by James C. Stephens

Wednesday, April 28, 1971

April 28, 1253—Nichiren Daishonin first chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo on the planet.

After the meeting I went over to Lance’s and did Gongyo. First Lance, Jason, his mom and I sat down and chanted fifteen minutes and then did Gongyo. After Gongyo I talked to Lance and Jason and then his mom started arguing with Lance. Then they gave me a ride home and I mildly scolded both of them, told them they had the Gohonzon; and related my family revolution to them. They agreed that ‘beating” each other in essence never got anything accomplished just frustration.


Nichiren Daishonin– (日蓮; February 16, 1222[1] – November 21, 1282) was a Buddhist monk who lived during the Kamakura period (1185–1333) in Japan. Nichiren taught devotion to the Lotus Sutra, which claims to contain Gautama Buddha’s teachings towards the end of his life, as the exclusive means to attain enlightenment. Nichiren believed that this sutra contained the essence of all of Gautama Buddha’s teachings related to the laws of causality, karma, and leading all people without distinction to enlightenment. At the same time he changed his name to Nichiren, nichi (日) meaning “sun” and ren (蓮) meaning “lotus”.[23] This choice, as Nichiren himself explained, was rooted in passages from the Lotus Sutra.”

Daimoku-According to Wikipedia, “On April 28, 1253, he expounded the daimoku teachings for the first time, marking his Sho Tempōrin (初転法輪: “first turning the wheel of the Law”). With this, he proclaimed that devotion and practice based on the Lotus Sutra was the correct form of Buddhism for the current time…This devotion to the sutra entails the chanting of Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō “homage to the Lotus Sutra”, a phrase referred to as the daimoku, as the essential practice of the teaching.

Gongyo- A ritual which is practiced each morning and evening by chanting a chapter and a half of the Lotus Sutra followed by silent prayers, begun by prayers to Shotenzenjin (Buddhist gods) to the east in the morning in the direction of the rising sun.

Gohonzon– At the age of 51, Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the object of worship, a scroll with the names of various Buddhist and Hindu deities, his name, and invocation.

There are over 42 different Nichiren denominations. Here’s something I didn’t know. According to Wikipedia, “In the 20th century, Nichirenism was a fascist movement led by Nichiren Buddhists who attempted a wave of assassinations in an attempt to further ultranationalist goals in 1932. The result is known as the League of Blood Incident. Two months after, in the May 15 Incident, Japanese naval officers, including some associated with the League of Blood, assassinated Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi.”


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