"Rev Nio is the Martin Luther of Buddhism - a reformer and revolutionary" -Chaplain S. Johnson, Yale & GW Universities
With the Canadian Minister of Finance.
Nio is the only Buddhist leader who has ministered to Buddhists from every single Buddhist nation including Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Burma, Laos, Mongolia, Vietnam et all. Nio's lineage has won a gold medal from the President of India & has been authenticated as the oldest Buddhist lineage in the world. Nio's family temples have been awarded the highest honor as "Heritage Temples of National Importance" and are protected by the Indian Army and his family alter of Kannon has been placed in the Indian Museum. Nio is also the only Indian to compile an Illustrated Buddhist bible citing all "yanas".
Rev. Nio has often called himself nothing but a "servant of Buddha and humanity" and an "ant standing on the shoulder of giants". However, Chaplain Johnson of Yale University and now George Washington dubs Nio the "Martin Luther of Buddhism - a reformer and a revolutionary" and the Indian Express cited Nio as "the foremost Buddhist expert in the world and the only one from the highest lineage of the Buddha and founders of all Buddhist traditions including Bodhidharma - the Patron Saint of the Shaolin and Samurai". Nio's lineage is the only one registered with the Govt. of India as the oldest Buddhist lineage in the world and he is viewed as the "Custodian of the Buddha" and Head Abbot. Furthermore, dozens of temples built by Nio's family have been declared Heritage Temples of National Importance by the Government of India and a research project on his lineage has won an award from the President. Nio is also the only expert in the world who can recite from the Lotus Sutra and Amida Sutra in Sanskrit from his own memory and completed his arduous training as a Buddhist priest and meditation expert over many years in the same historic sites and caves used by the Buddha in India including Vulture Peak, Nalanda, Mahabodhi, Kusinagar, Sarnath and Lumbini in Nepal. Nio is also the only non-Japanese Buddhist abbot to head a landmark temple in Kamakura - the most spiritually important city of Japan and has conducted prayer and meditation sessions in many of the holy sites of Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Tokyo, Nagano and even the Koya-san mountains. In addition, Nio has also conducted prayer and meditation sessions in major temples of China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Nepal and even Sri Lanka and has been cited in a UN report as an "authentic voice for the people of Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea that still follow the spiritual traditions of his ancestors".
(Nio can be seen in Nalanda where he became the first Buddhist leader in close to a 1000 years to begin teaching the Lotus and Amida Sutras in Sanskrit and Hindi to Brahmins and laity alike).
Nio has represented Buddhism at many global forums including the World Parliament of Religions and was dubbed the "most sought after chaplain" for Olympians by the National Post and Vancouver Sun. Nio has also represented Buddhism at the International Buddhist Association of America in Washington DC, the NAIN Conference and Harmony in Action Conference at the University of Toronto, the World Federation of Buddhist Culture and Bodhidharma in New Delhi, the Canadian Multifaith Federation, the Toronto Area Interfaith Council, Canada's Proclamation of Vesak at Queen's Park, Prayer for Peace Initiatives by Cardinal Collins and the CIC with the Canada Council of Churches - the largest ecumenical association in North America. In addition, Nio became the first Buddhist teacher in nearly 1000 years to begin teaching the Lotus and Amida Sutras in Sanskrit and Hindi in the holiest Buddhist site of Nalanda and Vulture Peak in India. In fact, Nio's lineage was based on "sutrayana" which means they authored the scriptures that form the basis of all Buddhist traditions. In their honor Nio is personally working on a ground-breaking translation of the most important Buddhist texts including the Lotus and Amida Sutras to encourage people to bring back a sense of authenticity to Buddhism and a firm structure for future generations.
In order to keep alive the legacy of his lineage that included the likes of Nagarjuna - the first patriarch of Jodo Shin Shu, Kumarajiva the author of the iconic Lotus Sutra that inspired Tendai Shu & Nichiren Shu, Bodhisena - the inaugurator of Todaiji - the world's largest Buddhist temple in Nara and originator of Japanese Kathakan alphabet and Bodhidharma the founder of Zen Buddhism and patron saint of the Samurai, Nio presents the Dharma in a cool new way for today's demographics and generations. Nio's grand-father and great grand-father were patrons of the Japanese Buddhist Missionaries that came to India during the fight for Independence and they taught Rev. Nio the power of Sanskrit chanting. Nio's expertise in Indo-Japanese Buddhism is a way to thank the Japanese for keeping the heritage of India's Golden Age alive and for re-introducing the Lotus Sutra in the land of its birth. Mahatma Gandhi gave the highest position in his prayers to the Lotus Sutra taught by a Nichiren monk and India's coolest war-hero Netaji's ashes are kept in a Nichiren Temple. The Emblem of India is also is an homage to the belief that "all gods of all directions bow in worship to Shakya the Lion" and India's eminent sages Vivekananda and Tagore begged future generations to "produce but one person who could restore our Buddhist heritage and make it a mission in life". Rev. Nio is answering their call and ensuring that his ancestors who died in Nalanda during the Buddhist holocaust that was the worst genocide in world history did not die in vain.
Nio's work includes promoting Japanese art and culture in a myriad of creative ways. He also follows the example of Japan's greatest monks from Shotoku & Shinran to Sesshu and Samurai legend Musashi by using different Dharma names based on what is easy for different people to pronounce - be it Acharya or Shonin or Nio or just Zen or Zenji (Ji is a title given by the Govt of India that also reflects the Bodhisattva Vow as well as a tribute to Shoten Zenjin which means the protective forces of the universe.). Nio thus practices "anatman" or egolessness by never making it about his "image" - but about his "message" instead.