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Gosho Study

Making a Great Vow


My wish is that all my disciples make a great vow. We are very fortunate to be alive after the widespread epidemics that occurred last year and the year before. But now with the impending Mongol invasion it appears that few will survive. In the end, no one can escape death. The sufferings at that time will be exactly like what we are experiencing now. Since death is the same in either case, you should be willing to offer your life for the Lotus Sutra. Think of this offering as a drop of dew rejoining the ocean, or a speck of dust returning to the earth. (“The Dragon Gate,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1003)

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance

Persevering in faith in the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law is like swimming upstream against a powerful current. It is hard enough just to resist the insidious forces exerted by our own earthly desires and fundamental darkness … Nichiren explains that this is even more true in the Latter Day, when even seemingly remarkable human wisdom and ingenuity can be inundated by an inexorable tide of deluded impulses fueled by the three poisons of greed, anger and foolishness—an ever-growing tide that wreaks havoc as a force of evil (see “The Kalpa of Decrease,” WND-1, 1121).

Precisely because it is so difficult to carry out faith in the Mystic Law in such an age, the bond of mentor and disciple in Buddhism takes on decisive importance. Likewise, a harmonious community of fellow practitioners solidly united in purpose—in what Nichiren terms “the spirit of many in body, one in mind”—is also indispensable. The Soka Gakkai possesses the bond of mentor and disciple that is strong enough to withstand any adversity. And its members—noble ordinary people who are polishing their lives by striving in faith with the same commitment as their mentor—are allied together in solid unity. Moreover, countless members, like magnificent dragons born through the triumphant ascent of the waterfall, are leading lives of profound dignity and confidence forged through continually challenging themselves in their faith and self-development.

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The great vow of Buddhism can only be actualized through the persistent challenge of going out into society and earnestly seeking to do whatever we can to inspire and encourage each person we encounter, leaving no stone unturned, so to speak. That is why both Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda placed such great importance on one-to-one dialogue and discussion meetings. The way to truly fulfill the great vow for kosen-rufu is to continue reaching out in dialogue to the person right in front of us and conveying through our spirit and lives the greatness of the Mystic Law, the key to genuine happiness. (The Hope-filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, pp. 120–22)

Peace, Culture and Education: The Future Division—Part 3

The Many Treasures Group—Your Brilliant Contributions Will Shine in the History of Kosen-rufu