Guidance from Sixty-eighth High Priest Nichinyo Shonin On the Occasion of the December Kosen-rufu Shodai Ceremony
March 4, 2012
Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji
Good morning everyone!
On this occasion of the March Kōsen-rufu Shodai Ceremony, conducted here today at the Head Temple, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the large number of participants in attendance.
March has arrived. Exactly one year ago, on March 11, the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake occurred, and an unexpectedly large tsunami dealt the Tohoku district a devastating blow. Many people encountered tragedies, such as losing their family and homes. I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to all of these people. Now, looking back on this tragedy, we need to ponder the true meaning of the Risshō ankoku-ron, and consider what we must do from this point forward.
In the Risshō ankoku-ron (On Securing the Peace of the Land through the Propagation of True Buddhism), the Daishonin states:
When I, with my limited knowledge, read the sutras, I find that all people have gone against the correct Law and become wholly devoted to evil doctrines. This is why all the guardian deities have abandoned this country and sages have left this land, not to return. Seizing this opportunity, devils and demons rush in, bringing disasters and calamities. This is most fearful. We must speak out! (Gosho, p. 234; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 3)
In other words, the reason why natural disasters and calamities occur is that the “people have gone against the correct Law and become wholly devoted to evil doctrines.” The root of these calamities is the slander of heretical sects and incorrect doctrines that do not grasp the difference between right and wrong.
Therefore the Daishonin teaches in the Risshō ankoku-ron:
If you desire a secure land, and wish to pray for peace in your present and future existences, you should waste no time, ponder on the correct path, and immediately eliminate slanders. (Gosho, p. 248; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 39)
Furthermore, he states:
If one desires peace to reign throughout the entire nation without delay, he should first and foremost put an end to the slanders that prevail throughout the country. (Gosho, p. 247; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 35)
This means that the negative effect of slander must be removed at the root, in order to prevent the occurrence of natural disasters and calamities. Thus, it is important to conduct our practice in a specific way, which is taking action to do shakubuku—refuting heresy and revealing the truth. Living beings in the Latter Day of the Law are those without the seed of Buddhahood, and because they are different than those possessing the seed of Buddhahood, shakubuku must be conducted instead of shōju.
Nichiren Daishonin teaches in “On Chanting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra” (“Shō hokke Daimoku-shō”):
In the Latter Day of the Law, there are many who lack the seed of Buddhahood, while few possess the seed of Buddhahood. Thus, there is no doubt that the people [in the Latter Day of the Law] will fall into the evil paths. [Even if they oppose it,] we must strongly teach them and make them listen to the Lotus Sutra, so that they will form a poison-drum relationship with the correct Law. Now is the time to make them form a reverse relationship with true Buddhism through teaching them the Lotus Sutra. (Gosho, p. 231)
In the Latter Day of the Law, not only those living beings who form a positive relationship, but also those who have a reverse relationship through hearing the Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws, can connect with the true Law and surely can be saved in the future.
In “On Revealing Slander” (“Ken hōbō-shō”) the Daishonin states:
The Buddha allows us to preach the Lotus Sutra from the very beginning, so that people can establish a relationship with the sutra, whether it is a reverse relationship or a positive relationship. (Gosho, p. 283)
Now, the priesthood and laity of Nichiren Shoshu are advancing in unity toward the achievement of our objectives for 2015 and 2021. There are some Hokkeko chapters that already have achieved their goals.
As we look toward the significant occasions of 2015 and 2021, and look upon the deluded and confused condition of the world today, we keenly can feel our mission to conduct shakubuku without retreating even the slightest, in order to achieve a peaceful world and happiness for all the people.
The Daishonin teaches in “The Rulers of the Land of the Gods” (“Shinkokuō-gosho”):
If one wishes to examine one’s face, one must only look into a clear mirror. Likewise, when one tries to understand the nation’s rise and decline, the most telling source is that of the Buddhist mirror, because there is no teaching more superior.…Depending on the Buddhist teaching that the people follow, either the nation will prosper and the people’s lives will be prolonged, or the nation will come to ruin and the people’s lives will be cut short. (Gosho, p. 1301)
The Daishonin clarifies the doctrine of the oneness of life and its environment in “On Omens” (“Zuisō-gosho”):
The ten directions are the objective environment. Sentient beings are the subjective self. Objective environment is like the shadow, and subjective self is like the body. Without the body there can be no shadow. Without subjective self, there can be no objective environment, even though the subjective self is determined and supported by the objective environment.
(Gosho, p. 918)
Moreover, the Daishonin teaches:
When the people's five sense organs are disordered, the four quarters as well as the center will be disturbed and disrupted without fail. Then, mountains will fall, grasses and trees will wither, and rivers will dry up as signs of the destruction of the land. When the people's eyes, ears and other sense organs are disturbed and disordered, extraordinary changes occur in the heavens, and when their minds are troubled, the earth shakes. (Gosho, p. 919)
The same Gosho states:
If the people are happy and at ease, then favorable omens will appear in the heavens, and the Heavenly King Taishaku will shake the earth. Conversely, if the minds of the people are tainted with evil, ominous changes will occur in the heavens and terrible calamities will befall the earth. The extent of unusual occurrences in the heavens depends upon the degree of the people’s anger. This also is true for disasters on earth. (Gosho, p. 920)
The functions of the bodies and minds of common mortals have a great influence on the realm of the environment and determine the rise and fall of the nation.
In light of the principle of life and its environment, we must understand the importance of carrying out shakubuku to even one more person. We must sow the seed of the mystic Law of the Buddhism of the sowing of the true cause, in order to realize the Buddha Land.
I would like to conclude my address by sincerely praying that each of you will redouble your efforts, conduct shakubuku with firm determination, and assiduously take action for the achievement of our shakubuku goals for this year.