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Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Essential Services of the Nichiren Lotus Sutra Faith [English version]

The Essential Services of the Nichiren Lotus Sutra Faith

Essential Services Auxiliary Practice [Part A Hoben-pon]

Note... Must chant Parts A and C or Parts A, B, and C at least once a day. May also chant any or all parts as many times as one wishes. May be chanted either in English or Sino-Japanese.

Part A

Sublime Dharma of the Lotus Flower Sutra
Chapter Two, Expedient Means

At the time the World Honored One peacefully and
quietly arose from Samadhi and announced to
Shariputra, "The Wisdom of the Buddhas is Most Profound
and immeasurable. The Gate of Their Wisdom is difficult to
understand and difficult to enter. It is something that none
of the Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas can understand
What is the reason?
The Buddha formerly approached hundreds of thousands
of myriads of tens of millions of numberless Buddhas
exhaustively practiced
the immeasurable Dharma Paths of the Buddhas,
being bold and effortful,
and His Renown was Universally Heard.
It is difficult to understand the import of what He, having
achieved the Most Profound, Unprecedented Dharma,
has preached following what is appropriate.
Shariputra. Since I attained Buddhahood, I have by
various sorts of causes and conditions and various sorts of
parables widely expounded the teaching expressed in
words, and by numberless expedients
I have gudied the masses of beings,
causing them to leave attachments.
What is the reason? The Tathagata
is fully possesses of all the
Paramitas of Knowledge and Vision and of expedience
Shariputra. The Knowledge and Vision of the Tathagata
is vast and great, profound and far-reaching.
Having the Immeasurable, the Unhindered, the Powers,
Fearlessness, Trance, Liberation, and Samadhi,
He has profoundly entered the unbounded
He has achieved all the Unprecedented Dharmas.
Shariputra. The Tathagata
can variously assign
and skillfully preach the various dharmas,
with words that are gentle and soft,
causing the mass of minds to rejoice.
Shariputra. If we speak of it in essence, it is all
of the immeasurable, unlimited, unprecedented dharmas
that the Buddha has achieved. I will stop. Shariputra.
I should not preach any further. What is the reason?
That which the Buddha has achieved
Is the rarest, difficult to understand Dharma.
Only a Buddha with a Buddha
can exhaustively penetrate
the Reality of the Dharmas.
That is to say, the various Dharmas
are Thus the Appearance, Thus the Nature, Thus the Essence,
Thus the Power, Thus the Action, Thus the Cause,
Thus the Condition. Thus the Effect. Thus the Retribution
and Thus the Ultimate Equality of the Original and the Last
[From That is to say to Thus the Ultimate Equality of the Original and the Last, is repeated three times.]

Essential Services Auxiliary Practice [Part B Ju-ryo hon] -- optional

Sublime Dharma of the Lotus Flower Sutra
Chapter Sixteen, the Measure of Life of the Tathagata

