Traditionally, and since the inception of this religion, the Gohonzon, the object of worship of
this religion based on the Law of Nichiren Daishonin, was given by a person who was
committed to aspiring to Buddhahood with devotion, just as Nichiren Daishonin was and had
done. In addition, this object of worship is loaned to a person of faith. It is not one’s personal
property, nor does one own it. Since the Law belongs to all sentient beings, it is a mistake to
claim it as one’s own. The person who receives the Gohonzon and enshrines it in his or her
home must be the most responsible and devoted believer who protects the Gohonzon.

The purpose of Gohonzon, the principal object of worship of the Buddha, is to convey to all
sentient beings the Law, which was explained by Nichiren Daishonin, that all sentient beings
are equal and that all sentient beings can equally attain Buddhahood. The Gohonzon alone
does not become the true object of worship. Only when the Gohonzon and the believer are
united will the Gohonzon become the true object of worship. From the point of view of those
who do not have faith, the Gohonzon is just a thing. In that vein, Nichiren Shu (Minobu Sect)
temples sell gohonzons in souvenir shops and Buddhist altar shops in the same way as incense
sticks and candles are sold, whether the customer is a believer or not. So, even if it is in the
form of a Gohonzon, it is just a souvenir.

And though it may be a real Gohonzon revealed by Nichiren Daishonin, if it is enshrined in the
Minobu temples, we will not touch it. In other words, as I have said before, no matter how
genuine the Gohonzon is, if it is the object of worship of a congregation of worshipers of the
wrong faith or wrong teachings, teachings which are different from the Law of Nichiren
Daishonin, then that Gohonzon will not lead to Buddhahood. This is because it is not possible,
with that Gohonzon, to practice devotion being one with Nichiren. Even if the Gohonzon is

real, worshiping that Gohonzon is slanderous to the Law.

Today, on the Internet, you can download the a real Gohonzon, print it yourself, or even put it
up for sale because you misunderstand that the Gohonzon you receive is your property. Some
people buy it because they want a Gohonzon. The Soka Gakkai also makes its own Gohonzon.
However, all of these methods are slanderous. These are things that should never be done.

Reverend Raido Hirota
January 9, 2021

Translated and edited by Udumbara Foundation volunteers
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