Quotes from the Writings of Nichiren

Daily quotes from the Writings of Nichiren Vol. 1 & 2

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

On Prayer

Daisaku Ikeda

Daisaku Ikeda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Prayer is the courage to persevere. It is the the struggle to overcome our own weakness and lack of confidence in ourselves. It is the act of impressing in the very depths of our being the conviction that we can change the situation without fail. Prayer is the way to destroy all fear. It is the way to banish sorrow, the way to light a torch of hope. It is the revolution that rewrites the scenario of our destiny.” ~ Daisaku Ikeda encouragement as appeared in Dec 3, 2004 World Tribune p.8

“Even places that have been shrouded in darkness for billions of years can be illuminated. Even a stone from the bottom of a river can be used to produce fire. Our present sufferings, no matter how dark, have certainly not continued for billions of years-nor will they linger forever. The sun will definitely rise. In fact, its ascent has already begun.” — President Ikeda

 

“Wisdom emerges through prayer. Victory emerges through wisdom.”
–Daisaku Ikeda

Prayer is a conversation with the universe, a dialogue with life itself.

Nichiren Buddhists chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, a declaration of the wonderful Dharma, or Law, of causality. It is an activation of the most noble state of life—Buddhahood—which exists in all life. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is an inexhaustible source of fortune and wisdom.

Buddhism For You: Prayer presents the thoughts of Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist scholar and spiritual leader for millions worldwide, focusing on the importance of prayer.

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17 May 2012 – Daily Guidance

THURSDAY

17th May
YOU cannot build a foundation without effort and hard work, and without a solid foundation, you cannot become a person of genuine substance. Cunning people who shun hard work and seek to make it big overnight invariably come to a fall in the end.
WHEN a person who is seriously ill recovers, that is a great human revolution. When a mean person becomes kind to others, that is human revolution. When people who treat their parents badly begin to love them, that is human revolution. Human revolution cannot be pinned down to one specific thing. It is any action that leads to positive change or improvement in the inner realm of a person’s life.
IT is important to have the self-confidence to confront whatever problem or test you face without fear, and the spirited-determination to win a great victory in your local region. This is the source of indomitable strength to press forward, ever forward.

A true religion does not confine people to the darkness of ignorance and blind obedience. On the contrary, it awakens people intellectually and nourishes them. In the end, a true religion produces people of wisdom. Intellect is an extension of faith, and faith is an extension of intellect. With both faith and intellect working harmoniously, one can achieve unlimited self-development as a human being, fully developing one’s character.

A profound connection between the Gohonzon and oneself is the basic posture of faith. All we have to do is perceive everything from this standpoint. However, if one is shaken on this single point, then everything will appear to him in a distorted way.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin‘s gosho, Letter to the Brothers.

WHEN a person who is seriously ill recovers, that is a great human revolution. When a mean person becomes kind to others, that is human revolution. When people who treat their parents badly begin to love them, that is human revolution. Human revolution cannot be pinned down to one specific thing. It is any action that leads to positive change or improvement in the inner realm of a person’s life.

IT is important to have the self-confidence to confront whatever problem or test you face without fear, and the spirited-determination to win a great victory in your local region. This is the source of indomitable strength to press forward, ever forward.

A true religion does not confine people to the darkness of ignorance and blind obedience. On the contrary, it awakens people intellectually and nourishes them. In the end, a true religion produces people of wisdom. Intellect is an extension of faith, and faith is an extension of intellect. With both faith and intellect working harmoniously, one can achieve unlimited self-development as a human being, fully developing one’s character.

A profound connection between the Gohonzon and oneself is the basic posture of faith. All we have to do is perceive everything from this standpoint. However, if one is shaken on this single point, then everything will appear to him in a distorted way.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin’s gosho, Letter to the Brothers.

from The Swords of Good and Evil, pp. 451-453, Writings of Nichiren

Various samurai swords. Photo taken at the Vic...

Various samurai swords. Photo taken at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have received the two swords—a long one and a short one—that you sent as an offering for prayers. The long sword must have been made by a renowned swordsmith. It is fully equal to the celebrated swordsAmakuni, Onikiri, and Yatsurugi,1 or to those famous Chinese swords Kan-chiang and Moyeh.2You have offered this sword to the Lotus Sutra. While you wore it at your side, it was an evil sword, but now that it has been offered to the Buddha, it has become a sword for good, just like a demon who conceives a desire to attain the Buddha way. How wondrous, how wondrous!

