Nowadays we are used to signing up for things without reading the terms and conditions. If you can’t wait to download i-tunes, just click [AGREE] and you’ve got it. Need an operation? Sign an agreement. Want to book a holiday online? Just click [AGREE] and you’ve got it. An upgrade to your internet browser? [AGREE] Signing up with a new gas or electricity provider? [AGREE] Whatever it is we want, we rarely read the terms and conditions, but just jump straight to the [AGREE] button.
In Gosho such as “The One Essential Phrase” and “This is What I Heard”, Nichiren has assured us that even without understanding its meaning, we can gain benefit from chanting “Nam myoho renge kyo”, and that chanting "Nam myoho renge kyo" is the same as reading the whole sutra, but why not read the sutra itself and find out for yourself if you really are devoted to, and living your life in unity with, the teachings of the Lotus Sutra.
If you’ve been practicing for a while, you have probably encountered a lot of the parables, philosophy and key points of the Lotus Sutra, either from Nichiren’s commentaries in his letters to followers, from President Ikeda’s writings or during chapter studies or discussion meetings, but why not read it for yourself?
In this blog, I want to try and highlight a lot of the key points of the Lotus Sutra, but I would also encourage you to read it for yourself as well and discuss it with other members of your district. The version I use is “The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras” as translated by Burton Watson, which is available to buy at SGI bookstores or via Amazon, or can be viewed online here.
From my own experience, after chanting, reading “The Lotus Sutra”, chanting, studying Nichiren’s commentaries on it, chanting, re-reading it, chanting, studying President Ikeda’s commentaries on it and chanting again, I found that rather than chanting like I'd just clicked [AGREE] my gongyo and daimoku were infused with a deeper understanding of the wisdom and reality of this profound and mystic teaching.