sanctuary of the essential teaching ［本門の戒壇］ ( hommon-no-kaidan): In Nichiren’s teachings, the place for enshrining the object of devotion of the essential teaching, i.e., the Gohonzon that Nichiren inscribed, and chanting the daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. One of the Three Great Secret Laws, the other two being the object of devotion of the essential teaching and the daimoku or invocation of the essential teaching. Nichiren associated these three with the three types of learning in Buddhism—precepts, meditation, and wisdom—among which the sanctuary corresponds to precepts. The purpose of keeping Buddhist precepts is to prevent error and put an end to evil within oneself. Sanctuary, in this context, originally meant an ordination platform where one vowed to observe the monastic precepts. In Nichiren’s teachings, however, there are no precepts other than to believe in the object of devotion and chant the daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo; therefore, the place where one enshrines the object of devotion and chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the sanctuary.
The sanctuary of the essential teaching is called the “spacelike immovable precept,” indicating the certainty and expansiveness of the benefit derived from embracing the object of devotion and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. See also Three Great Secret Laws.