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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

Reply to Tokimitsu
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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

Reply to Tokimitsu

I have received the horseload of polished rice and ginger that you sent me.

While he was still living a secular life, Aniruddha, the son of King Dronodana, was a descendant of the wheel-turning king who was the true ruler of India, a grandson of King Simhahanu, a nephew of King Shuddhodana, and a son to King Dronodana. He was a person of noble descent known throughout the whole land. Moreover, his house was visited by twelve thousand people each day: six thousand came to borrow from the wealth of his family, and the other six thousand came to pay back what they owed. Not only was he this wealthy, but he later became foremost in divine insight, and the Buddha prophesied in the Lotus Sutra that he would become the Buddha Universal Brightness.

If we examine what great goodness he performed in past existences, we find that a long time ago there was a hunter who supported himself by capturing beasts in the mountains. He also raised millet for food, but, since he lived in a time of famine, there was almost nothing to eat. As he was eating the single bowl of millet that was his only food, a sage, a pratyekabuddha named Rida, appeared and begged him for it, saying, "I have not eaten for seven days. Let me have your food." The hunter replied, "I have put it in a vessel defiled by a common person of the secular world, and moreover have tainted the food by starting to eat it"; but the sage said, "Just let me have it. If I do not eat now, I shall die." Though ashamed of its unworthiness, the hunter offered him the food. After eating the millet, the sage returned the bowl to the hunter, having left just one grain of millet remaining. This millet turned into a wild boar. The wild boar changed into gold and the gold was transformed into a corpse. The corpse then changed into a man made of gold. Whenever the hunter pulled off one of the golden man’s fingers and sold it, a new finger would appear in its place. Thus, for ninety-one kalpas the hunter was reborn as a wealthy man, and in his present existence he was called Aniruddha and became a disciple of the Buddha. Although it was a paltry amount of millet, because it sustained the life of a sage in a famished country, he received a wonderful reward.

The Venerable Mahakashyapa was the worthiest of all the Buddha’s disciples. In terms of lineage, he was the son of the wealthy Nyagrodha of the kingdom of Magadha. The floor of his house was covered with one thousand straw mats, each seven feet thick. Even those mats of lesser quality were each worth a thousand ryo of gold. The household assets included 999 plows, each worth a thousand ryo of gold, and sixty storehouses, each with 340 koku of gold inside. Such was the immensity of his wealth. His wife had a gold-colored body, which shed light to a distance of sixteen ri. Her beauty exceeded even that of Lady Soto’ori Hime of Japan and surpassed even that of Lady Li of China. This husband and wife conceived a desire to seek the way, and became disciples of the Buddha. In the Lotus Sutra, it was predicted that the husband would become the Buddha Light Bright. If we were to inquire into the past existences of these two people, we would find that because one had offered a bowl of wheat to a pratyekabuddha, he was later born as the Venerable Mahakashyapa. The other was a poor woman who had a sculptor of Buddhist images [a previous incarnation of Mahakashyapa] beat a gold coin of hers into gilding for a statue of the Buddha Vipashyin, and who later became this person’s wife.

Although I, Nichiren, am not a sage, I have become known as the defender of the Lotus Sutra. For this, not only have I been hated and assailed by the ruler of the country, but my disciples and even those who visit me have been reviled or struck, or have had their fiefs confiscated, or have been driven from their dwellings. Because they live under such a ruler, even people with seeking minds do not visit me. This has been the case for some time, but this year, in particular, because of epidemics and famine, very few people have come to visit.

Just as I was thinking that, even if I remained free from illness, I would surely die of starvation, the wheat that you sent arrived. It is more wonderful than gold and more precious than jewels. Rida’s millet changed into a golden man. How, then, could Tokimitsu’s wheat fail to turn into the characters of the Lotus Sutra? These characters of the Lotus Sutra will become Shakyamuni Buddha and then a pair of wings for your deceased father, flying and soaring to the pure land of Eagle Peak. On returning, they will cover your body and guide you.

With my deep respect,
Nichiren

The eighth day of the seventh month in the first year of Koan (1278)
Reply to Lord Ueno
 

  

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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