The son of a fisherman, Nichiren was born in 1222, a time rife with social unrest and natural disasters.
Nichiren’s philosophy originates in the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical founder of Buddhism who lived in India some 2,500 years ago. His philosophy reveals that a universal principle, called the Buddha nature, is inherent in all life. It affirms that all people are capable of attaining enlightenment.
Nichiren distilled his teachings into a practice that could enable every individual to reveal their Buddhahood, or highest state of life, in the midst of day-to-day reality.
Nichiren felt passionately that Buddhism should enable people living in the real world and facing real problems to become empowered and change their lives for the better. Nichiren’s philosophy stresses the profound connection between one’s own happiness and the happiness of others. The greatest personal satisfaction and fulfillment in life is realized by working for the happiness of others.
Nichiren’s legacy lies in his unrelenting struggle for people’s happiness and the desire to transform society into one that respects the dignity and potential of each individual.