In the early years of my practice, I had come across some guidance by SGI vice president Takehisa Tsuji. I found it very fresh and encouraging and I feel that this would be an appropriate forum to share it with all of you. I will be posting it in excerpts as it is a little long and one may lose oneself in reading it completely. The first part explains how important it is to chant joyfully and gratefully.
"Gongyo is directly related to your life. There are three things
directly related sustaining life. One is to eat and rest. It is
important to consume nutrients and to get adequate sleep. These
two are easy to understand and everyone does them. You don't
quit eating or sleeping because you are unhappy with someone.
But when it comes to doing Gongyo, there are those who quit
doing their prayers easily. It is because they do not realize
that Gongyo and Daimoku are directly related to sustaining
their life. You can improve your destiny by chanting Daimoku.
Your karma will further deteriorate with out chanting. If you
do not chant your destiny will revert back to your former bad
karma. It is like reverting back to your former state of having
a weak intestinal system or back to poverty. These types of
changes are not easily recognized. This is why people get lazy
with their daily Gongyo and Daimoku. This is a frightening
There is a phrase in the Gosho, English Gosho page 81, "There
is no true happiness other than upholding faith in the Lotus
Sutra." But do you really do your Gongyo with this conviction?
You must feel that it gives you the greatest pleasure to do
Gongyo and Daimoku. There is phrase in the Gosho that
emphasizes that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the greatest of all
joys. To be wed is a joyous thing. But Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a
greater joy. To save millions of dollars may make you happy.
But Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is even more enriching. To finally
renovate your home after many years of waiting may bring you
joy but chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is better than that.
Finally getting a child after many attempts may be a joyous
occasion but Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is more joyous than that. Look
into your hearts to see if you are chanting with this type of
gratitude. Are you receiving 100% of the benefits that the
Gohonzon would like to grant you? I feel that most of you are
just receiving 10 to 15% of what you could be receiving. With
this type of life condition you will lose to obstacles and deep
Why do you receive benefits when you chant to the Gohonzon -
and why do you continue to chant? If you chant only to overcome
a specific illness will it only cure that illness? If you chant
for the success of your business, will you only become
successful in business? It is not such a limited practice.
The Gohonzon is telling us it can elevate our life to the
highest level, equal to the Gohonzon. There is a passage in the
Gosho, "hoping to make all persons equal to me, without any
distinction between us." You should chant with deep gratitude
to the Gohonzon for granting you the same life condition as the