Rissho Kosei-kai commemorated Shakyamuni's attainment of supreme enlightenment on December 8, in the Great Sacred Hall at the organization's headquarters in Tokyo as well as at all Dharma centers across Japan. About 3,100 members took part in the ceremony in the Great Sacred Hall. In gratitude for the underlying significance of Shakyamuni's attainment of enlightenment, members rededicated themselves to diligent bodhisattva practice for their common liberation from suffering.
The ceremony in the Great Sacred Hall began with the screening of an animation depicting Shakyamuni's spiritual awakening. After that 20 students in saris from Hoju Vocational College in Tokyo, together with students from Rissho Kosei-kai's Gakurin Seminary, including those from overseas, made offerings at the altar before the image of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. Rev. Takeshi Kawabata, chair of the Board of Trustees, then led the sutra recitation and read out a tribute to Shakyamuni by President Nichiko Niwano.
A chapter leader from the Anjo Dharma Center in Aichi Prefecture testified to her faith, and President Niwano delivered a Dharma talk.
President Niwano said Buddhism teaches that many kinds of things cause suffering. Life always includes some form of suffering. Referring to the Buddhist doctrine of the four kinds of suffering-birth, old age, sickness, and death, he said no one can be free of suffering. He then emphasized the importance of looking for the causes of suffering and living positively instead praying to the gods and the buddhas for relief from suffering. Also, referring to the law of dependent origination, that all things are interdependent, President Niwano said it is important to realize that all people's lives depend on everything around them.
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