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Lecture in Praise of Nichiren Daishonin

The Great Teacher Tiantai said: “When we perceive the intensity of the rain, we can fathom the giganticness of the dragon causing it, and when we view the flourishing blossoms of the lotus plants, we can gauge the depth of the pond in which they grow.” The Great Teacher Miaole stated: ‘Wise men know the essential source, just as snakes are inherently aware of their own ways.” When the heavens are clear, the ground is distinctly visible, and those who know the Lotus Sutra can master the essence of worldly affairs. Out of great compassion for those who were unaware of the doc­trine of ichinen sanzen ( three-thousand realms in a single life-moment), the Buddha wrapped this gem within the five characters and used it to deco­rate the necks of those in the Latter Day who do not possess the seed of Buddhahood.

written by Nichiren Daishonin, 13th century Japan

Every month at Myosenji Buddhist Temple, the Oko Ceremony is conducted. In Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, the ceremony is held to repay our debt of gratitude for the profound benefit of the Three Treasures: Nichiren Daishonin (the Buddha), the Dai-Gohonzon (the Law) and Nikko Shonin and successive High Priests (the Priesthood).

The ceremony begins with an offering of traditional foods to the Three Treasures and is then followed by the recitation of the Hoben and Juryo chapters of the Lotus Sutra. After chanting, the Chief Priest gives a lecture. The concept of acknowledging and repaying debts of gratitude, which is the basic spirit of the Oko Ceremony, is essential to a correct understanding of True Buddhism and our own lives.

This Sunday, August 11th, the Oko Ceremony will begin at 10:00am followed by Rev Sakabe’s lecture. We will study the above Gosho passage from Nichiren Daishonin.