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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

Reply to Myoho Bikuni Gozen
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

Reply to Myoho Bikuni Gozen


I have received your gift of a light summer
robe.


You are a woman, and your husband has
passed away, leaving you behind. You are
separated from your relatives, and your one
or two daughters are undependable and
provide you with little support. Moreover, you
are a woman who has been hated by others
on account of this teaching. Thus you are like
Bodhisattva Fukyo.


The Buddha's aunt, the nun Mahaprajapati,
was also a woman. Nevertheless, she
attained the state of arhat and gained a name
as a shomon disciple. Thus she entered the
path by which Buddhahood can never be
attained. She transformed her woman's
appearance [and became a nun],
abandoning her status as royal consort, and
honored the exhortations of the Buddha. For
more than forty years, she upheld the five
hundred precepts. By day she waited by the
roadside [begging for alms], and by night she
sat beneath a tree [in meditation], aspiring to
salvation in her life to come. Yet she was
denied the road that leads to Buddhahood,
and her name was bruited about as someone
who would never become a Buddha - a
mortifying thing indeed. Being a woman, she
had, whether with or without cause, been the
subject of unsavory rumors throughout long
kalpas past, which surely caused her shame
and vexation. Loathing her [female] body, she
clad herself in rags and became a nun,
thinking that in this way she had divorced
herself from such sorrows. But on the
contrary, she learned that, having become a
person of the two vehicles, she was never to
attain Buddhahood. How wretched she must
have felt! By means of the Lotus Sutra,
however, she was absolved from the
displeasure of the Buddhas of the three
existences and was able to become a
Buddha called Beheld with Joy by All Sentient
Beings. How happy, how joyful she must
have been! Thus, no matter what might
happen, were it for the sake of the Lotus
Sutra, she would surely never turn away.


Then the Buddha in a loud voice addressed
the four categories of Buddhists at large,
saying, "Who can broadly preach the Lotus
Sutra in this saha world?" When everyone
responded with the thought, "I will, I will!" the
Buddha fully three times admonished that
nuns and laywomen desirous of repaying
their debt to all the Buddhas should
persevere through any difficulty to spread the
Lotus Sutra in this saha world after his
passing. But they did not pay attention, and
vowed instead "to declare this sutra widely in
the lands of the other directions." Thus these
nuns did not clearly understand the Buddha's
intent. How exasperated he must have been!
Thereupon the Buddha turned aside and
instead looked earnestly to the eighty myriad
of millions of nayutas of bodhisattvas.


I had therefore thought that, although women
might tarnish their names and throw away
their lives for the sake of insignificant matters,
they were weak in pursuing the path of
Buddhahood. But now you, born a woman in
the evil world of the latter age, have been
reviled, struck and persecuted by the barbaric
inhabitants of these islands [of Japan], who
are so ignorant of reason, and have endured
it all to propagate the Lotus Sutra. The
Buddha on Eagle Peak surely perceives that
you far surpass that nun [Mahaprajapati]. The
name of that nun [when she attained
Buddhahood], the Buddha Beheld with Joy by
All Sentient Beings, refers to none other; it
belongs to you, Myoho-ama Gozen of the
present time.


A person who becomes a king is reputed to
be one who in both past and present has
observed the ten good precepts. Though the
names of individual rulers change, the lion
throne they sit upon is only one. Likewise, this
name [Beheld with Joy by All Sentient Beings]
is the same for you both.


Even a nun who went against the Buddha's
words received the name Buddha Beheld
with Joy by All Sentient Beings. You have not
deviated from the Buddha's words; you are a
nun who, right here in the saha world, has
lost her good name and been willing to
discard her life [for the sake of the Lotus
Sutra]. The Buddha did not abandon the nun,
his foster mother. Were he to abandon you
because you are no relation to him, he would
be a biased Buddha indeed. But how could
that ever be? Moreover, the sutra states,
"The living beings in it [the threefold world]
are all my children." If we go by this sutra
passage, then you are the Buddha's
daughter, while that other nun was merely his
foster mother. If the Buddha did not abandon
his foster mother, then how could he intend to
abandon his own daughter? Please
understand this thoroughly. Before this letter
becomes too involved, I will stop here.


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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