To all Nichiren Shoshu priests and Hokkeko members throughout the world: Happy New Year 2021, “The Year of the 800th Anniversary of the Advent of our Founder, Nichiren Daishonin.”

On this first day of the year, I extend my sincere New Year’s greetings to all of you, and I pray wholeheartedly for the peace and advancement of kosen-rufu in each country.

Last year, the novel coronavirus disease spread globally. The epidemic disrupted the social order of the entire world. The economies and healthcare situations were significantly disrupted.

In Japan, it became difficult for the believers who live far from the Head Temple to go on tozan. And as a matter of course, overseas believers are not able to make tozan pilgrimages at all.

The great auspicious occasion of the 800th anniversary of Nichiren Daishonin’s advent is just around the corner. The obstacles and devils have been disrupting this once in a hundred years event.

On the first day of the hundred-day Shodai campaign, High Priest Nichinyo Shonin referred to the obstacles and devils that are emerging before this great, auspicious occasion:

In this present age of the Latter Day of the Law, the five impurities are rampantly permeating the world, and evil doctrines and sects that are the cause of unhappiness are laying down strong roots. Because of this, the entire world is in confusion and devastated by the spread of the coronavirus and abnormal weather. Now each one of us must have absolute faith in the Dai-Gohonzon and conduct courageous shakubuku, just as taught in the passage that states:

Whomever you may meet, conduct shakubuku to the people and refute the teachings of the other sects. Proclaim repeatedly with all your might that the Lotus Sutra is the only teaching that will lead the people to Buddhahood, and that the various other teachings obstruct them from attaining enlightenment and are the root cause for leading them to fall into hell.

(Gosho, p. 673) (Dainichiren, vol. 896, p. 37)

In this present age, when the five impurities prevail throughout the world, the High Priest is clearly showing the right path for us to follow, as practitioners of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.

Following the High Priest guidance, the Nichiren Shoshu Head Office designated the year of 2021 as “The Year of the 800th Anniversary of the Advent of our Founder, Nichiren Daishonin.”

2021 is the essential year for all priests and lay believers to repay our debts of gratitude to Nichiren Daishonin.

The Rissho ankoku-ron states the following:

There have been unusual occurrences in the heavens, and natural disasters on earth. Famine and epidemics rage in all lands beneath the skies and in every corner of the realm.

(Gosho, p. 234)

We, the priests and the lay believers of Nichiren Shoshu, know the fundamental cause of misfortunes. We have the important mission to refute slander, lead people to the right path, and establish the Buddha land. On this occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Daishonin’s advent, we must surmount the worldwide crisis of the spread of the coronavirus and abnormal weather and keep advancing toward kosen-rufu in the future.

Further, we have decided on the following three practical points for overseas believers in conjunction with next year’s objective.

  1. Consistently conduct Gongyo and Shodai every day.
  2. Carry out the practice of shakubuku, the best way to repay our debts of gratitude to the three treasures.
  3. Promote the development of faith through practicing in the spirit of itai doshin.

1: Consistently conduct Gongyo and Shodai every day.

Gongyo and Shodai in the morning and evening are fundamental practices and the source of fortune for Hokkeko believers. The strong vitality to live a fulfilling day will naturally emerge through daily Gongyo and Shodai.

It is vital to set the time and conduct Gongyo and Shodai with all other family members to form unity within the household.

The world is in a chaotic situation due to warfare and the coronavirus pandemic. Now is the time to gain a strong life force to overcome various hardships by conducting Gongyo and Shodai. Let’s have a solid conviction and dedicate ourselves to elevating our life state and establishing happiness in our lives.

2: Carry out the practice of shakubuku, the best way to repay our debts of gratitude to the three treasures.

Conducting shakubuku is the core of Nichiren Daishonin’s teaching. It is crucial to practice shakubuku to bring peace in our countries and to attain our own happiness.

