the intelligence to understand it; neverthe-
less, anyone who upholds it with complete faith in it will be able to
attain Buddhahood. Among all the sutras preached by Sakyamuni
during His lifetime, only the Lotus Sutra embodies the gem of the
"3,000 in one thought" doctrine. Doctrines of other sutras may look
like gems, but in actuality they are merely yellow rocks. Just as, no
matter how hard you squeeze sand, you will not get oil, or barrer
women will never have children, even wise men will not be able to
attain Buddhahood by means of other sutras. As for the Lotus Sutra,
even ignorant persons will be able to plant the seed of Buddhahood.
This citation from the Nirvana Sutra stating "Such people would be
able to obtain Buddhahood" must have meant this attainment of
Buddhahood by means of the Lotus Sutra.
Not only I, Nichiren, but also my disciples will reach the land of
Buddha unfailingly so long as we hold on to unwavering faith no
mater what difficulty confronts us. I have always told my disciples
not to have a doubt about the lack of heavenly protection and not to
lament the lack oftranquility in this world. I am afraid, however,
that they might all have doubt about these and no longer listen to
me. It seems only natural that ordinary people, in the face of reality,
will forget what they promised. Having pity on their families, my
lay followers must lament on being separated from wives and chil-
dren in this world. However, had they ever been separated from
their beloved families without sorrow throughout many lives in the
past? Had they ever been separated for the sake of Buddhism?
Theirs must have been the same sad separation. Since everyone has
to be separated from his family, he should continue upholding the
Lotus Sutra and attain Buddhahood in the land of the Eternal Bud-
dha, so that he will be able to return to this world to save his wife
and children.
7KH35$&7,&(RI1,&+,5(16+8
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OUR CREED
We consider the Lotus Sutra as personally experi-
enced by Nichiren Shonin to be the Ioundation oI
our liIe.
Sakyamuni Buddha who has been trying to save
all the people Irom time immortal is the True
Teacher embodying wisdom and compassion. We
put our total Iaith in Him.
Nichiren Shonin made a vow, "Namu Myoho
Renge Kyo," to cultivate the Buddha nature oI all
and to build the land oI Buddha. We consider him
our teacher and try to achieve the goal.
We will always be aware that we are the Buddha's
children and will live together with all the people
in search Ior the WUXWK
PLEDGES OF LAY MEMBERS
/, as a member of the Nichiren Sect, swear before the
Gohon:on and in my heart to practice the/allowing.
Admonition and Duties..... I will obey the teach-
ings oI Nichiren Shonin, strictly Iollow his
admonishments, and make every eIIort to do my
duties as member oI the Nichiren Sect.
Faith and Occupation..... 1 will do my dailywork
IaithIully and will try to be oI help to society.
Reverence to Ancestors and Faith..... I will
always clean the Iamily altar, will not neglect vis-
iting the Iamily graveyard, and will respectIully
observe memorial services Ior my ancestors.
Faith and Training Every Morning and
Evening..... I will work hard at Iaith and training
every morning and evening and live a pure and
religious liIe daily.
Bright and Happy Family..... I will try to build a
bright andhappy Iamily through mutual love,
respect, and cooperation among Iamily members.
(quotation from "Shingyo Hikkei")
Daily Service & Practice within Nichiren's Buddhism
Introduction
Daily Religious Service is an important part of our lives as Bud-
dhists. It is the expression of our faith, sincerity, devotion, as well
as an active prayer for a better world, and enlightenment for all of
humanity.
In Nichiren`s Buddhism, Chanting and Religious Service have deep
and Iar reaching consequences. They are not empty or shallow psy-
chological wishes Ior enlightenment or peace, but the very vessel
itselI into which Ilows enlightenment Ior ourselves and, even more
importantly, Ior others. It is out oI the Jessel of Ritual which Ilows
great power Ior world peace and the attainment oI wisdom; it is this
act that maniIests the Buddhist Heart and the Pure World of the
Buddha into and throughout our lives.
