Buddhism,  Courage,  Enlightenment,  Faith

The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon

A woman who makes offerings to such a Gohonzon invites happiness in this life, and in the next, the Gohonzon will be with her and protect her always. Like a lantern in the dark, like a strong guide and porter on a treacherous mountain path, the Gohonzon will guard and protect you, Nichinyo, wherever you go. Therefore, you should take every care to ward off slanderers of the Law in the same way that you would never wish a courtesan to come near your home. This is the meaning of “Thrust aside evil friends and associate with good companions.”

Never seek this Gohonzon outside yourself. The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The body is the palace of the ninth consciousness, the unchanging reality that reigns over all of life’s functions. To be endowed with the Ten Worlds means that all ten, without a single exception, exist in one world. Because of this it is called a mandala. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that is translated as “perfectly endowed” or “a cluster of blessings.” This Gohonzon also is found only in the two characters for faith. This is what the sutra means when it states that one can “gain entrance through faith alone.”

Since Nichiren’s disciples and lay supporters believe solely in the Lotus Sutra, honestly discarding expedient means and not accepting even a single verse of the other sutras, exactly as the Lotus teaches, they can enter the treasure tower of the Gohonzon. How reassuring! Make every possible effort for the sake of your next life. What is most important is that, by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo alone, you can attain Buddhahood. It will no doubt depend on the strength of your faith. To have faith is the basis of Buddhism. Thus the fourth volume of Great Concentration and Insight states, “Buddhism is like an ocean that one can only enter with faith.” The fourth volume of The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight” explains this: “With regard to the phrase ‘Buddhism is like an ocean that one can only enter with faith,’ even Confucius taught that faith is first and foremost. How much more so is this true of the profound doctrines of Buddhism! Without faith, how could one possibly enter? That is why the Flower Garland Sutra defines faith as the basis of the way and the mother of blessings.” The first volume of Great Concentration and Insight says, “How does one hear, believe in, and practice the perfect teaching to attain perfect enlightenment?” The first volume of On “Great Concentration and Insight” says, “To ‘believe in the perfect teaching’ means to awaken faith through doctrine and to make faith the basis of practice.”

The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon

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