The Gohonzon the instrument for reminding us of our highest life condition

Nichiren Daishonin was able to transfer his life condition on paper and he called this inscription the Gohonzon (great object of worship).  In Japanese, “go” means worthy of honor and “honzon” means object of fundamental respect. He inscribed the Gohonzon in Chinese and Sanskrit characters, symbolically depicting the life state of Buddhahood, which, as we now know, all people possess. The Gohonzon essentially represents the 3000 life conditions in one moment of existence (Ichinen Sanzen) with the words Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo written in the centre. It serves as a focal point and catalyst for Buddhahood to emerge within NDB practitioners. In other words, the Gohonzon, together with ones faith and the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, acts as a stimulus to activate the life-condition of Buddhahood innate in our life.

ND Buddhists typically chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to a Gohonzon enshrined in their own homes. People can apply for a Gohonzon through the SGI and after having shown that they indeed are ‘serious’ about their practice they will receive one.  Nevertheless, this is not to say that we can’t practice NDB without an object of worship. In fact many people do.

However, as our inner life-condition changes constantly, it makes sense to have an object of worship that reminds us of our highest potential life condition.


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