Prayers for the Transfer of Merits at Memorial for All Victims of War and Prayers for Peace
Today, on the occasion of the anniversary of the end of the Second World War, I, Nichiko Niwano, a disciple of the Buddha, sincerely offer these prayers for the transfer of merits in the presence of the Eternal Buddha.
In today’s memorial service, we wholeheartedly offer the merits of our daily practice through the recitation of the Lotus Sutra, which expresses the Buddha’s long-cherished desire, to the spirits of the victims of the Second World War and all other past wars; to the spirits of the victims of ongoing wars, conflicts, and acts of terrorism; and to the spirits of all people, known and unknown to us.
Through a period of seventy-seven years since the end of the Second World War, people in Japan have, based on a spirit that cherishes harmony, continued to develop the prosperity of the country and make large contributions to the international community as an enlightened and peace-loving nation.
We must always bear in mind that Japan’s post-war development has been built upon the many precious lives that were sacrificed during the Second World War. “As members of a Buddhist organization, our responsibility is to continue talking to our children and grandchildren about personal experiences of the horrors of war and our hope for peace, as we earnestly practice the teachings in creative ways that build splendid countries.”
However, when we turn our eyes to the present world, conflict and war are occurring in many places including Ukraine, which causes a chain reaction of violence and anger. The Dhammapada states: “Through hatred, hatred is never appeased; only through compassion can hatred be appeased.”
Emulating the Buddha’s mind of great compassion, we cut ourselves loose from the chain reaction of anger, freeing us to diligently pursue the Great Vehicle bodhisattva way to achieve a world of coexistence. Therefore, we transfer these merits to the spirits of all victims of wars.
Let us pray that
The Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, whom we devoutly revere;
The buddhas, bodhisattvas, and countless heavenly beings who are omnipresent in the ten directions;
and the Founder and Cofounder, who guided us to the Lotus Sutra,
will watch over our bodhisattva practice and extend their hands of compassion and guidance and beckon forth peace here on Mother Earth, our planet of water that exists uniquely in the universe. We also pray that all living beings will find peace.
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.
August 15, 2022
President of Rissho Kosei-kai
I have respectfully offered these prayers for the transfer of merits.