Daily Practice – Daimoku & Gongyo

morning-and-evening-gongyo-book

Special Note:

Attached is how to chant Daimoku and the practice of Gongyo.

 

Gongyo

[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.

—- http://www.sgilibrary.org/search_dict.php?id=899

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

 

 

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Why Chant Daimoku?

The Following is an article from “My Dear Friends in America”, by Daisaku Ikeda (Third President of Soka Gakkai International), p. 197 (Santa Monica, Jan. 27, 1993)

Josei Toda (Second President of Soka Gakkai, Ikeda Sensei’s mentor in life) once declared: “I want to rid Kansai of sickness and poverty. Indeed, I am determined to do so!”

These words remind us again of how he put his heart and soul into giving guidance and encouragement to the members.

“Exactly forty years ago, on the occasion of the First Osaka Chapter General Meeting, President Toda proclaimed, “The purpose of our practice of faith is for all of us to become truly happy,” and “We embrace faith to secure our happiness throughout the infinite future.”

The purpose of faith is certainly not to subjugate oneself to the authority of temples or clergy, but, as my mentor clearly stated, to enable each person to attain happiness that endures eternally throughout the three existences of life.

President Toda also often said, “Those of you who have problems or sufferings, pray earnestly! Buddhism is a deadly serious win-or-lose struggle. If you should [pray with such an earnest attitude] and still have no solution forthcoming, then I will give you my life!”

This invincible conviction on which Mr. Toda was willing to stake his life inspired the members. By faithfully carrying on and practicing in accord with this spirit, we have built a global organization — the SGI.

Buddhism means putting the teachings into practice. Practice equals faith. With sincere prayer and action, our desires cannot possibly fail to be fulfilled. When you continue to apply yourselves to your Buddhist practice toward kosen-rufu, solidifying and gaining mastery in your faith, you will find that all your prayers will definitely be answered.

An expert archer can accurately hit a target with a single arrow. I hope all of you will become masters of faith and masters of life who will realize the complete fulfillment of all your desires. I also pray that you will be leaders of unshakable conviction who proudly open a new age of hope for kosen-rufu and the world.”
Basics of Faith from SGI President Ikeda

“The purpose of our practice of faith is for all of us to become truly happy,” and “We embrace faith to secure our happiness throughout the infinite future.”

— http://closedcurtains.blogspot.sg/2012/02/fighting-daimoku.html

The blog spot above has many quotes from Ikeda Sensei and has cited credible sources. Worthy of your time.

However some essentials of chanting Daimoku, one might run the risk of practicing incorrectly.

What are such Prayers?

  • Prayers that are destructive to oneself and others
  • Prayers that are unreasonable
  • Prayers that do not contribute to Kosen Rufu (The Happiness of Oneself and Others)

Myoho Renge Kyo talks about the Law of Cause and Effect, and it is a very strict law.

There are also certain behaviors towards the practice, that constitutes as practicing incorrectly.

What are such behaviors?

  • Begrudging one’s life (complaining)
  • Holding on to the three poisons towards oneself and others
  • Conducting the 14 Slanders towards anyone.

Therefore, it is essential for SGI members and All Practitioners to chant for the sake of Kosen-Rufu and World Peace.

In the following excerpt from President Ikeda guidance about daimoku with a pledge for kosen-rufu; from the New Human Revolution, Vol. 1, Chapter 5, Pioneers, (June 6, 1994, World Tribune) [from a meeting in Brazil, October 20, 1960], he says,

“Buddhism is a teaching of unsurpassed reason. Therefore, the strength of one’s faith must manifest itself in the form of studying, exercising one’s ingenuity and making twice as much effort as anyone else. Earnest daimoku is the wellspring for the energy to challenge these things. Your daimoku must also be a pledge.”

“A pledge?” asked the man. None of the members had ever heard of such a concept before.

“Yes, a pledge.” Shin’ichi replied. “This means to make a vow of your own accord and pray to fulfill it.” Shin’ichi Yamamoto emphasized strongly: “Of course, there are all kinds of ways to praying. Some people may pray that everything just falls into their laps without having to make any effort. But a religion that encourages such prayer is one that will lead people to ruin.

“Prayer in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism means to chant daimoku based on a pledge or vow. At its very core, this vow is to attain kosen-rufu. It means chanting resolutely with the determination: ‘I will realize kosen-rufu in Brazil. Therefore, I will show magnificent actual proof in my work. Please enable me to somehow bring forth my greatest potential.’ This is what our prayer should be like.

“It is also important that we establish clear and concrete goals for what we hope to achieve each day and then pray and challenge ourselves to achieve each one. This earnest determination will give rise to wisdom and resourcefulness, thereby leading to success. In short, to win in life we need determination and prayer, effort and ingenuity. It is misguided to dream of getting rich quick, expecting to encounter a rare stroke of luck or some shrewd money-making scheme. This is not faith. It is mere fantasy.”

As Nichiren Daishonin proclaims:

“No prayers will go unanswered.”

It is vital that when chanting for our prayers to be answered, we do so with:

  • 100% conviction towards the Gohonzon.(Our object of devotion)
  • Sincere and determined Prayers (NO DOUBT)
  • Gratitude and Determination to fulfill our mission for Kosen-Rufu

 

Lastly, I will like to end with the following Quote from Ikeda Sensei (Sensei meaning Mentor in Japanese):

“In Buddhism, nothing is wasted. Freely tell others about this philosophy, in your own words. It isn’t necessary to cite complex theories or arcane terms. Since the Buddhist Law is inherent in your life, you don’t need to be anything other than yourself. Chant about whatever your concerns are, whether they be problems you are facing, your goals, kosen-rufu or the happiness of yourself and others. Your earnest prayers will bring forth your inherent Buddhahood, enabling you to build an eternal and indestructible state of life.”

— (WT E-Mail Express April 20, 2007 | No. 414; Previews of the April 20 World Tribune)

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.