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Test Your Knowledge of the Basics

Photo by Yvonne Ng.

1. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the heart and essence of the Buddha, which is expressed in wise and compassionate actions to lead all people to enlightenment. In this phrase, nam means to __________.
(HINT: See The Basics of Nichiren Buddhism, p. 19)
a) completely cut all ties with those who do not believe in the Mystic Law
b) dedicate one’s life
c) risk one’s life; to put one’s life on the line for the sake of seeking a higher power

2. What distinguishes those in the world of __________ is their seeking spirit to attain the highest life state of Buddhahood and share with others the benefits they have obtained.
(HINT: See The Basics of Nichiren Buddhism, p. 45)
a) hungry spirits
b) heavenly beings
c) bodhisattvas

3. While in prison in early 1944, Josei Toda exerted himself in chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and began to read the Lotus Sutra and ponder it deeply. In the process, he realized two profound points: 1) that Buddha is life itself and 2) that he __________.
(HINT: See The Basics of Nichiren Buddhism, p. 90)
a) is a Bodhisattva of the Earth entrusted to spread Buddhism
b) must memorize all 28 chapters of the Lotus Sutra to attain enlightenment
c) needs to master the 84,000 teachings of the Buddha to attain the state of regression

4. In “The Wealthy Man Sudatta,” Nichiren says: “The way to become a Buddha easily is nothing special. … It is the same as giving another something that is one of a kind, or as offering something as alms to another even at the risk of one’s life.”
For us today, offering something “one of a kind” or precious “even at the risk of one’s life” means we can open the life state of Buddhahood within us by __________ in the course of our daily lives.
(HINT: See The Basics of Nichiren Buddhism, p. 109)
a) living freely unconcerned with the consequences of our actions
b) becoming martyrs of Buddhism
c) sincerely pledging to carry out kosen-rufu while living life to the fullest 

5. __________, marks the day when Soka Gakkai members achieved their spiritual independence from the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood.
(HINT: See The Basics of Nichiren Buddhism, p. 129)
a) April 24, 1979
b) Nov. 28, 1991
c) Nov. 16, 1930

The Basics of Nichiren Buddhism

Have you picked up your copy of The Basics of Nichiren Buddhism? A new study guide for the SGI-USA study program with introductory and intermediate exams, and a great book to share with friends and guests. Available at local SGI-USA bookstores and online at

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