Part 1: Happiness; Chapter 3: The Practice for Transforming Our State of Life [3.10]

3.10 Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Is the Key to Victory in Life

In this excerpt from The New Human Revolution, the novel’s protagonist Shin’ichi Yamamoto (whose character represents President Ikeda) is speaking in 1966 to members in Peru who have just started practicing Nichiren Buddhism.

Those who challenge themselves earnestly, aligning their lives with the Mystic Law, kosen-rufu, and the SGI, lay the foundations for eternal happiness and realize ultimate victory in life.

I would like all of you to become such great victors. In that connection, allow me today to talk a little about the key requirements for victory.

The first is chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Our health, courage, wisdom, joy, desire to improve, self-discipline, and so on, could all be said to depend on our life force. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo enables us to bring forth limitless life force. Those who base themselves on chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are therefore never deadlocked.

The important thing is to continue chanting every day, no matter what happens. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the fundamental power of the universe. Please chant resounding daimoku morning and evening with the vibrant and energetic rhythm of majestic horses galloping through the heavens.

When we chant before the Gohonzon, we are facing the Buddha, so we should remember to have a respectful attitude. Other than that, though, we should feel free to express what’s in our hearts honestly and directly to the Gohonzon.

The Gohonzon is the embodiment of the Buddha endowed with infinite compassion. We should therefore chant about our desires, our problems, and our aspirations, just as they are. When we’re suffering, feeling sad, or experiencing hard times, we should take everything to the Gohonzon with an open heart, like a child who throws itself into its mother’s arms and clings to her. The Gohonzon will “listen” to everything. Let’s chant as if carrying on a conversation, confiding our innermost thoughts. In time, even hellish sufferings will vanish like the morning dew and seem but a dream.

If, for instance, we recognize that we have done something wrong, we should offer sincere prayers of apology and humbly reflect on our behavior. We can resolve never to repeat the same mistake again and set forth anew.

Also, when we encounter a crucial situation, we can firmly resolve to win and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the power of a lion’s roar or the ferocity of an asura demon, as if to shake the entire universe.

Furthermore, in the evening, we can joyfully chant to the Gohonzon with profound appreciation for that day.

In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin cites the words: “Morning after morning we rise up with the Buddha, evening after evening we lie down with the Buddha”1 (OTT, 83). This means that those who continue to chant in earnest are always together with the Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law. This holds true not only for this lifetime but even beyond death, with the Daishonin and all heavenly deities throughout the universe extending their protection to us. We can therefore feel a deep sense of security from the depths of our being and be free of all fear. We can enjoy and live out our lives with complete confidence.

Chanting transforms suffering into joy, and joy into greater joy. That’s why it is important for us to single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, come what may, whether we are feeling happy or sad, in good times or in bad. This is the direct path to happiness.

From The New Human Revolution, vol. 11,“Pioneering New Frontiers” chapter.

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

  • *1From a commentary by Fu Ta-shih.