Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Be the Sun! Encouragement from Daisaku Ikeda

Last night after chanting I studied the Gosho in January's Living Buddhism. I sincerely hope all of you subscribe to the SGI publications in your country. They are the letters our mentor in faith is sending to you.

The Gosho for January is called "The Bow and Arrow." In it, Nichiren Daishonin encourages the Lay Nun Toki Jonin with all his heart. My favorite passage says:

"There is nothing to lament 
when we consider that we will surely become Buddhas. 
Even if one were to become an emperor's consort, 
of what use would it be? 
Even if one were to be reborn in heaven, 
what end would it serve? 
Instead you will follow the way 
of the Dragon King's daughter 
and rank with the nun Mahaprajapati. 
How Wonderful! 
How Wonderful! 
Please chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, 

With my deep respect, 
(WND-1, 657)

In the commentary, Daisaku Ikeda writes that Nichiren Daishonin is assuring Toki:

"We cannot fail to attain Buddhahood. No matter how painful things are now, we are certain to triumph in the end. We will enjoy ourselves freely in the realm of life that is eternal throughout the three existences of past, present and future. When you are sure of that, what reason do you have to lament?"
He goes on to say:
"Nichiren's encouragement in this passage is a deeply moving expression of his compassionate wish to dispel the anxiety plaguing the lay nun Toki's heart and free her from her sorrow. 
"And the words. "How wonderful! How wonderful! (WND-1657) articulate the joy one experiences when one emerges from the clouds of sorrow to savor a state of being where all clouds have disappeared and one's heart is serene like a clear blue sky. It is a state of hope, optimism and delight.
There may be many difficult and painful events in the course of one's life. But those who remain steadfast in their practice of the Mystic Law need never sink into the more of suffering. Instead of feeling depressed and sad, their spirits are buoyant and their hearts light as they look to the future. 
"The key is to chant resonantly with joy and courage. The lives of those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo embody the principle of "earthly desires leading to enlightenment." They are already victorious. They have triumphed, rising above all suffering." 
And, as people who achieved this state of life, we naturally encourage others. 
"Mr. Toda said that the essence of guidance is encouragement. He personally continued to make energetic efforts to encourage those who came to see him for guidance, until they had roused courage to stand up and face life's challenges again."

Daisaku Ikeda wraps up this essay with this bold, encouraging declatation:

"If you are without hope now, create hope! 
If you are unhappy now, create your own happiness.  
You be the sun, imparting sunshine to all around you!

"The heavenly dieties and all Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout the ten directions and three existences will safeguard and protect the members of the SGI, who are striving for kosen-rufu as practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, just as Nichiren teaches. The entire universe is our ally. We have nothing to fear.

"Our lives are wellsprings of infinite value creation. We are entities of everlasting hope, dispelling the darkness of despair." 
(All quotes are from the January 2014 issue of Living Buddhism, pages 30-32) 

And I will add we are all so much more important than we may know. We are unusual. People are watching us. Our practice is the key to tapping into the vast life-source of the universe. We live bold and noble lives. Whatever we are struggling with - we can create value, and encourage others.  

It is Christmas eve here, and as I write this the sky is bright and I see sunshine, and lovely snowflakes coming down. How beautiful! A White Christmas. I hope we can all fill our hearts with joy!

As always, you can email me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. Even at Christmas time let us remember that there is no greater happiness than chanting nam-myo-ho-renge-kyo and living the eternal life of buddhahood