Rissho Kosei-kai Commemorates Anniversary
of Founder's Entrance into Nirvana
Rissho Kosei-kai observed the 12th anniversary of Founder Nikkyo Niwano's death and entrance into nirvana on October 4 in the Great Sacred Hall at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters in Tokyo and at all Dharma centers across Japan. The ceremony in the Great Sacred Hall was attended by some 3,200 members, who cherished the memory of the founder's virtues and rededicated themselves to diligent bodhisattva practice in gratitude for the legacy of the founder's teaching. The ceremony was telecast by satellite to all Dharma centers across Japan.
Before the ceremony in the Great Sacred Hall, President Nichiko Niwano performed the ritual of opening the door of the Precious Stupa of the One Vehicle, which houses relics of the founder. The ceremony in the Great Sacred Hall began with an offering of flowers and lighted candles by 16 young women members at the altar before the image of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. Members then observed a moment of silence, pondering the virtues of Founder Niwano.
President-designate Kosho Niwano then led the assembly in chanting the Lotus Sutra and read out a tribute to the founder written by President Niwano. Rev. Masahiro Ito, minister of the Hachinohe Dharma Center, in Aomori Prefecture, also paid tribute to the founder. He recalled that when first appointed as minister to a Dharma center, Founder Niwano told him about the importance of listening to others "with an open heart." Rev. Ito pledged to devote the rest of his life, wherever he is, to diligent practice of the teachings.
President Niwano then delivered a Dharma talk, explaining the preciousness of having encountered the Buddha's teachings through Founder Niwano and Cofounder Myoko Naganuma. He emphasized the importance of spiritual training for all members based on the Buddha's teachings, to cultivate their hearts and minds so that they can accept ordinary things and daily occurrences with gratitude, and walk the path to self-perfection.
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