[勤行] ( Jpn)Literally, to “exert [oneself in] practice.” Generally speaking, gongyo refers to the practice of reciting Buddhist sutras in front of an object of devotion. The content and method of gongyo dif-fer according to the school of Buddhism. In Nichiren’s (1222-1282) teaching, gongyo means to chant the daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and recite portions of the “Expedient Means” (second) chapter and the “Life Span” (sixteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra with faith in the object of devotion called the Gohonzon. In The Recitation of the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” Chapters, Nichiren states: “Though no chapter of the Lotus Sutra is negligible, among the entire twenty-eight chapters, the ‘Expedient Means’ chapter and the ‘Life Span’ chapter are particularly outstanding. The remaining chapters are all in a sense the branches and leaves of these two chapters…. If you recite the ‘Life Span’ and ‘Expedient Means’ chapters, then the remaining chapters will naturally be included even though you do not recite them” (71). In the gongyo of Nichiren’s practice, chanting the daimoku constitutes the fundamental practice, and therefore it is called the primary practice. Recitation of the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters helps bring forth the benefits of the primary practice and is hence called the supporting practice.
The practice of Daimoku and Gongyo are the two basics foundations of this Buddhism, and by devoting ourselves to this every morning and evening, chanting in front of the Gohonzon (Object of Devotion), we can bring out our highest potential each day to create a better life for ourselves and others.
Once again, I hope you find this article to be helpful to your journey of physical, mental, and spiritual growth.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo