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Obon’s Note

Why do we offer a toba?   I will speak about a letter that is written by St. Nichiren about the merit of making a handwritten copy of the Lotus Sutra. In the letter there is a story from ancient China. There was a person by the name of Uryu, who was the foremost calligrapher in ancient China. For some reason Uryu hated Buddhism. That is why although he was a calligrapher, he did not do calligraphy of Buddhist sutras. At the time of his death, he left these words to his son, Iryu. “In calligraphy, you will probably surpass me. However, no matter who may ask you, it is…

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Live as though you will die tomorrow. Learn as though you will live forever.

In his Dharma message in his magazine, Hoju, Rev. Kunugi includes the words of the Mahatma Gandhi, the father of India’s independence. “Live as though you will die tomorrow. Learn as though you will live forever.” The life of our physical body is not eternal. No one knows when one will go to that other world. If we live each day with gratitude that it is indeed a blessing and precious to be alive today, each of our days will be enriched. If we might not be alive tomorrow, there are things that we must do today. If we were to die tomorrow, we must earnestly live today so that…

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Why Does Nichiren-Shu Worship the gods of Hawaii and the gods of Japan?

In the Hokke Shoshin Jobutsu by St. Nichiren it is written that having achieved enlightenment, Shakyamuni Buddha immediately wanted to teach the Lotus Sutra to people. Nevertheless, the ability and conditions of the sentient beings were of an infinite variety and were not the same, and that is why for forty years, he prepared to do so by teaching various sutras, and at the end He expounded the Lotus Sutra. In chapter 2 of the Lotus Sutra, Expedients, if He had taught the Lotus Sutra from the start, the people would have difficulty in understanding and would not believe Him. They would instead slander the Lotus Sutra, and fall to…

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Sentient Being Are Innumerable, I Vow to Save Them All By Rev. Teinyo Kunugi

At Jorinji temple a SEGAKI memorial service is being held each month. The names of the spirits that one wishes to memorialize are written on a toba and memorialized. This March 11 is the eighth year since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. More than twenty thousand people had lost their precious lives. At the March service of Jorinji, a toba was made for the spirits and the trueheartedness of the memorial service was offered to them. Rev. Kunugi’s son, Rev. Teigyo Kunugi, had the followers of Mt. Shichimen write paper toba for those who died in the earthquake. As many as thirty-thousand tobas were written. These paper tobas were memorialized…

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Eternal Life

We think that human life begins at birth and ends at death.   Yet is this true?   Before birth, we were in our mother’s womb for ten months.   And the source for that stay is further connected to our ancestors.   It is the connection of life before birth.   The life that seeks to live on after death remains on by being connected to its descendants.   In the same way that the light of the sun does not begin at sunrise and end at sunset,   Know that our life is joined with the distant past and future.   The Venerable Rev. Nichiyu Iwama, 90th Archbishop of Minobu-san   久遠のいのち   人生は誕生に始まり…

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The 3 Dharma Seals

1, Impermanence (Anitya)   The Buddha taught that everything is impermanence. All things change. We cannot find anything that is permanent. When we know that everything is changing, we can forecast predict what will happen in the future and prepare for it. And, we understand that without exception, everything will decay and disappear. In this way our strong attachment to material will be reduced. For example, The cells of our body are changing each moment.   The existence called a human being is an existence that becomes old and dies. If we can understand this, we can accept our own death objectively. And eventually our fear of aging and death…

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Merit of Memorial Services By Rev. Teinyo Kunugi

K lost her husband seven years ago and since then she earnestly continued to hold memorial services for him, and she memorialized him at the monthly hungry ghost service at Jorinji. The year before last when she collapsed from heart illness and was being hospitalized, her late husband appeared in her dream. “Thank you for always holding a memorial service for me. You will be alright because I made a request to St. Nichiren of Jorinji.” He clearly said this to her in her dream. After her dream, K’s condition improved by the day. She spoke about her precious experience saying: “It was a blessing to know that a memorial…

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The Structure of the Universe and Good Deeds

The Structure of the Universe and Good Deeds Why Does Human Life and Work Go Well When We Do Good Things? This can be explained from the theory of the big bang. At the start the universe was an extremely hot and high-pressure tiny mass. This mass exploded, and while expanding it formed the present magnificent universe. This is being proven by physics, After the explosion, elementary particles were formed. The material world that forms the universe is entirely formed from the elementary particles called atoms. The elementary particles combined and formed molecules, and from the molecules DNA was formed and the living body was born. The living body evolved…

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“What does the Thousand-Hand Kannon do with His many hands and eyes?”

The answer is clear when we think about how the mothers of the world look after their children. When a mother suspects a fever, she quickly places her hand on the child’s forehead. Her hand is doing the work of her eyes. To know her child’s condition, with her entire being, she observes the child’s appearance, expression, complexion, tone of voice and so forth. That is why a mother knows the sound of her child’s voice well. When she hears her baby cry, she knows, by just hearing that sound, whether the child is hungry or wants his diaper changed. Kannon is the work of seeing (kan) sounds (on). Sound…

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The 4 Noble Truths (Mechanism of Suffering)

The 4 Noble Truths (Mechanism of Suffering) We will review the most basic Dharma that we must know as a Buddhist. We are Buddhists. If someone were to ask you about Buddhism, how would you reply? The Buddhism of St. Nichiren is very important. Nevertheless, as the premise for its study we must know the basic Dharma of Buddhism. This Dharma is the universal truth. Buddhism is the enlightened message of the human being, Gautama Siddartha. Siddartha practiced meditation under the Bodhi tree in the town of Gaya in Inda and was enlightened. He first taught the contents of his enlightenment to his practitioner friends in the town of Sarnath.…

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