Faith by Rev. Yamamura

What is most important, above all, for Nichiren Buddhism, the Nichiren-shu and the Honolulu Myohoji is faith. The point is that are you really believing in Shakyamuni Buddha, St. Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra? Or not.

Let me share with you a example about faith. The Odaimoku, which we chanted today, it could be likened to a rope. As you all know, this world is a world of suffering. There are still conflicts in this world. There are bad people. There is a great amount of stress and frustration in this world. There is no telling when we might fall ill. There are also many things that don’t go the way we want them to.

To we, who are living in this world of suffering, the Buddha is dropping rope to us, from the Buddha Land above, a rope and says: “I will save you, so please grab this rope.” We, who are suffering, grab that robe because we suffer. But, when the Buddha begins to slowly pull up the rope, we begin to worry and doubt and think that maybe the power that pulls up the rope is really not too strong or that we are too heavy for the strength that is taking us up and we release the rope. And the result is that we again fall into the world of suffering that is below.

“Don’t let go. Hold on tight,” the Buddha tells us, and he again drops the rope to us. And while we take told of the rope, and we again questioning the quality of the rope, It’s not strong and we worrying that it might break when hanging on to it. And again let go off rope. We fall into the world of suffering. If we would humbly take hold of the rope, the Buddha will pull us up to the world of mental peace and tranquility. It is enough that we take hold of the rope.

That rope is indeed the Odaimoku, the Buddha’s teachings and the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. We must firmly hold to the rope of salvation from the Buddha and never let it go. This is what it means to believe, and it is also religious faith. Unless we believe, we are not saved from our suffering.

If we humbly believe in the Buddha and chant the Odaimoku, we can leave the world of suffering and live brightly and cheerfully in this world without worry. Because a person who chants the Odaimoku is being protected by various heavenly invisible beings and deities.   We never know, It might be that case that we will die tomorrow. And we will no longer be able to come to the temple. There is no certainty about our future. Yet, if we abide by our faith, things will be okay. Through our faith, we can strongly believe that we are indeed okay. For example, even if we died tomorrow, we are fortune people if we are practicing our faith until the moment of death.   We are by far more in a state of mental peace than those without faith. In this world there are many frightful things such as accidents, misfortune and illness. Nevertheless, if we hold to our faith we need not worry so much about these things.

St.Nichiren is telling us that a person who always chants the Odaimoku, whether standing, walking or sitting, the various invisible beings or deities will be surrounding him from back to front, left to right, and protecting him.

Isn’t it the case that when we are ill, we go to the doctor, and we take the medicine that he has prepared for us. We do not know about the ingredients, but we believe in the doctor and also in the pharmacist, and isn’t that why we take this medicine that we are completely ignorant about? And by doing so our fever subsides headick stop. You have a kind of experience. Haven’t we experienced such things ourselves?

The same can be said of religious faith. St. Nichiren has taught us that the Buddha is called a good physician and the Lotus Sutra is like good medicine, and the sentient beings are the sick patients.   That being the case, the Buddha has prepared good medicine called the Myo Ho is made into a medicine , and whether they know its contents ingredients benefits or not, the illness of those who drink it, will surely be healed.

The Buddha, who is the good physician, ground together all the Buddhist teachings and blending them, and presents it to us as a ball of medicine. 是好良薬  This is what is being taught to us. The ball of medicine, which was presented to us by the Buddha, is truly Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. By humbly believing in this and chanting the Odaimoku, the illness of anger, attachments, which is the cause of our suffering, will certainly be healed.

That is why, we must humbly believe in and chant the Odaimoku. The act of doing so is not for the sake of anyone else but for your own happiness.

Translated by Mr. Dean Makinodan.
























日蓮聖人は、「仏を良医と号し、法を良薬に譬へ、衆生を病人に譬う。されば如来一代の教法を 擣簁和合して、妙法一粒の良薬に丸ぜり、豈に知るも知らざるも、服せん者の煩悩の病癒ざるべしや。」と言われています。良い医者である仏さまは、すべての仏教の教えをすり合わされ、ブレンドして、一粒の薬として私たちに下さっています。それを飲むことによって、薬の成分や効能を知らなくても。必ず煩悩の病は治ると言っておられます。仏様がブレンドしてくださった一粒の薬こそ、南無妙法蓮華経です。それを素直に信じ、唱えることによって、苦しみの原因である、煩悩の病は必ず治るのです。