Why do we study?

Nichiren Daishonin says, "Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism" ("The True Aspect of All Phenomena," The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 386). Practitioners study Nichiren Buddhism not only because it helps them deepen their understanding of the philosophy and life itself but it also empowers them to take on all of life's challenges and further develop their compassion to help others dispel their own suffering.

Without a solid understanding, practicing any philosophy correctly and consistently would be difficult. For Nichiren Buddhists in the SGI, great emphasis is placed on study—it is one of the three pillars of our faith, together with faith itself and practice (both for ourselves and for others).

Through our efforts to grasp the Buddhist teachings,we can build the confidence to continue our practice; and the actual proof we receive from practice in turn deepens our faith. As one example of how it bolsters our faith, the study of Nichiren Buddhism gives us great insight into the workings of life, which helps us understand why things happen to us individually, in our communities and in society.With this knowledge we can take action to transform our lives and the environment from which they are inseparable.

The SGI makes a great deal of study material available, including the English translation of more than 400 letters Nichiren wrote to his disciples in the 13th century. All of his extant letters are available for everyone to read in order that they might grasp, from the founder of Nichiren Buddhism, the true intent and purpose of our practice.