New Testimonial - New experiences are now "live" on the Chant for a Better Life blog.

Request for Testimonials - We would like to encourage all Soka members from around the world to send in your testimonials to actualproofs[at]yahoo.com and share your experiences - how you overcome the challenges you faced and achieve victories - with other members who could learn from you.

Saturday

1st August

WE practice faith in order to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime. By persevering in faith throughout your life you can achieve Buddhahood, the ultimate fruition of human existence.


WHEN you worship the Gohonzon, the door to your microcosm is opened to the universe, the macrocosm, and you experience a great, boundless joy, as if you were looking out over the entire cosmos. You feel great satisfaction and rejoicing, a great wisdom, as if you held the entire universe in your palm. The microcosm enfolded by the macrocosm reaches out to enfold the macrocosm in its own embrace.


IT is fun to win. There is glory in it. There is pride. And it gives us confidence. When people lose, they are gloomy and depressed. They complain. They are sad and pitiful. That is why we must win. Happiness lies in winning. Buddhism, too, is a struggle to emerge victorious.


NO matter how you adorn yourself with the trappings of fame, rank, academic credentials, knowledge or wealth, if you are impoverished or bankrupt inside, your life will be barren and empty. What kind of person are you when all those externals have been stripped away, when you stand unadorned except your own humanity? Human revolution is the challenge to change our life at the very core.


NATURALLY, leaders and their families will have their share of problems, just like other families. There may be illness to deal with or a host of other areas that need attention. You should not feel the slightest bit to be ashamed of this. We live in human society and we are an organization of human beings. As Nichiren Daishonin said, “It is the heart that is important.” Appearances are inconsequential. Though various things may happen on our lives, ultimately what matters is our heart. What matters is our attitude in faith.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.

Friday

31st July

THE benefits that are obtained through struggling for kosen-rufu are enormous. Worldly happiness is fleeting. However, the good fortune one acquires by taking action for the sake of Buddhism is eternal. I hope you will all advance with deep pride and confidence.


WHEN one gazes into the chasm between life and death, status, fame and wealth count for absolutely nothing. All that remains is one’s bare self stripped of all external adornment. Only through Buddhism can we arrange our lives on this essential level.


BECAUSE we have decided to embrace faith in the Daishonin’s Buddhism, we must always move forward. And if we are going to move forward, it is much more enjoyable if we do so with pride and confidence. It is better to live with firm determination than to spend one’s life filled with fear and insecurity.


BIRDS, for example, have their own language, their own speech. People do not understand it, but other birds do. In the same way, the language of gongyo and chanting daimoku reaches the Gohonzon and the realism of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the three existences and the ten directions. We might call it the language of the realms of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas. That is why the voice of gongyo and daimoku are directed to the Gohonzon, whether we understand it or not, reaches all the Buddhas, bodhisattvas and heavenly deities.


BE a man of right, never of might.
Be a leader of the people, never the tool of authority.
Be the friend of the masses, never the slave of wealth.
Be a wise man of good, never a cunning evil one.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.

Thursday

30th July

HOW important it is to help our children inherit faith! When children embrace faith we can be assured of having prayers offered to us after we have died. Moreover, when children and parents practise correct faith together, they can be born together in lifetime after lifetime, and together enjoy an unsurpassed state of being. This is what Nichiren Daishonin taught.


IN life, having a master is a source of happiness and great joy. The deep relationship between master and disciple is no readily understandable to others. Although unnoticed, when you pursue and proudly carry on in the way of master and disciple which you have chosen, beauty and nobleness will radiate from the depths of your life.


LIFE will be enjoyable. And death will be peaceful, a glorious journey to the next enjoyable life. When winter arrives, the trees and other plants temporarily lose their leaves. But those plants possess the life to send forth new green shoots when spring comes. Human death is like that, but we potentially possess a life force that leads us to a new life – to a new mission – immediately and without pain.


IT is only to the extent that people pray and exert themselves for others that they can create golden histories in their own lives. This is the law of cause and effect. Once you understand this, you will realize that complaining is meaningless. You will also refuse to be affected by what others who make no effort might say.


THE purpose of faith is to realize a state of eternal happiness. This existence is as fleeting as a dream. We practice faith in order to awaken from this dream and firmly establish a state of eternal happiness in the depths of our lives during this lifetime. That is what it means to “attain Buddhahood in this lifetime”.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.

Wednesday

29th July

THE daimoku chanted by those who exert themselves bravely and vigorously for the cause of kosen-rufu – even if only just one daimoku – has more benefit and power than 1,000 or 10,000 chanted without any goal or accompanying action. Having faith that is dedicated to kosen-rufu is what counts.


HOPE exists even in the midst of adversity. In fact, when you undergo the ordeals of adversity will your hope is truly fortified. Hope without ordeal is often nothing more than fleeting, idealistic dreams.


IT is natural that sometimes we fall sick. But we must see that sickness is sickness that originally exists in life, based on the principle of the Mystic Law. In other words, there is no reason to allow yourself to be controlled by illness, for it to fill your life with suffering and distress. From the standpoint of eternal life through the three existences, your fundamentally happy self is incontrovertibly established.


THE formula for victory lies in making steady and careful efforts to reach one goal after another, winning people over to your side and uniting their efforts through your wisdom and enthusiasm. This is exactly what you are doing in each day of your activity.


POSITIVE stimuli contribute to the positive development of your individuality. While shaped by such things as education, family environment and your own efforts, your individuality and development ultimately depend on your own consciousness. It is important to read good books and have good friends.


NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.

Tuesday

28th July

THE essence of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is to chant daimoku encompassing practice both for oneself and others, and lead all humanity to peace and happiness in the Latter Day of the Law and for all eternity. This means chanting with the spirit to help people become happy and advancing with faith that is directed towards realising kosen-rufu in actual society.


AN organisation dedicated to good enhances people’s capacity to work for good and promotes unlimited growth and self-improvement. It does not hinder people’s progress or lead them astray. It supports people’s self improvement, putting them on a sure course to happiness and personal growth. And it is for this purpose that our organisation exists.


THE spirit to be concerned about the welfare of one’s friends is the spirit of the bodhisattva. Our dedicated actions for the sake of others are all transformed into our own treasures. When we make an ongoing commitment to work for the sake of others, we are able to lead fulfilled lives and expand our state of life.


WHEN we worship the Gohonzon, the eternal life of time without beginning wells up within us. For one who believes in the Gohonzon, every day, every instant begins from time without beginning. We are always setting out, full of hope, from today to the future, from this moment to eternal happiness. We are always young, always beginning.


ONE’S faith can be said to be perfect only when it is supported with sincere abundant daimoku and courageous action for others and kosen-rufu. In this sense I want you to be deeply convinced that your day-and-night efforts in activities for the happiness of others are exactly in tune with the supreme and universal principle of Buddhism.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.

Monday

27th July

WHAT is vital above all is passion, perseverance, earnest prayer, and the spirit of unity to work together with a diverse group of people based on a shared sense of purpose.


ONE important thing we gain from the study of history is a larger, broader point of view. If we are always looking at the ground when we walk down the street, we are quite likely to get lost. But by looking up and choosing something big to orient ourselves by, we can make sure we are heading in the right direction.


THE path in faith in the Mystic Law is the supreme path of conviction. Therefore, if one is going to stop halfway, then one may as well not bother starting to begin with. Only by advancing forward, ever forward, without giving in, can one attain eternal happiness.


ACTION is the source of blessings and merits. In propagating the teachings, for example, whether the person you are presenting the teachings to arouse faith is his problem. The effects of our action of propagating will vary, depending on the person’s capacities and other conditions. There is no need to rejoice or lament over each effect. One who has acted for the sake of kosen-rufu is already a great victor in life.


TO be praised by Nichiren Daishonin is the greatest honour and cause for happiness. Being praised by the foolish is the least respectable thing. The question of whether or not you deserve Nichiren Daishonin’s praise relates to the essence of your faith.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.

Sunday

26th July

LIFE is not easy for anyone. One may be exposed to violent storms or be shakened by a high tide of obstacles. This is especially so for us, who are striving to accomplish the unprecedented task of kosen-rufu. Therefore, you should never be swept away by any hardship or retreat in the face of any crisis.


IN Buddhism, practice is faith. That means action is faith, and without action there can be no faith. The action I speak of is the Way of practice for oneself and for others that is taught in Nichiren Daishonin’s writings.


WHEN people are ignorant, they cannot open up their own life nor gain the respect of others. To overcome ignorance, one must study and learn. Intellect is important. A person who has intellect possesses stability and endurance. People who are swayed between one extreme and another, people who are governed by their emotions, do not persist in or continue anything for long.


IT is important to always “start from now”, to have plans and aspirations, and it is a particularly crucial factor in making the last years of one’s life rewarding and fulfilling ones.


