In Honmon Butsuryū Shū (HBS), we chant the Odaimoku, Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō, repeatedly as our main practice. This practice is called Kushō-gyō (chanting practice). Kushō means “chanting the Odaimoku loudly and clearly,” and Gyō means “practice.” When chanting the Odaimoku, we look at a Gohonzon, the living object of worship, on which the sacred word, Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō is written. Through the Kushō-gyō, our voice of chanting reaches the Gohonzon, and it responds as if we talked to the living Buddha directly and he answered us. Through the Kushō-gyō, practitioners accumulate Kudoku (the merit of Buddhahood) thanks to which their prayers are answered. Followers of HBS receive various kinds of rewards; mental and physical disorders that doctors already gave up on are cured, schoolwork or business picks up, misfortunes and calamities are averted, and so on.
The Odaimoku that HBS preaches is just like a cure-all for every kind of disease or distress. Chanting the Odaimoku solves people’s problems in the modern world. This symbolizes that HBS’s Odaimoku is the true teaching of Buddhism, which can save all people in this world.
Moreover, Kushō-gyō is a very simple practice that everyone can do and it doesn’t require knowledge of Buddhist doctrine or difficult sutras. Anyone from children to elderly people can practice Kushō-gyō, so HBS priests and followers do it together during every Buddhist service.
People who are not members of HBS and never practiced Kushō-gyō, i.e. chanting the Odaimoku, would naturally doubt that prayers are answered thanks to such a simple practice. Only the people who have actually chanted realize the importance of Kushō-gyō and how great the merit of Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō is. Therefore, the best way is to overcome your doubts and move into action with belief in the Odaimoku’s power.
Let’s see step by step why HBS adopts the Kushō-gyō as the main practice and concludes that chanting the Odaimoku is the only way to attain Buddhahood.
The Odaimoku, Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō, is just like magic words revealed in a Buddhist sutra called the Lotus Sutra. So, why don’t we see what the Lotus Sutra is?