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Most Important Buddhist Ceremony – Oeshiki

It is October and time for the Oeshiki Ceremony, the celebration of the eternal life of Nichiren Daishonin. This ceremony is held each October at local Buddhist temples of Nichiren Shoshu.

The Oeshiki ceremony celebrates how the Daishonin, upon his entry into nirvana, manifested the duality of extinction and non-extinction as the True Buddha, thus revealing his constant life in the three existences.*

Founder of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism

Nichiren Daishonin is the founder of Nichiren Shoshu. He passed away on October 13, 1282. The Oeshiki Ceremony is the celebration of the eternal life of Nichiren Daishonin. The Head Temple Taiseki-ji as well as local temples, like Myosenji Temple, decorate the altar with colorful paper cherry blossoms.

At the core of Buddhist doctrine is the revelation of the concept of oneness. The fact that at the time of the Daishonin’s death there was an earthquake as the cherry trees bloomed out of season teaches us the Buddhist concept of oneness. The oneness of the common mortal and Buddha. The oneness of life and its environment, the oneness of body and mind and the oneness of death and birth cannot be separated from each other. Therefore, at the moment of the True Buddha’s physical death, the earth shook in farewell, but the cherry trees bloomed out of season in welcome. Thus, the Daishonin’s passing reveals the principle of oneness.

*Excerpted from Nichiren Shoshu Monthly, October, 2015, “The Person and The Law” pp.21-22.