The Lifetime chapter of the Lotus Sutra is the second part of Gongyo, as defined by Nichiren Daishonin.

It describes the lifetime of the Buddha an should be studied closely by anyone practicing Buddhism.

In essence it says that the Buddha attained enlightenment in the immeasurable past and has since taught his or her teachings across the face of the world according to the circumstances (expedient means).  Sometimes the Buddha “pretends” he has died but the truth is that he is always alive and only dies in order to make people yearn for his appearance.

In the context of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism and, in particular, the practice propagated by SGI, this has a profound effect.

In particular, there is the belief that only when one is chanting daimoku to Gohonzon is one is a state of Buddhahood (enlightenment) and that chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo activates our Buddhahood.

The truth is that the Buddha is immortal and that all our actions are manifestations of it.  This is what is at the core of the Lifetime chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

No action you can make can make you any more or less of a Buddha.  It’s a reality.  To believe otherwise is to be seriously misguided .. hence my strong opposition to SGI’s insistence that Buddhahood only manifests when chanting daimoku to gohonzon.

You enlightenment never dies.  All you need to do is to have faith in yourself.  It’s that simple