Nipponzan Myohoji
The Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii
   Nipponzan Myohoji, was established in 1918 by the Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii. He believed his destiny as a Buddhist monk was to fufill a 700-year-old prophecy to return Buddhism to its land of origin, India, and from there spread it to the entire world.

   He traveled to India in 1930 and for three years lived and practiced in the most austere conditions. In 1933 he met Mahatma Gandhi and joined the nonviloent struggle for India's independence. From Venerable Fujii, Gandhi learned the Japanese Buddhist prayer, "Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo" and incorporated it into his community's daily prayer service. From Gandhi, Venerable Fujii received the name Guruji, "Honored Teacher," still used by his followers today.

   Guruji warned of humanity's present blind drift toward self-destruction and sought to avert this castastrophy through three-fold practice of "body-mind-mouth": the body bowing respectfully to everybody one meets, the mouth praying "Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo" and the mind believing in the realization of Buddha-nature by all. He taught tango-raihai (offering obeisance to others) not only as a Buddhist practice but as the only method of saving the human race from annihilation.

   Guruji died Jan. 9, 1985 at 100 years of age. Though but a dim reflection of ths spiritual giant, both the monks and nuns of Nipponzan Myohoji seek to continue Guruji's great work by building Peace Pagodas, walking for peace and standing in solidarity with the oppressed.