At that time the Buddha announced to the various
bodhisattvas as well as all the great assemblies
"Good sons. You should believe and understand
the Tathagata's words of sincerity and truth."
Again he announced to the great assemblies,
"You should believe and understand
the Tathagata's words of sincerity and truth."
And again He announced to the various great assemblies,
"You should believe and understand
The Tathagata's words of sincerity and truth,"
At this time the great assembly of the bodhisattvas
with Maitreya at their head
pressed their palms together and addressed the Buddha,
"World Honored One. We only pray that You would preach
them. We will receive with faith the words of the Buddha."
Having thus addressed Him thrice, they
again said, "We only pray that You would preach them.
We will receive with faith the words of the Buddha."
At that time the World Honored One
knowing that the various bodhisattvas
had thrice invited him without ceasing,
announced to them, "You hear clearly about
the Tathagata's Hidden Secret Divine Pervasive Powers.
The humans and devas
as well as asuras of all the worlds say,
"The present Shakyamuni Buddha,
having once gone forth from the palace of the Shakya Clan,
not far from the town of Gaya,
seated at the palace of Enlghtenment
has obtained Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi."
However good sons.
since I truly attained Buddhahood
it has been immeasurable, limitless
hundreds of thousands of myriads of tens of millions
of nayutas of kalpas.
For example, it is like five hundreds
of thousands of myriads of tens of millions
of nayutas of asamkheyas
of great trichiliocosms
and supposing there is a person
who pulverizes them into dust atoms,
and having passed in the eastern direction
five hunreds of thousands of myriads of tens of millions
of nayutas of asamkheyas of countries,
he then drops one atom
and thus proceeding to the east
he would exhaust these dust atoms;
you good sons, what is in your minds?
Could one,
reflecting on and calculating these worlds,
know their number or not?"
The Bodhisattva Maitreya and the others
together addressed the Buddha,
"World Honored One. These various worlds
are immeasureable and limitless; they are not something
which numerical reckoning understands; likewise they
are not something which the power of the mind can reach.
All Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas
reflecting with their Wisdom-Without-Outflow
cannot know their numerical limit.
Though we abide
in the stage of Avivartika(Non-backsliding),
in this matter
It is something we cannot attain to. World Honored One
Worlds such as these
are immeasurable and limitless."
At that time the Buddha announced
to the assembly of great bodhisattvas,
You good sons,
Now I am going to proclaim
to you with clarity: Of these various worlds,
if one took the ones to which atoms adhered
as well as those to which they did not adhere
and completely made atoms of them
with one atom as one kalpa,
the time since I attained Buddhahood
surpasses these
by hundreds of thousands of myriads of tens of millions
of nayutas of asemkheyas of kalpas.
since then I have been ever in this
Saha World preaching the Dharma and convertiing.
Likewise elsewhere
in hundreds of thousands of myriads of tens of millions
of nayutas of asemkheyas of countries
I have guided and benefitted the mass of beings. You good
sons. During this intermediate time I have preached
as the Buddha Nento(Dipamkara) and others. And,
furthermore, I have also said they have entered Nirvana.
All such as these I have distributed by expedients
You good sons. If there are beings
who come to where I am,
I contemplate by means of the Buddha Eye
the sharpness or dullness
of their various faculties of faith and so on
and, in accordance with how they should be saved,
everywhere I preach my name to be different
and my age to be great or little,
and, furthermore, I also manifest myself and say
'I am going to enter Nirvana',
and, furthermore by various types of expedients
preaching the Subtle Dharma
I have been able to cause the mass of beings
to give rise to joyful minds. You good sons.
When the Tathagata sees that the masses of beings
are those who rejoice in the Lesser Dharma,
poor in virtues, heavy with defilement,
for these people I preach
that when I was young I went forth from the household life
and obtained Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
But the time since I really attained Buddhahood
is as long ago and distant as that.
It is just in converting the mass of beings by expedients
and causing them to enter the Buddha Way
that I create such a preaching as this. You good sons.
The Sutra Canons which the Tathagata expounds
are all for saving and liberating the mass of beings.
I either preach my own body
or preach the body of another or show my own body
or show the body of another or show my own matter
or show the matter of another. The various words I preach
are all true and not empty. What is the reason?
The Tathagata knows and sees the appearance
of the Three Worlds in accordance with reality:
there is no Birth-and-Death,
whether backsliding or emerging;
likewise there is neither existence in the world
nor extinction; they are not real; they are not void,
they are not thus; they are not different.
It is not as the Three Worlds
see the Three Worlds. In such a matter as this
the Tathagata sees clearly
and is without error. Because the various beings
have distinctions of various types of natures
and various types of recollections, I, desiring
to cause various good karmic roots to be produced
by means of considerable causalities,
parables, and words, preach various kinds of dharmas:
The work of the Buddha which I perform
I have never once abandoned even for a brief time.
Thus the time since I attained buddhahood
is very great, long and distant. My life is immeasurable
asemkheyas of kalpas
and I abide forever and am not extinguished.
