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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

The Unity of Husband and Wife
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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tviqn1hkyPY

The Unity of Husband and Wife

As for false teachings that gouge out the eyes and delude the minds of the entire Japanese populace, in the final analysis, there is none more mistaken than that upheld by the teachers of Shingon. But let us set this matter aside.

Although the ten similes seem to illustrate the relative merit of the Lotus Sutra and all the other sutras, this was not the Buddha's true intention in expounding them. His aim was to compare the votaries of all other sutras with the votary of the Lotus Sutra, and to show that, while the votary of the Lotus Sutra is like the sun or the moon, the votaries of the other sutras are like stars or torches.

How do we know this? The eighth simile is followed by a most vital passage. It reads: "He who can accept and uphold this sutra will be like this too - he will be first among all the multitude of living beings." This twenty-two-character passage is the heart of the entire sutra, the eye of all living beings. Its meaning is that the votary of the Lotus Sutra is like the sun, the moon, King Bonten, or the Buddha, while the votaries of the Dainichi Sutra are like the stars, the streams and rivers, or common mortals.

For this reason, the Buddha surely considers anyone in this world who embraces the Lotus Sutra, whether man or woman, monk or nun, to be the lord of all living beings, and Bonten and Taishaku most certainly hold that person in reverence. When I think in this way, my joy is beyond expression.

Moreover, in pondering this sutra passage day and night and reading it morning and evening, I realize that the votary it refers to is not just any votary of the Lotus Sutra. Since "he" in the phrase "he who can accept and uphold this sutra" means "person" in an unqualified sense, I had thought that it must indicate anyone among the monks, nuns, laymen or laywomen in this world who believe in the Lotus Sutra. This, however, is not so. For, in a subsequent passage where the Buddha again refers to this person, he says, "If there is a woman..."

When I, Nichiren, read the sutras other than the Lotus Sutra, I have not the slightest wish to become a woman. One sutra condemns women as emissaries of hell. Another describes them as large snakes. Still another likens them to bent and twisted trees. And there is even a sutra that describes them as people who have scorched the seed of Buddhahood.

Buddhist scriptures are not alone in this regard; non-Buddhist writings also [disdain women]. Someone named Jung Ch'i-ch'i, for example, sings in praise of three pleasures, one of which is the pleasure of not having been born into the world as a woman. It is widely accepted that disaster had its origins in the three women. Only in the Lotus Sutra do we read that a woman who embraces this sutra not only excels all other women but also surpasses all men.

Even though she may be slandered by everyone, for a woman, there is ultimately no greater happiness than to be loved by the man she holds dearest. Let others hate you if they will. What have you to complain of, if you are cherished by Shakyamuni Buddha, Taho Buddha and all the other Buddhas in the ten directions, as well as by Bonten, Taishaku, the gods of the sun and moon and others? As long as you are praised by the Lotus Sutra, what cause have you for discontent?

You say that you have now reached the unlucky age of thirty-three, and for that reason sent offerings. I have reported this to Shakyamuni Buddha, the Lotus Sutra and the god of the sun. A person's body has a left and a right shoulder, on which there are two gods, one named Domyo and the other, Dosho. These are two deities whom Bonten, Taishaku, and the gods of the sun and moon have assigned to each person in order to protect him. From the time he enters his mother's womb until the end of his life, they accompany him like his shadow or like his eyes. If he commits an evil act or performs a good deed, they report everything to the heavenly gods without omitting even a detail as minute as a dewdrop or a speck of dust. This is related in the Kegon Sutra and is cited by the Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai in the eighth volume of his Maka Shikan.

He states, however, that if a person's faith is weak, even though she be a woman who embraces the Lotus Sutra, she will be forsaken. For example, if a commanding general is fainthearted, his soldiers will become cowards. If a bow is weak, the bowstring will be slack. If the wind is gentle, the waves will not rise high. All this is in accord with the principles of nature.

Now [your husband] Saemon is a believer in the Lotus Sutra, without peer among the Buddhist lay believers in Japan. Being married to such a man, you also are foremost among the women in Japan. Because you live for the sake of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha surely regards you as equal to the dragon king's daughter herself. The character for woman implies "to depend." The wisteria depends on the pine tree, and a woman depends on a man. Make Saemon your teacher and be guided in the faith of the Lotus Sutra.

The bad luck of your thirty-third year will turn into the happiness of your thirty-third year. That is what is meant by the passage "The seven difficulties vanish, the seven blessings at once appear." You will grow younger, and your good fortune will accumulate.

Respectfully,
Nichiren

The twenty-seventh day of the first 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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