Encouragement

Nothing Is More Powerful Than Chanting

Excerpts of SGI President Ikeda's video from November 2017 Headquarters Leaders Meeting.

photo: iStockPhoto


The following are excerpts from SGI President Ikeda’s speech at the 93rd Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting, held in Osaka, Japan, on Nov. 23, 1995. These excerpts were featured in a video of the speech that was shown during the 28th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu, held in Tokyo, on Nov. 11. The text appeared in the Nov. 20 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

 

Nichiren Daishonin states:

There is no place among the worlds of the ten directions that the sound of our voices chanting daimoku [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] cannot reach. Our voices may be small, but when we intone the powerful sound of daimoku, there is no place in the universe that they do not penetrate. To illustrate, even though our voices are small, when we blow into a conch shell the sound resounds far and wide. And while the sound of a hand clap is slight, when we use our hands to beat a drum the sound carries a great distance. This is the crucial doctrine of “three thousand realms in a single moment of life.” (Gosho zenshu, p. 808)[1]Oko kikigaki (The Recorded Lectures); not included in WND, vols. 1 or 2.

The Mystic Law is the sound of hope and courage that reverberates powerfully throughout the universe. It is the great sound of wisdom that directs people’s hearts toward good and enfolds all in joy. You might say that it is the great music of life—a magnificent symphony.

Our voices chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can transform the three realms of existence— namely, the realm of the five components, the realm of living beings and the realm of the environment. It connects us with the protective functions of the universe and the Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout the ten directions, and moves everything in the direction of victory. This is the principle of “three thousand realms in a single moment of life.”

Treasured— SGI President and Mrs. Ikeda view an art piece created by Soka Gakkai members in Kansai at the November 1995 Headquarters Leaders Meeting in Osaka, Japan. Photo: Seikyo Press.

Nothing, therefore, can match the powerful sound of our voices chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. We have nothing to worry or fear. Nothing is more powerful than chanting.

The Soka Gakkai has achieved the remarkable development it has today because our members have advanced with this profound conviction. Let us continue to chant vibrantly with all our hearts, performing a prelude to brilliant achievement.

• • •

To have faith in, practice and study the immortal teachings of Nichiren Buddhism limitlessly enriches our lives. Nichiren writes:

To offer an analogy, if in spring and summer one plows the field and plants it with seed, then in autumn and winter one may reap and store away the harvest, and all will proceed as one wishes it to. It may seem like a long wait from spring to autumn, and yet within the space of a single year one’s wishes will be fulfilled. And in like manner, it may seem a long time to wait in order to enter the state of enlightenment and manifest our Buddhahood. And yet such a manifestation may be accomplished within the space of a single lifetime, and we ourselves can become Buddhas who possess the three bodies[2]The three bodies of the Buddha refer to the Dharma body, the reward body and the manifested body. The Dharma body is the fundamental truth, or Law, to which the Buddha is enlightened. The reward body is the wisdom to perceive the Law. And the manifested body is the compassionate actions the Buddha carries out to lead people to happiness within a single body. (“On the Ten Factors,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 79)

• • •

Seeds that are not planted will not sprout. We have already planted the seed of the Mystic Law—the seed for attaining Buddhahood—in our lives. Our Buddhist practice enables us to nurture that seed. If we nurture it fully, we will harvest in the course of our lifetime the fruit of attaining the lofty life state of Buddhahood. This is Nichiren’s promise. We can have complete confidence in his assurance.

Moreover, those who attain Buddhahood in this lifetime will be able to do so in their next life, and the next, on into eternity. This is why the Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, repeatedly stresses the importance of persevering in our Buddhist practice and never discarding our faith.

• • •

Seeds that are not planted will not sprout. We have already planted the seed of the Mystic Law—the seed for attaining Buddhahood—in our lives. Our Buddhist practice enables us to nurture that seed. If we nurture it fully, we will harvest in the course of our lifetime the fruit of attaining the lofty life state of Buddhahood. This is Nichiren’s promise. We can have complete confidence in his assurance.

Moreover, those who attain Buddhahood in this lifetime will be able to do so in their next life, and the next, on into eternity. This is why the Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, repeatedly stresses the importance of persevering in our Buddhist practice and never discarding our faith.

• • •

Even though one’s life may have been going well for the most part, if one winds up miserable and unhappy in the end, then it cannot be called a victory. That has been the unfortunate fate of many. Attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime means bringing our lives to a victorious conclusion.

There is no need to worry or be impatient. There is no need to envy others. Simply persevere in your Buddhist practice in a way that is true to yourself.

Joyful— SGI representatives attend the 28th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu and the SGI General Meeting. The gathering celebrated the 87th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding at the Tokyo Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo, Toshima Ward, Nov. 11. Photo: Seikyo Press.

There is no need to lament about things that happen along the way. Because to win in the end, to realize splendid victory in the final chapter of one’s life—that is the essence of Buddhism. Moreover, since Buddhism teaches that earthly desires lead to enlightenment, all of our sufferings and worries are “nourishment” for our attainment of Buddhahood, enabling us to lead masterful lives, rich and abundant like the golden autumn harvest. All our sufferings will be transformed into the fruit of immeasurable good fortune and benefit that will adorn our lives over the three existences of past, present and future.

The goal of our great movement for kosen-rufu is to sow the supremely precious seed of happiness in the hearts of people all over the world. There is no nobler undertaking than this. Carrying out such a lofty endeavor would never even occur to those concerned only with gratifying their own immediate selfish desires.

All of you have already planted in your hearts the seed for attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime. And while you may encounter various hardships, everything you experience will serve as the “fertilizer” for producing fruit from this seed. Please live out your lives with this great conviction.

• • •

Nichiren also writes:

Because I have expounded this teaching, I have been exiled and almost killed. As the saying goes, “Good advice grates on the ear.” But still I am not discouraged. The Lotus Sutra [the Mystic Law] is like the seed, the Buddha like the sower, and the people like the field. (“The Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood,” WND-1, 748)

Despite all the obstacles he has encountered, the Daishonin declares: “But still I am not discouraged” (WND-1, 748). We can read this as a message to devote ourselves to spreading the Mystic Law with unwavering commitment.

This indomitable fighting spirit—the true legacy of Nichiren Daishonin—is the Soka Gakkai spirit.

The Soka Gakkai is an organization in accord with the Buddha’s intent and embodies the true spirit of Nichiren. It is a great organization without parallel in the world. The true heirs to the Daishonin’s spirit and successors in the struggle for kosen-rufu are none other than the members of the youth division. I would, therefore, like to close my speech today with this fervent prayer: “Youth, may you live strongly and triumph over all!”

Thank you.

 

(pp. 2-3)

Notes   [ + ]

1. Oko kikigaki (The Recorded Lectures); not included in WND, vols. 1 or 2.
2. The three bodies of the Buddha refer to the Dharma body, the reward body and the manifested body. The Dharma body is the fundamental truth, or Law, to which the Buddha is enlightened. The reward body is the wisdom to perceive the Law. And the manifested body is the compassionate actions the Buddha carries out to lead people to happiness

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