The List

5 Quotes on Prayer That Will Change Your Life

A strong prayer to the Gohonzon is certain to be realized.

Photo: Kieferpix/Getty Images.


Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda often said: “A strong prayer to the Gohonzon is certain to be realized. There are three conditions, however: Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and more Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!” He also said: “Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo cultivates the state of Buddhahood” and “The power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is colossal. It can transform a life imbued with painful karma into one that is like strolling in a beautiful garden, or like a pleasant dream.” (June 27, 2008, World Tribune, p. 4)


The power of the Mystic Law to “change poison into medicine” is absolute. The purpose of faith is to transform our karma and enjoy a life of unparalleled happiness. Prayer to the Gohonzon, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, is not abstract or theoretical. It is a burning inner flame to be victorious. If that flame of resolve blazes in our heart, the instant we chant, we have already won. It is, as the Daishonin declares, like “a lantern lighting up a place that has been dark for a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand years” (“The One Essential Phrase,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 923). (May 15, 2009, World Tribune, p. 5)


Prayer is the courage to persevere. It is the struggle to overcome our own weakness and lack of confidence in ourselves. It is the act of impressing in the very depths of our being the conviction that we can change the situation without fail. Prayer is the way to destroy all fear. It is the way to banish sorrow, the way to light a torch of hope. It is the revolution that rewrites the scenario of our destiny. Believe in yourself! Don’t sell yourself short! Devaluing yourself is contrary to Buddhism, because it denigrates the Buddha state of being within you. (Dec. 3, 2004, World Tribune, p. 8)


[Second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda used to say, “You should resolve, ‘I am Myoho-renge-kyo!’” The Mystic Law is the “highly effective medicine” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 269) that relieves the sufferings of all people. It is also the great treasure storehouse that brings good fortune and happiness to all. The important thing is to live out our lives based on and completely in sync with the Law . . . When we maintain deep faith based on the foundation that “I am Myoho-renge-kyo,” we can take on any problem with courage. The key to victory in life lies in whether we can bring forth courage. (November-December 2006 Living Buddhism, pp. 92–93)


When our fundamental mindset changes, we ourselves change. And when we change, the environment and the world change, too. The source of this great transformation is found nowhere but in a radical deepening of our own chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon. This sort of prayer to the Gohonzon is completely different from that found in a dependent, supplicant faith; we do not weakly and passively beg someone for salvation or assistance. Prayer in Nichiren Buddhism is fundamentally a vow. It is a pledge or commitment to follow a chosen course of action; it is a declaration to challenge a clear objective. (March 17, 2006, World Tribune, p. 3)

(p. 3)