Sermon by Chief Priest Reverend Taishin Takano
purpose of our Buddhist practice is the attainment of Buddhahood, the highest
life condition that is, to become a Buddha. Nichiren Daishonin taught us that
the Gohonzon is the expression of the essence of the entire workings of the
life of the true Buddha.
face the Gohonzon to recite the prayers and to chant Daimoku in order to arouse
forth the Buddha nature that is inherent in the lives of all common mortals.
following is a passage from the Writings of the Daishonin:
illustrate, when a caged bird sings, birds who are flying in the sky are
thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather
around, the bird in the cage strives to get out. When with our mouths we chant
the Mystic Law, our Buddha nature, being summoned, will invariably emerge.
p. 207; Gosho, p. 1320)
is the difference between the common people and the Buddha? The Daishonin
addresses this point in the following passage:
is a clear distinction between a Buddha and a common mortal, in that a common
mortal is deluded while a Buddha is enlightened. The common mortal fails to
realize that he himself possesses both the entity and the function of the
Buddha's three properties.
(MW-1, p. 91; Gosho, p. 665)
Buddha's three properties are the property of the Law, the property of wisdom,
and the property of compassionate action.
if there are times when we are deluded by superficial matters, we can overcome
the distinction between the Buddha's life and ours, make the Gohonzon the sole
object of worship and improve our faith and practice.
we achieve the fusion of reality and wisdom, a perfect unity with the Gohonzon,
we can attain the life condition of enlightenment, true happiness. The
accomplishment of this state of fusion or unity actually represents our union
Daishonin states in the “Orally Transmitted Teachings” (Ongi kuden
means to attain Buddhahood in one’s present form, which is the purification of
the six sense organs. One must understand that to practice the teachings in
accord with the Lotus Sutra is the purification of the six sense organs.
(Gosho, p. 1775)
six sense organs are the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. The Daishonin
expounds that those who practice True Buddhism will receive the benefit of the
purification of the life.
means not having a defiled nature brought about by earthly desires and refers
to a state of purity and serenity. In Buddhism, it is taught that one’s true
nature is innately pure. If one’s six sense organs can sever their attachment
to their respective objects, they have been purified. When this has been
achieved, it is equal to attaining Buddhahood.
actual practice, we must achieve the fusion with the Gohonzon by reciting the
prayers and chanting Daimoku, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo everyday.
we practice the Buddhism of the Daishonin, we will come to understand the
preciousness of our faith and practice in terms of our own daily lives.
will notice that something is having a dynamically powerful and positive effect
on us. That "something" is not an external power, but the Buddha
nature within us starting to emerge, endowing us with vast wisdom and fortune. “The
bird of the Buddhahood” in the cage is getting out. As a result, we can
discover a life filled with good fortune, strong life force, profound wisdom
and tremendous mercy.