Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Benefits in Daishonin's Buddhism

Guidelines on Faith: Inconspicuous Benefits

I occasionally meet people who complain, “I’ve been chanting, but I’m not getting any benefits.” As long as you earnestly practice your faith, it is absolutely impossible not to receive any benefits. We cannot judge the Gohonzon’s power merely by our own limited vision.

The eyes of common mortals are totally unreliable. They are limited in that, even when they are wide open they can only see immediate benefits and cannot perceive the profound ones. For instance, if you happen to be involved in a serious traffic accident but emerge with only slight injuries, you offer your heartfelt gratitude to the Gohonzon. However, when the day ends uneventfully, and you return home safe and sound, you grumble, “Nothing good happened to me today.” This is the way of us common mortals.

Which is the greater benefit: to encounter misfortune and overcome it, or not to have any misfortune whatsoever? It goes without saying that the latter is far greater.

Buddhism terms readily visible but small benefits as “conspicuous,” and invisible but great benefits as “inconspicuous.” Small benefits are easy to recognize, but the great benefits take time before you notice them.

You should understand that something great is happening as long as you sincerely continue your faith, even when you don’t recognize it. By maintaining pure faith for five, ten, fifteen years and so on, before you realize it you will have arrived at a completely happy state of life – one you could not even have imagined. This is inconspicuous benefit. The power of the Gohonzon – the power of the Buddha and of the Law – is absolute. Whether or not we can call forth that power depends on our powers of faith and practice. Please tell your members to exert themselves, never doubting the Gohonzon’s power no matter what may occur, and always be convinced of the great blessings which will accrue from their practice.

Source: Guidelines in Faith by Satoru Izumi

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