Today, Happy Science is already Japan's biggest and the most influential religion, and it is rapidly growing on a worldwide scale. Let us have a look at our history – the key events that have led to the Happy Science we are today. Happy Science was founded on October 6th, 1986, and was certified as a religious organization in Japan on March 7th, 1991.
The Founder of Happy Science is Ryuho Okawa. Happy Science believers have a strong faith in the God of the Earth, El Cantare. In order to attain true happiness, also known as enlightenment, the members practice the teachings of Ryuho Okawa on a daily basis by praying, studying the teachings, self-reflecting and meditating. Above all, reciting The True Words Spoken By Buddha every morning and evening, is the main pillar of this religious life. Together with friends and the Dharma friends who share the same faith, we carry out various activities to create an ideal world and to spread happiness. Many of these activities are held at the branches and temples, and revolve around taking regular visits there.
In order to support these activities, there are more than 700 branches and temples as well as 10,000 missionary houses around the world, with members in over 165 countries across the world. By studying and practicing the Buddha’s Truth at the temples with Dharma friends, as well as at home during one’s own study time, the teachings at Happy Science will enable you to attain real happiness toward enlightenment. Furthermore, Happy Science is involved in all kinds of activities including social activities for the purpose of creating an ideal world.
What Do We Do? – A Life of Faith
Happy Science members conduct activities based on daily self-reflection, meditation and prayer for the purpose of giving love, attaining enlightenment and creating utopia. Members become happy by attaining enlightenment through studying Buddha’s Truth, participating in missionary work, offering happiness planting (donation), visiting temples and the main temples, taking ritual prayers, attending seminars and so on. Members spread their happiness to as many people as possible through such activities.
Reciting “The True Words Spoken By Buddha”
In principle, members recite the fundamental sutra “The True Words Spoken By Buddha” every morning and every evening. By doing so, knowledge of the Buddha’s Truth is deepened, leading toward living a brighter life with a mindset aligned with the heavenly world. You can harmonize your mind by looking deeply into yourself through self-reflection or meditation after the recitation. All members will receive The True Words Spoken By Buddha, which is one of the fundamental sutra books of Happy Science. This sutra will become the main pillar of one’s religious life.
Learning the Truth
Numerous workshops and seminars based on the books and lectures by Master Okawa are offered to support the learning and practicing of the Truth. Lectures on video can be watched at all Shojas, branches and temples, and missionary centers. Watching the recorded version of the Master speaking actually has as much spiritual impact as the live lectures do. It is also a convenient way to study the Truth, as the viewings can be accommodated to everyone’s busy schedule. For further learning and deepening your understanding, we recommend you take the Buddha's Truth Exam and the Discipleship Course. The Buddha's Truth Exam is held annually in summer so that the members can check how much they have learned each year. The Discipleship Course is held throughout the year.
Study the Truth, Self-Reflection, Meditation and Prayer: the basic religious practices at home and in temples is indispensable in discovering one’s divine nature and in attaining spiritual perspective on life.
This is a vital part of the Happy Science activities. We invite our friends and family members to Sunday services, community meet-ups, and outside events. By sharing the teachings, we can help others learn about the Truth and join our activities. We can learn from each other and help lead each other to a happy motivational life. This is called “Offering the Laws,” which is one of the most precious practices of “love that gives.”
By providing spiritual teachings, we aim to promote righteousness and love to the world. By taking concrete actions such as through charity and social work, we also strive to change the society by leading it toward a positive direction. We have community meetings at the branches and temples, and missionary centers where groups of people are able to have discussions about the truth, provide study hours, and taking place in missionary activities together.
At the branches and temples, people from different age groups get together and become “Dharma Friends” by sharing the same faith and participating in activities together. There are groups of working women and mothers, business persons, mothers and children, seniors, youth, students and more.
