Nichiren Buddhism is based on the teachings of a man by the name of Nichiren Daishonin who was a Buddhist Monk who lived during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) and was a firm believer in the idea that everyone could attain Buddhahood through the chanting of a very simple phrase, “Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo”. which basically means I take refuge in the mystic law (of cause and effect). Soka Gakkai International is headed by president Daisaku Ikeda and its mission is to turn the earth into a paradise of peace and happiness for all people.
About two weeks ago, I accepted the Gohonzon, which is the sacred scroll of the Nichiren Buddhism faith, without much hesitation. In the few weeks that I’ve been apart of this faith, I have felt a renewed sense of vigor and determination which seems to seep from every member of the organization. The Gohonzon itself is not holy, a few people have told me that without faith the Gohonzon is just a piece of paper. I like to look at the Gohonzon as a mirror of your mind. You stare at it and chant “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” and you are able to clearly see the thought forms and images that come to your mind without getting swept off into them as easily. It is a tool for focusing your mind on your unlimited potential, your goals, or simply for washing the ego.
The idea of peace and love in Soka Gakkai
The Soka Gakkai, in general, is full of people who thirst for peace and love the idea that one person changing their destiny changes the destinies of all other individuals on the planet. The SGI center here in New York has meetings every day where people gather in large numbers to chant, to discuss plans of action or to simply offer guidance and a smiling face.
Nichiren Buddhism seems to be a religion for non-religious people such as myself. The concept of “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” means that everything thing is one, and the changes that you affect inside are also shown on the outside. Therefore, no person is praying or begging to some outside party for aid, they are looking inside themselves, to find the core of the human spirit, which is governed by unlimited potential.
I recommend than anyone from Christians to atheists join up with the Soka Gakkai, as they are an organization geared towards peace in the world and in the lives of the individual and they accept members of any religion, race or economic class. Plus, Buddhists really know how to party!