Download transcript: Faith in the Gohonzon
Recently I received a question, “Please explain our connection with the Gohonzon and why it’s important to have faith in the Gohonzon. What exactly does the Gohonson mean?.
This is an important question as it goes right to the heart of our practice. Gohonzon means object of respect. At one level the Gohonzon is a piece of paper, but to look at it that way is to completely miss the significance of the symbolism there. So what does the Gohonzon depict?
The Gohonzon represents Nichiren Daishonin’s life and shows how he embodies the Mystic Law, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, at the center of his life. When the Mystic Law is at the center, then all of the internal life conditions we live every day, which are depicted on either side of the Mystic Law come into balance and order. Although it is a depiction of Nichiren Daishonin’s life, the Gohonzon represents a mirror of our lives as well, as we all have the same relationship to the Mystic Law.
What is the Mystic Law?
The following is a quote from Life, An Enigma a Precious Jewel written by Daisaku Ikeda in 1982.
“ In the innermost depths of all beings, there is the primal life-force and it causes living beings to live. The same force supports inorganic matter and works it into the harmonies and rhythms of the great cosmic existence. In Buddhism it is called the Mystic Law.
When this force manifests itself in the physical world, it appears as the laws governing the inorganic world, which makes possible chemical compounds and control the physical pulsations of the universe. In other words, the laws of physics, chemistry and astronomy are simply particular phenomenal manifestations of the Mystic Law of the cosmos. Similarly, the life-force constructs the world of spirit, creates intelligence, gives birth to conscience, gives force to urges and instincts and thus creates all variations of mental and spiritual activity.
It is what is called God in other religions, but it is different from God in that it is perfectly immanent in the cosmos and in human life. It is not a force outside the cosmos. It is the cosmos itself. The true nature of the cosmos and of life is the fusion into entity of the physical law of life and the spiritual law of life. This fusion is the process where life is created and made to spread out into the infinite.”
Our Relationship to the Mystic Law
The Gohonzon represents our relationship to the Mystic Law. The name of the Mystic Law is written down the center, as we embody it at the core of our lives. This means we are one with and have access to that marvelous creative force inside of ourselves. We can effectively tap it through our Buddha nature by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Then, through thought, we can use that creative force to bring our lives into manifestation on purpose, not by accident. Because we can connect with the Mystic Law, we can bring out its wisdom, vitality and unshakeable happiness to live and use in our everyday lives.
I think connecting with the Mystic Law through the mind is universal to every human being. Nichiren Buddhists, through Buddhist training, know they are doing it mand have been given a way to tap into it, while many others are ignorant of the connection. Knowing it and being ignorant of it can make the difference between a life full of struggle, feeling you are on your own, and a life which moves in rhythm with this cosmic existence and thus is never deadlocked.
The Cluster of Blessings Brought by the Mystic Law
In the Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life pg.102,, Ikeda describes the cluster of blessings brought to us when we start to chant.
1.“The Mystic Law has the power to burn away earthly desires that give rise to suffering.”
Once we learn to base our lives on the Mystic Law, you come to recognize that all those desires that seemed so important to your happiness, are actually temporary, and will come and go. They pale in relationship to the absolute happiness of basing one’s life on the Mystic Law.
2 “The Mystic Law has the power to illuminate the darkness of ignorance in people’s lives.”
Once we really understand that we are one with that creative power and start to use it on purpose and not by accident, then our lives take a progressive upward path. We begin to create our lives with awareness of what we are doing and learn to master the mind, so we come use that creative power to greater, positive effect. We also learn to recognize ideas and internal nudges from that creative power which allow us to get around obstacles and never be blocked.
3.“The Mystic law has the power to dispel clouds of karma.”
Karma, which is basically the causes created by our past actions, can be either good or bad. But if you have a condition or circumstance that keeps coming up in your life, you have the power to break through it, using your connection with the Mystic Law,
4.“The Mystic Law has the power to bring forth the pure life state of Buddhahood unsullied by the evils and impurities of the world.
Buddhahood is when you are enlightened to the eternal and ultimate truth that is the reality of all things. You embody the boundless wisdom and compassion of a Buddha.
5.“The Mystic Law has the power to sweep away all delusions and worries.”
People who practice over time lose their anxieties around life, as they develop the capacity to be aware of and use the Mystic Law to handle anything.
6. The Mystic Law has the power to establish a brilliant state of absolute freedom that is never deadlocked.”
This actually means that we can’t be blocked by anything.
7.“The Mystic Law has the power to eliminate the sufferings of birth and death.”
This is probably the greatest blessing, because when we face the death of our body, there is no fear of dying. We know at a deep level we are eternal and can relax into death, knowing that all is well.
Having faith in the Gohonzon doesn’t mean having faith in something outside of ourselves. It means that daily we are reminded to have faith in the Mystic Law which lies at the core of our lives.
Today we have discussed the fact that the Mystic Law is the life force and intelligence within all of creation and lies within us at the core of our lives. We can tap into this force when we chant.
It brings us the following cluster of blessings.
1. “The Mystic Law has the power to illuminate the darkness of ignorance in people’s lives.”
2. “The Mystic Law has the power to burn away earthly desires that give rise to suffering.”
3. “The Mystic Law has the power to burn away earthly desires that give rise to suffering.”
4. “The Mystic Law has the power to bring forth the pure life state of Buddhahood unsullied by the evils and impurities of the world.
5. “The Mystic Law has the power to sweep away all delusions and worries.”
6. “The Mystic Law has the power to establish a brilliant state of absolute freedom that is never deadlocked.”
7. “The Mystic Law has the power to eliminate the sufferings of birth and death.”
Here are some related vlogs and books you might like.
Do You Know How the Universe Communicates with You? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-Yc
Do You Know How You Set Up Barriers to what You Want? https://wp.me/p3V1J9-XK
Your Path to Unshakeable Happiness Introduction to Nichiren Buddhism for newcomers. It’s available on margaretblaine.com and on Amazon.
I always love hearing from you. If you have questions or ideas for topics please send them along and I’ll answer them in the order they are received. I’ll see you in two weeks.