Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

The Wealthy Man Sudatta

Home
The True Entity of Life
The One Essential Phrase
The Essence of the Juryo Chapter
The True Object of Worship
The Selection of the Time
The Problem to Be Pondered Night and Day
Reply to the Mother of Lord Ueno
The Bodies and Minds of Ordinary Beings
Teaching, Practice, and Proof
On Omens
On Persecutions Befalling the Buddha
The Votary of the Lotus Sutra Will Meet Persecution
Thus I Heard
The Izu Exile
The Origin of the Urabon
The Royal Palace
The Meaning of Faith
The Third Day of the New Year
Reply to the Followers
The Causal Law of Life
The Swords of Good and Evil
The Teaching for the Latter Day
The Unmatched Fortune of the Law
Easy Delivery of a Fortune Child
Letter to Konichi-bo
Letter to Misawa
An Outline of the Zokurui and Other Chapters
Consecrating an Image of Shakyamuni Buddha Made by Shijo Kingo
Curing Karmic Disease
Admonitions Against Slander
Bestowal of the Mandala of the Mystic Law
The Receipt of New Fiefs
The Unity of Husband and Wife
Letter to Ko-no-ama Gozen
Winter Always Turns to Spring
On Filial and Unfilial Conduct
A Father Takes Faith
A Warning against Begrudging One's Fief
The Mongol Envoys
Reply to Tokimitsu
Reply to Myoho Bikuni Gozen
Beneficial Medicine for All Ills
A Sage Perceives the Three Existences of Life
The Proof of the Lotus Sutra
Letter to Jakunichi-bo
Aspiration for the Buddha Land
Reply to Lord Shijo Kingo
The Universal Salty Taste
Good Fortune in This Life
The Wealthy Man Sudatta
Letter to Gijo-bo
New Year's Gosho
Persecution at Tatsunokuchi
Easy Delivery of a Fortune Child
Reply to Lord Matsuno's Wife
The Birth of Tsukimaro
Banishment to Sado
Great Evil and Great Good
Happiness In This World
Letter from Echi
Letter to Endo Saemon-no-jo
Letter to Priest Nichiro in Prison
On Flowers and Seeds
On Itai Doshin
Postscript to the Rissho Ankoku Ron
Reply to a Believer
Reply to Ko Nyudo
Reply to Lady Onichi-nyo
Reply to Lord Matsuno
Rissho Ankoku Ron
The Difficulty of Sustaining Faith
The Offering of a Summer Robe
The Property of Rice
The Wonderful Means of Surmounting Obstacles
Unseen Virtue and Visible Reward
Upholding Faith in the Gohonzon
The Drum at the Gate of Thunder

The Wealthy Man Sudatta


I have received your offering of one kan of coins. Because you have demonstrated such sincerity, I am telling you the following. You must not think I am a greedy priest.


There is a way to become a Buddha easily, and I will teach it to you. To teach another something is like oiling the wheels of a heavy cart so that they will turn, or like floating a boat upon the water so that it may move ahead without difficulty. The way to become a Buddha easily is nothing extraordinary. It is, for example, to give water to a thirsty person in time of drought or to provide fire for someone freezing in the cold. Or again, it is to give another something irreplaceable: when one's own life is about to be extinguished from want of it, one gives it as alms to another person.


There was once a ruler called King Konjiki. His country was for twelve years besieged by a great drought, and countless numbers of people died of starvation. In the rivers, corpses piled up like bridges, and on land, skeletons accumulated like burial mounds. At that time, King Konjiki conceived a great aspiration for enlightenment [in order to save the people] and distributed a great quantity of alms. He gave away everything he could, until a mere five measures of rice remained in his storehouse. When his ministers informed him that this would feed him for a single day, the great king took the five measures of rice and to each of his starving subjects he gave one grain, two grains, three grains, or four grains, distributing them in this manner to all. Then he faced the heavens and cried out that he would die of starvation in the people's place, taking the pain of their hunger and thirst upon himself. Heaven heard him and instantly sent down the sweet rain of immortality. When this rain touched the bodies or fell upon the faces of the people, their hunger was satisfied, and in the space of a moment, all the inhabitants of the country were revived.


In India there was a person called Sudatta. Seven times he was reduced to poverty, and seven times he became a wealthy man. During his last period of destitution, the people [of the city] had all fled or perished until only he and his wife remained. They had just five measures of rice, enough to last them for five days. At that time, five people - Mahakashyapa, Shariputra, Ananda, Rahula and Shakyamuni Buddha - came by turns to beg for alms and were given the five measures of rice. From that day on, Sudatta became the wealthiest man in all of India and built the Jetavana Monastery. You should understand all similar situations from these examples.


