Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 23: Valuing Each Individual [23.5]

23.5 All Are Supremely Worthy

In “On the Treasure Tower,” Nichiren Daishonin writes: “In the Latter Day of the Law, no treasure tower exists other than the figures of the men and women who embrace the Lotus Sutra. It follows, therefore, that whether eminent or humble, high or low, those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are themselves the treasure tower, and, likewise, are themselves the Thus Come One Many Treasures” (WND-1, 299). Citing this passage, President Ikeda discusses how Nichiren Buddhism, which places utmost value on each person, is a universal teaching that transcends all differences.

You are the treasure tower! You are supremely worthy! That is the message of this passage from “On the Treasure Tower.” Founding Soka Gakkai president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi deeply studied this writing and underlined many of its passages. It elucidates the most essential principle of humanism in Nichiren Buddhism, which places the highest value on the individual.

In this writing, the Daishonin extols the dignity and limitless potential of all people and clarifies the means for making the supremely noble Buddha nature inherent in our lives shine.

In “The Emergence of the Treasure Tower” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, a giant jeweled tower suddenly appears before the assembly. My mentor, second president Josei Toda, described this ceremony1 as follows:

The most wondrous state of Buddhahood is latent within our own lives. The power and quality of this life state are beyond imagination, defying all description. Nevertheless, we can actualize it in our own lives. This ceremony of the “Treasure Tower” chapter explains that we can, in fact, bring forth the latent state of Buddhahood from within our very own lives.2

The Daishonin tells us that in the Latter Day of the Law, those who uphold the Mystic Law and strive earnestly in their Buddhist practice are themselves the grand and magnificent treasure tower. He says: “No treasure tower exists other than the figures of the men and women who embrace the Lotus Sutra [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo]” (WND-1, 299). By his use of the term “figures,” he is emphasizing our lives as they are.

His message is that, though we all differ in our appearance and individual circumstances, each of us who embraces the Gohonzon, chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and works for kosen-rufu can—just as we are, in our present form—shine like the majestic treasure tower of life adorned with the seven kinds of treasures.3

This is what makes Nichiren Buddhism a universal teaching transcending all differences, including nationality, ethnicity, and gender.

And not only that, the Daishonin teaches that we are all, just as we are, Many Treasures Buddha.4 Our efforts and behavior as we embrace the Mystic Law and engage in our Buddhist practice accord with those of Many Treasures Buddha. There are no requirements other than to “embrace the Lotus Sutra.” We don’t have to do anything special.

That’s why there is no need to try to be anyone other than who we are, to put on airs, or to envy others. When we face problems and suffering, all we need to do is continue striving in our faith. When we persevere in faith and never give in to defeat, no matter what happens in life, we are showing proof that we have won and demonstrating the power of the Lotus Sutra.

From a lecture series “The Buddhism of the Sun—Illuminating the World,” published in Japanese in the Daibyakurenge, October 2018.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.

  • *1This refers to the Ceremony in the Air, one of the three assemblies described in the Lotus Sutra, in which the entire gathering is suspended in space above the saha world. The heart of this ceremony is the revelation of the Buddha’s original enlightenment in the remote past and the transfer of the essence of the sutra to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, who are led by Bodhisattva Superior Practices.
  • *2Translated from Japanese. Josei Toda, Toda Josei zenshu (Collected Writings of Josei Toda), vol. 6 (Tokyo: Seikyo Shimbunsha, 1986), p. 275.
  • *3Seven kinds of treasures: Also, the seven treasures. Seven precious substances. The list differs among the Buddhist scriptures. In the Lotus Sutra, the seven are gold, silver, lapis lazuli, seashell, agate, pearl, and carnelian.
  • *4Many Treasures: A Buddha of the past described in “The Emergence of the Treasure Tower” chapter of the Lotus Sutra as hailing from a land called Treasure Purity in the east, who pledges to appear with his treasure tower in order to attest to the validity of the Lotus Sutra.