Good Fortune in This Life
At the beginning of spring, I received
your New Year's greetings from your messenger. I also send you my heartfelt best wishes. I have received your various gifts,
including seventy rice cakes, a bamboo container of sake, a horseload of potatoes, one paper sack of dried seaweed, two bundles
of radishes and seven yams. These offerings demonstrate your profound sincerity.
The eighth volume of the Lotus Sutra
reads, "His wishes shall not be in vain, and he will receive his reward of good fortune in his present life." It also states,
"Truly he will have manifest reward in his present life." The Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai says, "The Son of Heaven utters not
a single word in vain," and "The words of the Dharma King contain no falsehood." A wise ruler will never lie, even if it should
bring about his ruin. How much less would Shakyamuni Buddha ever speak falsely! When he was King Fumyo [in a previous existence],
he returned to the palace of King Hanzoku [to be executed], because he upheld the precept against lying. When he met King
Kali [in another past existence], he declared that those people who speak but little of the truth or who tell great lies will
fall into hell. Moreover, the Lotus Sutra is the sutra in which the Buddha himself declares, "[The World-Honored One has long
expounded his doctrines and] now must reveal the truth," and, in addition, it was expounded at the assembly where Taho Buddha
and all the other Buddhas of the ten directions had gathered like the sun, the moon, and the countless stars all ranged side
by side. If there should be any falsehood in the Lotus Sutra, what then can people believe in?
A person who offers even a flower
or stick of incense to so splendid a sutra has served ten billion Buddhas in his previous existences. Moreover, in the Latter
Day of the Law of Shakyamuni Buddha, when the world is in chaos and the ruler, his ministers and the common people all hate
the votary of the Lotus Sutra with one accord, so that he must live like a fish in a small pond in a time of drought or a
deer stalked by a throng of hunters, one who visits this votary will obtain far greater blessings than he would acquire by
serving the living Shakyamuni Buddha with his mind, mouth and body for the space of an entire kalpa. All this is clear from
the Buddha's golden words.
The sun is bright and the moon, luminous.
The words of the Lotus Sutra are also bright and luminous, luminous and bright, like the reflection of a person's face in
a polished mirror or the image of the moon on the surface of clear water. This being the case, could the Buddha's decree,
"He will receive his reward of good fortune in his present life," or his edict, "Truly he will have manifest reward in his
present life," possibly be false for you, Nanjo Shichiro Jiro, alone? The Buddha declared that even in an age when the sun
should rise in the west or even in a time when the moon should emerge from the ground, his words would never prove false.
Judging from this, there cannot be the least doubt that the spirit of your late father is now in the presence of Lord Shakyamuni,
and that you yourself will receive great blessings in this life. How wonderful, how splendid!
The nineteenth day of the first month
of the second year of Kenji (1276)