Shodaigyo Explained: English Publication of
“The Journey of the Path of Righteousness”
New York Nichiren Buddhist Temple would like to announce its important English translation from Reverend Tairyu Gondo’s Shodaigyo manual entitled, “The Journey of the Path of Righteousnous (Gudo no Tabiji)”. The first chapter is entitled, “The Heart of Shodaigyo-The Manners and Practice”. Reverend Tairyu Gondo was a direct disciple of Archbishop Nichijun Yukawa who developed Nichiren Shu’s current form of Shodaigyo from earlier practice methodologies. Reverend Yukawa (deceased since 1968) propagated this modern form of Shodaigyo throughout Japan until he was 93 years of age.
What prompted the development of this crucial English translation were conversations between New York Nichiren Buddhist Temple Minister Reverend Shogen Kumakura and the temple Sangha concerning Shodaigyo. New York Nichiren Buddhist Temple began in 2013 to offer “Introduction to Buddhist Meditation (Shodaigyo)” each weekend as a means of propagation and a Sangha practice activity. English-speaking Sangha members had many questions regarding this ceremony and its methodology. What were the purposes of the silent meditations? How should one correctly breathe and calm the mind? What was the correct method of Shoshogyo (chanting of the Odaimoku)? What is the correct tempo for chanting during Shodaigyo? What is the correct method of prayer? What is the importance of Kie? These questions and so many more.
Much information, in the English-speaking world concerning Yukawa’s Shodaigyo, has been based on second-hand information and assumption. Buddhism emphasizes the importance of correct and pure transmission of teaching. It became quite apparent that English-speaking Sangha’s deeply needed a practice manual to correctly transmit the teachings of Yukawa’s Shodaigyo. Many Nichiren Shu Japanese ministers have, in the past, been issued Reverend Gondo’s “The Journey of the Path of Righteousness” which correctly details Yukawa’s Shodaigyo methodology and ceremony. New York Nichiren Buddhist Temple’s Reverend Kumakura, with the assistance of Sangha member Roy Secord, carefully translated this first chapter of Gondo’s Shodaigyo manual in the great hope that English-speaking practitioners could correctly understand and practice Shodaigyo.
“What is the purpose of Shodaigyo? It is to both purify and transform a life. This meditational practice (of Shodaigyo) is the correct practice of purification and transformation for the 21st Century. This book is crucial in guiding us to Kanno Dokyo (the integration of Buddha and practitioner)”.
~ Reverend Shogen Kumakura
Reverend Nissho Takeuchi, founder and president of New York Nichiren Buddhist Temple, stresses the importance of this publication. He states, “I am so grateful to publish this translation… I strongly believe this book will become the actual practice manual for Odaimoku Kechien Undo (Spreading the Relationship of the Odaimoku) by Nichiren Shu, and will be very useful for propagation efforts in North America for the next one hundred years.”
“Shodaigyo is to chant the Odaimoku intently, staring deeply into the heart of the Self,
in identification of the purified mind”.
~ Reverend Tairyu Gondo
This English, first-edition publication is currently available online HERE
Additional chapters from Gondo’s “The Path of the Journey of Righteousness (Gudo no Tabiji)
will be translated in English by New York Nichiren Buddhist Temple and available in the near future.