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Exploring Mumbai: Nichiren Buddhist temple in Worli

Once upon a time, a several hundred years ago, a Japanese monk, Maha Bodhisattva Nichiren, had made a prophecy that humanity's only hope lies in India.

Myohoji

Following that, in 1931, Japanese monk, Nichidatsu Fuji arrived to fulfill that divination and built a small temple in Worli Naka. In 1956, this structure was converted into a free dharamshala and nursery school for underprivileged children, and a new temple structure was built on the same premises. Today, the temple is looked after by Bhikshu Morita, the resident monk.

The monk, a dedicated mascot of peace took to the streets in a peaceful manner even when the city witnessed its most violent riots in 1992-93. He and a few followers chanted, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, which is the Nichiren Buddhist chant to attain enlightenment, he tells us, while recalling the time. At first glance, the temple doesn’t seem to boast of spectacular architecture.

It is located on a crowded road, which witnesses traffic and honking sounds throughout the day. It is small yet spacious. The paintings on the wall depict scenes from Buddha’s life, and the marble statue of Buddha, with beautiful lamps lit all around it, brings an immediate sense of calm and comfort.

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