When we chant Odaimoku (The Sacred Title Daimoku oI the
Lotus oI the WonderIul Dharma) and the Sutra, we become the
Buddha of Supreme Enlightenment. When we hold the Sutra in our
hands, they become themselves the Hands of the Buuha. Our voice
that carries the words oI the Buddha, spreads the transIormative
dharma throughout very air and space around us, to spread invisibly
around the world and beyond our sight oI vision.
Daily devotional practice is the power source Ior our individual and
collective transIormation into Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. It is the
moral core intrinsically Iused with Cause and Effect that cannot
help but teach us and guide us Iorward into accomplishing our goal
oI Supreme Enlightenment.
Odaimoku is the power behind our efforts to become better, wiser,
more compassionate, and insightful beings.
Odaimoku is the symbol and teaching Ior the Latter Age of the
Dharma. II we chant Namu Myohorengekyo with Iaith and sincer-
ity, that symbol and teaching becomes living Buddhas` working
through our lives.
It is Odaimoku that is our Primary Practice.
Odaimoku Our Primary Practice
What is the Odaimoku?
The Sacred Title of the Lotus Flower Sutra
Odaimoku which is a Japanese word consisting oI Daimoku, mean-
ing 'Title and the honoriIic 'O which is loosely translated as
'Sacred is a Nichiren Shu way oI reIerring to our primary practice
oI chanting 'Namu Myohorengekyo.
The meaning behind the PerIect Sound oI the Sacred Title
(Odaimoku) oI the Myoho Renge Kyo the Lotus Sutra oI the Won-
derIul Dharma, can with certainty only be hinted at.
The Odaimoku is a mystery whose nature transcends any words
used to describe it. Odaimoku is beyond conventional reasoning.
Yet it also interpenetrates the world in which we live, which in a
very deep way provides the pathway on which the heart can tread,
and begin to experience concretely the power behind the phrase.
Volumes have been written describing the meaning oI this 'Ancient
Rhythm, and still, because oI the limitations oI language, have
Iailed in conveying its essence. The only way, however, to acquire
the essential understanding oI Odaimoku is to chant this Rhythmic
Title Ior ourselves.
With this understanding, let us attempt to convey the Gist oI the
Sacred Title.
A Iew loose interpretations are:
Devotion to the Mystic Dharma of the Lotus Flower Sutra
'Adoration to the Wonderful Law of the Lotus Sutra`
"We Reverently Bow to the Undivided Dharma of the Cause &
Effect Scripture of the Eternal Buddha"
"Devotional fusion with the incomprehensible Law of the
Dharma Flower Sutra."
6DQNULW 'Namas Saddharma Pundarika Sutra`
'Namas` Irom 'Namaste - 'Bowing to the Divinity
within; 'Sad` 'PerIection, representing 'Six, the perIect
number in Indian societies; 'Dharma` the Law, the Way,
the Path, the Innumerable Teachings oI the Eternal Buddha;
'Punda` a variety oI Sacred White Lotus representing the
true mystery oI simultaneous caus & eIIect; 'Rika` Ilower
or Ilowering oI The Way in time and space, past, present and
Iuture, as well as 'outside oI time the True REality of Nir-
vana; 'Sutra` the recorded words oI Sakyamuni as a his-
torical personage, as well as the intent oI undiIIerentiated
'divinity that He represents (each of us are neither separate
nor in possession of this same 'undividedness,` but possess
an ability to perceive all-that-is). 'Sutra also denotes a
'wrap oI cloth representing the inIinite threads oI the dharma
that are interwoven in conventional reality as well as Nirvana.
&KLQHVH 'Miao-Fa-Lien-Hua-Ching
AUXILIARY PRAC1ICE:
SUTRA RECITATION THE DEFINING PRACTICE IN
NICHIREN BUDDHISM
Nichiren`s Buddhism was born out oI the chaos oI Medieval Japan.
One oI Nichiren`s primary concerns was the common person living
in Japan at the time. It is no secret that Nichiren showed great dis-
pleasure toward the aristocratic society that elevated intellectual
posturing over practical concerns and the working class.
