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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

A Sage Perceives the Three Existences of Life
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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

A Sage Perceives the Three Existences of Life


A sage is one who fully understands the three existences of life-past, present and future. The Three Sovereigns, the Five Emperors and the Three Sages referred to in Confucianism understood only the present; they knew neither the past nor the future. Brahmanists, however, were able to see eighty thousand kalpas into the past and the future, thus in a small way resembling sages. People of the two vehicles of Hinayana teachings were aware of the law of cause and effect working throughout the past, present and future. Hence they were superior to the Brahmanists.


The Hinayana bodhisattvas passed three asamkhya kalpas in their practice; the bodhisattvas of the connecting teaching did as many kalpas as there are dust particles; and the bodhisattvas of the specific teaching spent myriad kotis of kalpas attaining each of the many stages of practice.


In the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha described the period of sanzen-jintengo in the past. This teaching surpasses all the previous ones of his preaching life. Moreover, in the essential teaching of the sutra, the Buddha revealed the remote past of gohyaku-jintengo, all the kalpas since the distant past, as well as matters pertaining to countless kalpas in the future.


From the above it is clear that a thorough understanding of both the past and the future is intrinsic to the nature of a sage. Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, accurately predicted the near future, saying that he would enter nirvana in three months’ time. Can there then be any doubt about his prediction for the distant future, that the Lotus Sutra will spread abroad widely in the last five-hundred-year period after his passing! With such perception one can see the distant future by looking at what is close at hand. One can infer what will be from what exists in the present. This is the meaning of [the passage from the Lotus Sutra that says, "This reality consists of the appearance. . . and their consistency from beginning to end."


Who should be acknowledged as the votary of the Lotus Sutra in the last five-hundred-year period! I did not trust my own wisdom, but because the rebellion and invasion that I had predicted have occurred, I can now trust it. I do not declare this out of pride.


My disciples should know this: I, Nichiren, am the votary of the Lotus Sutra. Since I follow in the footsteps of Bodhisattva Fukyo, those who despise and slander me will have their heads broken into seven pieces, whereas those who believe in me will amass good fortune as high as Mount Sumeru.


Question: Why is it that those who slander you have not yet had their heads broken into seven pieces?


Answer: Since ancient times, of all those who slandered sages other than the Buddha, only one or two have suffered punishment by having their heads broken. The offense of defaming Nichiren is not by any means limited to only one or two persons. The entire populace of Japan have in fact [slandered Nichiren and] had their heads broken. What else do you think caused the great earthquake of the Shoka era and the huge comet of the Bun’ei era! I am the foremost sage in the entire land of Jambudvipa.


Nevertheless, all people, from the ruler on down to the common people, have despised and slandered me, attacked me with swords and staves, and even exiled me. That is why Bonten, Taishaku, the gods of the sun and moon, and the Four Heavenly Kings incited a neighboring country to punish our land. This is clearly described in the Daijuku and Ninno sutras, the Nirvana Sutra and the Lotus Sutra. No matter what prayers may be offered, if the people fail to heed me, this country will suffer calamities such as those that occurred on Iki and Tsushima.


My disciples, you should believe what I say and watch what happens. These things do not occur because I myself am respectworthy, but because the power of the Lotus Sutra is supreme. If I declare myself before the people, they will think that I am boastful, but if I humble myself before them, they will despise the sutra. The taller the pine tree, the longer the wisteria vine hanging from it. The deeper the source, the longer the stream. How fortunate, how joyful! In this impure land, I alone enjoy true happiness.

  

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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