Happiness Planting is a precious aspect of Happy Science as part of our spiritual growth. It is the act of offering a financial donation that supports our activities and contributes to the happiness of others. It is not the amount that matters, but it is our attitude, purity of the heart, and the feeling of gratitude that we express when making the offering. It does not necessarily have to be in a form of money, you can also offer your time, your talents, your experience, or places where activities can be held. You can plant seeds of happiness for the next generation, and practice “love that gives without expecting anything in return.” By regularly practicing happiness planting, not only do you contribute to creating more prosperity in this world, but store spiritual wealth and virtue for when you return back to Heaven. Let us all aim to become angels of wealth, and place steady efforts in making our ideals into reality.
Visit Our Temples
Happy Science Shojas, branches and temples, and missionary centers are the “town square of the soul” in your community, like a lighthouse shining heaven's light to the surrounding area. Not only the members but the non-members are also welcome at any time to visit to read the books, watch the video lectures, practice meditation, attend prayer services, or just to have an uplifting chat with Dharma friends. It is your spiritual home where you can come to seek advice to any life problem, and to re-energize yourself with heavenly light. Everyone is welcome.
Kigans (Ritual Prayers)
Ritual Prayers (Kigans) are sacred ceremonial prayers performed at branches and temples, and the Shojas. They are special opportunities to directly relay pledges to the Heaven to do your best, and ask for their light and guidance in achieving your goals and aspirations. There are various types of Ritual Prayers available, whether it would be about succeeding in life, happiness at home, or recovering from an illness. If you are selfless and you are praying to be able to contribute to the world through your happiness and success, your prayers will surely reach the heavenly Realm, and a guiding light will shine down on you.
Conducted Ritual Prayers: “Prayer for Peace at Home,” “Prayer to Seal Evil Spirits,” “Prayer for Success in Business,” “Prayer for Multiplying Happiness and Virtue,” “Prayer to Develop Our Destiny,” “Prayer to Enhance Academic Ability,” “Initiation to Purify Your Past,” etc.
Local seminars are also held at Happy Science branches, temples, missionary centers, or public venues. Seminars are a great opportunity to see your mind in the light of Truth and gain wisdom that will help you find true happiness, and to meet similar “Truth seekers” in your local area. There are many varied selections of the koan seminars you can take at your branch, temple or the Shoja. Koan is a short phrase of enlightenment given by Master Ryuho Okawa that will assist you in solving your problems and in obtaining wisdom to succeed in life through self-reflection and meditation.
Conducted Seminars: “Seminar on the Eightfold Path,” “Meditation for Harmony with Human Relationships,” “Meditation to Attract Infinite Wealth,” “Seminar on Becoming Free from Fear,” “Seminar on the Basics of Loving Yourself,” etc.
Our Celebration Days
At Happy Science, there are religious celebrations held throughout the year. On each celebration day, we offer gratitude and a pledge. Each ceremony services are conducted at branches and temples around the world, and it is available for everyone to attend. You can attend these services to offer your gratitude and deepen your faith to the Lord El Cantare.
The Two Most Important Celebrations at Happy Science
July 7th Celebration of the Lord’s Descent (Goseitansai)
We celebrate Lord El Cantare’s decent to Earth as Master Ryuho Okawa who brings happiness to all humankind
(Anyone can participate in this celebration by going to the main venue, temple and shoja.)
Master Ryuho Okawa was born in Tokushima, Japan on July 7th, 1956 at 7:07 am. He is the core consciousness of El Cantare, the God of the Earth, and is now revealing the Universal Truth to guide people to true happiness. The name El Cantare means, “the beautiful land of light, Earth,” and this is the first time in history that the name of the God of all gods is revealed. Under El Cantare, the age of salvation has finally come and we celebrate this phenomenal moment with gratitude, joy, and hope for the future at main venue, temple, and shoja.
December El Cantare Celebration
We give our appreciation for Lord El Cantare’s guidance throughout the year and dedicate our pledge for the upcoming year
(Anyone can participate in this celebration by going to the main venue, temple and shoja.)
