According to Nichiren Buddhism of tradition, the physical and spiritual aspects of our lives are completely inseparable and they are of equal importance. It regards and views life as the unity of the physical and the spiritual, seen or unseen, as manifestations of the same ultimate universal law; the source of life. Collectively defined as Nam Myoho Renge Kyo which is the mantra chanted by the Nichiren Buddhism followers.
What is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo?
This is what I found after searching on the web…
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo could be described as a vow, an expression of determination, to embrace and manifest our Buddha nature. It is a pledge to oneself to never yield to difficulties and to win over one’s suffering. At the same time, it is a vow to help others reveal this law in their own lives and achieve happiness.
Nam comes from the Sanskrit namos, meaning to devote or dedicate oneself to all deities when worshiping them.
Myoho can be translated as mystic or wonderful, and ho means law or manifestation. This law is called mystic because it is difficult to comprehend. What exactly makes it difficult to comprehend? It is the wonder of ordinary people, beset by delusion and suffering, awakening to the fundamental law in their own lives and realizing that they are inherently Buddhas able to solve their own problems and those of others.
Renge means lotus flower. The lotus flower is pure and fragrant, unsullied by the muddy water in which it grows. Similarly, the beauty and dignity of our humanity is brought forth amidst the sufferings of daily reality.
Further, unlike other plants, the lotus puts forth flowers and fruit at the same time. This illustrates the principle of the simultaneity of cause and effect; we do not have to wait to become someone perfect in the future, we can bring forth the power of the Mystic Law from within our lives at any time.
Kyo literally means sutra and here indicates the Mystic Law likened to a lotus flower, the fundamental law that permeates life and the universe, the eternal truth.
To chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is an act of faith in the Mystic Law and in the magnitude of life’s inherent possibilities. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is not a mystical phrase that brings forth supernatural power, nor is it an entity transcending ourselves that we rely upon. It is the principle that those who live normal lives and make consistent efforts will duly triumph.
Nichiren Buddhists believe in ten basic principles as fundamental to human makeup. These are:
- Hell – a condition which appears when someone feels in despair or desperate.
- Hunger – when someone constantly wants something, for example, to be like someone else rather than accept their own life.
- Animality – is governed by instinct and may lead someone to prey on those more vulnerable. For example, a power hungry boss may abuse his position and treat his/her staff like slaves.
- Anger – encompasses traits of selfishness, competitiveness, and arrogance.
- Tranquillity – is a calm state of life.
- Rapture – is the pleasures one feels when one’s desires are fulfilled.
- Learning – appears when someone seeks new skills.
- Absorption is a condition based on knowledge and wisdom.
- Bodhisattva – means ‘disciple of the Buddha’ and is a state where people have strong concern for others which ultimately helps them to overcome their challenges.
- Buddhahood – is the ultimate state to be in as it includes compassion, wisdom, and humaneness.