Happy Chinese New Year to everybody! Before I start I would like to ask if anybody has seen this flag before?
Just a heads up, this isn’t a Romania flag but it is an Soka Gakkai flag. Soka Gakkai was founded in November 18 1930 in Japan. It is a Buddhist organisation that aims to develop one’s Buddha nature the qualities of courage, wisdom and compassion and world peace. Soka Gakkai buddism consist of Shakyamuni, Lotus Sutra and Nichiren.(these three I will cover in the next research)
SGI members integrate Buddhist practice into the daily rhythm of their lives. They aim to develop and strengthen their lives through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and by studying the teachings of Buddhism. The basic morning and evening practice, known as gongyo, consists of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and reciting portions of the Lotus Sutra. This is usually carried out at home but can also be done together with others.
The picture above is an Gohonzon
The Gohonzon is a scroll containing Chinese and Sanskrit characters that aids practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism in the process of perceiving and bringing forth the life condition of Buddhahood from within their lives. The Gohonzon similar to the Buddha statue, taking a picture of what is written inside a disrespectful thing to do.
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo could be described as a vow, an expression of determination, to embrace and manifest our Buddha nature. It is a pledge to oneself to never yield to difficulties and to win over one’s suffering. At the same time, it is a vow to help others reveal this law in their own lives and achieve happiness. Nam comes from the Sanskrit namas, meaning to devote or dedicate oneself.
Myo can be translated as mystic or wonderful, and ho means law. This law is called mystic because it is difficult to comprehend. What exactly makes it difficult to comprehend? It is the wonder of ordinary people, beset by delusion and suffering, awakening to the fundamental law in their own lives and realizing that they are inherently Buddhas’ able to solve their own problems and those of others.
Renge means lotus blossom. The lotus flower is pure and fragrant, unsullied by the muddy water in which it grows. Similarly, the beauty and dignity of our humanity is brought forth amidst the sufferings of daily reality. Kyo literally means sutra and here indicates the Mystic Law likened to a lotus flower, the fundamental law that permeates life and the universe, the eternal truth.
To chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is an act of faith in the Mystic Law and in the magnitude of life’s inherent possibilities. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is not a mystical phrase that brings forth supernatural power, nor is it an entity transcending ourselves that we rely upon. It is the principle that those who live normal lives and make consistent efforts will duly triumph. Watch the video to find out how it is being practiced.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-Cg8xh62Ps
References: Soka Gakkai book / http://ssabuddhist.org/philosophy-and-practice/