Carrying out shakubuku is the mission of the followers of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and it is the compassionate action to save all living beings.

Shakubuku is the Buddhist practice to expiate all negative karma from the remote past, and it is the supreme way to repay our debts of gratitude to the three treasures. With this understanding, let us devote our life to carry out shakubuku. Practicing Gongyo, Shodai, and shakubuku brings forth immeasurable benefits.

3: Promote the development of faith through practicing in the spirit of itai doshin.

Under the current circumstances, overseas believers can’t make a pilgrimage to the Head Temple. Participating in the Oko Ceremony and other activities at the temple and attending meetings at members’ homes are now essential opportunities to develop our faith.

Please use sufficient countermeasures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus by washing your hands, gargling, sanitizing, and wearing a mask. Please avoid risks to contract the illness, form a firm unity of itai doshin between the priest and the lay believers, and make ceaseless efforts to develop faith.

I hope all overseas priests and lay believers will understand the significance of this year 2021, “The Year of the 800th Anniversary of the Advent of our Founder, Nichiren Daishonin.” And I wish that you will etch this year’s three practical points into your heart and put them into practice.

The Second High Priest Nikko Shonin states in The Twenty-six Admonitions of Nikko (Nikko yuikai okimon):

Until kosen-rufu is achieved, propagate the Law to the full extent of your ability, without begrudging your life.

(Gosho, p. 1884)

We still are a ways away from kosen-rufu, and we will be proceeding for a long time.

The 800th anniversary of Nichiren Daishonin’s advent represents a significant milestone for us to take another step toward kosen-rufu. One hundred years from now, we will welcome the 900th anniversary of Nichiren Daishonin’s advent. At that time, the followers of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who will lead the next generation will be making further efforts to propagate the true Law.

Let us look forward to kosen-rufu in the future and continue our efforts to propagate the Daishonin’s Buddhism steadily. I wish that all priests and the lay believers will uphold a new determination, accomplish the unity of itai doshin, and devote your lives to kosen-rufu.

I would like to conclude my New Year’s address by praying from the bottom of my heart for the happiness of each one of you, for peace in your nation, and the advancement of the propagation of the true Law in your country.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

新年挨拶

世界各国の常駐僧侶各位、海外御信徒の皆様、2021年『宗祖日蓮大聖 人御聖誕八百年の年』、明けましておめでとうございます。

年頭に当たり、世界の平和と世界各国の一層の正法広布の進展を心よりお 祈り申し上げます。

昨年は世界中に新型コロナウイルス感染症が蔓延し、年初から世界各国の 社会秩序は、経済、医療を中心に大きな混乱に落ち入りました。

日本国内にあっても遠方の方の総本山への御登山は難しくなり、海外の御 信徒の総本山への御登山は不可能となりました。

まさに日蓮大聖人御聖誕八百年を目睫の間にして、魔が競い起こり、百年 に一度の大慶事が妨害されています。

御法主日如上人猊下は昨年、百日間唱題行の初日に、大慶事の前の障魔の 跳梁について、「まさしく、五濁爛漫とした末法の今、不幸の根源たる邪 義邪宗が蟠踞し、ために世の中がコロナ禍や異常気象によって騒然として いる時、私どもは一人ひとりが大御本尊への絶対の確信を持って『誰人に も坐せ、諸経は無得道堕地獄の根源、法華経独り成仏の法なりと音も惜し まずよばはり給ひて諸宗の人法共に折伏して御覧ぜよ』(『如説修行抄』 御書673)との御聖訓のままに、勇猛果敢に折伏に打ってでなければな りません」(大日蓮896―37)と御指南下さいました。

