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
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.