Fellowship for the Independent Practice of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism
Fellowship for the Independent Practice of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism

The Gohonzon

The Gohonzon is the object of devotion, in the form of a scroll, that practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism enshrine in their homes and is the focal point of their daily practice of morning and evening sutra recitation and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. (Go means "honorable" and honzon, "object of devotion.")

"This Gohonzon is the essence of the Lotus Sutra and the eye of all the scriptures," Nichiren Daishonin states. "It is like the sun and the moon in the heavens, a great ruler on earth, the heart in a human being, the wish-granting jewel among treasures, and the pillar of a house" ("On Upholding Faith in the Gohonzon," The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 624).

In the center column of the Gohonzon are the characters "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" and under that, "Nichiren," surrounded by various other Chinese and Sanskrit characters that depict historical and mythological Buddhist figures. Together they represent profound philosophical principles and conditions of life. It is the link between the Buddha state within ourselves and in the environment. It is an instrument to see our true potential and use it. Therefore, by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon, we call forth our own Buddhahood, tapping our inherent wisdom, compassion and life force. Gradually, day after day, our own life-state is influenced and strengthened through our daily practice to the Gohonzon.

In one of his many writings ("The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon,") Nichiren cautions us: "Never seek this Gohonzon outside yourself. The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

It is the faith and practice of the practitioner that makes the Gohonzon a powerful external stimulus to awaken the internal life of Buddhahood.

To learn more about what exactly is written on the Gohonzon a detailed schematic diagram can be found at the following links:













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