|Welcome to EverLifes Inner
You have arrived at the nexus of this site...at
once its beginning and its end. The inner chamber represents that innermost place within
you the essence of your being. Welcome to the home of your true self
your wise self. Buddhism contends that if you are able to reach and tap that
blissful inner core, youll cause a powerful burst of tranquil joy and native wisdom
to well up. If youre willing to beckon the wonderful illumination within you to
arise now, youve come to the right place.
#1: The Changing Room
Taking the First Step Get ready to power up.
Reciting the Lotus Sutra (Jpn. Gongyo) Before
writing could be counted upon to reliably record them, a tradition of oral transmission
kept the sutras alive. Sakyamuni had left word that recitation of the sutras had a sacred
connotation. Those who would recite it will acquire the powers and wisdom inherent in the
sutra they emulated. The Lotus Sutra is a 2,500-year-old, 28-chapter text of a sermon
offered by the Buddha. It contains: (a) the climax and culmination of Sakyamunis
discourse on the meaning of Life; (b) an oracle that predicts a future era [whose time has
come] when humanity will begin to transform itself; (c) a direct method that endows anyone
who embraces this sutra with the gift of Perfect Enlightenment. His disciples preserved
the Buddha's sutras for several centuries by commiting them to memory and reciting them
repeatedly. Among these, the Lotus Sutra was considered to be a secret endowment which the
Buddha specifically bequeathed to our present age. The earliest known written record of
the Lotus Sutra is a Chinese translation from the 3rd Century C.E. In 13th century Japan
the sutra was championed by the sage Nichiren who declared its treatise on everlasting
life to be the culmination of Buddhism. Representing the prophetic arrival of a latter-day
Declarer of the Truth [of Everlasting Life] (Jpn. Nyorai Myoho-Renge-Kyo), Nichiren
devised a two-part form of sutra recitation (Jpn. Gongyo) featuring the opening section of
chapter 2 (Jpn. Hoben) and the entirety of chapter 16 (Jpn. Juryo) to be followed by
repeated chanting of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo.
NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION! EverLifes translation of the Lotus
Sutras recitation text (Jpn. Gongyo) is now available here:
Recitation of the Lotus Sutra, Part I
Recitation of the Lotus Sutra, Part II
The Gift of Life Receiving the gift of all
#2: The Gateway
Here youll find the key that opens the gateway.
The Key Chanting is the key to blessings.
The Sound of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo Download the
audio file of the chant to learn how to pronounce it.
The Meaning of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo In 13th
century Japan, Nichiren extracted from the title of the Lotus Sutra a phrase he deemed to
be the One Direct Vehicle of Perfect Enlightenment. In this part youll
learn what this chant means. The power inherent in this phrase is incalculable. Like
compressing the large-scale universe into a grain of sand, this epithet encapsulates the
entirety of Buddhism all it stands for and all the promise it holds. Be ready to
turn the key that opens the eternally Supreme Treasure within your life.
Perfect Enlightenment Turning on the eternal
light of life.
#3: The EverLife Sanctuary
Welcome into the fountainhead of eternal blessings. Here youll find the
means for invoking your everlasting identity.
The Supreme Treasure (Jpn. Gohonzon) This is
the object of veneration inscribed by Nichiren for the sake of humanity.
The Lotus Sutra predicted that a future envoy will appear in an Age
of Decadence to lead an innumerable multitude of humans into the realm of Perfect
Enlightenment. Nichiren personified that role, crystallized the means to enable human
self-transformation and inscribed the calligraphic Supreme Treasure (Jpn. Gohonzon)
a visual delineation of the Blessings-Field of Everlasting Life alluded to in
the text of the Lotus Sutra. Here you'll learn about the key elements Nichiren chose to
inscribe upon the mandala.
