Research

Lotus sutra related materials of major research institutes in the world

Gandhi and the Lotus Sutra

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948). Father of Indian Independence.
Gandhi offering prayers together with people at his ashram.
Prof. Raghu Vira Presents Gandhi with a Copy of the Sanskrit Saddharmapuṇḍarīka
Mahatma Gandhi understood that the invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (literally, “devotion to the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law”) is the ultimate expression of the universal power inherent in human beings and that it is nothing but the life force itself in resonance with the supreme rhythm of the universe. The Mahatma asked Raghu Vira about versions of the Lotus Sutra in Chinese and Japanese, and further, its original text in Sanskrit. Raghu Vira explained to Gandhi the historical background of the invocation as well as the meaning of the seven Chinese characters, “Na-m[u]-myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo.”

Gandhi was delighted to learn that the original text of the Lotus Sutra was written in Sanskrit, a classic language of India. In response to his request, Raghu Vira presented Gandhi with a copy of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka, Bibliotheca Buddhica, 10, St. Petersburg, 1908–1912, that he had in his possession.

There are many things that are common in 'thought' and 'action' between Nichiren and Gandhi.
Nichiren left an important point in the future of humanity. Gandhi and Nichiren have not direct relationship but there are many things that are common in 'thought' and 'action'. Mahatma Gandhi first taught people that politics should be based on values.
Gandhi offering prayers at his ashram
Mahatma Gandhi had a joint life with a member of the Independence Movement Ashram. There was a twice in the morning and evening at that place. It is ‘The book of prayer’ left side which is published by collecting words that were written in prayer at that time.

① “Na[m] myo ho renge kyo” printed three times in Devanagari script.
② “Nam [m]yō hō rēngkē kyō” printed three times in Tamil script.
③ Excerpts from the Isha Upanishad printed in Devanagari and Tamil scripts.
“[Oh] Lord oṃ. All this, whatever in the moving world of the universe, is pervaded by the Supreme. / Therefore, you should enjoy [it] by the renunciation [of worldly attachment]; don’t be greedy for other’s fortune.”
Prof. Raghu Vira (1902–1963)
Founder of the International Academy of Indian Culture. He contributed to the promotion of cultural exchange with Asian countries while researching their precious literature. He and his wife joined Mahatma Gandhi’s independence cause.
A copy of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka, Bibliotheca Buddhica, 10, St. Petersburg, 1908–1912, the first critical edition of the Sanskrit Lotus Sutra text
Edited by the Dutch scholar Hendrik Kern (1833–1917) and the Japanese scholar Bunyiu Nanjio (1849–1927). Collection of the Soka Gakkai.