You already resemble the votary of the Lotus Sutra, just as a monkey resembles a man or as a rice cake resembles the moon. Because you so earnestly protected the people of Atsuhara, the people of this country consider you to be traitor, like Masakado of the Shohei era (931-938) or Sadato of the Tengi era (1053-1058). This is solely because you have committed your life to the Lotus Sutra. Heaven in no way regards you as a man who has betrayed his lord. Moreover, your small village has been heavily taxed and its people have repeatedly been put to forced labor, until you yourself have no horse to ride, and your wife and children lack for clothing. Yet despite your own poverty, you felt sympathy for the votary of the Lotus Sutra, thinking that he must be beleaguered by snow in the depths of the mountains and in want of food. So you have sent me one kan of coins. Your offering is like that of the poor woman who gave to a beggar the single cloak that she and her husband shared, or like that of Rida who gave the millet in his jar to a pratyekabuddha. How admirable! I will tell you more later in detail.


With my deep respect,

Nichiren


The twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month in the third year of Koan (1280)

 

  

Home
A Comparison of the Lotus Sutra and Other Sutras
A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering
Earthly Desires Are Enlightenment
Clear Sake Gosho
Letter to Niike
Letter to Domyo Zemmon
Letter to Akimoto
Letter from Sado
Reply to Nichigon-ama
Roots of Good Fortune
Reply to Jibu-bo
No Safety in the Threefold World - Nichiren Daishounin
Letter to Horen - Nichiren Daishounin
King Rinda - Nichiren Daishounin
Jozo and Jogen - Nichiren Daishounin
Bodhisattva Hachiman - Nichiren Daishounin
On Prayer - Nichiren Daishounin
The Opening of the Eyes Part I
The Opening of the Eyes Part II
Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man
Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man Part II
Establishment of the Legitimate Teaching for the Protection of the Country
How Those Initially Aspiring to the Way Can Attain Buddhahood Through the Lotus Sutra
The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei
The Entity of the Mystic Law
The Pure and Far-reaching Voice
Reply to Takahashi Nyudo
The Teaching, Capacity, Time, and Country
The Doctrine of Attaining Buddhahood in One's Present Form
Encouragement to a Sick Person
The Essence of the Yakuo Chapter
The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra
The Supreme Leader of the World
The Treasure of a Filial Child
The Supremacy of the Law
Reply to Nii-ama
The Workings of Bonten and Taishaku
The Story of Ohashi no Taro
The Teaching in Accordance with the Buddha's Own Mind
The Treatment of Illness and the Points of Difference between Mahayana and Hinayana and Provisional
Repaying Debts of Gratitude
On Practicing the Buddha's Teachings
On the Urabon
Letter to the Priests of Seicho-ji
Letter to Nichimyo Shonin
Letter to Shomitsu-bo
Questions and Answers on Embracing the Lotus Sutra
Reply to Sairen-bo
Rationale for Submitting the Rissho Ankoku Ron
Persecution by Sword and Staff
Rebuking Slander of the Law and Eradicating Sins
Recitation of the Hoben and Juryo Chapters
Reply to Lord Hakiri Saburo
Reply to Yasaburo
Letter to Ichinosawa Nyudo
Letter to Myomitsu Shonin
Reply to Hoshina Goro Taro
Wu-lung and I-lung
White Horses and White Swans
The Sutra of True Requital
The Kalpa of Decrease
The Farther the Source, the Longer the Stream
The Third Doctrine
The One-eyed Turtle and the Floating Sandalwood Log
Letter to Nakaoki Nyudo
General Stone Tiger
The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life
Lessening the Karmic Retribution
Letter to the Brothers
Hell is the Land of Tranquil Delight
On Prolonging Life
On the Buddha's Behavior
On the Buddha's Prophecy
On the Treasure Tower
Propagation by the Wise
The Embankments of Faith
The Dragon Gate
Strategy of the Lotus Sutra
Reply to Kyo-o
The Person and the Law
The One Essential Phrase
The Gift of Rice
The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon
Letter of Petition from Yorimoto
Introduction and Preface to the Ongi Kuden: Namu Myoho Renge Kyo [Devotion to the Lotus Sutra]
Muryogi Sutra [Sutra of Innumerable Meanings]
Chapter 3: Simile and Parable [Hiyu]
Chapter 4: Faith and Understanding [Shinge]
Chapter 6: Prediction [Juki]
Chapter 7: Phantom City [Kejoyu]
Chapter 8: Prophecy of Enlightenment for Five Hundred Disciples [Gohyaku Deshi Juki]

Home
http://gokase.tripod.com/
http://gokase.tripod.com/