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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

Beneficial Medicine for All Ills
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

Beneficial Medicine for All Ills

 

I have received your gift of two baskets of leached persimmons and a basket of eggplants. About the lay priest your husband's illness: in China there were physicians called Huang Ti and Pien Ch'ueh, and in India there were the doctors Jisui and Jivaka. These men were each the treasures of their age and teachers to the physicians of later times. Yet they could not even begin to compare to the person called the Buddha, a physician without peer. This Buddha revealed the medicine of immortality: the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. Moreover, he taught that these five characters are "beneficial medicine for the illnesses of all the people of Jambudvipa."

 

Your husband is a person of Japan, which is included within Jambudvipa, and now he suffers from bodily illness. Yet the sutra passage clearly refers to beneficial medicine for all ills. In addition, this sutra of the Lotus is the greatest of all medicines. A wicked ruler called King Virudhaka killed more than five hundred women of the Buddha's clan, whereupon the Buddha sent his disciple Ananda to Eagle Peak to obtain the blue lotus flower. When he touched it to the bodies of the women, they returned to life and after a week were reborn in the Trayastrimsha Heaven. Because the flower called the lotus is endowed with such splendid virtue, the Buddha likened it to the Mystic Law.

 

A person's death does not necessarily come about through illness. In our own times, the people of Iki and Tsushima, though not suffering from illness, were all slaughtered by the Mongols in a single stroke. Likewise, illness does not necessarily result in death. Now, this illness of your husband's may be due to the Buddha's design, for the Vimalakirti and Nirvana sutras both speak of sick people attaining Buddhahood. From illness arises the mind that seeks the Way.

 

Among all diseases, the five cardinal sins, the incorrigible disbelief of the icchantika and slander of the Law are the grave ailments that especially pained the Buddha. The people of Japan today, without a single exception, are afflicted with the most serious of all diseases, the grave illness of major slander. I refer to the followers of the Zen, Nembutsu and Ritsu sects, and to the Shingon teachers. Precisely because their ailment is so serious, they neither recognize it themselves nor are others aware of it. And because this illness grows worse, warriors from throughout the four seas will attack at any moment, and the ruler, his ministers and the common people will all be destroyed. To behold this with one's very eyes is indeed a painful thing.

 

In his present life, the lay priest, your husband has not appeared to have had especially strong faith in the Lotus Sutra. But now that the forces of karma accumulated in the past have caused him to suffer this long illness, he seeks the Way day and night without cease. Whatever minor offenses he may have committed in this lifetime must surely have already been eradicated, and by virtue of his dedication to the Lotus Sutra, the great evil of [his past] slander will also be dispelled. Were he to go right now to Eagle Peak, he would feel as delighted as if the sun had come out and illuminated all the ten directions; and he would find himself rejoicing, wondering how an early death could be so happy a thing. No matter what might befall him on the road between this life and the next, he should declare himself to be a disciple of Nichiren. To give an analogy: though Japan is a small country, if one should but announce that he is a vassal of the lord of Sagami, he will command unquestioning awe. I, Nichiren, am the most recalcitrant priest in Japan, but with respect to my faith in the Lotus Sutra, I am the foremost sage in the entire world. My name has reached the pure lands of the ten directions, and heaven and earth surely know of it. If your husband declares that he is Nichiren's disciple, no evil demon can possibly claim ignorance of the name.

 

I have no words to express my thanks to you for your sincerity in sending offerings on many occasions.

 

With my deep respect.

Monkeys rely on trees, and fish depend on water. You, a woman, rely upon your husband. Being loath to part from him, you have shaved off your hair and dyed the sleeves of your robe black. How could the Buddhas of the ten directions not have pity upon you? Nor could the Lotus Sutra ever abandon you. Believing this, you must entrust yourself to it.

 

Nichiren

The sixteenth day of the eighth month

  

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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