In the spirit oI the Great Jehicle teachings, the Buddha, by way oI
Nichiren, encapsulated the secret treasury oI the Dharma in the sin-
gle phrase 'Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.` It is the simplicity and
extreme purity oI the Dharma that allows the distillation and con-
densing oI the Primary Gate oI Enlightenment into Namu Myo-
horengekyo that IulIills the promise oI the Greater Mahayana
teachings the Great One Vehicle` that will carry all beings into
the paradise oI the Buddha Realms. In Nichiren`s Buddhism, we
realize that the Paradise oI the Buddha Realms are here and now, in
this world, and work toward making them a reality in our daily
lives.
It is the simplicity and potency oI this Great Mahayana Vehicle that
makes it truly vast and all inclusive. Anyone oI any educational
level or intelligence can chant or think the Odaimoku. Thus with
even one sincere repetition, Buddhahood is assured.
The great pitIall and danger oI being armed with this knowledge
and truth is the all-too-human tendency to Iall into salvationist the-
ology, where the Buddha and Dharma become a living entity
whom, by themselves, carry us into the Bliss of Nirvana and
Supreme Enlightenment. It is our responsibility to partake in ear-
nest oI the bountiIul knowledge and insight opened up beIore our
eyes. It is a very dynamic process.
It is Odaimoku that opens the Gate of Supreme Bodhi. On our part,
we must walk through the Gate, beginning (or continuing) the
exploration oI the Great Mysteries of Insight and Compassion.
It is our responsibility to weave the Iabric oI the Golden Rays of
Namu Myohorengekyo into our very lives. This process takes:
Effort, Repentance, Inspiration, Study, Practice, Love for one
another, Forgiveness, and more. With these we will be carried
through to PerIect Awareness oI Bodhi. The attainment oI the
Compassionate Heart Iused with the Buddhist Insight of All Reality
is not accomplished overnight. It is a process and there are many
awakenings along the way.
This is why, with our best eIIorts, we must seek out the Teachings
of the Dharma and the application oI those teachings in our daily
lives.
This means Keeping, Reading, Reciting, Studying and Copying the
Great Vehicle Sutras; keeping them close to our hearts by penetrat-
ing their eternal message and meaning in our daily lives; putting in
the IoreIront oI our minds and in our hearts the words oI the Bud-
dha, the hidden core oI the Dharma Iound within the Odaimoku and
the Hokekyo.
In Nichiren Shuwe understand the essential equality between the
Shakumon and Honmon (The Imprint Gate and the Primary Gate)
or the Teachings expounded by the Historical Buddha, and those
expounded by the Eternal Buddha oI the Latter Half of the Hoke-
kyo.
The teachings oI the Historical Buddha can only come into being
because oI the existence oI the Eternal Buddha and the very essence
oI the Dharma that guides us all. Without the light oI the Dharma
expounded by the Eternal Buddha an everlasting Iunction oI the
universe, the teachings oI the Historical Buddha become diIIicult to
grasp, impossible to veriIy, and easily misunderstood.
So also, the Dharma taught by the Eternal Buddhameaningless and
only clues us into the reality of all things,
Those teachings become only a maze oIesoterica without the stabi-
lizing Iorce and grounded reality presented by the Historical Bud-
dha and His Teachings (Shakumon).
To look at it another way, the expedient teachings oI the Historical
Buddha prepare in the real Saha world, the basic understanding and
Iield upon which the reality oI the sublime teachings are grasped
and acted upon.
The teachings oI the Shakumon and Honmon areOne 1eaching -
not two, or three. And it is the error oI various schools oI Bud-
dhism, to attempt their separation, or sublimation oI one over the
other.
With this understanding we begin, at last, to grasp the essential
nature of Auxiliary Practices in Nichiren's Buddhism. They are not
'secondary' or 'less than' the Primary Practice ofOdaimoku, but are
actually the supporting mechanism and structure that makes real in
this world the Fields of Merit granted to us by the Eternal Buddha.
