What is Nichiren Buddhism about?

Nichiren Buddhism is about revealing one’s potentials to live a happy meaningful life, transforming all hardships into beneficial experiences - and helping others do the same.

What is the basic belief in Nichiren’s Buddhism?                                                

•  The basic belief in Nichiren Buddhism is that everything in nature: plants, animals and human beings - live according to a universal and eternal Law of Life (Myoho). 

•  When one’s behaviour and relationships accord with this Law of Life, then one’s life is in a state of harmony and good fortune.  On the other hand, sufferings emerge when one is ignorant of the working of this Law (called also the Law of Cause and Effect).

The focus in Christianity is on God. What about Buddhism?

The focus in Buddhism is on the human being: it is about how to transform human sufferings and how to live a happy and harmonious life. 

In Christianity: God is eternal, divine and creative.                                                                  In Buddhism :  Life  is eternal, divine and creative. 

What is the main principle or main teaching in Buddhism ? 

The main teaching in Buddhism is that : all people possess the potential for enlightenment and happiness.  In other words, all people have the potential for revealing and expressing their “Buddhanature” – which is the highest possible state one can enjoy: life force, wisdom and compassion.

What is the daily practice in Nichiren Buddhism compared with other schools?

The general practice of Traditional Buddhism is silent meditation towards a Buddha statue. The practice of Nichiren Buddhism is based on voice chanting, towards a Mandala (Gohonzon), which represents the Life of Buddhahood.

Chanting is a rhythmic vibrations, which harmonise the body and mind.  It creates a feeling of inner peace and clarity in mind.

What is the meaning of the Chanting phrase: Nam Myoho Renge Kyo?

In the deepest essence of its meaning,

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo   -  can be understood as:

I lead my life to happiness, lifeforce and enlightenment

Nam – means I lead myself to devotion and harmony with the Law of Life (which is: MyohoRengeKyo)

MyohoRengeKyo is the Law of Life (or the Law of Reality, the Law of Cause and Effect).  

Myoho stands for the unexplainable and wonderful reality of life. 

Renge Kyo means the Law of Lotus (or the Law of Cause and Effect), which explains the dynamism, through which we can transform our life.  The metaphor of the Lotus flower refers to this possibility, as the flower transforms its environment of mud into a mystic beautiful structure. 

How does chanting work?

Chanting harmonises the physical and mental aspects of the individual. The rhythmic action of chanting automatically optimises the flow of breathing and creates a feeling of consistency and harmony of the body&mind. 

Voice vibrations carry within them a deep mental dimension of meaning and emotions.  The phrase of NamMyohoRengeKyo encodes the mental aspect of the Buddhanature.  According to Nichiren Buddhism, enlightenment of the individual means revealing one’s Buddhanature.  One’s Buddhanature is a potential residing deeply in the subconsciousness mind of the individual.

Chanting is a conscious action, which resonates with the subconscious field of the enlightened mind (or Buddhanature).  In effect, the conscious mind fuses with the wisdom and life energy naturally and inherently stored within the subconscious mind. The direct experience of chanting is a feeling of clarity of thinking and empowerment (or lifeforce). 

Clarity of thinking means that one’s thoughts and problems (occupying the conscious mind) become viewed under the light of the Law of Cause and Effect – leading to understanding of the true causes of what is taking place in one’s life.  This impartial insight into the truth of one’s reality of life - dissolves tension or sufferings and prevents emotionalism from interfering in the process of finding a beneficial solution to encountered issues of daily life. 

A correct understanding of the causes behind one’s situation would lead one to taking correct steps in transforming given situation.  Chanting enables planning of beneficial action to be carried out.  A feeling of empowerment and release of inner energy (originating from one’s Buddhanature) also fuels taking responsibility for realising one’s goals.

President Ikeda has described chanting as:   a solemn ceremony in which our lives commune with the universe. In Buddhism, this communion is described as the “fusion of reality and wisdom”


The objective reality of life is Universal Law (MyohoRengeKyo),

while the subjective wisdom of the individual is the desire for harmony and fusion (Nam)

with the Law of the universe.

The only condition for chanting to work (i.e. to produce the potential for benefit) in reality of the individual is the individual’s wholehearted desire (to transform one’s life) based on faith in one’s Buddhanature.

Faith in one’s Buddhanature leads to beneficial actions affecting the surrounding environment.  Through chanting, one’s behaviour tends towards expressing broadmindedness, flexibility and openheart – or simply creating value in relationships for self & others.


Author: Safwan Darshams