John, Patricia and Karin share the same spiritual practices and embrace Nichiren Buddhism, but each of them has his path, as individuality is an integral part of what the individual believes. They belong to a community called Soka Gakkai.
Who is Nicheren?
Nichiren (born February 16, 1222, Kominato, Japan—died November 14, 1282, Ikegami), militant Japanese Buddhist prophet who contributed significantly to the adaptation of Buddhism to the Japanese mentality and who remains one of the most controversial and influential figures in Japanese Buddhist history. He concluded (in 1253) that the Lotus Sutra teaching was the only real theory suited for his age after an intensive study of the many types of Buddhism.
what is Soka Gakkai?
a global, community-based Buddhist organization that promotes peace, culture and education centred on respect for the dignity of life. Its members study and apply the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism.
Nichiren Buddhism (Japanese: 日蓮仏教), also known as Hokkeshū (Japanese: 法華宗, meaning Lotus Sect) is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th-century Japanese Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222-1282) and is one of the Kamakura period schools. Its teachings derive from some 300-400 extant treatises and treatises either authored by or attributed to Nichiren. In the thirteenth century, Nichiren expressed the essence of the Lotus Sutra as "Nam Myoho Renge Keo". which are Japanese words that resonate in all forms of Nichiren Buddhism. In English, it means "devotion to the mystical law of the Lotus Sutra" or "glory to the Dharma of the Lotus Sutra". Nichiren taught the practice of chanting this phrase as a way for all people to overcome suffering and live happy and fulfilling life. For Soka Gakki, Myoho-renge-kyo describes “a mystical law, of which our lives are the expression. Chanting the Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is an act of faith in the mystical law and in the magnitude of life's inherent possibilities. Throughout his writings, Nichiren stresses the primacy of Faith. He writes, for example: “The Lotus Sutra. He says that one can "enter through faith alone." Thus, faith is the primary requirement for entry into the Buddha's path.”
The first three heads of Soka Gakkai, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871–1944), Josi Toda (1900–1958) and Daisaku Ikeda (1928–1928), revived Nichiren Buddhism in modern times and created the basis for its development globally. An accessible philosophy. Their shared commitment to this effort exemplifies the
guru-disciple relationship in Buddhism.