For each of us who start chanting Nam-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō for the very first time, we are advised to chant abundant Daimoku and Daily Gongyo (morning & evening). As new friends to this practice of chanting, we may not understand the true meaning of Gongyo and the significance or importance of practicing daily Gongyo.
So what really is Gongyo ?!
In lay man terms, it means recitation of the Two prayer excerpts from the Liturgy book, along with Daimoku chants, concluding it with the Three silent prayers (in the manner as described in the Liturgy book).
But upon a deeper understanding of the meaning of Gongyo, we realize that this act of chanting and doing daily Gongyo basically means cleansing our lives, which tend to get clouded overtime with doubts, fears, negativity and helplessness due to our life’s struggles and challenges. This is usually compared to cleaning a mirror that has got tarnished overtime and so is unable to reflect our true image when we look into it.
So doing Gongyo is like an inner cleansing (our own Human Revolution) that we initiate and which will eventually help us bring forth our innate Buddhahood, Wisdom, Courage and Compassion.We recite the prayers, which is a call to the Buddhist Gods to come and surround us as we prepare to start chanting Nam-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō (Daimoku).
An excerpt from the book, Buddhism Day by Day by Daisaku Ikeda helps us better understand the significance of chanting The mystic Law daily, “When we revere Myoho-Renge-Kyo inherent in our own life as the object of devotion, the Buddha nature within us is summoned forth and manifested by our chanting of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. This is what is meant by “BUDDHA”. To illustrate, when a caged bird sings, birds who are flying in the sky are thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather around, the bird in the cage strives to get out. When with our mouths we chant the Mystic Law, our Buddha nature, being summoned, will invariably emerge.”
As we sit in front of The Gohonzon and do our daily Gongyo, we must not feel obliged or consider it a duty or daily job. Instead, we must remember it is indeed our “Right” to do Daily Gongyo. It is a conversation that we have with ourselves (The Gohonzon within us) at the start of our day (morning Gongyo) and as we conclude our day (evening Gongyo). Like a mother-child relationship, we develop a child-like innocence and confide our deepest desires and feelings in The Gohonzon when we do our daily Gongyo. Each cell of our body then feels rejuvenated, energized and ready to take on the challenges in our life head-on!!
“Our Buddhist practice is not an obligation, but a right that enables us to attain happiness. We will gain benefit in direct proportion to our own determination and efforts in Faith” – Sensei Ikeda (VC March 2016, p.96)
So let us enjoy this “Right” we have been blessed with and make a sincere and consistent effort every day to do our Gongyo, even if for just a minute. It is our responsibility to live happily by prevailing this right as we feel blessed as practitioners of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.
Happy Chanting ❤
This article is based on my understanding and experiences of chanting this wonderful Mystic Law. Any similarity to the information available online may just be a coincidence. Come join us in our online worldwide Kosenrufu Mission! Feel free to download your very own Android App, TogetherWeChant(SGIBuddhism)
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