Taho Butto / Shichiho Myoto
Since it is determined in the Lotus Sutra that the residence of Buddha in the afterlife is Taho Butto, we determine Taho Butto as the principal image. This Taho Butto originally indicates the wonderful stupa of seven treasures in the air and we set it as a symbol of object of belief. Both Sakyamuni Buddha Tathagata and Many-Treasures Tathagata reside in the wonderful stupa of the seven treasures of the heavens (the air). Rightfully, we should pay a visit to the Buddhist place of the air (the wonderful stupa of the seven treasures), but we are unable to do that with human bodies. Therefore, by enshrining this Taho Butto, an agreement is designed that we can receive protection in the same way as if we pay a visit to Buddhist place of the heavens (the air). This matter is written in “Teachers of Dharma”, the Lotus Sutra.
Also, it is encouraged that we wash away a priori conception and make a vow to live in practice to acquire pure heart and the state of the Buddha’s heart (the state of Buddha).
The Deities on Both Sides
It is promised that the dragon god will always protect those who preach the Lotus Sutra. Hachidai Ryuo is an ascending dragon that protects pray for better life, escape a disaster, willpower and conviction and Kissho Benzaiten Ryuo is a descending dragon that protects good connection, cure for disease, increase of wisdom and good business. It can be said that the ascending dragon is vapor, the descending dragon is rain, and Taho Butto at their center symbolizes the principal residence of life. It is an enshrinement that symbolized the law of cycle and harmony that Buddha certainly realized.
Since it is determined in the Lotus Sutra that the residence of Buddha in the afterlife is Taho Butto, we determine Taho Butto as the principal image. This Taho Butto originally indicates the wonderful stupa of seven treasures in the air and we set it as a symbol of object of belief. Both Sakyamuni Buddha Tathagata and Many-Treasures Tathagata reside.
It is mentioned in Introductory, the Lotus Sutra that there were the eight dragon-kings* and one of them that our school enshrines is “Sagara Dragon-King”. Hachidai Ryuo came to be enshrined in our temple by causality that the originator of our school received pious merit of Dharma when he had been training in Okayama Prefecture before. The originator left that Hachidai Ryuo entered the originator’s stomach at a place called Ichijoji Temple in the innermost sanctum and gave him “Nyoi Hoju” (gem of divine knowledge) in his literary remains.
*eight dragon-kings : Nanda Dragon-King, Upananda Dragon-King,
Sagara Dragon-King, Vasuki Dragon-King, Taksaka Dragon-King,
Anavatapta Dragon-King, Manasvin Dragon-King, Utpalaka Dragon-King
Kissho Benzaiten Ryuo
Kissho Benzaiten Ryuo has a figure as a guardian god of Wonderful-Voice Bodhisattva. In autumn of 1946, Kissho Benzaiten Ryuo descended from the heavens to in front of the originator and said, “Pseudonym is Tsuki Hime (the princess of the moon)” and kept watching over his practice after that. Then, she later disclosed to him that she was officially named Kissho Benzaiten Ryuo. Since then, she has come to protect monks, nuns and believers of our school as well.
One day at age of 21, a beautiful goddess, that is current Kissho Benzaiten Ryuo appeared in the originator’s dream. His inspiration had become sharp since then and neighbors who heard a rumor frequently came to visit him for consultation. Then, to ask under a good master for right teaching methodology, in 1952 he became a monk at age of 27 under Mr. Nissen Watanabe, the 23rd head monk of Myokyoji Temple, Nichiren school Saijo Inarizan in Okayama Prefecture and he was given a Buddhist name called “Taigyo Nichiyu” by Ven. Nissen Watanabe. The originator respected Ven. Nissen, however he left his master with Buddha’s revelation on April 3rd, 1960; he did not have a master in order to establish our school and devoted himself to the practice of seeking enlightenment alone. And he perused “Sutra group of the Lotus Sutra”, accomplished doctrine of Shohojimon Hokke school and founded the religious school.
And after that, he advanced salvation of living things and Shoho Koryu* that Buddha had embodied; he named the activities “Nyorai Seigyo” and sacrificed his life for renaissance of Sakya Buddhism. Lifetime of the originator was really training to learn all the secrets of sutras solely and what he faced the suffering of each and every person who visited him. In 1987, he was given a title of “Honorary preacher” by Ramanya Nikaya school in Sri Lanka, but he died the next year.
*Shoho Koryu: Spread of the teachings that humans aim to approach character of Buddha through practice to purify mind.