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Common Terms In Nichiren Daishon's Buddhism

Bodhisattva: A person who seeks enlightenment and is devoted to helping others.

Bodhisattvas of the Earth: The bodhisattvas who appeared in the Yujutsu chapter of the Lotus Sutra and to whom Shakyamuni entrusted the mission of propagating the Mystic Law in the Latter Day of the Law.

Buddha nature: The nature to be enlightened that exists inherently in all beings. It is characterized by wisdom, courage, compassion, freedom, joy, perseverance, and life force.

Buddha: Sanskrit, awakened one. Someone who comprehends the true nature of life and guides others to attain enlightenment.

Buddhahood: State of life characterized by boundless wisdom and infinite compassion. The ultimate goal of Buddhist practice. The highest of the Ten Worlds.

Ceremony in the Air: Assemblage which occurred in the Lotus Sutra. Shakyamuni summoned all the Buddhas in the universe, opened the Treasure Tower, and lifted the entire assembly into space. Shakyamuni revealed his original enlightenment in the remote past and then entrusted propagation of the essence of the sutra to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

Changing Poison Into Medicine: Through Buddhist practice, one can change suffering and obstacles into benefit and springboards for happiness.

Daimoku: Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the invocation of the title of the Lotus Sutra.

Esho Funi: The Oneness of Life and its Environment. Life and environment are two phenomena, but one in their fundamental essence. People can affect their environments through inner change.

Gohonzon: The true object of worship inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin. The embodiment of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the life of Nichiren Daishonin in the form of a scroll. Each SGI member has a scroll enshrined in their own home.

Gongyo: Assiduous practice. Recitation of two chapters of the Lotus Sutra in front of the Gohonzon every morning and evening, offering silent prayers along with chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Gosho: The letters and treatises written by Nichiren Daishonin. Translated into 7 volumes in English called 'The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin'.

Ichinen Sanzen: 3,000 realms in a single life-moment. Mutually inclusive relationship of the ultimate truth and the phenomenal world. The Ten Worlds x The Ten Factors x The Three Realms of Existence.

Itai Doshin: Many in body, one in mind. Unity.

Karma: Sanskrit, action. One's destiny is created through thoughts, words, and deeds. Karma can be changed through Buddhist practice.

Kosen-rufu: Widely declare and spread Buddhism. Lasting peace and happiness for all the world through propagation of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism.

Latter Day of the Law: The last of the periods following Shakyamuni's death in which Shakyamuni's teachings will lose the power to lead people to enlightenment, and when the essence of the Lotus Sutra will be propagated.

Lotus Sutra: Shakyamuni Buddha's highest teaching. According to the Lotus Sutra, all people can attain enlightenment as they are, in this lifetime.

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo: Literal meaning, "I dedicate myself to the Mystic Law of cause-and-effect through sound, vibration, or teachings." The Law of the Universe, the true entity of life. Chanting it enables one to tap into the inherent Buddha nature within.

Nichiren Daishonin: (1222-1282) 13th-century Japanese reformer upon whose teachings the SGI bases its activities. He inscribed the true object of worship, the Gohonzon, and established chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as the universal practice to attain enlightenment.

SGI-USA: The American component organization of Soka Gakkai International.

Shakyamuni: Siddhartha Gautama. The founder of Buddhism who lived in India about 3000 years ago. He taught for 50 years, finally preaching the Lotus Sutra, which he stated was his ultimate teaching.

Shiki Shin Funi: The Oneness of Body and Mind. The material and spiritual aspects of life are two separate phenomena but one in essence.

Ten Factors: The unchanging aspects of life common to all changing phenomena. They include appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and consistency from beginning to end.

Ten Worlds: Potential life-conditions inherent in each person's life that can be manifested at any given moment. They include Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Humanity or Tranquillity, Heaven or Rapture, Learning, Realization, Bodhisattva, and Buddhahood.

"The enlightened life of Shakyamuni Buddha is our own flesh and blood. His practices and resulting virtues are our bones and marrow."
-President Ikeda

Source-West Palmdale District