The Mandala – Gohonzon of Nichiren
There have been mandala’s of sacred art for thousands of years. And it was in the dark ages of Japan in the 13th Century, the Sage Nichiren, inscribed the Moji-Mandala, consisting of Chinese characters and ancient Sanskrit script. We call this Great Mandala, a Gohonzon which depicts the Buddha Dharma of the ages as expressed in the Lotus Sutra.
In his discourse “the Real Aspect of the Gohonzon, Nichiren shares: “this mandala is
no way Nichiren’s invention.” “It is a depiction of the Buddha in the Treasure Tower,”
of the Lotus Sutra. Further, he tells us “the five characters of the Lotus Sutra’s title are inscribed in the center of the Treasure Tower.” Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
Surrounding this object of worthy respect, a visual of majesty is a vast array of hosts
and guests appearing in their essence, offering manifest blessings on all who witness this Treasure Tower. The Sage, Professor, Priest of China in 555 c.e. T’ien T’ai shares: “the profound principle of “true entity” is the original, universal Law.” This true entity is depicted in the white space on the mandala.
Appearing before this holy art, this great Gohonzon Mandala of Nichiren with all my heart and with respectful faith for some 9,305 days, I constantly chant and meditate that all the people I can reach in in this lifetime, may find their soul root of happiness. My offerings for all, are that we may seek out the roots of suffering in our life. Looking upon the characters of this great Mandala, gazing upon Taho and Shakyamuni Buddha’s, I chant relentlessly for their energies and promise to reach more Heart-Minds of our humanity, that millions more may “Awaken” to spiritual sustain-ability and peaceful means. While concentrating on the Sanskrit characters of Monjushuri [Monju] and Fugen, I chant before this “cluster of blessings” that small minds may open. Monju – the voice of wisdom, who appears in the Lotus Sutra as noble and gentle. I ask this Bodhisattva of knowledge and intelligence to come stay with us. Then as I gaze towards Fugen – the voice of practice, I acknowledge that faith without practice is meaningless. We all need diligent practice in order to receive the Jewel of Wisdom. As Fugen represents Right Conduct and Right Action, I ask this powerful Bodhisattva to come lead us.
What joy to stand before this Great Mandala with so many characters, messengers, Bodhisattvas, along with Taho and Shakyamuni, offering all human kind the Pathway
to wisdom and enlightenment.
T’ien T’ai Ch’I, facing this quest asks, in his Maka Shikan: “how does one hear, believe in and practice the perfect teaching to attain perfect enlightenment?” And it is shared: “believing in the perfect teaching means to “awaken” faith through doctrine [of the Lotus Sutra] and make faith the basis of One’s practice.” Tien Tai gives us the Question and the Answer!
In 1275 c.e., Nichiren in sending a Gohonzon to a mother with a sick child tells her:
“this Gohonzon is the heart of the Lotus Sutra and the eye of all the doctrine. It is
like the Sun and moon in the heavens, a might ruler on earth, the heart of a human
being, the wish-granting jewel among treasures and the pillar of a house. When one
embraces this madala, all Buddhas and Light Energies will gather around him/her,
accompanying him/her like a shadow, and protect him/her day and night…… as parents
love their children, as fish rely on water, as trees and plants crave rain, or as birds
depend on trees. You should trust it with all your heart.”
Before this “cluster of jewels” I pray the time will come when humankind will stop
the aggression, greed and prejudice, to find comfort in spiritual prosperity and compassionate freedom for All. Though we are forewarned “the dharmas [are] profound and subtle, hard to see and hard to understand.” L/S Chapter Two
In humble gratitude, we find the compassion and understanding, Nichiren shows, all human kind as he inscribes, bends and forms the characters on the Gohonzon in “sumi black ink” taking on majesty; each stroke offering all who concentrate on it a host of blessings, transcendent knowledge, and refuge in the Buddha.
How fortunate those who have been able to manifest this Great Mandala, in this lifetime!
Thus It Has Been Shared………. respectfully, Henry