Why do we need a religion?
In an age when science and technology have advanced at an ever-increasing rate in the world about us, it is perhaps surprising that in many ways we still seem to have made relatively small advances in bettering the human condition and understanding the world which lies within us. Admittedly, we have eradicated many of the illnesses that once took so many lives, but it seems that as one area of suffering in life is removed another appears to take its place.
Malaria and typhoid have almost disappeared from the tropical countries, but in their place we have dengue fever, AIDS, escalating cancer, mental illness and crime.
The social sciences of psychology and sociology have been able to pinpoint many of the reasons for the ills in present-day society, but still they persist and multiply, appearing in ever more intractable forms. Fortunately, there is for many people a growing awareness that somehow we as individuals are responsible for the state of the world. Many people will claim to know themselves but unfortunately this often means only that we know our failings and weaknesses.
The Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin states that the root causes of the sufferings in the world are incorrect philosophies on which people base their lives in thought, word and deed.
Buddhism presents the way to know ourselves by illuminating our lives with an awareness of our potential rather than our limitations. Such a positive stance enables us not only to tackle the difficulties in our own lives, but also to be able to look outward to society with hope and courage.