This is important to understand, iI we are ever to see the real objec-
tive maniIestation oI the Eternal Pure World on planet Earth.
Without the practice and application oI basic Buddhist thought into
our lives, Odaimoku and chanting, become a misty dew that soon
evaporates iI we do not make real, by eIIort, the Merits accumu-
lated within the Lotus Sutra. transmitted to us through the vessel of
ceremony and the chanting oI Odaimoku.
Odaimoku is the inIinite power source and the basis oI our lives.
When we couple this inconceivable merit with practical, ethical,
and common-sense-eIIort within our daily routine, we 'truly'
become living Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. We have, thereIore,
because oI our individual eIIorts begun to repay the debt of grati-
tude owed to the Buddhas, our Teachers and the very air and nutri-
ents that sustain us. We become a living part oI the Buddhas Pure
Land here and now... not in some distant, unrealistic pipe-dream oI
a Iuture. This is an exciting prospect, and one that most can wrap
their hearts around.
Reading & Chanting the Lotus Sutra --the Auxiliary
Means of Training
From the Shingyo Hikkei:
" How to Read the Sutra:
In reading the sutra we have to adjust our clothing, calm our mind
and remind ourselves that the sutra is edifying the Buddha's teach-
ings, and that each letter represents the Buddha's body, voice, and
heart.
In reading the sutra, we have to read each letter clearly and with a
ringing voice. We read them not too fast nor too slow, and with as
much serenity as possible.
We have to read the sutra with our voice coming out deep from the
stomach. A voice which sounds like it was coming off the top of the
head or forced out is not desirable.
Read the sutra with a pure voice like that of the Buddha.
Committing the sutra to memory means to uphold all the time the
Buddha's heart through our words. We can memorize the sutra by
repeating it many times. It is desirable, therefore, that we try to hold
the sutra in our hands, and perceive its meanings through its letters.
In the morning and evening services we recite the Lotus Sutra and
the Odaimoku. In addition we read 'Devotion (Unzo),' 'Writings of
our Founder (Gomyohon),' 'Prayer (Eko),' and others."
Recitation - Time, Speed and Tone
Like many things in Nichiren Shu, hard and unbending rules are not
forced upon us in an autocratic fashion. But certain guidelines are
given in an attempt to help the practitioner reap the most out of
their practice.
A ringing deep voice filled with sincerity and power, is preferred to
one that is 'mousy,' meek, or filled with trepidation. Remember, that
when reciting the Sutra, we are the Buddha teaching the Dharma;
We are the Buddha teaching the Gods, Dragons, and believers of all
the Six Ranks. We, at every recitation, inspire and encourage all
believers in all the ten directions of the entire universe.
Even though, for most of us at least, this is a humbling proposition,
strive to maintain a stance and tone of appreciation and grateful-
ness.
It is with these thoughts, that we should approach our chanting.
There are times when the Heart of Practitioner is inspired to
almost sing the Sutra - slow and melodic. Time, too, when a driving
force deep within, uses the words of the Sutra to make the Earth
tremble in six different ways. Both extremes and many points in
between are appropriate at different times in our life. However,
there are a few traditional guidelines that we at Nichiren Shu stress:
1 - The Sutra is recited with a steady beat, with few exceptions,
these exceptions are:
A - Hotoge, which has its own rhythm to emulate Nichiren's recita-
tion of it to Nichiro while he was being taken off to Sado Island.
B - The initial slow-to-faster steady increasing beat, used primarily
within a group, so all can get in step for fast and intensive chanting.
C - The four stanza galloping rhythm sometimes used to express
joy, samadhi, and a certain playfulness at times needed in our prac-
tice.
D - The 'slower' ending beats (usually started four stanzas before
the ending of a chapter), signified with the bell.
2 - The Sutra and Odaimoku is recited with an even monotone,
without the raising or lowering of
pitch.
A - It is advisable to change tones however when:
a - one is extremely out of harmony with the rest of the group. b -
the vocal chords tire during long recitations. Tonal changes are
encouraged, but should be held to a minimum.
