Why chant?

At the core of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is the promise that each one of us has within us an extraordinary potential that goes largely untapped -- a potential for great understanding, wisdom, joy, vitality, compassion and connection to life and each other.   It is the possibility of an unbounded life --happiness that doesn't depend on outer circumstances.  

If we accept that such a great life may exist within us, how then do we manifest it?  True Buddhism teaches that Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the name of our highest potential or Buddha nature and the law that underlies all life.  By chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo faithfully and consistently, our negative and counter-productive thoughts, influences and patterns of behavior will over time drop away.  Everything that is life-affirming, positive and truly best for us will start to appear in our daily lives, seemingly, of its own accord.

Many people have heard of the Buddhist concept of karma.  It simply means that each of us is, in this moment, the sum total of everything we have done, thought and said.   Rather than being controlled by some mysterious fate, this means that not only have we created our own destiny over countless lifetimes, but that we continue to create new karma every moment of our lives.   To chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and to teach others to do the same is to create the highest cause for our present and future happiness.  Chanting to the supreme object of worship, called the Gohonzon, lessens the karmic debt that each of us has accumulated, assuring great future fortune.

The 26th High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu, Nichikan Shonin, states:

“This Gohonzon bestows limitless, infinite benefit, and its unfathomable workings are vastly profound. Therefore, if you chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo with faith in this Gohonzon for even a short while, there is no prayer that will not be answered, no evil that will not be eradicated, no blessing that will not be bestowed and no reason that will not become clear.”