Nichiko Niwano, President of Rissho Kosei-kai
Transmitting Wisdom to Others
In September we hold a memorial service on the anniversary
of the death of Cofounder Myoko Naganuma.
Mrs. Naganuma, who along with Founder Niwano laid
the foundation of Rissho Kosei-kai, gave guidance to people
from a heart overflowing with compassion, her wish being
to see each and every person achieve happiness.
We gave her the posthumous Dharma title Cofounder
Myoko, Bodhisattva of the Compassionate Way, which
reflects our admiration for the virtues of the cofounder, who
extended the hand of salvation to people beset by woes and
suffering. She served as a model of the bodhisattva-way and
was revered by many as a “merciful mother.” Although she
sometimes was strict when she guided members, this was
because her heart and mind were completely focused on her
wish to have them grasp the opportunity for true salvation.
The functioning of compassion (jihi in Japanese) is said
to be the relief of suffering and the giving of comfort. “Ji”
conveys the meaning of providing peace of mind and
shining the light of the Dharma, while “hi” indicates the
eradication of suffering.
We are all already equipped with a compassionate heart.
After becoming aware of the Truth and the Dharma—in
other words, the wisdom of the Buddha—we are filled with
the irresistible urge to share our joy with others. And that
urge works to relieve the suffering of others and bring ease
and comfort to them. This can be considered as knowing
that all things in this world follow the Truth and the Dharma:
All things are impermanent and all things are without self.
Knowing that all things follow the Truth and the
Dharma, we cannot help but recognize the preciousness of
our lives and be overjoyed to have encountered the Dharma.
That joy does not stop with us, because we go on sharing it
with everyone—in other words, our disseminating the
Buddha’s teaching to others is an example of compassion.
Revering All of Life
After Shakyamuni attained enlightenment, he spent
the rest of his life traveling to preach the Dharma.
Because the aim of his travels was to give people peace
of mind by teaching them the Truth and the Dharma, the
very life of Shakyamuni can be called an act of compassion.
This is because the mind and heart of Shakyamuni
were as one with all living beings, with everything that
has life. Mother Teresa, who devoted her life to caring
for the ill and dying among the poorest of the poor in
Calcutta, said that the opposite of love is not hatred but
indifference. Being hated means that others still feel
something for you, but being ignored by people who are
completely indifferent to you is to totally lose your
human dignity. I believe that Mother Teresa, who left
these words to us, fully grasped the essence of life: The
source of all life is one, with no difference made between
oneself and others.
Let us walk together along the bodhisattva-way,
spreading around us the true kindness and compassion
that reveres all of life.
Read past Guidance messages from President Niwano.