By the way, someone said that he did not need to have a Butsudan because his parents have one. Is that true? No. We should have a Butsudan for each house, just as we need to have electric power and water for each house.

We should believe in Buddhism not only at the temple but also at home. It is useless if we do not believe in Buddhism in our daily lives. To fully appreciate Buddhism, we should put our belief in Buddhism to practical use. For the sake of belief in our daily lives, we need a Butsudan at home, dedicated to the Buddha.

What is in the Butsudan

How do we set up a Butsudan? First, we should put the Dai-Mandala on the furthest wall in the Butsudan. The Dai-Mandala is one of the most important Horizon (the object of worship), originally written by Nichiren Shonin. It shows us the true Buddha’s world. Nichiren Shonin manifested the salvation, compassion and wisdom of the Buddha with the Dai-Mandala. We may put the Buddha’s statue in front of the Dai-Mandala. This means that the Buddha is in the center of the Universe. On the second shelf, we put Nichiren Shonin’s statue. This means that we receive the teaching of the Buddha through Nichiren Shonin. On the next shelf, we put our ancestors’ ihai (memorial tablets) and Kakocho (family ancestral record). It shows us that our ancestors live happily in their next lives with the Buddha and always keep their eyes on us. Thus we should take good care of the Butsudan. We should keep it clean, and set it on a mantle or table in the living room where family members always gather, not on the floor. If we have a new one, we should ask a minister to perform the opening eye blessing. The opening eye blessing is a ceremony not just for opening it, but also for welcoming the Buddha to the home and for vowing to believe strongly in the Buddha.

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