True joy is found in working for world peace, in taking action for our own and others’ happiness. The term kosen rufu, often used interchangeably with world peace has its origins in the Lotus Sutra. The concept comes from a passage in “Former Affairs of the Bodhisattva Medicine King,” the 23rd chapter of the Lotus Sutra, which reads: “After I, [Shakyamuni Buddha] have passed into extinction, in the last five-hundred year period, you must spread it abroad widely [kosen rufu] throughout Jambudvipa and never allow it to be cut off” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 330).
The teaching to be spread widely is the Lotus Sutra, whose key message is that all people possess within them the potential for Buddhahood, regardless of such superficial distinctions as race, gender or class.
For people in the 21st Century, Nichiren Daishonin taught that chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the way to transmit Buddhism in the latter age.
In the words kosen-rufu, ko means “wide” or “widely.” Sen means “declare” or “announce.” Ru means “flow” or “transmit.” Fu, “a piece of cloth,” when used as a verb means “to spread” or “to cover.” Kosen-rufu can therefore be interpreted to mean, ‘to widely declare and spread broadly.”
For people in the 21st Century, Nichiren Daishonin taught that chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the correct way to transmit Buddhism and the Lotus Sutra in the latter age in order to achieve kosen-rufu or world peace. The Daishonin established the practice of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, embodying the essence of the Lotus Sutra, as the concrete means to enable all people to call forth their Buddha nature.
Excerpted from – Living Buddhism Nov 1, 2013 “Buddhist Concepts: Kosen-Rufu”