Concepts

The Great Wish of the Buddha

By compassionately sharing Buddhism with those around us, we enable ourselves and others to confidently display the treasure of Buddhahood that resides within.

Fort Worth, Texas. Photo: Dean Fikar / GETTYIMAGES.


Why is it that many of us struggle to simply believe in ourselves and our ability to create happy lives? Nichiren Daishonin acknowledges how difficult it is to believe in our greatest potential, our Buddhahood, stating: “To believe that Buddhahood exists within the human world is the most difficult thing of all (“The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 359).

This is exactly why Buddhas compassionately strive to awaken all people to their inherent Buddha nature. This is expressed in “Expedient Means,” the second chapter of the Lotus Sutra, which states:

The buddhas, the world-honored ones, wish to open the door of buddha wisdom to all living beings, to allow them to attain purity. That is why they appear in the world. They wish to show the buddha wisdom to living beings, and therefore they appear in the world. They wish to cause living beings to awaken to the buddha wisdom, and therefore they appear in the world. They wish to induce living beings to enter the path of buddha wisdom, and therefore they appear in the world. Shariputra, this is the one great reason for which the buddhas appear in the world. (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 64)

Buddhas endeavor to cultivate or “open” the Buddha wisdom in the lives of all people, to “show” them the Buddha wisdom, to “awaken” them to it and to lead them to “enter” Buddhahood.

A Buddha sees all people as equally honorable and desires that everyone achieve the same level of happiness that he or she enjoys.

Shakyamuni spent his life engaging in dialogue with one person after another to nurture people’s innate enlightenment. He believed more strongly than anyone else in the capacity of ordinary people, and inspired them to believe in themselves.

The one great reason for a Buddha’s existence can be found in the principle of “opening, showing, awakening and inducing to enter” the Buddha wisdom. Nichiren says that when we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the mind of faith, we open the door of Buddha wisdom (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, pp. 28–29); we reveal what is hidden.

While we receive various reactions to our efforts to share Buddhism, when we chant with faith in the enlightened potential of ourselves and others, we come to “show” proof of that enlightenment, ultimately “awakening” others to the benefit of Buddhist practice and inspiring them to “enter” a most fulfilling way of life.

A Buddha sees all people as equally honorable and desires that everyone achieve the same level of happiness that he or she enjoys.

As SGI members, we carry out the great wish of the Buddha by widely propagating Buddhism.

SGI President Ikeda writes: “The ‘great desire for widespread propagation’ is the heart of [Nichiren’s] writings. It is also the spiritual pillar of the Daishonin’s life. ‘Great desire’ refers to the boundless wish arising from the Buddha’s enlightenment. It is the ‘original desire of life’ expressed in the heart of the Buddha awakened to the truth that life itself is the entity of the Mystic Law, the one great Law that encompasses all others. To ‘awaken’ means to recollect this original desire” (April 2002 Living Buddhism, p. 12).

By compassionately sharing Buddhism with those around us, we enact the four principles of “opening, showing, awakening and entering.” We carry out the same great desire as the Buddha, enabling ourselves and others to confidently display the treasure of Buddhahood that resides within.

 

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