Gosho: The individual and collective writings of Nichiren Daishonin, True Buddha and founder of Nichiren Shoshu. Goshos are generally divided into letters of personal encouragement, treatises on Buddhism and recorded oral teachings. Go is an honorific prefix and sho means writing(s).
“On Securing the Peace of the Land through the Propagation of True Buddhism”
July 16, 1260 (Age 39)
When I, with my limited knowledge, read the sutras, I find that all people have gone against the correct Law and become wholly devoted to evil doctrines. This is why all the guardian deities have abandoned this country and sages have left this land, not to return. Seizing this opportunity, devils and demons rush in, bringing disasters and calamities. This is most fearful. We must speak out! (Gosho p.234 / Selected Gosho Passages p.257)
Print or download July’s Gosho.
“An Offering of Polished Rice”
1280 (Age 59)
The word “Nam” is placed at the beginning of a phrase in order to venerate and worship any god or Buddha. To explain, this word is derived from Sanskrit, and is translated as “devotion” in China and Japan. It means to offer one’s life to the Buddha. Depending upon one’s position in society, some people may have a wife and children, servants, a manor, gold and silver, and so on, while others may not. Whether or not one possesses these treasures, there is nothing more precious than life. That is why sages and wise men in the past have offered their lives to the Buddha and thereby attained enlightenment.
(Gosho p.1544 / Selected Gosho Passages p.32)
Print or download June’s Gosho.
“On the Buddha’s Behavior”
1276 (Age 55)
The five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo are the core of the Lotus Sutra and the origin of all Buddhas throughout the entire world. Upon seeing the signs that these five characters now must be propagated, I, Nichiren, have set the precedent, today, at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law.
My disciples, you must follow one after another and become greater than Mahakashyapa or Ananda and, moreover, surpass even the Great Teacher Tiantai or Dengyo.
(Gosho p. 1057 / Selected Gosho Passages p.174)
Print or download May’s Gosho.
May 28, 1280 (Age 59)
Now is the time of the Latter Day of the Law, when one can attain Buddhahood by propagating the seven characters of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, and enables others to receive benefits [from the Buddha]. Thus, if one mixes the practice of chanting the Daimoku with other practices, it will be a deviation from the correct path. This is the time for one to embrace this great mandala of Myoho-Renge-Kyo, engrave it in one’s heart, and chant the Daimoku aloud.
(Gosho p. 1818-1819 / Selected Gosho Passages p.167)
Print or download April’s Gosho.
“Opening of the Eyes”
February 1272 (Age 51)
There are two vital principles described in more than 3,000 volumes of non-Buddhist writings: filial piety to one’s parents and loyalty to the sovereign. Loyalty is based on filial piety. Filial piety is exalted. Although the heavens are high above, they are not comparable to filial piety. Filial piety is also profound. Although the earth is deep, it cannot be compared to filial piety. Two types of people called sages and wise men come from a tradition of filial piety. Furthermore, those who practice Buddhism must appreciate and repay their debts of gratitude. And most importantly, disciples of the Buddha must first realize what the four debts of gratitude are, and then repay them.
(Gosho p. 529-530 / Selected Gosho Passages p.217)
*Four debts of gratitude:Parents, Sovereign, All living beings and The Three Treasures
Print or download March’s Gosho
“Establishing the Four Leaders of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth”
May 17, 1279 (Age 58)
Those who claim to be the disciples of Nichiren and practice the Lotus Sutra must do as I do. Then Shakyamuni Buddha, Tahō Buddha, all the Buddhas in the ten directions who are innumerable emanations of Shakyamuni Buddha, and the Ten Demon Goddess Daughters definitely will protect them.
(Gosho p. 1370 / Selected Gosho Passages p.211)
Print or download February’s Gosho
“Letter to Ni’ike”
December 1280 (Age 59)
It is said that the Kankuchō bird in the Snow Mountains suffers from the cold at night and cries out it will build a nest after dawn. But when the sun rises, it is lulled to sleep in the warmth of the morning sun and, again, does not build its nest. For its whole life, it keeps screeching in vain. The same applies to humans. Upon falling into hell, we suffer in anguish in raging fires, yearning to be reborn as a human so that we can make offerings to the three treasures before everything else and attain enlightenment in the future. However, when we happen to be reborn as a human, the wind of desire for fame and fortune blows fiercely, easily extinguishing our light of determination for Buddhist practice.
(Gosho p. 1457-1458 / Selected Gosho Passages p.233)
Print or download January’s Gosho passage.