Skip to main content

Buddhist Study

A Revitalizing Force That Gives Meaning to All Things

Photo by Rob Hendry.

The following commentary is from Ikeda Sensei’s lecture on harmony in his subseries “A Religion of Human Revolution,” part of the “Buddhism of the Sun—Illuminating the World.” It can be found in A Religion of Human Revolution, pp. 59–60.

Myo [meaning mystic, of myoho, the Mystic Law] means to revive, that is, to return to life. (“The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 149)

In “The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra,” in which this passage appears, the Daishonin explains that the character myo has three meanings—to open, to be fully endowed and to revive (see WND-1, 145–46, 149). I’d like to briefly confirm each one.

“To open” means that the Lotus Sutra opens the way to enlightenment for all living beings.

“To be fully endowed” means that the Mystic Law contains within it all benefits.[1]

The meaning of “to revive” is explained in the passage we are studying in this section. Soka Gakkai founding President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi heavily underlined this passage in his personal copy of the writings of Nichiren Daishonin. The Daishonin clarifies that the Mystic Law has the revitalizing power to free all living beings from suffering.

Mr. Toda once said: “The Mystic Law is a life-giving teaching. It allows us to make positive use of all our experiences. Nothing, not even the smallest thing, is ever wasted. This is the great benefit of faith in Nichiren Buddhism.” “Life-giving” here means “to live” or “to make the best use of.”

“Make full use of everything. Nothing is wasted in faith!”—this is the heartfelt conviction that countless members have gained through personal experience since the earliest days of our movement.

Our members have faced difficult make-or-break situations with the firm conviction that everything had unfolded the way it had so that they could “meet with this affair,” as the Daishonin puts it.[2] With the pride and courage derived from their steadfast belief in Nichiren Buddhism, they have summoned forth the great powers of faith and practice, and forged ahead with the resolve that “Now is the crucial moment.” By rising to every challenge with an invincible spirit, they have created myriad inspiring dramas of revitalizing their lives through human revolution, making the most of all their past experiences and efforts.

The Mystic Law has the power to give positive meaning and value to everything. It is indeed, as Mr. Toda said, a “life-giving teaching.”


  1. In “The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Shakyamuni’s practices and the virtues he consequently attained are all contained within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. If we believe in these five characters, we will naturally be granted the same benefits as he was” (WND-1, 365). ↩︎
  2. In “Reply to Yasaburo,” Nichiren Daishonin writes, “The reason that you have survived until now … was so that you would meet with this affair” (WND-1, 829). ↩︎

Read more