Let's Solve the Problems of Life from Their Very Roots
Sermon by Chief Priest Reverend Takano

Everyone wishes to find happiness and works hard to gain it. Some people, burdened by problems, persevere with an earnest attitude to become comfortable financially, to gain health, to achieve family harmony or to excel in relationships with others. But attaining happiness is not a simple matter. We are not guaranteed happiness even if we use all our abilities to the fullest. Financial security is not assured simply through hard work; and people do not necessarily become healthy just by seeing the doctor regularly and paying attention to their health.

When it comes to family harmony and human relationships, in many cases problems can only be solved on the surface, leaving the fundamental problems untouched. Even if we make every possible effort and people around us try to help, in the worst case, all that happens is that many more serious problems pile up on top of the original ones.

Nichiren Daishonin explains:

If you try to treat someone’s illness without knowing what the cause of the illness is, you will only make the person sicker than before.
(Gosho, p. 1067; MW-1, p. 193)

When people who don’t understand the cause of a malady try to cure it blindly, it just gets worse and worse. This is exactly what is happening to people in the world today. Even those of us who have the Gohonzon say, “I’m too busy to chant,” or “I don’t have time for practice.” But this is getting it backwards. Instead of getting caught up by business and not having time for faith.

We need to gain enough fortune through practice to be able to sail ahead smoothly. We need to receive benefit from the Gohonzon and protection from the shoten zenjin to succeed in our work. We need to make our family circumstances as firm as a rock, and gain vitality. By making time for practice amid hectic circumstances, we will eventually gain the ability to manage all our affairs in good order according to plan.

In another sense, busy people are the ones in the most important positions, the ones facing critical moments in life. Being busy means you have an important role. It means now is a crucial time. That is why you need to pay much more careful attention to your work, everyday life, especially health and everything else. Even if only one gear fails, the whole machine will get out of whack.

Nichiren Daishonin teaches:

Buddhism is like the body and society like the shadow. When the body is crooked, so is the shadow.
(Gosho, p. 1469; MW-3, p. 306)

Buddhism is the fundamental entity. All the affairs of the world are nothing but shadows of that fundamental entity. This is why the Lotus Sutra teaches:

If they expound some text of the secular world or speak on matters of government or those relating to wealth and livelihood, they will in all cases conform to the correct Law.
(Gosho, p. 197; Watson, The Lotus Sutra, p. 263)

Everything happens according to Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Not only that, the Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo exists absolutely, penetrating the three existences of past, present and future. Each and every matter has happened according to the Mystic Law in the past, happens according to the Mystic Law in the present and will happen according to the Mystic Law in the future.

Sixty-seventh High Priest Nikken Shonin stated:

This passagemeans that through the merit of the Mystic Law, restless, deluded lives caught up by small things in everyday life, goals, thoughts, morality and religion of the world; will have both mind and body spontaneously settle in a mysterious state, and experience being filled to overflowing with unexplainable, true fulfillment. To do this, it is essential to believe in the Dai-Gohonzon, which encompasses all Three Great Secret Laws, as the one and only true object and chant Daimoku of the utmost sincerity without being caught up by any provisional sentiments that are like “branches and leaves” or by low-level religions.
(Daibyakuho No. 469, p. 1)

Let’s solve the problems of life from their very roots and have our wishes and hopes realized. Let’s improve our own state of life and build real happiness. Let’s carry out faith and practice all the way, no matter what happens.

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