Origins of Buddhism

Origins of Buddhism Origins of Buddhism(3:18)

Buddhism originated in the Indian subcontinent around 2,500 years ago. Its teachings derive from Shakyamuni, also known as Gautama or Siddhartha, who dedicated his life to finding the means to liberate people from the universal sufferings of life and develop spiritual strength. His teachings were later compiled into sutras, and numerous schools of Buddhism sprang up as his teachings spread after his death.

The Lotus Sutra is highly revered in the Mahayana tradition that reached East Asia. It emphasizes the bodhisattva ideal of helping others to come to a true understanding of life and clarifies that all people possess the life-state of Buddhahood. Nichiren, a 13th-century Japanese priest, found that the Lotus Sutra contained the fullest expression of Shakyamuni''s compassionate intention.

SGI's Buddhist Practice

SGI's Daily Practice SGI's Daily Practice(3:49)

The core element of the Buddhist practice conducted by members of the SGI is chanting the phrase "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo," or devotion to the Lotus Sutra, which was identified by the 13th-century Japanese priest Nichiren as the key to developing the Buddha nature.

Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo enables people to unleash their hidden potential and unlock the courage and compassion to transform their lives and create positive value in their family, community and society. Members usually chant to a mandala called a Gohonzon which is enshrined in their homes.

This primary practice is supported by reciting passages of the Lotus Sutra, as well as studying Buddhist teachings. Another key activity is the discussion meeting, which provides members and guests with the opportunity to share their experiences in faith and support and learn from others. The practice of Buddhism is proactive and engaged with society, and members of the SGI are active in all walks of life as citizens working for a better world.



Treasuring Diversity

"'The Buddha's teaching begins with the recognition of human diversity. The humanism of the Lotus Sutra comes down to the tenet of treasuring the individual.' In Nichiren Buddhism, enlightenment is not a matter of changing ourselves into something which we are not. Rather, it is a matter of bringing forth those positive qualities we already possess."