In the next life you should use this sword as your staff. The Lotus Sutra is the staff that helps all the Buddhas of the three existences as they set their minds on enlightenment. However, you should rely on Nichiren as your staff and pillar. When one uses a staff, one will not fall on treacherous mountain paths or rough roads, and when led by the hand, one will never stumble. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo will be your staff to take you safely over the mountains of death. The Buddhas Shakyamuni and Many Treasures, as well as the four bodhisattvas headed by Superior Practices, will lead you by the hand on your journey. If I, Nichiren, precede you in death, I will come to meet you at your last moment.  If you should precede me, I will be sure to tell King Yama all about you. Everything that I tell you is true. According to the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren is the guide who knows the passes and gorges along the way. Devote yourself singlemindedly to faith with the aim of reaching Eagle Peak.

Money serves various purposes according to our needs. The same is true of the Lotus Sutra. It is a lantern in the dark or a boat at a crossing. At times it is water and, at times, fire. This being so, the Lotus Sutra assures us of “peace and security in our present existence and good circumstances in future existences.”3

on Human Revolution by Daisaku Ikeda

32 years old Daisaku Ikeda 日本語: 創価学会会長に就任した頃の池...

32 years old Daisaku Ikeda 日本語: 創価学会会長に就任した頃の池田大作(32歳) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our lives inherently possess a boundless energy. Summoning this forth, we can break through the shell of the small self that constrains our lives. The process of revolutionizing our own lives and helping others to do the same, can transform society and ultimately elevate the state of humanity.

__________________

Human revolution cannot be pinned down to one specific thing. It is any action that leads to positive change or improvement in the inner realm of a person’s life. It is an ongoing process. The important question to ask yourself is whether you are on a path of continuous personal growth.

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The transformation from a self-centered way of life to one dedicated to the well-being of others is the process of “human revolution.” This is a revolution that can start here, now—in the heart of every one of us.

Letter to the Sage Nichimyo, Writings of Nichiren p. 322

There was once a boy called Snow Mountains who lived in the Snow Mountains. Although he had mastered all non-Buddhist teachings, he had not yet encountered Buddhism. Then, one day, he happened to hear a terrifying demon recite a verse that began: “All is changeable, nothing is constant. This is the law of birth and death.” The demon, however, spoke only the first eight characters of the verse, leaving the rest unsaid. Although the boy was exceedingly glad to have heard the first eight characters, he felt as though he had been given only half a wishgranting jewel. It was like a plant that flowers but bears no fruit. When the boy asked for the remaining eight characters, the demon replied, “I have had nothing to eat for several days. I am too dazed with hunger to preach the remaining eight characters. First give me some food!” The boy asked, “What do you eat?” The demon answered, “I feed on the warm flesh and blood of human beings. Though I can fly anywhere throughout the four continents in the space of a moment, I can obtain no warm flesh and blood. Human beings are protected by the heavenly gods, so I cannot kill them unless they commit evil.”
The boy Snow Mountains said, “I will make you an offering of my own body, so teach me the remaining eight characters so that I can leave the whole teaching behind.” The demon said, “You are a cunning fellow, aren’t you? Surely you are trying to deceive me.” The boy replied, “If one is offered gold
and silver in exchange for shards and rubble, should one not accept it? If I die to no purpose on this mountain, then my body will be devoured by kites, owls, wolves, and tigers, and will bring me no benefit whatsoever. On the other hand, if I give my life for the remaining eight characters, it will be like exchanging dung for food.”
The demon was still suspicious. The boy assured him, “There are those who will vouch for my honesty. Like the Buddhas of ages past, I call upon the great heavenly king Brahma, the heavenly lord Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kings to be my witnesses.” Finally the demon consented to impart the second half of the verse. The boy removed his deerskin garment and spread it out for the demon to sit upon. Then he knelt down and joined his palms together in supplication, begging the demon to be seated. The fierce demon complied and began to recite, “Extinguishing the cycle of birth and death, one enters the joy of nirvana.” When the boy had learned the entire verse, he inscribed it on trees and stones. This completed, he cast himself into the demon’s mouth. The boy Snow Mountains was actually Shakyamuni in one of his past existences, while the demon was Shakra in disguise.4

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