The Bodhisattvas of the Earth appear and establish the object of devotion in “a time of conflict” is itself eloquent testimony to the fact that Buddhism is a teaching for peace and human happiness.
Conflict results in twofold brutality. First, it imparts direct injury to life. Second, it rends people’s hearts and severs human bonds. Together, it is a working of devils that destroy the cosmos, or harmonious order, of human life. War is despicable. It is brutish and cruel. In such a “time of conflict,” the Bodhisattvas of the Earth establish the Gohonzon for the salvation of all people.
This guidance is an abstract from 'The World of Nichiren Daishonin Writings' with universal value and application
Nichiren Daishonin was the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth of whom he speaks, and it was he who established the Gohonzon. On that premise, his statement “at this time” is very important. Citing a commentary by the Great Teacher Dengyo, he describes it as a “time of conflict.” Referring to the age in which he lived, the Daishonin interprets “time of conflict” to indicate “the two disasters of internal strife and invasion from the western sea that are occurring at present” (WND, 376).
This Gohonzon, like the treasure tower ceremony itself, makes it possible for the world of Buddhahood to become manifest in the life of each person and in the land as a whole. When we of the Latter Day of the Law, with the Gohonzon as our clear mirror, believe that this same expansive cosmos of life exists within us, we can open and reveal that vast and boundless condition in our lives. We can thereby fundamentally eliminate all suffering and build eternal, indestructible happiness.
Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the fundamental seed, or cause, for attaining Buddhahood as the Gohonzon of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the actual three thousand realms in a single moment of life, which he bestowed on all humankind. When we embrace and believe in this Gohonzon, we can actually perceive the Mystic Law in our own lives.
When we believe in the fundamental Mystic Law, it becomes manifest within us, and our state of life changes at the very core. The karmic relations arising from ignorance are eradicated, with the Mystic Law enriching our lives and overflowing into our environment. The world is transformed at a fundamental level. This is the basis of the benefit of the Gohonzon.
In contrast to fundamental darkness or ignorance, the fundamental Mystic Law corresponds to the Dharma nature, or, in other words, fundamental enlightenment. Whereas the causes and conditions of suffering in the cycle of birth and death are found in the three paths of earthly desires, karma and suffering, the way to attaining Buddhahood is found in the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom and emancipation.
Fundamental ignorance or illusion gives rise to earthly desires that in turn result in the accumulation of negative karma, trapping one in a cycle of migrating from one state of suffering to the next. “Eradicating karmic relations arising from ignorance” means to put an end to such transmigration at a root level and to eradicate and break free of the karmic relations that give rise to that cycle. Returning to the fundamental Mystic Law is the key.
By praying to the Gohonzon, which was inscribed based on the Ceremony in the Air, we become one with the eternal and universal life in the present. We can awaken a state of life in which we can survey the entire universe right from where we are. Through our daily practice of reciting the sutra and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can join the eternal Ceremony in the Air here and now. We can cause the treasure tower to shine within us and to shine within our daily activities and lives. That is the wonder of the Gohonzon. A magnificent cosmos of life opens to us, and reality becomes a world of value creation.
The treasure tower issues forth from deep within the earth and soars high into the sky above the saha world. This symbolizes the emergence from the eternal source or foundation of this world, the passage through the harsh realities of this realm of suffering, and a rising on toward the future and the fruition of lofty ideals.
Nichiren Daishonin states that he inscribed the Gohonzon as the “banner of propagation of the Lotus Sutra” (WND, 831). In other words, it is the object of devotion for kosen-rufu — that is, for accomplishing the wide propagation of the Mystic Law.
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