15 Oct 2021 Having Appreciation is the “Heart of Faith”
On October 1, 1279, Nichiren Daishonin wrote in a Gosho titled, “On Persecutions Befalling the Sage” on the purpose of his advent,
“The Buddha fulfilled the purpose of his advent in a little over forty years, the Great Teacher Tien-t’ai took about thirty years, and the Great Teacher Dengyo, some twenty years…
For me it took twenty- seven years, and the great persecutions I faced during this period are well known to you all.” (WND-1, p. 138)
His purpose was the “establishment of the correct teachings for the peace of the land”, the teachings of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, to empower all people to overcome their sufferings and attain the state of Buddhahood; and he inscribed the Gohonzon as a means of depicting this sublime state.
The Daishonin had also endured unimaginable hardships and great persecutions for the sake of the Law and for humanity. In another Gosho written in 1275, titled, “Regarding an Unlined Robe” he shared,
“Hence, for a period of more than twenty years, from the time I was thirty-two up to the present, when I am fifty-four, I have been expelled from temples or driven out of various places, have had my relatives harassed, have been subject to night attack, confronted in battles, wounded in the hand, and my disciples have been killed. I have nearly been beheaded and twice condemned to exile. In the twenty and more years I have known not an hour, not an instant of peace or safety.” (WND-1, p. 258)
Under the most severe conditions, amidst the scarcity of food, clothing and threats to his life, the Daishonin had never once wavered in his mission to relieve the world of sufferings by inscribing the Gohonzon and leaving behind “the correct teachings for the peace of the land”.
The Daishonin wrote,
“I, Nichiren, have inscribed my life in sumi ink, so believe in the Gohonzon with your whole heart. The Buddha’s will is the Lotus Sutra, but the soul of Nichiren is nothing other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (WND-1, p. 412)
Through his strong faith and perseverance, the Daishonin was able to reveal the Law that enables us to reveal the exact same life condition as the Buddha. His noble life came to an end on October 13, 1282.
Ikeda Sensei once shared, “Having appreciation for being able to chant to the Gohonzon is the heart of faith. The more you exert yourselves in faith — in doing gongyo and chanting daimoku — the more you stand to gain…” (“The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace” New Edition, Part 1, published by SSA, p. 149)
To repay our deep gratitude to Nichiren Daishonin, let us cherish the Gohonzon in our homes and be diligent in our daily practice of gongyo and daimoku.
On the deepest level, to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon, as taught by Nichiren, is to awaken in one’s own life the mission of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.
In this way, we would be inheriting the spiritual legacy of Shakyamuni and Nichiren to actualise a world of peace and happiness for all beings, and reveal our Buddhahood amidst the realities of daily lives while helping others do the same.