Lotus Buddhism / FAQ / How to understand that “my life is Myoho-Renge-Kyo”?

How to understand that
“my life is Myoho-Renge-Kyo”?

If you observe your life since childhood, you find that it was shaped by the influence of family and the environment.  This influence was basically teaching us “what to do and what not to do”.  Instructions which were given to us engraved our life and shaped our thoughts and actions.

Our upbringing was basically motivated by compassion: telling us what causes of actions should be followed and what causes should be avoided.  The essence of parent’s care is derived from their perception of the Law of Cause and Effect throughout their own experience.

Whether we notice this or not, our life is shaped by the principle that a cause of actions leads to two types of results: a visible effect and a latent - future - effect.  This is the working of the Law of Cause and Effect, or Myoho Renge Kyo.  Our life, since childhood, is a manifestation of Myoho Renge Kyo.

The Law of Life as presented in the Lotus Sutra

The Hoben chapter of the Lotus Sutra awakens us to the power, which links our current actions with their future consequences:

What motivates one’s actions is called: “inner cause” - (Nyoze In), a motivation which attracts from the environment “external conditions (Nyoze en) that are matching it. 

This is the way an event takes place in our life.  The motivation driving our action - and the impact ( or effects) it creates on others get automatically recorded in the subconscious memory of Karma.

Events, which take place in reality generate two types of effects: a visible or “immediate effect” (Nyoze Ho) and a future impact, called “latent consequences” (Nyo ze Ka).  

This is the dynamism of the Law of Cause and Effect.  Upon repeating the same pattern of motivations and actions – we create our karmic tendencies, leading also to future effects (that match the quality of our previous actions).

The power that binds a Cause to its Effect – is absolute.  It is an impartial and natural mechanism that is beyond explanation.  The record of our history of actions (and their impact or latent consequences) is spontaneously  established - whether the actions were good or bad.  This dynamism of the Law of Cause and Effect takes place in all states of life, whether we are happy or sad. 

Being consistent and valid at whatever we do - the bond between causes and effects is then the deepest truth, operating within our feelings and intellect, at each moment and in all situations. 

We can thus conclude that the flow of our life is a manifestation of the working of this Law (Myoho Renge Kyo) in all circumstances.

Using the Law to avoid suffering and to manifest enlightenment

In his letter “On Attaining Buddhahood in this Lifetime”, Nichiren explains that the power of Myoho Renge Kyo is what shapes our life. :  … you must summon up deep faith that Myoho-renge-kyo is your life itself”.

People suffer because they are ignorant of the truth that their life is shaped by the Law of Cause and Effect. 

- Ignorance of the “Law of Consequences” leads therefore to foolish actions and to suffering as a result. 

- Awakening to the working of the Law of Cause and Effect (as the energy driving our life) – would enlighten our conscious mind to the impact and value of what we are doing. 

In effect of this awakening, we experience the state of inner harmony, clarity of mind and compassion.  The state of awakening “to the truth within”, the power that drives our life, is the highest state of human nature, the Buddhanature.

Experiencing one’s Buddhanature starts from the spirit of one’s devotion (Nam) to the truth (Myoho Renge Kyo). 

Thus, the state of awakening or enlightenment is expressed by Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. 

Chanting leads to a life that manifests enlightenment

Through our constant devotion and harmony with the Wonderful Law, our daily life becomes based on making correct causes, avoiding negative actions, and accumulating good fortune. 

In this way, our life becomes a manifestation of the state of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.