The Hope-Filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin - SGI-USA

The Hope-Filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin
13-“On Repaying Debts of Gratitude”
Living Buddhism Jul-Aug 2009
Kosen-rufu: A Great River Enriching Humanity Eternally--Our Victory as Disciples Is the Greatest Way To Repay Our
Gratitude to Our Mentor
The repay one’s debts of gratitude is the highest virtue. Neglecting gratitude is a reflection of a life controlled by innate negativity. As
we each deepen our faith in the Mystic Law, break through our fundamental darkness and live true to our greater self, we will come to
feel boundless appreciation for all those around us and for all who have nurtured and helped us become who we are. And we will
confidently make our way along the invigorating path of recognizing and repaying our debts of gratitude. In contrast, those who fail to
refresh their faith, who give in to negativity and are shackled by attachments to the lesser self invariably become ruled by arrogance,
cowardice or anger. If all comes down to either living based on the greater self or remaining attached to the lesser self. This difference
in the fundamental orientation of our attitude determines whether we will lead lives of gratitude or ingratitude.
1. The Lives of Genuine Buddhist Practitioners Shine with Appreciation and Gratitude
Nichiren vowed to “become the wisest person in all Japan” and, upon entering Seicho-ji at a young age diligently applied himself to
his studies in order to repay his debt of gratitude to his mother and father. It was to repay his gratitude to all living beings that, after
two decades of intensive Buddhist study, he established the teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and understanding the scope of his
perilous battle, he “refuted the erroneous and revealed the true” in the realm of Buddhism.. Furthermore, because he recognized his
debt of gratitude to his country, he strictly admonished various schools of Buddhism that slandered the Law and went against the
Buddha’s original intent. After surmounting life-threatening persecutions and casting off his transient status as an ordinary person to
reveal his true identity as the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, Nichiren revealed the Gohonzon as the object of devotion and
manifestation of his enlightened state of life. He also revealed and established the Three Great Secret Laws as the framework for
spreading the teachings of the Lotus Sutra throughout the Latter Day. Determinedly carrying out the struggle to reveal the correct Law
hidden in the depths of the Lotus Sutra that would lead all people to enlightenment, he took on the momentous battle of repaying his
gratitude to the three treasures.
2. A Treatise Containing “Matters of the Utmost Importance”
This writing contains a detailed description of his ardent pursuit of Buddhism in his youth, along with a comprehensive account of his
subsequent efforts to spread the Mystic Law. He also clarifies the immeasurable benefits of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great
Secret Laws, which constitutes the great Law that will lead all people to enlightenment and that is to be propagated throughout the
eternal future of the Latter Day. And he pays tribute to his first teacher by stating that this benefit in its entirety will return to Dozenbo.
3. Chanting and Spreading the Mystic Law “Without Sparing One’s Voice”
A universal teaching will only spread when the time is right and when a person willing to his or her life to propagating it appears.
Nichiren worked tirelessly “without sparing his voice” to teach people about the path he had pioneered. As a result, he established the
Three Great Secret Laws. We must never forget that Nichiren’s people-centered Buddhism has flourished solely because of unceasing
efforts to spread the Law. His unrelenting efforts to speak out and spread the correct teaching epitomize the spirit of not begrudging
one’s life. The power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo will endure for eternity because the Law itself is infinitely profound and because of
the selfless struggles Nichiren underwent to establish and propagate it. Because there is depth in the teaching accompanied by a
profound struggle, kosen-rufu will advance and be achieved.
4. The Three Virtues of Nichiren Daishonin Function to Actualize Kosen-rufu
The Buddha vows to save all people. And widespread propagation of the correct teaching that continues after the Buddha’s passing is
the fundamental wish of Shakyamuni, Many Treasures and all Buddhas throughout time and space. This passage is Nichiren’s
declaration that he has actualized this vow. It also points to the Daishonin’s three virtues--those of parent, teacher and sovereign.
5. A Teaching of Transformation: “The Benefit Gained From One Day’s Practice in the Impure World”
Striving to free people from suffering at the most fundamental level in this defiled latter age is an action that brings immeasurable
benefit. Hence, Nichiren says, “A hundred years of practice in the Land of Perfect Bliss cannot compare to the benefit gained from
one day’s practice in the impure world.”
6. The Time to Open the Way for Kosen-rufu is the Latter Day
A defiled age requires the appearance of a genuine Buddha who can expound a great teaching capable of freeing the
people of suffering and positively transforming the times.
7. “I Pray to the Buddha for Final Victory”
Winning and losing are both part of life, but I pray to the Buddha with determination for final victory.
2. 「大事の大事」を認めた重書
3. 「声もをしまず」仏法を実践
勝ち負けは 人の生命の 常なれど 最後の勝ちをば 仏にぞ祈らむ。断じて勝て!厳しき現実も、最後は