This is once a year celebration of Lord El Cantare, the God of the Earth or the Supreme God, who is known as ‘Elohim’ in the Old Testament of the Bible, Jesus whom he called “My Father” or “Eternal Buddha” in Buddhism is held since 1991. At the celebration, we give sincere gratitude to Lord El Cantare for his infinite love and make our pledge to create Buddha-land Utopia on Earth. People can participate in this celebration by going to the main venue, branch or temple in December.
Religious Celebration and Commemoration at Happy Science
(Anyone can participate in this celebration by going to our temples and shojas.)
March 23rd The Day of the Great Enlightenment
Master Ryuho Okawa attained Great Enlightenment on March 23rd, 1981. Master’s Great Enlightenment began from the moment when Master Okawa received a clear message from the high spirit world. This was the moment of Master’s spiritual awakening, “the Great Enlightenment,” where Master awakened to the True mission to save all humankind and said it is “The First Death” in a spiritual meaning. Although the spiritual communication with the heavenly world continued while he was working as the trading company, Master repeatedly and repeatedly investigated the spiritual world until he was firmly convinced and was ready to accept everything in full scale. To celebrate this miraculous day of the commemoration for humankind, the ceremony is held at temple or shoja on this day of each year. Anyone can attend and offer gratitude to Lord El Cantare.
December 8th Commemoration for the Day of Conquering the Devils and Attaining Enlightenment
This is the day when Master Ryuho Okawa conquered the devils and established indomitable enlightenment to fulfill the great mission as Buddha. This took place at a dormitory in the city of Nagoya. (currently a facility of Happy Science, Nagoya Commemoration Hall). Master Okawa enlightened to renounced his secular career completely to establish Happy Science from scratch. The next year in July, Master had left the trading company. (cf. “The Second Death” in a spiritual meaning.) This meant to “cut the last attachment and stand up alone as a religious leader.” Since devils brought all their powers to seduce and hinder Master Okawa from preaching the Truth to save all humanity, Master had fought and won against the fierce battles between them. Without Master Okawa conquering the devils and attaining enlightenment, and the indomitable resolve, Lord El Cantare would not have revealed and preached the teachings and would not have turned the wheel of Truth. The actual story behind this is written in the Kyouten, “Twiceborn.”, or in the film “Twiceborn (2020)”. On this day, we dedicate and give our determination to move forward, hold up the light strongly and never lose the “fight against evil”. The ceremony is held at temple and shoja for anyone to attend.
October 6th Commemoration of the Founding of Happy Science
On October 6th, 1986, Master Ryuho Okawa established Happy Science and opened its first office in Suginami Ward, Tokyo. This 10 square meter room was the starting point of Happy Science. The three significance points of having this organization as its base is that we can save humanity through spreading the Teachings of Master Okawa, practice the Teachings to amplify the total happiness in the world, and lastly, to hand the Teachings down to future generations. For the purpose of Happy Science, Master said, Happy Science aims the happiness as a human and explore and seek everlasting utopia, which includes happiness for your own and happiness for the society as a whole, meaning, happiness for the public as a whole.” On this day, we hold a ceremony at temple and shoja to give our utmost gratitude for the Lord’s great mercy and a pledge to make efforts to continue to spread the happiness.
November 23rd Celebration of the First Turning of the Wheel of Truth
On November 23rd, 1986, Master Ryuho Okawa gave his first lecture as a religious leader at Nippori Shuhan Kaikan（currently called Happy Science Commemoration Hall of the First Turning of the Wheel of Truth）in Tokyo, Japan. This was Master Okawa’s Very First Lecture that signified the turning of the wheel of Truth. In the lecture, Master revealed to the public of his great enlightenment and his mission. The wheel of Truth represents the wheel of a tank in the age of Shakyamuni Buddha, and through the power of the Law, it crushes the evil in this world. This is the day when we strongly pledge and reconfirm our missionary work. The ceremony is held at temple and shoja and anyone who wants to give gratitude can attend.
