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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

The Teaching for the Latter Day
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

The Teaching for the Latter Day

I have received a quarter-sack of polished rice, a horse-load of taro and five strips of konnyaku which you took the trouble to send me.

First of all, regarding the daughter of Ishikawa no Hyoe Nyudo. She often sent me letters, and in one that reached me on the night of the fourteenth or fifteenth day of the third month, she wrote, "When I observe the world around me, it seems that even healthy people will be unable to survive this year. I have been ill for a long time, but my illness has suddenly worsened, and I imagine that this will be my last letter to you." So she has already passed away!

Most people believe that those who chant Namu Amida Butsu at the moment of their death are sure to be reborn in the Pure Land, for this is what the Buddha taught. For some reason, however, the Buddha surprisingly reversed his statement and said, "[For the past more than forty years,] I have not yet revealed the truth," and "Honestly discarding the provisional teachings, [I will expound only the Supreme Way.]" I, Nichiren, have been teaching as the Buddha advocated, but all Japan has become enraged and denounced my words as groundless fabrications.

There were other occasions when the Buddha unexpectedly reversed an earlier teaching. In the Hinayana sutras he taught that there is no Buddha other than himself in any of the ten directions and that living beings do not possess the Buddha nature. But in the Mahayana sutras he taught that there are Buddhas throughout the ten directions and that the Buddha nature dwells in every living being. How then can there be anyone who still employs the Hinayana sutras? All people have since come to place their faith in the Mahayana sutras.

Moreover, we find that there are even more unfathomable distinctions which Shakyamuni Buddha drew between the sutras. In the Lotus Sutra, he suddenly refuted all the other sutras that he had preached, now preached and would preach in the future, and declared that only the Lotus Sutra was true. But his disciples would not believe him. At that time, Taho Buddha came to bear witness to what the Buddha had said, and all the Buddhas of the ten directions added their testimony to his, extending their tongues until they reached the Brahma Heaven.

After Taho Buddha had closed the door of the Treasure Tower and the other Buddhas had returned to their original lands, not even Shakyamuni Buddha himself could have denied the Lotus Sutra, whatever other sutras he might have expounded in an effort to do so, because the other Buddhas had all joined in affirming its truth. That is why the Fugen and Nirvana sutras, which follow the Lotus Sutra, praise it and in no way disparage it.

Nevertheless, priests like Shan-wu-wei of the Shingon sect and the founders of the Zen sect repudiate the Lotus Sutra, and the entire Japanese nation has now taken faith in their teachings, just like those who were deceived by the rebels Masakado and Sadato. Japan is now on the brink of ruin because it has for many years been the archenemy of Shakyamuni, Taho and all the other Buddhas of the ten directions, and in addition, the person who denounces these heresies is persecuted. Because such offenses are thus accumulated one on top of another, our nation will soon incur the wrath of heaven.

Perhaps because of karma from past lives or some other reason, the daughter of Ishikawa no Hyoe Nyudo chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo at the moment of her death. This is as rare as the one-eyed turtle finding a suitable hollow in a floating sandalwood log, or a thread lowered from the heavens passing through the eye of a needle on the earth. How wondrous!

The sutras clearly show that those who believe in the Nembutsu are destined to fall into the hell of incessant suffering, but since people are not aware of this, they all think that it is my own fabrication. People can see neither their own eyebrows, which are so close, nor the heavens in the distance, as the saying goes. Had my teaching been false, the nun, Ishikawa’s daughter, could not have died with a correct and steadfast mind.

Among my disciples, those who think themselves well versed in Buddhism are the ones who make errors. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the heart of the Lotus Sutra. It is like the soul of a person. To revere another teaching as its equal is to be like an empress who is married to two emperors or who secretly commits adultery with a minister or a humble subject. It can only be the cause for disaster. This teaching was not propagated in the Former or Middle Day of the Law because the other sutras had not yet lost the power of benefit. Now in the Latter Day of the Law, neither the Lotus Sutra nor the other sutras lead to enlightenment. Only Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can do so. And this is not merely my own opinion. Shakyamuni, Taho and all the other Buddhas of the ten directions as well as the innumerable Bodhisattvas of the Earth have so determined. To mix other practices with this Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a grave error. A lamp will be useless after the sun rises. How can dewdrops be beneficial once the rain falls? Should one feed a newborn baby with anything other than its mother’s milk? Good medicine works by itself; there is no need to add other medicine. Somehow Ishikawa’s daughter remained true to this principle and continued to uphold her faith until the last moment of her life. How admirable!

With my deep respect,
Nichiren

The first day of the fourth month in the first year of Koan (1278)

  

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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