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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

Winter Always Turns to Spring
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

Winter Always Turns to Spring

If the sun and the moon were not in the heavens, how could plants grow? Children usually have both father and mother, and it is difficult for them when one parent is dead. Your husband had to leave behind a daughter, a son who is ill, and you, his wife, who suffer from a poor constitution. To whom could he entrust his family before leaving this world?

At the end of his life, the Lord Buddha lamented, "Now I am about to enter nirvana. The only thing troubling my heart is King Ajatashatru." Bodhisattva Kashyapa then asked him, "Since the Buddha's mercy is impartial, your regret in dying should stem from compassion for all mankind. Why do you single out King Ajatashatru?" The Buddha replied, "Suppose that a couple has seven children, one of whom falls ill. Although the parents love all their children equally, they worry most about the sick child." T'ien-t'ai cited this passage in his Maka Shikan. To the Buddha, all people are his children. Just like parents who worry most about their sick child, among all people, the Buddha is most concerned about a man evil enough to slay his own parents and become an enemy of the Buddha's teachings. King Ajatashatru was the ruler of Magadha. He murdered his father, King Bimbisara, a powerful patron of Shakyamuni, and became an enemy of the Buddha. In consequence, the heavens forsook him, the sun and the moon rose out of rhythm, and the earth shook violently as if to cast him off. All his subjects came to oppose Buddhism, and the neighboring kingdoms started to attack Magadha. All this happened because King Ajatashatru took the wicked Devadatta for his teacher. Finally, on the fifteenth day of the second month, leprous sores broke out all over his body, and it was foretold that he would die and fall into the hell of incessant suffering on the seventh day of the third month. Saddened by this, the Buddha was reluctant to enter nirvana. He lamented, "If I can but save King Ajatashatru, all other wicked people can also be saved."

Your late husband had to leave behind his daughter and ailing son. It must have troubled him deeply that his aged wife, as feeble as a withered tree, would be left alone to worry about her children. The persecutions which befell Nichiren must also have weighed heavily on his heart. Since the Buddha's words are in no way false, the Lotus Sutra is certain to spread. Knowing this, your husband must have felt that something wonderful would happen and this priest would one day be highly respected. When I was exiled, he must have wondered how the Lotus Sutra and the Jurasetsu could possibly have allowed it to happen. Were he still living, how joyful he would be to see Nichiren pardoned! How glad he would be to see my predictions fulfilled, now that the Mongol Empire has attacked Japan and the country is in crisis. Such are the feelings of common mortals.

Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra are as if in winter, which never fails to turn into spring. Never have I seen or heard of winter tuning into autumn. Nor have I ever heard of any believer in the Lotus Sutra who remained a common mortal. A passage from the sutra reads, "Among those who hear of this Law, there is not one who shall not attain Buddhahood."

Your husband gave his life for the Lotus Sutra. His entire livelihood depended on a small fief, and that was confiscated because of his faith. Surely that equalled giving his life for the Lotus Sutra. Sessen Doji offered his life for but half a stanza of a Buddhist teaching, and Bodhisattva Yakuo burned his elbows in offering to the Buddha. They were both saints, so they could endure these austerities as easily as water pours on fire. But your husband was a common mortal, so he was at the mercy of his sufferings, like paper placed in a fire. Therefore, he will certainly receive blessing as great as theirs. He may be watching his wife and children in the mirrors of the sun and the moon every moment of the day and night. Since you and your children are common mortals, you cannot see or hear him, but neither can the deaf hear thunder nor the blind see the sun. But do not doubt that he is close at hand protecting you.

Just when I was thinking that if at all possible I must somehow go and see you, you had a robe sent here to me. Your thoughtfulness was totally unexpected. Since the Lotus Sutra is the noblest of all sutras, I may yet gain influence in this lifetime. If so, rest assured that I will watch over your children whether you are living then or not. While I was in Sado and during my stay here, you sent your servant to help me. Neither in this nor future lifetimes shall I ever forget what you have done for me. I will not fail to repay my debt of gratitude to you. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

With my deep respect,


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]