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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

The Universal Salty Taste

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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 Universal Salty Taste


- Doitsu Kanmi Gosho -

 

There are six kinds of flavors: The first is subtle, the second is salty, the third is pungent, the fourth is sour, the fifth is sweet and the sixth is bitter. Even if you prepare a sumptuous feast of a hundred different dishes, it will not be fit for a great king's feast if it lacks the single flavor of salt. Even the rarest delicacies of all the lands and seas will taste insipid without salt.


The ocean has eight mysterious qualities. First, the ocean becomes gradually deeper and deeper. Second, its bottom is too deep to fathom. Third, its salty taste is identical everywhere. Fourth, its tides rise and fall regularly. Fifth, it houses various treasures. Sixth, living beings of great stature reside in it. Seventh, the ocean rids itself of corpses. Eighth, though it absorbs all rivers and heavy rainfalls, its volume neither increases nor decreases.


The first quality, "the ocean becomes gradually deeper and deeper," means figuratively that the Lotus Sutra gradually leads all people, from common mortals who lack understanding to sages who have understanding, to attain the way of Buddhahood. "Its bottom is too deep to fathom" indicates that the realm of the Lotus Sutra can be understood and shared only between Buddhas; bodhisattvas at the stage of togaku or below cannot possibly realize it. As for the quality, "its salty taste is identical everywhere": All the various rivers, which contain no salt, are comparable to the sutras other than the Lotus Sutra, which cannot enable anyone to attain enlightenment. Just as the water of all rivers eventually flows into the ocean and becomes salty, so all the people of different capacities instructed through the various provisional teachings are eventually enabled to attain the path of buddhahood by taking faith in the Lotus Sutra. "Its tides rise and fall regularly" indicates that those who embrace the Mystic Law will surely attain the stage of non-regression, even if they should lose their lives. "It houses various treasures" means that the practices and virtuous deeds of all Buddhas and bodhisattvas, as well as the benefits of the paramitas, are all contained within the Mystic Law. As for the quality, "living beings of great stature reside in it," Buddhas and bodhisattvas are here referred to as "living beings of great stature," because they possess great wisdom. The great stature, the great aspiring mind, the great extraordinary features, the great evil-conquering forces, the great preaching, the great authority, the great occult powers, the great compassion of these Buddhas and bodhisattvas--all originate from the Lotus Sutra. "The ocean rids itself of corpses" means that through the Lotus Sutra one can free himself for all eternity from the offense of slandering the Law or of having incorrigible disbelief. The eighth quality, "its volume neither increases nor decreases," means that the heart of the Lotus Sutra is the teaching that all people equally possess the Buddha nature.


The salty water in a tub or jar of pickled vines ebbs and flows in exact accordance with the tides of the ocean. A votary of the Lotus Sutra who is subjected to imprisonment is like the salt in a tub or jar, while Shakyamuni Buddha who freed himself from the burning house is like the salt of the ocean. To imprison a votary of the Lotus Sutra is to imprison Shakyamuni Buddha himself. How astonished Bonten, Taishaku and the Four Heavenly Kings must be to witness it! The Ten Goddesses pledged to punish anyone who persecutes a votary by splitting his head into seven pieces. When will this vow be fulfilled, if not now?


Virulent sores broke out suddenly all over the body of King Ajatashatru, who had imprisoned King Bimbisara. How can one who imprisons a votary of the Lotus Sutra avoid the suffering of breaking out in sores all over his body?


Nichiren


 

  

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]

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