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Switch to Forum Live View Why do SGI members cover their Gohonzon?
6 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2008 - 1:26PM #1
H82Diet
Posts: 29
Why do SGI members cover their Gohonzons?  I've noticed them uncovered in photos.
thanks!
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2008 - 1:26PM #2
H82Diet
Posts: 29
Why do SGI members cover their Gohonzons?  I've noticed them uncovered in photos.
thanks!
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2008 - 11:19PM #3
sgi_chris
Posts: 124
I believe it is symbolic of ourselves, that even though the doors of ourselves seem covered, deep within us is our inner Gohonzon.

Aside from that, the Gohonzon is a mandala, an image of respect, or worship. It is not a wall painting or poster, it is to be used with respect. When one is finished using a tool or utensil to complete a job, they put it away. Obviously, You don't leave a hammer lying about.  The Gohonzon is a tool to reflect our inner Buddhahood,  It displays the image of our true nature. I use this "tool" in the mornings and the evenings for self perfection, a mirror to reflect my higher sense of happiness. When I am finished with that "tool" I put it away.

Gohonzon, litterally means object of devotion. Though oppinons differ about  the care and display of a Gohonzon, it is all in relation to how the person feels about the Gohonzon thats make the difference. Just because my Butsudun is closed, doesn't mean that people won't be curious, or that I won't show them. The Butsudan is a symbol in and of itself.   

However, I won't discriminate on how other schools of Nichiren Buddhism display their Gohonzon. There is no guidelines in the Gosho on how set up or display a Gohonzon.

good luck!

-Chris
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2008 - 11:19PM #4
sgi_chris
Posts: 124
I believe it is symbolic of ourselves, that even though the doors of ourselves seem covered, deep within us is our inner Gohonzon.

Aside from that, the Gohonzon is a mandala, an image of respect, or worship. It is not a wall painting or poster, it is to be used with respect. When one is finished using a tool or utensil to complete a job, they put it away. Obviously, You don't leave a hammer lying about.  The Gohonzon is a tool to reflect our inner Buddhahood,  It displays the image of our true nature. I use this "tool" in the mornings and the evenings for self perfection, a mirror to reflect my higher sense of happiness. When I am finished with that "tool" I put it away.

Gohonzon, litterally means object of devotion. Though oppinons differ about  the care and display of a Gohonzon, it is all in relation to how the person feels about the Gohonzon thats make the difference. Just because my Butsudun is closed, doesn't mean that people won't be curious, or that I won't show them. The Butsudan is a symbol in and of itself.   

However, I won't discriminate on how other schools of Nichiren Buddhism display their Gohonzon. There is no guidelines in the Gosho on how set up or display a Gohonzon.

good luck!

-Chris
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 05, 2008 - 8:16PM #5
H82Diet
Posts: 29
Interesting... I was just curious.  I really like the way it looks and I leave it on display.  I was also wondering why they don't reproduce them in Nichiren's own handwriting v. the copies.
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 05, 2008 - 8:46PM #6
Engyo
Posts: 138
Hi, Lynn -

As far as I know there are two reasons why SGI doesn't issue replicas of Nichiren-original Omandalas.  The reason up until 1991 is that Nichiren Shoshu did not issue such replicas, so SGI didn't either. 

After 1991, I am not sure.  I don't know whether there was a desire on SGI's part to issue such Omandalas.  To my knowledge, SGI doesn't own the rights to any Nichiren Omandala images, but I can't verify that.  I do understand that one of the reform priests who withdrew from Nichiren Shoshu led a temple which owned a Nichikan (Taisekiji 26th High Priest - ~1700s) original, from which SGI's current Omandalas are reproduced.

I hope this is helpful.
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 08, 2011 - 3:09AM #7
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

I'm a bit late to this rodeo, but thought I could add some ideas not yet mentioned:


Some cover them, some don't.  For one, it's a respect and also a protection issue (outgrowth of respect again) to some.


I keep my Butsudan closed unless chanting or doing gongyo for several reasons:


Natural light, just like sunlight can fade an object.  If you've ever collected something precious, like say "vintage Star Wars figures" you know about this-you wan't them basically protected from moisture, light, and fire.


My Gohonzon is the most precious object I own.  I wish to keep it protected, I have children and a cat.... why risk it.  For the same reason-I never blow out my candles, I snuff them with a snuffer:  By blowing them out, I could accidentally blow wax onto my Gohonzon.  For the same reason, one should wash their hands before handling a Gohonzon, or perhaps even wear gloves....  In the old days, we wouldn't even breathe on them - and instead have a stick of incense in our mouths.  I personally still follow this tradition-out of respect.


Also, the Gohonzon is not a conversation piece, or a work of art - it is the blueprint of life itself, it is the ultimate truth.  Therefore I don't see it as something I wish to display or show off to others.  It is an "Object worthy of Great Respect" and I would only show it to someone with care. 


Hope that adds to the perspective.

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