Sermon given by Chief Priest Taishin Takano during August
11, 2013 Ceremony
Guidance from Sixty-eighth High Priest Nichinyo Shonin
Occasion of the July Kosen-rufu Shodai CeremonyJuly7, 2013
Reception Hall, Head Temple Taisekiji
Good morning, everyone!
On this occasion of the July Kosen-rufu
Shodai Ceremony, conducted here today at the Head Temple, I would like to
express my heartfelt appreciation to the large number of participants in
The month of July already has arrived.
I believe that you are striving forth toward the achievement of your shakubuku
goals, day and night, based on the unity between priesthood and laity, in the
spirit of itai-doshin.
The Grand Ceremony Commemorating the
Completion of the Major Renovation of the Image Hall (Mieido)
at the Head Temple will be conducted this November.
Therefore, by the end of October, I hope that all Hokkeko chapters will have
achieved this year’s shakubuku goals, so that we can formally report our achievement
to the three treasures on this occasion.
As we endeavor to carry this out, it is
natural to expect that we inevitably will encounter numerous difficulties and
obstacles. However, if all of the members of each chapter make concerted
efforts to chant Daimoku and joyfully stand up in their practice of shakubuku,
aiming toward their goals, I am certain they will receive protection from the
Buddha, conquer all obstacles, and accomplish their goals.
Yozan Uesugi gave the following words
Do it, and it will be done; don’t do it, and it will not be done.
If something is left undone, this is because no one did it.
I hope you will
strive further in your practice with conviction, keeping his words in mind, “Do
it, and it will be done.”
As you are well
aware, if we look at today’s chaotic world, we can see that the minds of the people
are extremely distressed and unceasing conflicts are occurring everywhere, both
at home and abroad. Chaos is creating even more confusion, and misfortune is leading
to further misfortune. The people are clueless and they pointlessly lament.
In order to
overcome these difficulties, there are no alternatives other than practicing
the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha in the Latter Day of the
Law. We must realize this is the important mission and responsibility for us to
The Daishonin teaches
the following in “Reply to Lord Hyōe sakan” (“Hyoe
In the age of the
Latter Day of the Law, the greed of the people has grown so strong that disputes
constantly arise between sovereign and retainer, parent and child, elder and
younger brother, and even more so between persons who are unrelated. As a
result, the guardian deities abandon the country, and the three calamities and
seven disasters occur. One, two, three, four, five, six, or seven suns appear
in the sky; trees and plants wither and die; rivers run dry; the land smokes
like burning charcoal; the seas become like boiling oil. Finally, the flames of
the hell of incessant suffering rise from below, fill the air, and reach to the
(Gosho, p. 1182)
As this Gosho passage
clearly teaches, in the Latter Day of the Law, the people have become so greedy
that they constantly get into conflicts, based on their own self-interest. Even
those who are related, such as parent and child or elder and younger brother,
become at odds with each other. This is even more the case among those who are
unrelated. They engage in vicious fights in a most unseemly way. Finally, the distressed
minds of the people extend their influence to the realm of the environment, and
this leads to the frequent occurrence of the three calamities and seven
disasters. The land falls to ruin and becomes a world of defilement. Such evil
phenomena repeat in a never-ending cycle. The minds of the people become
increasingly undermined, resulting in a worsening condition of endless
In the Rissho ankoku-ron,
explains the root cause of these evil
When I, with my limited
knowledge, read the sutras, I find that all people have gone against the
correct Law and become wholly devoted to evil doctrines. This is why all the
guardian deities have abandoned this country and sages have left this land, not
to return. Seizing this opportunity, devils and demons rush in, bringing
disasters and calamities. This is most fearful. We must speak out!
(Gosho, p. 234; The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2,
The fundamental cause for the minds
of the people to become distressed, for the world to become chaotic, and for the
occurrence of the three calamities and seven disasters is solely due to the
poison of slander. Since this is the case, unless we eradicate this slander, we
never will be able to achieve the establishment of each individual’s happiness,
world peace, and the realization of the Buddha land.
The Daishonin teaches the following
in “Reply to Lord Soya” (“Soya dono-gohenji”)
The Nirvana Sutra
states: Suppose a decent priest becomes aware of one who slanders the correct
Law. If he lets the slanderer be, without reproaching, expelling, and
correcting him by exposing his faults, we should know that this priest is an
enemy of Buddhism. On the other hand, if this priest expels, reproaches, and
corrects the slanderer by exposing his faults, this priest is my disciple, as
well as a true practitioner of my teachings. You must etch this admonishment
indelibly into your mind. If a priest and his followers become aware of an
enemy of Buddhism, and let the slanderer be, without reproaching him, there is
no doubt that all of them will fall into the hell of incessant suffering. The
Great Teacher Nan-yueh states, “They will fall into hell with evil men.” Trying
to attain enlightenment without admonishing slander of the Law is like seeking
water in fire or fire in water. How useless! How vain! No matter how earnestly
one upholds faith in the Lotus Sutra, a single act of slander will cause one to
fall into hell without fail. It is like a single crab leg, which can ruin a
thousand pots of lacquer. This is what is meant by, “The poison has penetrated
deeply, causing them to lose their true mind.”
(Gosho, pp. 1039-1040)
We now must etch these
golden words into our minds and fearlessly stand up and do shakubuku as the
followers of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.
When we view the world,
we can see that many people suffer from the poison of erroneous teachings,
including the followers of the Soka Gakkai.
The Daishonin states in the Gosho, “On Chanting
the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra” (“Sho
In the Latter Day of
the Law, there are many who lack the seed of Buddhahood, while few possess it. Thus,
there is no doubt that people [in the Latter Day of
the Law] will fall into the evil paths. [Since
they are going to fall into the evil paths anyway,]
we should strongly teach and make them listen to the Lotus Sutra and let them
form a poison-drum relationship with it. Thus, it is certain that now is the
time to create reverse relationships by propagating the Lotus Sutra.
(Gosho, p. 231)
It is my wish that you
will follow these golden words and shakubuku as many people as possible. This
is the ultimate act of compassion to save all living beings. I pray from
the bottom of my heart that you will strive in
your practice with a dauntless spirit, aiming toward both our short and
long-term goals—the achievement of our shakubuku goals for this year and the accomplishment
of worldwide kosen-rufu.