An Altar of Blessings Follow the evolution of
Buddhist iconographics and their installation in home altars. Delve into the development
of sanctified objective depictions described as Clusters of Blessings [Skt.
mandalas] said to link mortal beings to a cosmic Blessings-Field of
Prayers After reciting the sutra and chanting
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, it is time to: give thanks to the forces of the universe that help
sustain existence, acknowledge the scope, nature and essence of the Supreme Treasure (of
Everlasting Life), praise the contribution of all who have helped the ultimate legacy of
Buddhism survive to this day, express your innermost wishes, challenge yourself to help
others find their way to fulfillment, think about matters of utmost importance to you at
this time and call forth the wondrous power of Everlasting Life to benefit all of humanity
and the universe-at-large.
#4: The Buddha-Land
The place of everlasting wisdom, joy and peace.
The Land of Tranquil Light Where does absolute
happiness exist? The Buddha of the Lotus Sutra transports his audience to a wondrous place
the home of all buddhas. He describes this Real Nirvana as the
here-and-now transformed into an enlightened realm. It is a metaphor for where the
ultimate state-of-life is always present.
The Ceremony in the Air The climax of the Lotus
Sutra is a gathering of all buddhas from throughout all universes and dimensions. It
connotes an omnipresent fountainhead of Perfect Enlightenment wherefrom all of existence
arises and returns.
The Declarer of the Truth of Everlasting Life The
final personification of the Buddha is defined in the Lotus Sutra. It is the ultimate
identity which all buddhas share, as any buddha [throughout time and space] eventually
must complete his teaching by preaching the Lotus Sutra and thereby revealing his
essential self to be the Tathagata (Declarer of the Truth) of the Lotus Sutra (of
Everlasting Life). While this is the quintessential message all buddhas are destined to
make in their effort to liberate mortals from suffering, it also is the vehicle for all
mortals to become buddhas themselves. According to Nichiren, since anyone who chants
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is declaring the truth of Everlasting Life [as all buddhas ultimately
do], one who chants it is one who declares the Truth of Everlasting Life. As the first to
publicly declare this Truth, Nichiren himself embodies the initial transformation of a
mortal being into the Declarer of the Truth of Everlasting Life. Moreover, by
crystallizing the means for unearthing that essential identity, Nichiren also provides all
beings with the opporunity to walk in his footsteps.
||This is a photo of
the inner chamber altar that once housed the Universal Supreme Treasure mandala (Jpn. Dai-Gohonzon) at the 6,000-seat
Mystic Sanctuary (Jpn. Myodan) of the first Grand Main Temple (Jpn.
of Nichiren Buddhism in Japan.
From 1972-1998 this altar housed the
Universal Supreme Treasure mandala (Jpn. Dai-Gohonzon) inscribed with
the message that it is bestowed upon humanity for the sake of world
peace for 10,000 years and more. This wood-etched mandala is regarded by
its believers as their preeminent object of veneration, the legacy of
Nichiren Dai-Shonin (c. 1222 - 1281) and his quintessential act of
compassion for the future of the world.
The altar was located at the 6,000-seat Mystic Sanctuary (Jpn. Myodan),
the inner chamber of the Grand Main Temple (Jpn. Sho-Hondo), an edifice
built on the grounds of Taisekiji, the 700-year-old Head Temple of
Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism located at the foot of Mt. Fuji in Japan - at a
cost of $100 million made possible through the sincere contributions and
united effort of lay and clerical believers throughout the world.
On October 12, 1972, the temple's 66th high-priest, Nittatsu Shonin,
lead the ceremony to enshrine the Universal Supreme Treasure in this
altar. At that time the effort had been made in response to the wish
Nichiren had expressed in writing (c. 1280) for the construction of such
a sacred edifice to consecrate the achievement of world peace at an
unspecified date in the future. The structure was widely heralded as an
architectural work of art and built to serve as the focal point of
pilgrimage for believers for hundreds, even a thousand years to come.
After a schism between lay (Sokagakkai) and clerical (Nichiren Shoshu)
organizations in Japan, the current high-priest, Nikken Shonin, came to
regard the construction of the Grand Main Temple and its display of the
mandala to be premature. Consequently, only 26 years later, the clerical
community undertook the demolition of the structure from 1998-1999 and
ordered the mandala to be moved in 1998 into less presumptive quarters,
the Grand Reception Hall (Jpn. Dai-Kyakuken) where it is kept today
under relatively limited viewing access.