Category Archives: The Buddhist Prophet

The Union of the Truth and the Person

The basic truth of existence and its everlasting laws are inherent in every being, while the personal manifestations of Buddhahood are working to bring all beings to full consciousness of their own real nature. In other words, all beings, participating in the primeval wisdom of the universe, are developing their proper nature in conjunction with the educative activity of the Buddhas. Taking this view of the cosmic movement, the Supreme Being is nothing but the union of the Truth and the Person, as realized in the person of Buddha and to be realized in each of us.

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet

Faith Actualized in Life

That Nichiren emphasized these virtues, together with obedience to the master, is noteworthy as showing his keen interest in moral life. It must be observed, also, that this ethical interest was not with him merely an adjunct of religious belief, but a vital criterion of religious truth. For to worship Buddha and revere the Truth revealed by him does not consist in devising rituals, or in contemplating Buddha’s truths in visionary ways, but in working out in our own life the truths taught, by putting faith in Buddha as the Lord, Master, and Father. Faith ought to be actualized in life, but is empty unless realized in the three cardinal virtues named above. Nichiren’s conviction that his life was vitalizing the Lotus of Truth was another way of stating his ethical interpretation of religion.

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet

Disregarding and Disobeying the Truth

No one is totally destitute of Buddha-nature, which is dormant in the innermost recess of the soul; but none is free from the sin of having disregarded and disobeyed the Truth.

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet

‘Reading’ the Truth by Nichiren’s Life

Buddha is the primeval master, and Nichiren is now living the life of his primeval disciples. Primeval, therefore everlasting, and as true for the future as in the past — he is the one predestined to be the leader, the savior of the coming ages. In short, Nichiren is the man who is “reading” the Truth by his life.

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet

Innumerable Aeons of Work

Since I have attained Buddhahood, … I have constantly been preaching truths, And helping innumerable beings to maturity, Leading them in the Way of Buddhas; Thus, innumerable aeons have passed in this work. (Chapter XVI).

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet

The Link Between the Past and Future

The link between the past and future is Nichiren, who represents in this country at this moment the solemn pledge of salvation, and is commissioned to work in the days of degeneration. Thus his person is the key to the efficacious working of the everlasting Truth, which has its origin in eternity and is destined to prevail forever in the future. This was Nichiren’s conviction about his person and his mission. In order to open the eyes of all fellow-beings to this, it was necessary to bring them to the same enlightenment concerning themselves. For this purpose, each must, first of all, know the true relation existing between himself and the eternal Buddhahood, which is represented, preeminently, by the Lord Sakya, and is to be realized in one’s own self. This metaphysical relation between the Master and the disciples, between the cosmos and the individual, is the very foundation of all religion and ethics. Open the eyes to this cardinal relation, then all enlightenment will naturally follow.

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet

Realizing

Noble and sublime may be the conception of the Supreme Being, but it is but an idol or image, a dead abstraction, if we ourselves do not participate in its supreme existence and realize in ourselves its excellent qualities.

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet

The Whole Truth

According to Nichiren, the manifold teachings existing are but the varying aspects of the same cosmic principle; and each of those systems represents a certain truth, while errors come from sticking to a particular point of the teachings. The Truth is touched, but the whole Truth is missed.

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet

The Supreme Being in Ourselves

[T]he object of worship, the Supreme Being, is to be sought nowhere but in the innermost recess of every man’s nature, because the final aim of worship is the complete realization of the Supreme Being in ourselves.

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet

Our Common Karma

Moreover, an existence of any kind is never an individual matter, but always the result of a common karma, shared by all born in the same realm of existence. Hence the expiation made by any one individual is, in fact, made for the sake of all his fellow-beings. Both the persecutors and the persecuted share the common karma accumulated in the past, and therefore share also in the future destiny, the attainment of Buddhahood. Nichiren’s repression of others’ malice and vice is at the same time his own expiation and self-subjugation. How, then, should his followers not share his merit in extinguishing the accumulated sins, and preparing for the realization of the primeval Buddha-nature? “Therefore,” Nichiren exhorts his disciples, “believe in me, and emulate my spirit and work, in the firm faith that the Master is the savior and leader! Work together, united in the same faith! Then, the expiation of sins will be achieved for ourselves and for all our fellow-beings, because we all share in the common karma.”

Nichiren, The Buddhist Prophet