Japanese Buddhist term ōbutsu
means “the imperceptibly profound integration of Buddhist
Law and secular law,” and comes from the following passage in “On the Three
Great Secret Laws”:
When the principles of government come to accord
with Buddhism and the spirit of Buddhism pervades secular affairs; when both
the ruler and the governed alike embrace the Three Secret Laws of true Buddhism
and the bond of old between King Utoku and the monk Kakutoku shall become
evident at some future time in the defiled Latter Day of the Law: then, when an
imperial decree is delivered and handed down, seek out a place of the finest
scenery comparable to the pure land of Eagle Peak and there erect the High
Sanctuary. Simply wait for the proper time to come. This is my most essential
injunction with regard to the Law.
(Gosho, p. 1595)
The Daishonin stipulates that the true High
Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching may only be built at the dawn of kosen
rufu, and only when the secular law reflects Buddhist wisdom.
above passage contains the Daishonin’s first specific instruction on what later
generations must achieve before the true High Sanctuary can be built. In short,
only when secular law is guided by Buddhist wisdom will conditions be right for
the establishment of Honmonji Temple.
the Imperceptibly Profound Integration of Buddhist Law and Secular Law
the context of “the imperceptibly profound integration of Buddhist Law and secular
law,” secular law indicates the laws and policies instituted by the sovereign
of a nation. Since we are now in an age when power rests with the people,
secular law includes the total range of social principles enacted by the people
in such areas as politics, economics, education and culture. Buddhist Law
refers to the doctrines and spirit of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism of sowing
from the depths of the Life Span (Juryo;
sixteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra.
profound integration of secular law and Buddhist Law is the process whereby the
laws of society gradually yet inevitably gravitate toward the reasoning found
in true Buddhism, until the two are virtually indistinguishable.
imperceptible profundity of the integration of secular law and Buddhist Law is
the fact that secular law will come to reflect the compassionate reasoning
taught in Buddhism in a nearly undetectable way, but to the extent that, in the
end, secular law will be a perfect blend of Buddhist principles. At its best,
secular law promotes social harmony and well being. The integration of secular
law with the principles of Buddhism will allow society to reach its ideals of
social harmony and well being. In concrete terms, this means that as the number
of people around the world who truly embrace the mystic Law (Myoho
) increases, all human
behavior, including politics, increasingly will follow the correct ideological
intent of Buddhism, while supporting the full range of parameters and goals of
diverse societies. This means, from the perspective of social mores, that the
spirit of Buddhism quietly will permeate the social fabric of entire nations.
What Buddhism’s integration with secular law means
is that the daily activities of Buddhist practitioners will manifest the spirit
of Buddhist ideology and compassion in all areas of society. This is how the
spirit of Buddhism will come to permeate social mores.
Daishonin, however, gives us the following warning in “On the Three Great
If Buddhism ultimately is overturned, the world
will become defiled and disordered. Buddhism is like the body, and society, its
shadow. If the body is crooked, its shadow similarly will be warped.
and secular law are originally one. Only when the principles of Buddhism are established
firmly in the world can the ideal society be created.
above gives us a general outline of the inner workings ofōbutsu myōgō,
“the imperceptibly profound integration of Buddhist Law and secular law,”
whereby the ways of the world form a deep union with Buddhist reason. That
profound union occurs within the deepest recesses of life, where Buddhism as a
religion exerts a direct influence on human politics. This profound union does
not, however, mandate a union of religion and state. When Buddhism performs its
mission in the world, and the parameters of socially acceptable behavior are
guided by Buddhist ideals, the natural result is the imperceptibly profound
integration of Buddhist Law and secular law.
