The Power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
In the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), we do have songs and music praising this Buddhism. This is one of them.
It may sound corny, but this is how people generally feel about this Buddhist mantra and practice. Note, we aren’t praising a man, we’re praising the words that generate the power.
Interspersed with this song are excerpts from one of the Daishonin’s Gosho or letters to his disciples. It is called “On Attaining Buddhahood.” There are also sayings from sensei, 83-year-old third President Daisaku Ikeda, who, since 1960, has spread this Buddhism into 190 countries.
During World War II, the first president, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and his general director, Josei Toda, who later became the second president, were imprisoned by Japanese officials as “thought criminals” for not submitting to the state religion of Shinto (the orthodox Nichiren Shoshu sect, in contrast, did, thus betraying its own lay members). The aged Makiguchi died from the effects of malnutrition in 1944; and Toda, who also suffered many privations, came to his own realization that Buddhahood is within all life. He vowed to reconstitute the lay organization upon his release several days before the Japanese surrender.
Today, President Ikeda, who worked closely with President Toda during the last decade of his life, continues to carry out what he believes his mentor would have wished. All three men, within the organization, are considered to be the Three Founding Presidents.
Nichiren Daishonin founded this branch of Japanese Buddhism on April 28, 1253, when he chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in public. It is the title of Shakyamuni Gautama‘s last sutra in the Japanese language. Essentially, we are saying Devotion (nam) to the Mystic Law (myoho) of Cause and Effect (renge) through sound or vibration (kyo).
The Mystic Law is merely life itself: mysterious, regenerative, without end, inexplicable. And cause and effect is likened to the lotus flower which blooms and seeds at the same time. The lotus can also grow in what is known as brackish or swamp water, which represents the dirt and filth of the saha or mundane world that people or common mortals inhabit. In other words, people are capable of achieving greatness of spirit and being, of activating their Buddha or enlightened natures, and winning over any obstacles.
Chant for anything: a job, a good marriage, a goal or mission in life, good friends, getting over addiction, a safe and successful pregnancy. Anything.
If you are looking for an answer; if you are looking for an alternative to mainstream Christianity or Judaism; if you are looking to activate the Buddhahood that is within you and within every human being and take charge of your life, chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Learn more about this practice at http://www.sgi-usa.org/