You good sons. The life which I
achieved by originally practicing the bodhisattva way
is not yet extinguished
and it is twice the above number.
However, though it is not now real extinction,
yet I thereupon proclaim, I am going to take extinction.
the Tathagata thus converts
the masses of beings by expedients. What is the reason?
If the Buddha were to abide for a long time in the world,
people of poor virtue would not plant good karmic roots
Being poor and lowly
and greedily attached to the five desires
they would fall into the midst of the net of thought
and wrong views. If they saw the Tathagata
ever present and not extinguished
they would then give rise to arrogant licentiousness
and nourish a disdainful idleness and could not produce
the thought that I am difficult to encounter
nor the mind of reverence. For this reason the Tathagata
preaches by expedience. The Bhikshus should know:
it is difficult to encounter
the Buddhas' coming forth in the world."
What is the reason? Of the various people poor in virtue,
having passed through immeasurable hundreds of
thousands of tens of thousands of tens of millions of
kalpasthere are those who see the Buddha
and those who do not see. Because of this fact
I say these words: Bhikshus!.
It is difficult to be able to see the Tathagata."
These beings having heard such words
will necessarily produce
the thought that I am difficult to encounter
and nourish affectionate longing in their hearts
and adoring the Buddha, will then plant good karmic roots.
For this reason although the Tathagata is not extinct
yet He says that He is extinct. Furthermore, good sons,
with the various Buddhas, the Tathagatas,
the Dharmas all are thus.
Because they are for saving the masses of beings
they are all true and not empty.
It is like an excellent Physician, wise and perspicacious.
evidently practiced in prescriptions
and skillful in curing the multitude of illnesses.
that person has many sons whether ten, twenty,
and even as much as a hundred or more
Because there are conditions in his affairs,
he goes far off to another country.
The children later drink another's poison drugs, 
the poison becomes evident and they are in agony and confusion,
rolling over on the ground. At this time the father
comes back and returns to his house.
Among the children, having drunk the poison,
there are some who have lost their original minds
and some who have not lost them
Seeing their father from afar, they all rejoice greatly
and, bowing and kneeling, made inquiry:
'Well have you returned in safety.
We are foolish and stupid
and by mistake have swallowed poison drugs.
We request that you cure us and give us further life.'
The father seeing the children in agony like this,
seeks according to various prescriptions
good medicinal plants which all are fully endowed
with color, fragrance, and beautiful taste,
and pounding and sifting, he combines them
and gives it to his children and has them swallow it,
pronouncing these words: This great excellent medicine
is all fully endowed
with color, fragrance, and beautiful taste.
You should swallow it.
It will rapidly eliminate your agonizing sufferings
and you will have no sorrows." Those
among the various children who have not lost their minds
see that this excellent medicine is good in both color and
fragrance and at once swallow this,
their illness is completely eliminated and they are cured.
As to the remainder who have lost their minds,
although on seeing their father coming
they also rejoice and make inquiries
and request him to heal their illness,
yet when he gives them the medicine,
they are unwilling to swallow it.
What is the reason? It was
because, since the influence of poison has penetrated
deeply and has made them lose their original minds, they
said to themselves about this medicine with good color
and fragrancethat it is not beautiful. The father forms this
thought: 'These children should be pitied, ruined by the
poison, their minds are all wrong-headed.
Although they saw me and rejoiced
and sought to be saved and cured,
a good medicine such as this
they were not willing to swallow.
I now am going to set up an expedient
to cause them to swallow this medicine.'
Thereupon, he speaks these words:
'You should know i am now decrepit and old
and the time of my death has already arrived.
This good, excellent medicine now I leave here. You should take and swallow it.
Do not worry that you will not be cured.'
Having given these instructions,
he again goes to another country.
He sends a messenger to return and announce:
Your father is already dead.' At that time the children
having heard that their father has departed in death,
are greatly troubled in mind and form this recollection:
'If our father were here, he would take pity upon us
and save and protect us. Now he has left us
and died in another country far away.'
They think themselves to be orphaned and exposed
and to have no further refuge.
Ever nourishing sad feelings, their minds at last awaken
and they recognize this medicine
was beautiful in color and fragrance, and taste
and at once take and swallow it.
The illnesses from the poison are all cured.
When the father hears that the children
were already able to be cured, he then comes back shortly
all lets all of them see him. Good sons!.
How is it in your opinions: could there be a person who
could declare this excellent physician
guilty of vain falsehood or not?' 'No World Honored One.'
The Buddha said, 'I am also like this:
since I attained Buddhahood,
it has been immeasurable, boundless
hundreds of thousands of myriads of tens of millions
of nayutas of asamkheyas of kalpas.
For the sake of beings, by the power of expedience
I say, 'I am about to become extinct.'
Yet again there are none who can
declare according to the Dharma
that I am guilty of vain falsehood."
At that time the World Honored One,
desiring to expound again this doctrine,
preached verses saying:

