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the Nichiren Shoshu Shoshin-kai
The lives of all living things in the universe are not governed, owned or created by
God, Buddha, or any special existence. Because life goes through the phases of
birth, aging, illness and death it appears as though life is finite—that there is a
beginning and an end. But the truth about time is that the past is eternal, and the
future is eternal. There is neither beginning nor end. There is only permanent
eternity. Not only is time eternal, but the universe is also everlasting, infinite,
ever-expanding and increasing in volume.

All life is connected. If we equate all life to the great ocean, then our single life is
like a droplet of water that has been extracted from the great ocean of life. Yet,
even though it is a single drop, this one droplet has all the elements and
ingredients contained in the greater life ocean. When this single life completes the
course of birth, aging, illness and death, it returns, connects with all life and
merges into the original ocean. There is no beginning or end to the life cycle of
birth, aging, illness and death of the great ocean. It is permanent and non-
discriminating. What’s more, there is no fixed reincarnation. That is, person A will
not be reborn as person A. Person B will not be reborn as person B. Person C will
not be reborn as person C. A single life emerges from all life. Thus, a single life is
supported by all life, supports all life, and all life is connected to Buddha’s life.

All life is equal with no discrimination by rank. All life can become a Buddha or
attain Buddhahood by believing and practicing this Law. The freedom and
equality that is based on this Law is not the freedom and equality based on
human rights. It is absolute freedom and equality based on Buddha’s rights.

There is a cause or reason for all this. The cause is the Law of
Namumyōhōrengekyō. This Law was first revealed by Nichiren Daishonin
(Japanese, 1222-1282). Since this Law reveals that all life possesses the life of
Buddha, to deny or discriminate based on creed, ethnicity, sex, social status,
financial standing, and position in life would be inconsistent and a denial of the
Law. Therefore, discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. For this reason, this
Law is the only way to realize true freedom, true equality and peace in this world.

Human beings cannot live autonomously. Life cannot be sustained without
water, air and all other life. If it is believed that because human beings were made
in the image of God, and are therefore the most precious of all life, can it then be
said that animals are inferior because they were born to be eaten by humans?  

The True Law is true because it transcends the difference in time between past
and future, and between nations, ethnic groups, and cultural civilizations. This
Law of Namumyōhōrengekyō revealed by Nichiren Daishonin is the Law of
eternity without beginning or end for all living beings (a concept called
); True Cause, which is the Law—the original cause—that enables all
Buddhas to attain enlightenment (a concept referred to as
honnin’myo); and
three thousand realms, including the life of Buddha, contained within each, single
life (the concept called
ichinen sanzen).

There are many religions in the world. Most have objects of worship that resemble
human form. In Buddhism, there are statues of Buddhas and saints such as
Shakyamuni Buddha, Amida Buddha, Dainichi Buddha, Bodhisattavas Kannon
and Maitreya; in Christianity there are statues of Christ, Mary and other saints, as
well as the cross. But only Nichiren Daishonin created an object of worship
Gohonzon) that represents the abstract Law of Namumyōhōrengekyō.

Since it was the mission and responsibility of Shakyamuni Buddha to lead all
living beings to Buddhism, Nichiren Daishonin respects Shakyamuni Buddha.
However, originally Shakyamuni was an ordinary human being like us, who
practiced in a mundane world, became enlightened to the Law and as a result
became a Buddha. We do not worship Shakyamuni as an object of worship. For, if
we worship a person and not the Law of Namumyōhōrengekyō, we cannot
become Buddha as Shakyamuni Buddha had achieved. The Buddha worshipped
the Law and became a Buddha. So, no matter how much you worship the Buddha,
it is impossible to awaken the Buddha nature of Namumyōhōrengekyō that is in
your life. Therefore, in the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, only the Law of
Namumyōhōrengekyō is the object of worship.

Asking the Buddha to save you, protect you, help you, cure you of sickness, gain
fame and fortune, and make your troubles disappear is not a true religion. A true
religion does not sacrifice faith for all manner of benefits in this present world.
With a true faith you gain a true way of life, a real peace of mind, aspire to live a
life of Buddha, even a little, and feel the life of Buddha that lives in your life, and
in all other lives.
Reverend Raidō Hirota   
August 2018