In this early spring of the 800th anniversary of the advent of our Founder, Nichiren Daishonin, I wish you a Happy New Year!

I believe that all of you have welcomed the start of this significant year, feeling refreshed, and have renewed your pledge to make further efforts in your practice.

As you know, upon welcoming this auspicious occasion of the 800th anniversary of the advent of our Founder, Nichiren Daishonin, in 2021, Nichiren Shoshu made a pledge, “to establish a membership of 800,000 Hokkeko believers by then.” In order to achieve this goal, the guiding priests as well as the Hokkeko believers around the world have made a cooperative effort, based on the spirit of many in body, one in mind (itai doshin), and have courageously performed shakubuku—refuting heresy and revealing the truth. As a result, they have admirably achieved their goal. I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations.

This is solely due to the strong faith of each guiding priest and his devotion to achieve the goal, and I offer my hearty congratulations. Moreover, it is owing to the earnest efforts of the Hokkeko believers. I offer my deepest appreciation.

On the other hand, regarding the chapters that could not achieve their goals by the end of last year, I sincerely wish that each member will take to heart the Daishonin’s teaching: “one’s life is insignificant while the Law is supreme. You should be willing to give your life to propagate the Law.” Then, the members of those chapters should unite in one mind, based on the spirit of itai doshin, and exert their utmost efforts to carry through shakubuku right down to the wire, so that every single chapter will keep its promise to the Gohonzon and achieve its shakubuku goal without fail.

Through our shakubuku challenge during this tough time, I strongly feel that the key to victory is as follows:

[When Hoki-bo, Sado-bo and others, as well as the Atsuwara believers are united] with the spirit of many in body, one in mind, they will achieve everything, whereas, in the case of one in body, many in mind, they will not accomplish anything.

(Gosho, p. 1389)

As these golden words teach, we must know that unity based on the spirit of itai doshin is the
key to success.

The Daishonin teaches the following in the Gosho, On the Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life
and Death (Shoji ichidaiji kechimyaku-sho):

All disciples and believers of Nichiren should chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo with the spirit of many in body, one in mind, overcoming all differences among themselves, [to become united with the heart of the Buddha], just like fish being inseparable from the water in which they swim. This is called the Heritage of the ultimate Law of life and death. This is also what Nichiren is trying to propagate now in the Latter Day of the Law. When you are so united, even the great aspiration for kosen-rufu can be fulfilled without fail. However, if there are any among Nichiren’s disciples who are many in body, many in mind, they are like subjects in a castle who destroy the fortress from within.

(Gosho, p. 514)

In our challenge toward the achievement of the propagation of Myoho-Renge-Kyo throughout the entire world, it is essential that we read these golden words respectfully and reaffirm how important unity based on the spirit of itai doshin is. Then, the members of each chapter should unite as one and move forward on the path to kosen-rufu.

In particular, when I look at the chaotic situation of the world today due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, I strongly feel it is important that each of us have pride and awareness as a disciple and follower of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and overcome this crisis by steadfastly chanting Daimoku, and devoting ourselves to propagate the mystic Law (Myoho). We must be aware that this is the key to success.

I sincerely pray that you will continue practicing for yourself and others and further devote yourselves to the achievement of kosen-rufu.

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御法主日如上人猊下お言葉
一月度 広布唱題会の砌

令和三年一月一日
於 総本山客殿

宗祖日蓮大聖人御聖誕八百年の新春、あけましておめでとうございます。

各位には、すがすがしく新年を迎えられ、決意も新たに、いよいよの御精進をお 誓いのことと存じます。

既に皆様も御承知の通り、宗門は本年、宗祖日蓮大聖人御聖誕八百年の大慶事を お迎えするに当たり、法華講員八十万人体勢構築の誓願を立て、全国の指導教師 ならびに御信徒御一同が異体同心・一致協力し、勇猛果敢に破邪顕正の折伏を行 じてこられた結果、見事に誓願を達成することができ、まことにおめでとうござ います。

これもひとえに、各指導教師の強盛なる信心と誓願達成にかける赤誠によるもの と心からお祝い申し上げます。また、御信徒御一同の懸命なる努力によるものと 感謝いたします。

一方、昨年度中に折伏誓願を達成することができなかった支部も、本年二月十六 日の宗祖日蓮大聖人御聖誕八百年の日までには、一人ひとりが身軽法重・死身弘 法の御聖訓を奉戴し、講中一結・異体同心し、全力を傾注して、最後の最後まで 折伏に努め、一支部も漏れることなく、御本尊様とのお約束を守り、必ず折伏誓 願を達成されますよう心から願うものであります。

特に、このたびの戦いを通して思うのは、勝利の秘訣は、「異体同心なれば万事を 成じ、同体異心なれば諸事叶ふ事なし」(御書一三八九)との御金言の通り、異体 同心の団結こそ勝利の要諦であることを知らなければなりません。

大聖人は『生死一大事血脈抄』に、「総じて日蓮が弟子檀那等自他彼此の心なく、 水魚の思ひを成して異体同心にして南無妙法蓮華経と唱へ奉る処を、生死一大事 の血脈とは云ふなり。然も今日蓮が弘通する処の所詮是なり。若し然らば広宣流 布の大願も叶ふべき者か。剰へ日蓮が弟子の中に異体異心の者之有れば、例せば 城者として城を破るが如し」(同五一四)と仰せであります。

されば、我々はこの御文を拝し、改めて一天広布を目指す戦いにおいて、異体同 心の団結がいかに大事であるかを確認し、講中一結して広布への道を進んでいく ことが肝要であります。

特に、コロナ禍等によって混沌とした今日の世相を見る時、たとえいかなる災禍 が競い起きようが、一人ひとりが地涌の菩薩の眷属としての誇りと自覚を持って 強盛に題目を唱えて災禍を克服し、妙法広布に我が身を捧げていくことが勝利の 秘訣であることを認識し、戦っていくことが大事であります。

どうぞ皆様には、いよいよ自行化他の信心に住し、ますます広布のために御精進 くださることを心から念じ、本日の挨拶といたします。

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