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Ikeda Sensei

Reading Nichiren’s Writings at an Impasse

Photo by Yvonne Ng.

The following excerpt is from one of Ikeda Sensei’s essays on the basics of Nichiren Buddhism Faith, Practice, and Study, p. 43.

When we are in the depths of despair, reading Nichiren’s writings can make the sun of hope rise in our hearts. When we face an impasse, reading them can help us summon forth the fearless spirit of a lion king. And when suffering from illness, reading them can fill our lives with reinvigorating vitality.

In the early days of our organization, members always carried a copy of Nichiren’s writings with them as they engaged in propagation efforts, personal guidance, and other activities for kosen-rufu. Before or after gongyo at meetings, they would read passages from the Daishonin’s writings aloud.

Their copies of Nichiren’s writings, which were always with them through good times and bad, were worn and tattered from use and full of underlining and notes. The members made it through each day by reading and engaging with Nichiren’s writings.

To engrave the Daishonin’s writings in one’s heart, to bring forth the invincible life state of Buddhahood, and to advance toward fulfilling the great vow for kosen-rufu while struggling with one’s karma—this is the path of Buddhist study that leads directly to a life of happiness and victory.

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