The Focus of Devotion of Rissho Kosei-kai
The focus of devotion of Rissho Kosei-kai is the image of the Buddha, also referred to as the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, Great Benevolent Teacher, the World-Honored One. The image of the Buddha was revealed by our Founder Nikkyo Niwano through the Lotus Sutra, the essence of our Buddhist faith. He attained a deep understanding of the Sutra as he immersed himself in the practice of the Sutra. He found that the ultimate truth of the Universe is that the Eternal Buddha sustains all beings of the Universe; the life of Shakyamuni, who himself was enlightened to this truth, is also one with the Eternal Buddha; furthermore, within all the living, the great energy of the Eternal Buddha exists. Therefore, through the image of our great teacher “Shakyamuni”, we are able to pay homage to the “Eternal Buddha”, the Great Life Force of the Universe.
At the center of the whole image, the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni stands atop the lotus flower, the symbol of the Sutra. At the upper position of the halo, which is in the back of the statue, sits the Tathagata Abundant Treasure, the witness to the Truth. Around the halo, starting from the upper right side of the statue are the four great bodhisattvas, Eminent Conduct, Boundless Conduct, Pure Conduct, and Steadfast Conduct. These represent the bodhisattvas who practiced alongside the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni for the salvation of all people. The posture of the hands, which indicate the wish of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, is called “the sign of granting people’s good wishes and removing their fears.” This represents the workings of the great compassion and wisdom of the Eternal Buddha; namely, that which he wishes to guide humankind to true happiness by removing suffering, troubles, insecurities and anger, which they harbor within themselves. Further, the fact that it is a standing Buddha signifies that he is constantly in action.
In the Lotus Sutra, the truth of the Universe faithfully is revealed in the Chapter of the Revelation of the Eternal Life of the Tathagata. Here, the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni reveals His great wish and His work. It is stated, “In truth, since unmeasured years ago, I, in this world of suffering, have been teaching the Truth and guiding them as a Buddha. And I will remain the same in the future, never ceasing to exist in the infinite future. If humankind wishes deeply to meet with me, they shall accumulate good karma by practicing the Buddha path according to the Teachings with an open-mind, and then they shall see me where I am teaching, and guiding at their place. The Truth that I preach is out of my very sincere wish to save all people in the true sense, from their delusion and suffering. Moreover, I see through all people, based on their personalities and capabilities of their understanding of the Truth, I preach the Truth in appropriate ways. The appearance of Truth is diverse, however, what I preach is all true, no lies nor falsehood but none of them unnecessary for them. I will not change my true heart to anyone. I only have one thought, “How shall I cause all people to enter the supreme enlightenment and surely accomplish their Buddhahood?”
In this sense, when you pay homage to the Truth of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, it is not necessary to live restlessly bothered by any phenomena around you because when we keep our mind humble and open, that everything that happens is what the Buddha preaches, you will feel reassured because the Buddha is always with us. We can keep living positively filled with hope and gratitude to the Buddha for sustaining our lives.
Testimony of Faith
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