Name “Buddhism” comes from the Sanskrit word “Buddha”, meaning
“Awakened One”. Buddha does not indicate a supernatural, or special being,
but rather a potential that any human being can realize. Historically, the first
Buddha was Siddhartha Gautama, or Shakyamuni, who lived in India About 3000
years ago. The purpose of his teachings was to enable people to overcome the
sufferings which all people inevitably face and allow them to live a truly happy
and fulfilled life. The Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni’s highest teaching, points out
that all people have within themselves the potential for enlightenment, a
condition of immeasurable wisdom, compassion, energy, and joy.
many centuries however emphasis on monastic life and the mastery of complex
doctrines restricted Buddhism to a small elite. Nichiren Daishonin established a
universally accessible form of Buddhist practice on April 28, 1253 when he first
began chanting and propagating Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
Myoho Renge Kyo is the title in Ancient Japanese of the Lotus Sutra and
Nam, derived from Sanskrit, an expression of devotion.
By chanting this phrase, he taught that all people, irrespective of
ability or understanding, could attain enlightenment themselves, overcoming
sorrow and establishing eternal, indestructible happiness, for themselves and
the world in which they live.
Buddhism Nichiren Daishonin established has been handed down for seven
centuries. The Soka Gakkai, founded
in Japan in 1930, and the SGI-USA, founded in the United States in 1960, are
both lay organizations. There are
now more than 17 million people throughout the world who are practicing this
Buddhism and receiving many benefits.
Practice centers on chanting the phrase Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, which expresses the
ultimate truth or the Law of life.
means ‘dedication’, or to fuse one’s life with and gain boundless wisdom
from, the fundamental life force of the Universe.
literally means the mystic Law and is the essential and ultimate principle or
law of the Universe.
Means the Lotus Flower, a symbol for simultaneous cause and effect. Buddhism teaches the law of karmic causality penetrating past
present and future. This law is not
imposed on us by some external or supernatural power but operates within life
individual is therefore accountable for his or her own fate.
Because chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo allows the individual to tap
life’s inherent Buddha nature directly, irrespective of past karma, one can in
the present moment, gain the power and wisdom to live confidently and change
karma, immediately redirecting his or her life to a more desirable future. The
pure lotus blossom, which grows in a muddy swamp, also symbolizes the emergence
of Buddhahood within the life of the ordinary person.
Kyo means sutra, the teaching of a Buddha
Daishonin established the object of worship (Gohonzon), which is a scroll and is
the object of most fundamental respect in this Buddhism.
In the center of the Gohonzon are written the Chinese characters
the Gohonzon is the physical object embodying the perfect fusion of the ultimate
law of the universe and the person, Nichiren Daishonin, who was enlightened to
Gohonzons are enshrined in the homes of believers or in activity centers.
These Gohonzons are transcriptions of the Dai-Gohonzon, which was
inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin in 1279.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with faith in the Gohonzon brings forth our innate Buddha
nature and power of the universal law from within our own lives.
positive changes, such as better health, a happier family life or an improved
financial situation will be seen early on in one’s practice of Nichiren
Daishonin’s Buddhism. The True
benefit however, lies in the deep-rooted wisdom, good fortune and youthful state
of life, which one develops over a period of years. Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is therefore a lifetime
practice. By chanting Nam Myoho
Renge Kyo, one can bring out his or her highest potential, more capably
directing his or her destiny. The
practice fundamentally revitalizes one’s life so that one can challenge
problems and courageously pursue individual dreams.
Growing in this way, a person becomes more and more capable of
contributing to the happiness of others, thus helping to establish a harmonious
society and peaceful world.
generally implies a dramatic or sweeping change. Throughout history people have
attempted to improve their lot by trying to reform the environment, for example
by overthrowing unjust governments, campaigning against war and poverty, or
protesting against pollution. However,
despite the most sincere and exhaustive measures, the most fundamental problems
often remain. In the light of
the Buddhist teachings, we would say that this is because the inner world of the
human being has not changed.
to the Buddhist view, the individual human being and his or her environment are
fundamentally one, and society accordingly reflects the people who live in it.
As long as people continue to base their actions on misplaced
selfishness, fear, greed, or other emotions that go against the dignity of life
similar distortions will appear in their surrounding.
as each person brings forth his or her inherent Buddha nature by chanting Nam
Myoho Renge Kyo and develops a progressively more enlightened way of life, an
unshakable basis is created for a peaceful and harmonious society.
Revolution refers to the process of elevating one’s basic life tendency
through he dedication to Buddhist practice, gradually establishing Buddhahood as
one’s fundamental state. Upon
this basis, all one’s traits and attributes will come to function positively
so as to benefit oneself and others.
revolution thus implies a change not of personality or individual characters,
but of the life condition on which they are based. The concept of human revolution includes bringing forth the
Buddha nature, changing negative karma, perfecting character, overcoming
obstacles, attaining enlightenment in this lifetime and laying the groundwork
for a peaceful world through the awakening of many individuals.
Gakkai International—USA (SGI—USA) is the largest lay organization of
Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in the United States.
SGI—USA helps people learn and practice this Buddhism, opening a way
for them to overcome their problems, greatly develop their individual
capabilities and contribute positively to the happiness of others. SGI-USA has sister organizations in more than 119 countries
where believers practice. An umbrella organization, the Soka Gakkai
International, headed by Daisaku Ikeda, links the efforts of members worldwide.
was organized in 1960. Coming from
diverse social and ethnic backgrounds, SGI-USA members practice in every state,
as well as Guam and Puerto Rico.
goal is to introduce the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism to
American society. One vehicle for
this endeavor is the discussion meeting, a small gathering generally held in
someone’s home, where members learn through each other’s experiences in
Buddhist practice and also answer the questions of newcomers.
Introductory meetings, group practice, study and informational meetings
comprise SGI-USA’s basic activities. SGI-USA
also aims at promoting Peace, culture and education based on respect for the
dignity of life, which Buddhism teaches.
Information Of North America (BIONA) is composed of various students who want to help people find a
Buddhist practice in their area. We
also provide free study materials to people all over the world.
We are located in Kansas City, Kansas in The United States Of America
and can be reached at (913) 722-0900.
Outside the Kansas City area please use this toll-free number: (800)
576-9212. These numbers can be called twenty-four hours any
day of the year. There is never any charge for any service from Buddhist