WE live in an evil world defiled by the five impurities. While reminding one another to be careful and while watching out for each other, let us continue advancing based on the principles that faith means not causing accidents and that suffering no accidents is itself victory.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.

Saturday

25th July

IN the world of faith, having a sincere and faithful mind enable you to keep yourself in tune with the rhythm of the Mystic Law; then you will quickly receive benefit and your good fortune will increase.


IT is only natural that the energy you acquire through the practice of gongyo for yourself will be channeled back into your activities for others, for kosen-rufu. The fact is that the practice of gongyo and your actions in service of kosen-rufu will become one, and together they will unlock the infinite power of the Mystic Law for your life.


AN earnest struggle, just like a river crashing loudly over rocks, will inevitably encounter obstacle and devilish functions. If you keep pressing forward, not allowing yourself to be defeated in your struggle, you will surge forward with increased impetus and achieve great results – just as a river flows with increasing momentum each time it crashes against rocks, racing on with great vigour.


THE determination to accomplish kosen-rufu gives momentum to the determination to accomplish one’s human revolution. Human revolution is like a planet’s rotation on its axis, while kosen-rufu is like the planet’s revolution around the sun. Rotation and revolution are the foundation of all motion in the universe. It would run counter to the laws of the universe if a planet did not revolve around the sun.


PLEASE read the Gosho each day, even if only a single paragraph or sentence. Mr Josei Toda used to say, “When you are tired, that is when you should study the Gosho.” The Gosho blazes with the brilliant life of Nichiren Daishonin. When we expose ourselves to the Gosho, our life changes and wisdom, courage and confidence well forth.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.

Friday

24th July

WHAT is the key to realizing victory in an age of great upheaval and tumultuous change? It is for leaders to move, to stand in the forefront and to take initiative. I hope that you will make steady efforts to meet with many people and create allies. Keeping yourself informed, please take full responsibility and always be the first to act.


THE spirit of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth is found in the faith to dedicate oneself whole-heartedly to kosen-rufu. If people lose this spirit, then no matter how splendid their appearances are, their hearts will be tainted by worldly affairs and concerns.


THE struggle to cut the roots of evil is actually a struggle to sever the roots of evil and unhappiness that exist within our own lives. If we compromise with evil, leaving some roots behind, it will eventually flourish and grow again. Roots of unhappiness will also remain in our own lives and we will suffer.


TO attain Buddhahood in this life, the Daishonin warned us with firm concern that we must never retreat in our practice. Even though we may experience a period of sadness or depression, the principle that earthly desires are enlightenment teaches us that great sufferings are bound to be transformed into equally great joy, progress and value. There is nothing to fear, since the Gohonzon possesses the infinite power of the Law and the Buddha.


TIME is given to everyone. Therefore, being able to build a life of glory, victory and happiness depends on whether you spend your time meaningfully and free of regret.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.

Thursday

23rd July

THE SGI exists widely to propagate the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin. In the course of this struggle, there will naturally be times when we are faced with extreme hardships and difficulties. The Daishonin was fiercely attacked by people throughout Japan. Nevertheless, he dauntless took action to open a great and eternal path of hope for all humankind. We are carrying on the Daishonin’s great legacy.


COWARDICE is harmful, for it delights the enemies of Buddhism and obstructs the advance of kosen-rufu. The fainthearted cannot savour the true benefit of faith; their ability to tap the power of the Buddha and the power of the Law (of the Gohonzon) in their lives is enfeebled.


TO treasure the children of the Buddha who are devoted to kosen-rufu is to treasure and strengthen one’s own Buddhahood. The more one praises those who are diligently exerting themselves, the more good fortune, the more momentum, is added to one’s own life and to the organization.


IF we do not practice gongyo, the rhythm in our lives will be thrown off kilter, just as a machine that is not oiled will rust. Gongyo and chanting daimoku are like starting the automobile engine every day and driving in the direction of happiness and truth. By doing so day after day, you will gradually attain perfect unity with the universe and the Law. That state is the state of Buddha.


FAITH itself is invisible. However, faith is bound to manifest in a tangible form as words and deeds, thereby greatly affecting the environment. At the same time, no matter what circumstances you face, you either win or lose. As a Buddhist, you must win each struggle in which you are engaged. And faith in the Gohonzon enables you to do so.

NOTE: Visit http://nichirendaishoningosho.blogspot.com/ for Nichiren Daishonin's gosho, A Gift of Rice.