Polishing Our Lives Through Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
The Mystic Law is the key to polishing our lives. In “On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” Nichiren Daishonin writes: “This is similar to a tarnished mirror that will shine like a jewel when polished. A mind now clouded by the illusions of the innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror, but when polished, it is sure to become like a clear mirror, reflecting the essential nature of phenomena [Dharma nature] and the true aspect of reality. Arouse deep faith, and diligently polish your mirror day and night. How should you polish it? Only by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 4).
Our society today is rife with negative influences. People’s lives are easily clouded and sullied. That is why we need this fundmental method for polishing and purifying our lives.
A life that has been thoroughly polished by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo shines with wisdom, and this wisdom serves as a beacon guiding the way to victory in life. In “The Benefits of the Teacher of the Law” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the wisdom of those who uphold the Mystic Law is likened to “a pure bright mirror / in which forms and shapes are all reflected” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 303). Just as a bright, clear mirror reflects every object as it is, a life that has been well polished can discern the true reality of all things in the world.
In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin comments on this passage as follows: “The sutra passage is saying that persons whose six sense organs are pure will be like lapis lazuli or like bright mirrors in which one sees the major world system (or the thousand-millionfold world).
“Now when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they see and understand the ten thousand phenomena [i.e., all phenomena], as though these were reflected in a bright mirror” (p. 149). …
The “bright mirror” of a well-forged and polished life fully reflects the universe, society and human life. The “bright mirror,” fundamentally, is the Gohonzon—in other words, the life of Nichiren Daishonin. In a broader sense, it is the “bright mirror of the single mind [of faith]” (see OTT,149) of all those who believe in the Gohonzon as disciples of the Daishonin.
This is the profound significance of faith in the Mystic Law. Through strong faith, we can elevate and transform our lives—spiritually and physically—to their purest and strongest possible state.
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