With respect to general
practice, what can a new member anticipate as a result of practicing Gongyo and
chanting Daimoku? How will I know that this practice has value, works, and
Gongyo and Shodai (chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo) to the Gohonzon are the most basic, important
practices in Nichiren Shoshu. Gongyo is a solemn ceremony and is the source of
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the fundamental Law by which
all the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three existences of past,
present, and future attained enlightenment.
Thus, tremendous benefits
are contained within Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, the Daimoku. It is a matter of
principle and good reason that, when you steadily and sincerely perform Gongyo
and chant Daimoku, you will attain tremendous benefits. The Distinctions of
Benefits (Funbetsu kudoku;
seventeenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra
expounds that if you chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo:
- You will enjoy a life
condition in which you can establish and support the temples in which the
Gohonzon is enshrined.
- You will be able to
correctly understand Buddhism and explain it to people. You will also gain good
friends in true Buddhism.
- Your words and deeds will
become correct and pure.
- You will have peace of
mind and your thoughts will become profound. You will develop patience, and
anger will disappear.
- You will be uninfluenced
by the evils in your environment and be able to continuously perform good
- Your senses will become
sharp, your intellect will become clear, and your wisdom will deepen.
- You will be able to
correctly make use of the good teachings and positive knowledge and gain the
power to resolve difficult problems.
(Hokekyo, p. 535
Moreover, Nichiren Daishonin states the
following in his Gosho, “Reply to Kyo'o”:
like the roar of a lion, and those who believe in this Gohonzon, will not be
assailed by illness and harm, will be protected by the guardian deities, and
will be free from fear in any situation. Also, one can enjoy a life condition
of absolute freedom.
(Gosho, p. 1124;
cf. MW-l, p. 119 [summarized])
Also, the Daishonin refers to benefit in the “Orally
Transmitted Teachings,” (“Ongi kuden”)
Kudoku (benefit) means the effect of the purification
of the six sense organs. Nichiren and his followers who chant
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo purify their six senses. Great virtue (toku) awaits
those who believe in Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Benefit (ku) means happiness, or
the eradication of evil, and great virtue (toku) means to create good. Kudokumeans to attain Buddhahood in one’s present form,
and to purify the six sense organs.
(Gosho, p. 1775)
If you believe in the Gohonzon and practice this true Buddhism, you can
eradicate the evil karma that you have brought with you from your past lives,
and attain Buddhahood by purifying your six senses.