NEW YEAR’S ADDRESS
By sixty -eighth High Priest Nichinyo Shonin
on January 1, 2012
As we welcome the early spring of the New Year, the 760th anniversary of the establishment of true Buddhism, I am pleased that our Honorable Retired High Priest Nikken Shonin has also welcomed this New Year in good health and high spirits.
Last year, we Nichiren Shoshu, experienced great progress toward the achievement of our goals toward the years 2015 and 2021 through unity and harmony between priesthood and lay believers with firm faith in the spirit of “one’s body is insignificant while the Law is supreme” and “willing to give one’s life to propagate the Law.”
In particular, nearly all the Temples in the North East region of Japan overcame the effects of the East Japan Great Earthquake that led to unprecedented disasters, problems of radioactive contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident that occurred following the Earthquake and many other obstacles and difficulties, and then magnificently achieved their shakubuku goals. This certainly deserves high praise from the bottom of our hearts, and the Three Treasures will surely recognize this. This is due to the result that all temples and groups uphold the true meaning of “Rissho Ankoku-Ron” and earnestly exert their selves for Kosen-rufu. There is no other joy than this.
This, “The Year of Advancing toward Kosen-rufu through Shakubuku,” I eagerly anticipate that you will experience great advancement toward the achievement of your goals for the years 2015 and 2021 through your conduct of shakubuku activities, and increasingly progress in each country by assembling all your strength through the literal meaning of this “Year of Advancing toward Kosenrufu
Therefore, we need to cultivate the Hokkeko group to have a solid foundation in order to endure the rigorous activities for Kosen-rufu.
This is because various obstacles will definitely arise during our Kosen-rufu activities.
In the “Letter to the Brothers”:
If you propagate this teaching, devils will definitely arise. Were it not for these, there would be no way of understanding that this is the true teaching. One passage from the fifth volume reads, “As practice progresses and understanding grows, the three obstacles and four devils arise, vying with one another to interfere…You should never be influenced nor frightened by them. If you follow them, you will be led into the paths of evil. If you are frightened by them, you will be prevented from practicing true Buddhism.” This interpretation not only applies to Nichiren but also is the clear guide for his disciples. Reverently make this teaching your own and transmit it as an axiom of faith for future generations.
(Gosho, page 986)
Absolute conviction in the Dai-Gohonzon, firm faith and practice for one’s self and for others, and in particular the shakubuku of refuting heresy and revealing the truth are the keys to defeating all obstacles and devils and clearing away the erroneous teachings and religions that slander the true law.
In other words, if all Hokkeko groups raise awareness of the achievement of these shakubuku goals and conduct shakubuku with the firm determination to “not begrudge one’s life,” and to work in unity with “different bodies but one mind,” the Hokkeko groups will establish a solid foundation which will never be defeated by any obstacles or devils.
To do so, we must not only cultivate limited persons in the Hokkeko group to conduct shakubuku, we must foster all Hokkeko members to be able to stand up and firmly conduct shakubuku.
Specifically speaking, when you shakubuku one person, you must cultivate this person as a member who can also conduct shakubuku.
In essence, the term “cultivate” (ikusei in Japanese) means to “nurture one to become grand and splendid.” From the view point of Buddhism, “nurture one to become grand and splendid” means to cultivate a capable person who can contribute himself toward the achievement of Kosen-rufu, namely, to become an active member for shakubuku. There is a proverb that states: “If you feed your
children but do not teach them, it is the fault of you, the father; and if you instruct people without strictness, this is the neglect of you, the master.”
This would be an unacceptable situation. After you conduct shakubuku, if you do not cultivate this person as a member who can conduct shakubuku, you will be the subject of contempt for lacking compassion and being irresponsible.
After all, both shakubuku and cultivation are the practice for others. Needless to say that the practice for one’s self means to conduct Gongyo and Shodai, and practice for others is shakubuku and cultivation. In other words, one will have a prejudiced practice if either shakubuku or cultivation is lacking. In this case, the Hokkeko cannot become a solid group, and important goals cannot
In short, after you conduct shakubuku, you should cultivate this person as a member who can conduct shakubuku. This is the key to establishing a solid Hokkeko group.
In this year of “Advancing toward Kosen-rufu through Shakubuku,” I hope that all Hokkeko members will conduct shakubuku and cultivation,
and that all temples and groups will definitely achieve their shakubuku goals. I would like to conclude my New Year’s address by earnestly praying for your further progress to achieve the goals toward the years 2015 and 2021.
去年，宗门以僧俗一致、异体同心的团结，和身轻法重、死身弘法的强盛信心，而能够向着平成二十七年（二○一五年）、三十三年（ 二○ 二一年） 的目标达成，大大前进。