ABOUT THE DAI-GOHONZON By Ted Morino
[Excerpted from the 9/10/99 World Tribune]
SGI President Ikeda stated: "Nothing has changed in the way we view the Dai-Gohonzon: It was inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin for the happiness of all humanity and is the basis of our faith." The SGI has always upheld the validity of the Dai-Gohonzon, even during these years when we have not been able to see it."
We should clarify what is the correct attitude toward the Dai-Gohonzon. First, the power of any Gohonzon, including the Dai-Gohonzon, can be tapped only through the power of faith. It is wrong to think that the Dai-Gohonzon alone has some kind of unique mystic power that no other Gohonzon possesses. The Dai-Gohonzon and our own Gohonzon are equal.
What is most important is the power of our faith and practice, which enables us to tap the power of the Buddha and the Law in the Dai-Gohonzon and in all other Gohonzon, and within ourselves. In this respect, the Daishonin states: "The Gohonzon is found in faith alone. As the sutra states, 'Only with faith can one enter Buddhahood'" (The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 213).
It is wrong to think that, whether we have faith in the Dai-Gohonzon or not, the Dai-Gohonzon is absolute. Faith is what matters. In this respect, President Ikeda states: "The Gohonzon enshrined at our home carries the same significance as the Dai-Gohonzon. They are as beneficial as the Dai-Gohonzon, in accord with the Buddhist principle of "dispersing the body of the original in different forms" (Jpn funjin santai).
Since the Dai-Gohonzon is made of wood, its physical longevity is naturally limited. But the essence of the Dai-Gohonzon, the Law, will never perish because it inherently exists in the universe and within each of us. President Toda used to use the expression "the Dai-Gohonzon in my home," meaning that the Gohonzon we worship at home is essentially the Dai-Gohonzon itself.
The millions of SGI members who have achieved victories in their lives have done so through their practice to their own Gohonzon. This is because we have been practicing the Daishonin's Buddha's correctly in accord with the compassionate spirit behind the Daishonin's inscription of the Dai-Gohonzon. This awareness is more important than ever today. "