B- It is customary to change tones and actually sing the Sutra and
Nichiren's life during Wasan, as based in various traditions.
3 - Each character or word of the Sutra is clearly enunciated, not
slurred, but also not overly
exaggerated.
4 - Sutra Recitation should become an expression of joy, gratitude,
and honor. It is a sign of great disrespect to recite the Sutra because
one 'has to.' It would be better to skip your recitation if you become
resentful, and soul-search, why you feel this way. Chant Odaimoku
to cleanse yourself, or simply light some incense and pray.
A - It is better to chant one heart felt Odaimoku than it is to chant
the entire Hokekyo with insincerity.
B - Beginners to chanting and seasoned practitioners alike however,
should spend a concerted effort in the beginning to chant for a min-
imum amount of time every day. a - The Beginner will require
extensive patience, practice and concentration in the beginning in
order to get use to the Sino-Japanese pronunciations. b The sea-
soned practitioner should be aware of doing 'a little more' or
expending a consistent effort in then-practice, challenging them-
selves to leam more, recite more forcefully, with more insight,
heart, etc.
Fast or Slow Revisited
There is some disagreement in Nichiren Shu as to the speed in
which one should chant. Traditionally, a slow even paced session
was encouraged and followed. Even within our weekly service at
our Temples and Churches, a slow recitation is the rule, with few
exceptions.
We must ask ourselves, is this for the sake of Tradition, or for the
sake of new members so that they may follow the service? Has the
tradition sprung out of this consideration for new members by way
of habit, necessity or simply because it is more solemn?
Many of us, revel in, and are greatly inspired by the energy-filled,
fast recitations, preformed at Healing Services (Kito);
At our home altar's, this becomes the rule, because of the energy
and joy built up. Is this a 'less' solemn practice?
The answer to these differing positions simply boils down to per-
sonal preference. A slow, peaceful, solemn recitation has as much a
part in Nichiren's Buddhism as does the powerful, rapid, concen-
trated one. The thing to remember is the issue of attitude. A practi-
tioner of the Lotus Sutra should be able to find equal Joy in both
approaches, although at times one approach will feel more appro-
priate than the other, this is personally subjective, an issue subject
to the heart and circumstances.
A few common sense-guidelines should, in conjunction with this,
be kept in mind.
If slow recitation leads you to a greater desire for practice and
devotion, then with complete concentration and awareness, chant
every word with a ringing voice to the heavens and the four seas.
Try to avoid, however, the tendency of letting the mind wander.
Also, avoid 'automatic pilot' recitation.
If your recitation leaves you 'so' peaceful that you feel like taking a
nap after recitation, then maybe it is time to pick of the speed and
intensity.
If fast recitation inspires your heart, then you also, with complete
concentration and awareness, chant every word with a ringing voice
to the heavens. Also, too, avoid mindless repetition. If your recita-
tion however, leaves you so 'wired' or energy filled that your
evening recitations affect you like a pot of coffee before bed time,
then you would do well to slow down and possibly put a bit more
heart into your ceremony.
As with all things Buddhist - the middle way. With each individual -
the right fit and method.
Most Commonly Read and Recited include:
1. Kaikyo-ge - Prelude
2. Hoben-pon - Chapter 2, Expedience
3. Nyorai Juryohon - Chapter 16, The Duration of the Life of the
Tathagata
or Nyorai Juryohon Gathas - Jigage
4. Nyorai Jinriki-hon Gathas - Chapter 21, The Supernatural
Powers of the Tathagatas
5. Kannon-gyo Gathas - Chapter 25, The Universal Gate of
World-Voice-Perceiver Bodhisattva
6. Yokuryoshu - The Coming of the Buddhas
7. Hotoge - The Difficulty of Retaining the Sutra
8. Shiguseigan - Four Great Vows
9. Bowing to the Three Treasures (Requesting Buddhas to return
to their realms)
10. Odaimoku Sansho, reciting Odaimoku three times