Should 'the study of' substitute for 'studying'?

#1

Nichiren instructs us to exert our utmost efforts in our Buddhist practice, based on faith and studying the doctrines of true Buddhism.

  1. Is the comma before ‘based’ needed?
  2. Should ‘the study of’ substitute for ‘studying’?

Thanks.

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#2

I would keep the comma and add ‘having’ for better balance:

Nichiren instructs us to exert our utmost efforts in our Buddhist practice, based on having faith and studying the doctrines of true Buddhism.

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#3

It is not absolutely clear what the two participles relate back to. To make it obvious that they refer to ‘practice, I would keep the comma and follow it with ‘which is’.

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#4

Agreeing to Alan’s suggestion, I’d recast the sentence this way rather than substitute the study of:

Nichiren instructs us to exert our utmost efforts in our Buddhist practice, which is based on the faith in and the knowledge of the doctrines of true Buddhism.

Do I sound sensible?

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