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Gosho Study

Three Gosho Passages to Invigorate Your Prayer

Photo by Anthony Wallen.

Passage 1: “On Prayer”

Though one might point at the earth and miss it, though one might bind up the sky, though the tides might cease to ebb and flow and the sun rise in the west, it could never come about that the prayers of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra would go unanswered.

The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 345

Passage 2: “Rebuking Slander of the Law”

I am praying that, no matter how troubled the times may become, the Lotus Sutra and the ten demon daughters will protect all of you, praying as earnestly as though to produce fire from damp wood, or to obtain water from parched ground.

WND-1, 444

Passage 3: “General Stone Tiger”

The mighty warrior General Li Kuang, whose mother had been devoured by a tiger, shot an arrow at the stone he believed was the tiger. The arrow penetrated the stone all the way up to its feathers. But once he realized it was only a stone, he was unable to pierce it again. Later he came to be known as General Stone Tiger. This story applies to you. Though enemies lurk in wait for you, your resolute faith in the Lotus Sutra has forestalled great dangers before they could begin. Realizing this, you must strengthen your faith more than ever.

WND-1, 953

Change Starts From Prayer

The following guidance from Ikeda Sensei can be found in The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, pp. 120–21.

Prayer in Nichiren Buddhism is free of all arrogance and conceit. The very act of sitting before the Gohonzon and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo pulses with the humble spirit to transcend attachment to one’s own shallow wisdom and limited experience to become one with the Law of life and the fundamental rhythm of nature and the universe, which were revealed through the Buddha’s enlightened wisdom. Without being self-abasing, we concentrate all our actions into a single life moment—into our determined prayer—while recharging our lives to prepare for boundless, vibrant growth. That is the healthiest and most fulfilling state of life.

Let us chant to the Gohonzon about all of our problems in life and challenge them.

Prayer is essential. Let’s never forget that everything starts from prayer. If we lose sight of prayer and fail to transform our lives in actuality, then even the most eloquent speeches and high-minded arguments will all be just empty theory, pipe dreams, and illusions. Faith and the Soka Gakkai spirit, too, arise from praying strongly and deeply about our actual situations and realities.

In Nichiren Buddhism, prayer by itself isn’t enough. Just as an arrow flying toward its target contains the full power and strength of the archer who shot it, our prayer contains all of our efforts and actions. Prayer without action is just wishful thinking, and action without prayer will be unproductive.

I therefore would like to point out that lofty prayer arises from a lofty sense of responsibility. Serious prayer will not arise from an irresponsible or careless attitude toward work, daily living and life itself. Those who take responsibility for every part of their lives and give their all in every endeavor will make a habit of prayer.

Order The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, here

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