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).
An Offering of Steamed Cakes
Jan. 5, 1281 (Age 60)
I have received your offerings of 100 steamed cakes and a basket of fruit. New Year’s Day is the first day, the first month of the new year, and the beginning of the year and of spring. Therefore, those who cherish this day will amass virtues and will be loved by others, just as the moon becomes gradually full while traveling from west to east and the sun shines increasingly brighter as it moves from east to west.
(Gosho p. 1551 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly May 2021)
Print or download May Gosho
Letter to Niike
Dec. 1280 (Age 59)
When people first begin to believe in this sutra, they appear to be sincere in their faith. However, midway through their practice, many weaken in their faith and no longer serve or respect the priest or present offerings. They arrogantly form their own distorted views. We must fear this. It is most frightening. From beginning to end, be persistent in cultivating faith throughout your life. If not, you will have regrets. For instance, it takes twelve days to travel from Kamakura to Kyoto. If you journey for approximately eleven days and stop a day away from your destination, how can you possibly admire the moon over the capital?
(Gosho p. 1457 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly Apr. 2021)
Print or download April Gosho
The Bodies and Minds of Ordinary Beings
1278 (Age 57)
One who presented a simple meal of millet to the Pratyekabuddha became the Universal Brightness Buddha. One who offered a mud pie to the Buddha became the sovereign of Jambudvipa. Even if a person performs good deeds, if these deeds are offered to that which is not true, they may bring forth great evil, but they will never produce any good effect. However, even if a person is unintelligent in mind and presents only paltry offerings, if he extends them to an individual who embraces the truth, he will receive tremendous merits. How much more so would be the merit of those who make sincere offerings to the true Law?!
(Gosho p. 1217 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly Mar. 2021)
Print or download March Gosho
Rissho ankoku-ron (On Securing the Peace of the Land Through the Propagation of True Buddhism)
July 16, 1260 (Age 39)
You must immediately renounce your erroneous belief and take faith in the supreme teaching of the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra. Then, this entire threefold world will become the Buddha land. How could the Buddha land ever decline? All the lands in the ten directions will transform into treasure realms. How could a treasure realm ever fall to ruin? If the nation never declines and the land is indestructible, you will find safety and peace of mind. These are the very words that you must believe and revere.(Gosho p. 250 / The Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin-2, p. 42)
Print or download February Gosho
“Reply to Nichinyo gozen”
“Nichinyo gozen-gohenji” August 23, 1279 (Age 58)
This Gohonzon exists within faith alone, as expressed by the two characters, “belief” and “heart” (shin-jin). This is what is meant by “gaining entrance [to enlightenment] through faith alone” [in the Lotus Sutra]. The disciples and followers of Nichiren, without any doubt, wholeheartedly believe in “honestly discarding expedient means” and “not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.” Thus, they can enter the Treasure Tower of the Gohonzon. How encouraging, how heartening! By all means, exert your best efforts for the sake of your future lives. It is most important to chant only Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and attain Buddhahood. This will depend on the strength of your faith. The essence of Buddhism is to have faith.(Gosho p. 1388 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly Jan. 2021)
Print or download January’s Gosho.