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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

Admonitions Against Slander
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

Admonitions Against Slander

The Hoben chapter, Volume One of the Lotus Sutra, states, "The wisdom of all Buddhas is infinitely profound and immeasurable." T'ien-t'ai explains, "'Infinitely profound' indicates the reality attained by the Buddha, which is as vast as a wide and unfathomable riverbed. Because the riverbed is infinitely deep, the water of the Buddha wisdom is 'immeasurable.'"

The sutra and interpretation make clear that the path to enlightenment lies within the two elements of reality (kyo) and wisdom (chi). Reality means the entity of all phenomena in the universe, and wisdom means the perfect manifestation of this entity in the individual's life. When the reality is an infinitely broad and deep riverbed, the water of wisdom will flow ceaselessly. Enlightenment is the fusion of wisdom and reality.

All the sutras expounded prior to the Lotus Sutra are provisional teachings which cannot lead to enlightenment because they separate wisdom and reality. However, the Lotus Sutra joins the two. It expounds the purpose for which the Buddhas appear in this world: to open the door to the Buddha wisdom, to reveal it, to let all beings know it and enter into it. All people can attain enlightenment by realizing this wisdom of the Buddha.

The Hoben chapter states that the Buddha wisdom is far beyond the understanding of the people of the two vehicles: "Neither men of Learning (shomon) nor sages of Realization (engaku) are able to comprehend it." What then are these two elements of reality and wisdom? They are simply Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Shakyamuni called forth the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, his disciples from ages past, to give them this Law which is the essence of his teachings.

The Lotus Sutra states that Bodhisattva Jogyo and the other Bodhisattvas of the Earth will appear in the first five hundred years of the Latter Day of the Law to propagate the Mystic Law, the crystallization of reality and wisdom. This sutra makes it perfectly clear. Who could possibly dispute it? I, Nichiren, am neither Bodhisattva Jogyo nor his messenger, but I was the first to begin the propagation of the Mystic Law and have already taught it extensively. Bodhisattva Jogyo received the water of wisdom of the Mystic Law from Shakyamuni Buddha to let it flow into the wasteland of the people's lives in the evil period of the Latter Day. That is the function of wisdom. Shakyamuni entrusted this teaching to Bodhisattva Jogyo, and now Nichiren propagates it in Japan. In general, this transfer was made to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, but specifically, to Bodhisattva Jogyo himself. If you confuse the general with the specific even in the slightest, you will never be able to attain enlightenment and will wander through endless lifetimes of suffering.

For example, the men of Learning in Shakyamuni's time received the seed of enlightenment from Shakyamuni in the distant past when he was the sixteenth son of Daitsu Buddha. Therefore, they cannot attain enlightenment by following Amida, Yakushi or any other Buddha. Or, to give another example, if someone brings home water from the ocean, his entire family can use it. Should they refuse even a single drop of water and instead go seek water from some other ocean, they would be terribly misguided and foolish. In the same way, if one should forget the original teacher who brought him the water of wisdom from the great ocean of the Lotus Sutra and instead follow another, he is sure to sink into the endless sufferings of life and death.

A disciple should abandon even his teacher if the teacher is misguided. However, this is not always necessary. He should decide according to the laws of both society and Buddhism. With no knowledge of Buddhist law, most priests in the Latter Day grow so conceited that they despise the original teacher and flatter new-found patrons. Only honest priests who desire little and are happy with whatever they have can be called "priests" in the true sense of the word. Volume One of the Hokke Mongu states, "A priest who has yet to attain enlightenment should humble himself before the supreme law and all Buddhist saints. Then, he has true modesty. When he manifests the Buddha wisdom, he will be a true priest."

In the Nirvana Sutra Shakyamuni stated, "If even a good priest sees someone slandering the Law and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him or to punish him for his offense, then that priest is betraying Buddhism. But if he takes the slanderer severely to task, drives him off or punishes him, then he is my disciple and one who truly understands my teachings." Never forget this admonition against ignoring another's slander of Buddhism. Both master and disciple will surely fall into the hell of incessant suffering if they see enemies of the Lotus Sutra and fail to reproach them. The Great Teacher Nan-yueh wrote, "They will fall into hell with evil men." To seek enlightenment without repudiating slander is as futile as trying to find water in the midst of fire or fire in the midst of water. No matter how sincerely one believes in the Lotus Sutra, any violation of its teachings will surely cause him to fall into hell, just as one crab leg will ruin a thousand pots of lacquer. This is the meaning of the passage in the Lotus Sutra, "The poison has penetrated deeply, causing them to lose their true minds."

The Lotus Sutra teaches us: "In lifetime after lifetime they were always born together with their masters in the Buddha lands throughout the universe," and "If one seeks out the teacher of the Law, he will soon attain the way of the Bodhisattva. If he follows and studies under this teacher, he will be able to see Buddhas equal in number to the sands of the Ganges River." T'ien-t'ai interprets this, saying, "One who first began to aspire for enlightenment when following this Buddha will follow him again and attain a stage of faith from which he can never backslide." Miao-lo adds, "One who first hears about the Law from some Buddha or bodhisattva will return to the same Buddha or bodhisattva to attain enlightenment." Above all, follow no one but your original teacher and go on to attain Buddhahood. Shakyamuni is the original teacher for all people, as well as their sovereign and their parent. Because I have expounded this teaching, I have been exiled and almost killed. As the saying goes: "Good advice is harsh to the ear." But still I am not discouraged. The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the sower and the people like the field. If you go against these principles, in your next lifetime, not even I, Nichiren, can save you.

With my deep respect,

The third day of the eighth month in the second year of Kenji (1276)


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]