On the Gohonzon: 
The Large Kanji 
Taho Nyorai 
The Top Row of Chinese Characters 
The Second Row of Chinese Characters 
The Fourth Row of Chinese Characters 

The Central Buddha of the Gohonzon (Great Mandala): Nam 

An Overview on Mandalas 

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The Imagery of Nichiren's Lotus Sutra: The Gohonzon - The Great Mandala of the True Dharma 
Gohonzon Translation The Third Row of Beings 

From Left to Right: 
In the lower left hand corner of the Gohonzon in large Kanji is Dai Zochotenno (see the section on the Large Kanji). (Gohonzon map here.) 

Right of Zocho and a little above is Dai Ryu-o the Great Dragon King (Skt. Sagara). These kanji represent his 8-year-old daughter as well. In the "Real Aspect of the Gohonzon" Nichiren describes her appearance on the Gohonzon: "The devilishly treacherous Devadatta and the Dragon King's ignorant daughter attend, too" (Major Writings, Vol. 1, p. 212). She proves that women can attain enlightenment. She also represents the concept of attaining enlightenment in one's present form (Jp. sokushin jobutsu). 

Right of Ryu-o is Ajase-o King Ajatashatru, who was an ally of Devadatta but later converted to Buddhism. He supported the First Buddhist council. 

Right of Ajase-o is Jurasetsu Nyo the Ten Goddesses, also called the Ten Demon Daughters. They are the protectors of  mothers and children. They appear in the 26th chapter of the Lotus Sutra and vow to protect the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. 

Right of the Jurasetsu Nyo is Nam Myoho-Renge-Kyo Nichiren. 

Right of Nam Myoho-Renge-Kyo Nichiren is Kishimojin, the mother of the Ten Goddesses or the Ten Demon Daughters. She appears in the 26th Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. She bestows blessings on children and is the goddess of easy childbirth. 

Right of Kishimojin is Daibadatta Devadatta. He was the cousin of the Buddha and also his enemy. His enlightenment is prophesied in chapter twelve of the Lotus Sutra. He represents the world of enlightenment in the world of hell. Some believe him to be the master of Shakyamuni in a previous lifetime. 

Right of Devadatta is Tenrinjo-o the Wheel-Turning Kings (Skt. Chakravarti-raja) These are kings who rule in accordance with Buddhist principles. 

Right of the Wheel-Turning Kings is Ashura-o the king of the Asuras. The Asuras are demons who enjoy fighting the gods (see Taishaku and the Fine-Feathered Bird at the Buddhist Myths, Parables, and Essays website). 

Right of Ashura-o is Fudo who is discussed in the section on the Large Kanji. 

Updated 6/7/06  
Copyright 2002 Imagery of Nichiren's Lotus Sutra website