五濁爛漫の今日、日蓮大聖人の正法を受持信行する私達の進むべき道を明 確に示され、その道を勇猛果敢に進むべし、との強い御指南を下さいまし た。

この御法主日如上人猊下の御指南を拝し、日蓮正宗では今年の年間方針を
「宗祖日蓮大聖人御聖誕八百年の年」と定めました。

日蓮大聖人御聖誕800年の大佳節を迎える2021年は僧俗一同が御報 恩の誠を尽くす重要な年であります。

「天変・地夭・飢饉・疫癘遍く天下に満ち、広く地上にはびこる」(『立 正安国論』御書234)。その真の因を知る本宗僧俗には、不幸の根源た る謗法を退治し、世の人々を善導して仏国土を建設する重要な使命があり ます。

コロナ禍や異常気象による災害など国難ともいうべき難極に立ち向かい、 御聖誕八百年を期して、次代の広布へ力強く前進しなければなりません。

この年間方針を受けまして海外部と致しまして今年の年間実践テーマを以 下の三項目に定めました。

1、日々勤行・唱題の実践
2、折伏実践こそ最善の報恩行
3、異体同心で育成推進

以上の三項目であります。

第一は「勤行・唱題の実践」であります。 朝夕の勤行と唱題は法華講員の信心修行の基本であり功徳の源泉でありま す。日々の勤行と唱題によって、充実した一日を送るための生命力が自ず から涌き出でて来るのであります。

時間を決め、家族そろって日々の勤行・唱題が習慣となるよう実践し、一 家和楽の信心を培うことが大事です。

戦争やコロナ禍等混沌とした世界情勢であるからこそ、勤行と唱題によっ て諸難に打ち勝つ強い生命力を得、自らの境涯を高め、幸福な人生を切り 開いて行く、その強い確信を持って実践して行きましょう。

第二は「折伏実践こそ最善の報恩行」であります。 日蓮大聖人の教えは折伏の実践にあります。国土の安穏を築き自身の幸せ を築くためにも折伏を実践することが大事であります。

折伏は地涌の菩薩の眷属の使命であり、一切衆生救済の慈悲行であります。 また過去遠々劫の罪障消滅がかなう仏道修行であり、仏祖三宝への最善の 報恩行であります。その意義と目的をしっかりと体して折伏を実践しまし ょう。

勤行・唱題と折伏の実践には、計り知れない大功徳が具わるのであります。

第三は「異体同心で育成推進」であります。 総本山への御登山が叶わない今、御講参詣、寺院行事への参加、寺院また は信徒宅での会合等への参加は育成の重要な機会であります。

手洗い、うがい、消毒、マスク着用等、新型コロナウイルス感染症対策を 充分に講じて感染へのリスクを避け、指導教師と御信徒同士、異体同心の 結束を固め根気よく育成を推進して下さい。

世界各国の指導教師各位、御信徒各位、新型コロナウイルス感染症対策を 講じつつ、2021年の年間方針「宗祖日蓮大聖人御聖誕八百年の年」の 意義と年間実践テーマの三項目の趣旨をしっかりと体し実践して下さい。

日興上人は『日興遺誡置文』に、「未だ広宣流布せざる間は身命を捨てゝ 随力弘通を致すべき事」(御書1884)と御指南下されています。

私達の広布への道程は今後も長い年月を掛けて進むべき遠い道程でありま す。

私達は今、日蓮大聖人御聖誕八百年という大佳節を一つの区切りとして、 また次なる一歩の前進を開始しなければなりません。

百年後の次なる日蓮大聖人御聖誕九百年の大佳節には、次代を担う地涌の 同志が更に大きく正法広布を進めていることでしょう。

未来広布を期待しつつ、今私達は粛々と正法広布を進めてまいりましょう。

世界各国の指導教師各位、御信徒各位、心新たに異体同心の結束を固め、 正法広布に邁進して下さい。

皆様お一人お一人の御多幸と、各国の平和と正法広布の推進を心よりお祈 り申し上げまして新年の挨拶といたします。

2021年1月1日
海外部長 漆畑日実

Copyright © 2021 Nichiren Shoshu Myoshinji Temple, All Rights Reserved.