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Chant With the Power of a Lion’s Roar

Photo by Stephanie Araiza

In the following excerpt from The New Human Revolution, vol. 11, Ikeda Sensei, who appears in the novel as Shin’ichi Yamamoto, encourages members in Peru about the significance of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

“I would like every single one of you to become great victors in life.

“Today, therefore, I would like to talk with you a little about the key elements for leading such a life. The first is chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The state of our life force determines everything: our health, courage, wisdom, joy, motivation to improve our lives as well as self-discipline. Chanting itself is the source that enables us to tap our life force without end. Thus, those who base themselves on chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are never deadlocked. …

“The point is to continue chanting every day, no matter what, because Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the fundamental power of the universe. Our voices when we chant in the morning and evening should be vibrant and refreshing, like the sound of mythical white horses galloping through the heavens.”

A woman then asked, “Sensei, what kind of attitude should we have when we chant to the Gohonzon?”

“Of course, since we face the Gohonzon with the spirit of facing the Buddha, it’s important that we conduct ourselves with a respectful and solemn attitude,” Shin’ichi said, smiling. “Other than that, though, we should feel free to express what’s in our hearts honestly and directly to the Gohonzon.

“The Gohonzon is the manifestation of the Buddha endowed with infinite compassion. We should therefore go ahead and chant about our desires, our problems and our aspirations, just as they are. When we’re suffering, feeling sad or experiencing hard times, we should just go to the Gohonzon with an open heart, like an infant who throws himself into the arms of his mother and clings to her. The Gohonzon will ‘listen’ to our every word, so we should chant abundantly as if we are carrying on a conversation, confiding our innermost thoughts. In time, even hellish sufferings will vanish like the morning dew and seem as but a dream.

“If, for instance, we recognize that we have been in error in some way, we should offer prayers of deep apology and correct that error. Then we should make a fresh determination never to repeat the same mistake again and set forth anew.

“Also, in crucial moments where victory or defeat will be decided, we should firmly resolve to win and chant with the power of a lion’s roar or the ferocity of an asura[1] demon, as if to shake the entire universe.

“And, in the evening, after a happy day, we should chant to the Gohonzon with profound appreciation.

“Nichiren [Daishonin] cites the words ‘Morning after morning we rise up with the Buddha, evening after evening we lie down with the Buddha’ (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 83). This means that those who continue to chant in earnest are always together with the Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law. This holds true not only for this lifetime but even beyond death, with the original Buddha and all heavenly deities throughout the universe extending their protections. We can therefore feel completely secure from the depths of our being and need fear nothing. We should enjoy our lives with complete confidence.

“Chanting transforms suffering into joy and joy into supreme joy. This is why it is important to single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo no matter what, whether we are happy or sad, in good times or in bad. This is the direct path to happiness.” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 11, pp. 105–07)


  1. Asuras are a type of demon in Indian mythology, contentious and belligerent by nature, who continually fight with the god Shakra. ↩︎

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