Essential Services Auxiliary Practice [Part C Jiga-ge]
Myo-ho Ren-ge Kyo

Sublime Dharma of the Lotus Flower Sutra
Chapter Sixteen, the Measure of Life of the Tathagata

Since I obtained Buddhahood the number
of kalpas that have passed is immeasurable
hundreds of thousands of myriads of tens of
millions of quintillians of asemkheyas. I have
ever been preaching the Dharma, teaching and
converting numberless tens of millions of beings,
Causing them to enter the Buddha Way;
Since then it has been immeasurable kalpas.
For the sake of the masses of beings
By expedience manifest Nirvana,
Yet in reality I do not become extinct;
I ever abide here preaching the dharma,
Although I ever abide here,
By various Divine Pervasive Powers
I cause the wrong-headed masses of beings,
Though close by, not to see me.
The masses see My Extinction,
And widely make offering to my relics,
And all of them, nourishing affectionate longing,
Produce the mind of adoration. When the masses
of beings have already submitted and believed,
Are simple and upright with minds gentle and pliant
and with single mind desire to see the Buddha,
Not sparing their bodily lives, At that time I as
well as the assemblies of monks together come
forth at the Spiritual Eagle Mountain (Ryojusen)
I at that time say to the masses of beings,
'I am ever here, not extinguished.'
Yet by the power of expedience
I manifest extinction and non-extinction.
When in other countries there are masses of
beings, those who reverence and believe
with joy. I likewise among them
preach the Supreme Dharma for their sake.
You, not hearing this,
Merely say to yourselves that I am extinguished,
When I see the masses of beings,
They are drowning in the sea of suffering.
Therefore I do not manifest My Body,
To cause them to produce adoration.
Because of their hearts' affectionate longing
Then I come forth and preach the Dharma for
them. My Divine Pervasive Powers are like this
For Asemkheya[countless number] of kalpas
I have ever been at the Spiritual Eagle Mountain(Ryojusen).
As well as at various other abodes,
The masses of beings see the kalpas exhausted,
When they are burned by the great fires;
This land of mine is peaceful and secure;
Gods and humans ever fill it. corrects
and forests and various halls and pavilions,
With various types of jewels adorned; On the
jewelled trees many flowers and fruit, Wherein
the masses of beings take their pleasure
and rejoice. The gods strike the celestial drums,
Ever making instrumental music.
Raining mandara flowers. Scattering them
Over the Buddha and the great assemblies.
Though My Pure Land is not destroyed,
Yet the masses see it burned up,
Worrisome fears and agonizing sufferings
And such things all filling it up. These
beings of various sins, Because of the causes
and conditions of their evil karma, Though
they pass through asemkheyas of kalpas,
Do not hear the name of the Three Jewels.
Those who have performed merit,
Who are gentle and pliant, simple and upright,
Then all see my body.
Staying here, preaching the Dharma.
Sometimes for these masses I preach the
Buddha's Life is immeasurable. To those who
see the Buddha only after a long time, I preach
for them the Buddha is difficult to encounter.
The power of My Wisdom is like this;
The illumination of the Light of My Wisdom is
immeasurable; My Lifespan is immeasurable
kalpas; It is what I obtained by performing the
karmas for a long time. You those who have
wisdom, Do not produce doubts about this. You
should cut them off and cause them to end forever:
The Buddha's Words are true and not empty.
It is like the physician by skilled expedience
for the sake of curing his children gone mad,
Though in reality he exists, yet he says he dies,
and there are none who can declare it is a vain
lie: I likewise am the Father of the World. The
One who saves from the various sufferings and
travails. Because the unenlightened worldlings are
wrong-headed, though in reality I exist, I say I am
extinguished; because by seeing my constantly,
They would produce an arrogant and licentious
mind, Self-abandoned, attached to the five
desires, And would fall among the Evil Ways of
Rebirth. I ever know the masses of beings
Proceeding on the Way or not proceeding on the
Way; according to what will save them,
I preach for them all sorts of Dharmas.
I Myself ever form this thought:
'By what shall I cause the masses of beings
To be able to enter the Supreme Way
And rapidly achieve the Buddha Body?'
The Essential Services of the Nichiren faith [The Principle Practice]

Namu Myoho renge kyo
Namu Myoho renge kyo
Namu Myoho renge kyo

(Chanting the Daimoku Namu Myoho renge kyo with utmost devotion for two minutes to three days or more at the believer's discretion)

(We may initiate and/or conclude the service by reciting aloud various passages of the Lotus Sutra and/or writings of Nichiren Daishonin).

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