“First of all, as to the question of where exactly hell and the Buddha exist, one sutra states that hell exists underground, and another sutra says that the Buddha is in the west. Closer examination, however, reveals that both exist in our five-foot body.”
—Nichiren Daishonin, 13th Century Buddhist reformer and founder of Nichiren Buddhism
“In Nichiren Buddhism, attaining enlightenment is not about embarking on some inconceivably long journey to become a resplendent, godlike Buddha, it is about accomplishing a transformation in the depths of one’s being . . . It is a constant, moment-to-moment, inner struggle between revealing our innate Dharma nature or allowing ourselves to be ruled by our fundamental darkness and delusion.”
—Daisaku Ikeda, President Soka Gakkai International—lay organization of Nichiren Buddhism
Buddhism is sometimes characterized as a religion of mysticism, a compilation of abstract theoretical teachings practiced in remote temples far from the worries of everyday life. A closer look at the tenets however confirms that from the very beginning, its sole purpose has been to lead all people to a state of indestructible happiness and wisdom, wherever they are.
Through practice it teaches that we all have the capacity to bring about a positive transformation in the depths of our lives. Beginning with the individual who reforms first themselves and their immediate surroundings and relations, and then gradually extending their wisdom, courage and compassion into a wider sphere, we can transform fear into courage, deluded impulses into wisdom, egotism to compassion and create a peaceful society where all life is respected and cherished.
BUDDHISM DAY BY DAY: Wisdom for Modern Life (February 2007/Middleway Press/$15.95) the latest book by Daisaku Ikeda, one of the world’s leading interpreters of Buddhism, is a book that will help readers deepen their understanding of Buddhist principles and their application to Buddhist practice and daily life. This hands-on and highly readable guide contains interpretations by Ikeda, as well as excerpts from the writings of Nichiren Daishonin and the Lotus Sutra that can be read in brief selections over the course of a year.
The wide-ranging topics ranging from including establishing one’s identity, overcoming negative tendencies, the meaning of happiness, the importance of setting goals to persevering in the face of obstacles, and belief in oneself will resonate with Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
“Everyone has a right to flower, to reveal his or her full potential as a human being, to fulfill his or her mission in this world. You have this right,” writes Ikeda, “and so does everyone else. This is the meaning of human rights.”
Back to Press Room