1. Buddha means "Awakened One," or a person who perceives the true nature of all life and leads others to attain this same enlightenment. Nichiren Buddhism recognizes that all people have the potential to become Buddhas, possessing a "Buddha nature."
2. Gohonzon means the object of devotion in Nichiren Buddhism. It embodies the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo that permeates all life and expresses the life-state of Buddhahood inherent in all people. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon enables us to call forth Buddhahood from within us. Go means "worthy of honor" and honzon means "object of fundamental respect."
3. Karma is a Sanskrit word meaning "action." The life tendency each individual creates through thoughts, words and deeds that exert an often unseen influence over one's life and environment.
4. Kosen-rufu means "to widely declare and spread [the Lotus Sutra]" to secure lasting peace and happiness for all humankind through the propagation of Nichiren Buddhism. More broadly, kosen-rufu refers to the process of establishing the humanistic ideals of Nichiren Buddhism in society.
5. Lotus Sutra is a scripture of Mahayana Buddhism, it teaches that all people can reveal their innate Buddhahood and that this supreme potential is eternal. The sutra also encourages it practitioners to spread the teaching of universal Buddhahood and help all people awaken to this truth. Reciting portions of the Lotus Sutra is part of SGI members' daily Buddhist practice.
6. Nam-myo-ho-renge-kyo is the fundamental Law of the universe expounded in Nichiren Buddhism, as it expresses the true aspect of life. Chanting it allows people to directly tap their enlightened nature and is the primary practice of SGI members. Although the deepest meaning of Nam-myo-ho-renge-kyo is revealed only through its practice, the literal meaning is: Nam (devotion), the action of practicing Buddhism; myoho (Mystic Law), the essential Law of the universe and its manifestations; renge (lotus), the simultaneity of cause and effect; kyo (Buddha's teaching), all phenomena.
7. Nichiren Daishonin lived from 1222-82 and is the founder of the Buddhism practiced by SGI members. Based on his enlightenment, he inscribed the Gohonzon--the true object of devotion for observing the mind--and established the invocation of Nam-myo-ho-renge-kyo as the universal practice for attaining enlightenment. The name Nichiren means "sun lotus," and Daishonin is an honorific title that means "great sage."