Members Commemorate Shakyamuni's Enlightenment
Rissho Kosei-kai commemorated Shakyamuni's attainment of supreme enlightenment on December 8 in the Great Sacred Hall at the organization's headquarters in Tokyo as well as at all Dharma centers throughout Japan.
Some 3,200 members attended the ceremony in the Great Sacred Hall. They heard a narrative about Shakyamuni's spiritual awakening under a bodhi tree some 2,500 years ago. Students from Hoju Vocational College, affiliated with Rissho Kosei-kai, together with Japanese and overseas students of Rissho Kosei-kai's Gakurin seminary, then made offerings at the altar before the image of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. Everyone then joined in the sutra recitation, led by Rev. Takeshi Kawabata, director of Rissho Kosei-kai's General Affairs Bureau. Afterward he read out a tribute to Shakyamuni by President Nichiko Niwano.
Rev. Saeko Obayashi, minister of the Okayama Dharma Center in Okayama Prefecture, then testified to her faith. She said that as a minister she valued hoza as an aid to members' spiritual liberation, and described dissemination work by her and her Dharma center's chapter leaders.
President Niwano then delivered a Dharma talk. Saying that December 8 (Japan time) was also the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of war in the Pacific, he spoke of the tragedy of war and the value of world peace. He emphasized the need for all people to achieve great harmony in their own hearts, saying hatred and anger cause discord, whose most tragic outcome is war.
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