The title of this blog is might be considered a trick question. Many people that do not practice Buddhism imagine that all Buddhist worship the founder of Buddhism who is referred to as the Buddha. However, in Nichiren Buddhism, anyone who is manifesting their life condition of Buddhahood, a life condition where compassion for humanity is first and foremost on their mind and they optimize the wisdom inherent in themselves and in the universe. In other words, anyone can express Buddhahood in their lives. Gautama or Shakyamuni Buddha is considered a great teacher and founder but is not considered a deity.
If worship is defined as the expression of reverence to a deity, worship is not a part of Nichiren Buddhism. We do have an object of devotion, the Gohonzon, which helps us devote our chanting meditation toward tapping into the buddhohoold that already exists within us. As stated on the inside page of every edition of the magazine, Living Buddhism, we practice to “awaken to the dignity and power the resides within us and transform ourselves to the deepest level. This is referred to as our human revolution. By chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we reveal our inherent Buddha nature.”
When chanting to the Gohonzon, the Gohonzon is a mirror of our life condition and a symbol of the inherent Buddhahood within us. Think of it this way, when we look into a mirror we have a tendency to see ourselves through the eyes of self limiting filters. When we chant facing the Gohonzon we meditate to bring out our Buddhahood and we begin to see the mirror of our Buddhahood. In other words, we begin to believe in ourselves without limitation.