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Fundamentals

Good Causes Bring Good Fortune

New Orleans. Photo by Geneva Lewis.

“Whether you chant the Buddha’s name, recite the sutra, or merely offer flowers and incense, all your virtuous acts will implant benefits and roots of goodness in your life. With this conviction you should strive in faith.” (“On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 4)

Background

Practicing Nichiren Buddhism starts with trusting that we have the Buddha nature within us. When we chant with this conviction and continue to challenge ourselves, we will undoubtedly find a way to transform everything—the good and the bad—into a cause for our happiness.

Nichiren Daishonin says that all our acts to praise and give offerings to the Gohonzon, no matter how small, become “benefits and roots of goodness” that accumulate in our hearts. But even if we perform numerous Buddhist practices, if we don’t believe in our own Buddha nature and instead seek happiness outside of ourselves, we’ll constantly be swayed by our inner weaknesses and may succumb to negative impulses. As a result, our practice will become, as Nichiren writes, “an endless, painful austerity” (WND-1, 4).

The important thing is to summon the conviction that every cause you make benefits you. Then continue to practice with courage and a sense of joy. Chanting Nam-myoho-
renge-kyo and doing gongyo, participating in meetings, encouraging other members and sharing Buddhism with friends and acquaintances—all these bring us great good fortune. Doing our best to practice for oneself and others, we can build an unshakable foundation in our lives.

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance

All of you are sincerely chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and working for the happiness of others. You are striving hard in Soka Gakkai activities. Nothing is nobler than this. Without a doubt, the Daishonin is praising and applauding your efforts. You are sure to attain clear and wonderful benefits. It doesn’t matter whether others are aware of your efforts or not. When you dedicate your life to kosen-rufu, you will have no regrets. All of your struggles will have meaning and become causes for your victory. Please continue to fight alongside me as proud Soka Gakkai members! (A Foundation for Your Life, pp. 62–63)

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