Nichiren Daishonin was a 13th Century Japanese priest who, at the age of 15, devoted his life to finding the ultimate teaching of Buddhism. After many years of study that centred around the oringinal teachings of the first historically recognized Buddha (known as Siddhartha Gautama or Shakyamuni Buddha) Nichiren declaired that the final teaching of the Buddha was the most important. This teaching, called the Lotus Sutra, declares that all living beings have the potential to attain enlightenment or Buddhahood in this lifetime.
The Lotus Sutra went one step further and explained that human beings were able to achieve enlightenment “just as they are” and that our “earthly desires” are the key to unlocking our Buddha nature.
Shakyamuni had not explained how the average person could tap into their potential to overcome their day to day problems and achieve enlightment in this lifetime. Nichiren Daishonin identified that the way to tap into our potential as human beings and “relieve ourselves of the sufferings of birth and death” was to chant the title of the Lotus Sutra: Nam-Moho-Renge-Kyo.
The revolutionary nature of Nichiren’s achievement lies in the fact that he made it possible for all people to practice the highest teachings of Buddhism, providing a means to establish a life-condition of absolute happiness, unswayed by external circumstances.