In other words, the imperceptibly profound
integration of Buddhist Law and secular law is when the High Sanctuary of the
Essential Teaching is established at the dawn of kosen-rufu, according to the
Daishonin’s last will and testament, and the people embrace the Daishonin’s
Buddhism and purify their lives. At that time, the social fabric of entire nations
will be based on correct Buddhist wisdom, which will transform those nations
into true Buddha lands. We can see from this how Buddhist Law, in the form of
the Daishonin’s teachings, naturally and deeply will permeate the secular laws
that make up the fabric of society.
would have been impossible for the Daishonin to establish unilaterally the High
Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching when he was alive. However, a
non-negotiable condition for the integration of Buddhist Law and secular law is
that the person in highest authority, either the emperor or some other head of
state, must embrace the Three Great Secret Laws. In today’s socialized nations,
however, political power rests, as a general rule, with each member of society.
Still, even if we set aside the issue of politics, only when all strata of
people in all strata of society embrace the Three Great Secret Laws can
Buddhist Law profoundly permeate secular law.
Therefore, a practicing Buddhist in the nation’s
highest office will not, by itself, fulfill the conditions necessary for the
establishment of the High Sanctuary. The imperceptibly profound integration of
Buddhism and secular law can only happen when people of all occupations and all
walks of life, including politicians, voluntarily become followers and
disciples of the Daishonin, and devotedly practice the Three Great Secret Laws.
Sacred Intent of the Daishonin’s Final Instruction on the Establishment of the
the above-cited passage from “On the Three Great Secret Laws,” the Daishonin
states: “…then, when an imperial decree is delivered and handed down…” This
passage specifies the place where the High Sanctuary should be built, and
stipulates that federal legislation must be passed to legitimize its
establishment. We must understand that the Daishonin uses the words “imperial
decree” for two reasons. One is because of Japanese historical precedent with
regard to the establishment of Buddhist ordination platforms, and the other is
because the Kamakura Bakufu (Military Government) controlled the issuance of
imperial edicts during the Daishonin’s lifetime. The type of legislation needed
for the establishment of the High Sanctuary is directly linked to, and will
change according to, the form of government that rules Japan at the dawn of
would therefore be a grave mistake to become sidetracked by such wording as
“imperial decree” to argue blindly that the High Sanctuary must be a federally
the Daishonin’s will on establishing the High Sanctuary, predicated upon the
imperceptibly profound integration of Buddhist Law and secular law, must be
interpreted in accordance with actual events. Because we cannot know what
conditions will be at the dawn of kosen-rufu until that time arrives, we must
not argue about issues at this point in history on the basis of unverifiable
predictions. We cannot restrict the future on the basis of information we
currently have at our disposal. It is more important that we entrust these
matters to the Buddha’s will and follow the instruction of the current High
Daishonin states the following in the Rissho ankoku-ron
Therefore you must quickly reform the tenets that
you hold in your heart and embrace the one true vehicle, the single good
doctrine of the Lotus Sutra. If you do so, then the threefold world will all
become the Buddha land, and how could a Buddha land ever decline? The regions
in the ten directions will all become treasure realms, and how could a treasure
realm ever suffer harm? If you live in a country that knows no decline or
diminution, in a land that suffers no harm or disruption, then your body will
find peace and security and your mind will be calm and untroubled.
(Gosho, p. 250; MW- 2, p. 45)
This passage clearly shows that the
Daishonin’s sacred intent is for all people to find freedom from suffering and
for all nations to co-exist in peace and security.
must be armed with the conviction that a united priesthood and laity, working
day by day to accomplish the High Priest’s guidance that we each shakubuku at
least one person per year, will bring about our two greatest goals. First, that
we will help Buddhism profoundly permeate secular law, and second, that by
accomplishing kosen-rufu, we will open the door for the establishment of the
true High Sanctuary according to the Daishonin’s last will and testament. Let
us therefore continue to work together to further the goals that the High
Priest has set for us during this 750th anniversary of the Daishonin’s
submission of the Rissho
in revelation of the true doctrine.
Honmonji Temple: At the time of kosen-rufu, the name of the Head Temple will be
Honmonji Temple (Temple of the Essential Teaching) following the Daishonin’s
instructions. Taisekiji is a temporary name.