Skip to main content

Gosho Study

Illuminating the Way for All People

Photo by Joey Liao.

When the skies are clear, the ground is illuminated. Similarly, when one knows the Lotus Sutra, one understands the meaning of all worldly affairs.

—“The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,”
The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 376

When the skies are clear, the ground is illuminated”—founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi cherished this line as it conveyed his belief that people have the power to dispel the world’s gloom by lighting the way to a brighter, more hopeful future.[1]

Though written 750 years ago (in 1273), this passage holds true today. For us, “when the skies are clear” and “knowing the Lotus Sutra” refer to the power of the Mystic Law to dispel the clouds of delusion that cause us to doubt our Buddha nature. As we continue to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we gain the unshakable conviction that the enlightenment expressed in the Gohonzon reflects the truth of our own enlightened lives.

We can bring forth our wisdom, courage and compassion when we chant daimoku, engage in SGI activities, share Buddhism with others and apply Buddhist principles to our daily lives. Through diligent Buddhist practice, we start to “understand the meaning of all worldly affairs” and learn the meaning of the Buddhist principles that “faith equals daily life” and “Buddhism manifests in society.” That is, armed with Buddhist wisdom, we come to perceive more clearly the meaning and value of the often-crazy goings-on in our lives and society. We discover how to take decisive action to transform everything into the means for becoming stronger, wiser and happier, lighting the way forward for all those around us. 

—Prepared by the SGI-USA Study Department

Ikeda Sensei’s Encouragement

1. Grasping the Essence of All Matters 

Just as clear skies brightly illuminate the earth below, having faith in and practicing the Mystic Law opens the way to victory in all worldly matters as well.

The phrase “knows the Lotus Sutra” means to have a deep understanding of the essence of Buddhism. Because of the relationship between Buddhism and worldly affairs, one who thoroughly grasps the Buddhist teachings can also understand the essence of all matters in society.

In terms of our daily existence, this means that by embracing the Mystic Law we can bring forth wisdom and show actual proof of our Buddhist practice in our work, our lives and every aspect of society. (December 2020 Living Buddhism, pp. 55–56) 

2. How to Win in Life 

All phenomena are manifestations of Buddhism. When our daily lives are solid and secure, our faith is solid and secure. When our faith is solid and secure, our daily lives are solid and secure.

Buddhism equals society. It reveals itself in the workplace, in the community and in the family. “Equals” here means one’s innermost resolve (ichinen) based on faith. When one fulfills one’s mission and responsibility in the harmonious community of believers that is the Soka Gakkai and strives for kosen-rufu, then the revolutionary principle embodied in the word equals is activated.

Life is a succession of different problems. But if you base yourself on faith, you will never lose. You will never retreat a single step. To have such inner resolve opens the way for victory in life and victory in society.

Whether working or studying, when you consistently chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and seriously take on the tasks before you, the wisdom for winning in each endeavor surges forth from within. This way of life based on the Mystic Law “clears the skies” so that “the ground is illuminated.” (July 10, 2020, World Tribune, p. 8)

3. The Sun of the Mystic Law Illuminates All

The Mystic Law can be likened to the sun. It shines with the light of fundamental wisdom that can brightly illuminate the “ground” of the society in which we live.

Let’s deftly lead the way by wisely discerning the essence of worldly affairs based on the Buddhist principle of respect for the dignity of life.

To all of you who are struggling valiantly amid the harsh realities of daily life, please do not be defeated! Nothing is more powerful than chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Have courage, and show bright actual proof of victory in society. (June 21, 2013, World Tribune, p. 3)

April 21, 2023, World Tribune, p. 9


  1. See Ikeda Sensei’s 2022 Peace Proposal, <accessed on April 7, 2023>. ↩︎

Training Like No Other

Orlando Buddhist Center Opens