March 7th The Day of Our Establishment as a Religious Organization
On March 7th, 1991, Happy Science was incorporated as a religious organization in Japan. This is the day that the torch of the Eternal Law was lit. This means that Happy Science will continue to exist thousands of years and will not fade from this Earth. In other words, we have to deepen the understanding as a believer and renew our determination to protect and convey the light of the Truth to the world. Since the establishment as a religious organization, the public has accepted Happy Science as a religion and its missionary work has accelerated dramatically. Happy Science has become the largest religious organization in Japan, manifesting as a never-before-seen miracle in the religious world. In July 1991, Master Ryuho Okawa declared himself to be El Cantare in front of 50,000 core believers gathered at Tokyo Dome for the first Goseitansai, or the Celebration of the Lord's Descent and revealed the mission of El Cantare and Happy Science. We gather at temple or shoja on this day to dedicate our gratitude to the Lord and pledge to advance forward to spread this movement to the world.
May 14th to May 17th Celebration of Lord’s New Resurrection
May 14th, 2004 was the day Master Ryuho Okawa had miraculously revived himself from clinical death. We call this as “New Resurrection.” From this day on, it became a turning point of Master Okawa to start taking action as a Savior from Buddha. Because of this, Master understood the true meaning of “Today is my whole life” and “Die for the Truth.” (cf. “The Third Death” in a spiritual meaning.) After this moment, Master renewed his mission and started missionary tours in Japan and overseas. Along with that, Master laid the foundation for ideal politics, education and entertainment through establishing Happiness Realization Party, Happy Science Academy (Nasu and Kansai Campus), Happy Science University, New Star Production, and ARI Production. In the meantime, numerous miraculous phenomena such as healings of illnesses are happening one after another after the new resurrection. In this ceremony, we pray for our own “resurrection of life and soul” and renew our pledge for world missionary work to “resurrect as a true religion.” We are also allowed to take a special kigan, “Prayer for New Resurrection” to follow Master’s resurrection and realize our own resurrection in life.
November 18th Celebration of the First Turning of the Wheel of Truth Overseas
On November 18th, 2007, Master Ryuho Okawa gave his first official lecture overseas entitled, “Be Positive,” in Hawaii. This was the kick start of Master Okawa’s world missionary tour. It means that The Full-Scale Start of Missionary Work Overseas as a World Religion. On this day, members give gratitude to the Lord and pledge themselves to spread God’s Truth, God’s Justice and God’s Love, so everyone in the world has a chance to grab their mission and encounter their true Father, Lord El Cantare. Master has visited all five continents and gave English lectures in 16 countries at 28 places to date. We celebrate this day at temple and shoja by giving gratitude and pledge as a whole to spread the Truth to as many people around the world.
Other Ceremonies at Happy Science
January New Years Celebration
A ceremony service conducted at the temples around the world to start the new year fresh with full of light. There are special prayers that are offered, and you can also offer your “New Year’s Pledge.”
May Hermes Celebration Ceremony
This is a celebration ceremony to deepen our gratitude toward the light of love and progress given from Hermes the God of love, progress and prosperity, the branch spirit of Lord El Cantare, and pledge to practice love of angels like the clear wind and to establish Utopia on earth. We pledge to become an “active person” to push forward our missionary work and to light a flame of the candle in each people’s mind (Buddha Nature), so that we can increase numbers of people who can be aware of Lord’s love.
International retreats are the special seminars held several times a year at the Happy Science Shoja (main temple) in Japan. These seminars are great opportunities to meet people from all over the world who walk on the same spiritual path, as well as to reflect on our mind in the light of the Truth, to re-energize ourselves in a heavenly environment, and to gain wisdom that help us discover true happiness. Retreats in other languages are also held separately upon request from individual temples throughout the world.