Basics of Practice
What is the Purpose of Faith 3. Faith, Practice, and Study?
The three fundamentals in the practice of Nichiren’s teachings. Faith means to believe in the Gohonzon, or the object of devotion. Practice means to chant the daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, as well as to explain Nichiren’s teachings to others. Study means to study and understand the Buddhist teachings. Among these three, faith is the most fundamental for the attainment of Buddhahood. Faith gives rise to practice and study, and practice and study serve to deepen faith. In The True Aspect of All Phenomena, written in 1273, Nichiren states: “Believe in the Gohonzon, the supreme object of devotion in all of Jambudvīpa. Be sure to strengthen your faith, and receive the protection of Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions. Exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism. You must not only persevere yourself; you must also teach others. Both practice and study arise from faith. Teach others to the best of your ability, even if it is only a single sentence or phrase” (386).