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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

The Unmatched Fortune of the Law
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 Unmatched Fortune of the Law

I have received a hundred bamboo shoots, followed afterward by an additional twenty.

The seventh volume of the Lotus Sutra reads: "Even if a person were to fill the entire major world system with the seven kinds of treasures as an offering to the Buddha and the great bodhisattvas, pratyekabuddhas and arhats, the benefits gained by such a person cannot match those gained by accepting and upholding this Lotus Sutra, even just one four-line verse of it! The latter brings the most numerous blessings of all." The tenth volume of the Hokke mongu states: "The statement that offering the seven kinds of treasures to the persons of the four noble states cannot equal upholding one verse [of the Lotus Sutra] indicates that the Law is the teacher of these sages. Nothing surpasses the Law in its ability to cause birth, nurturing, maturity and prosperity. Therefore, the person is insignificant while the Law is supreme." The tenth volume of the Hokke mongu ki comments: "It is similar to the case of parents, who invariably protect their children through these four functions. To conceive a desire to seek the way through the power of the Law is to be born. To follow the Law from beginning to end is to be nurtured. To harvest the supreme fruit of Buddhahood is to reach maturity. To appear in various forms in the phenomenal world for the salvation of others is to prosper. Although these four stages differ from one another, they all take the Law as their basis."

What the Lotus Sutra, T’ien-t’ai and Miao-lo intend to say is that the act of accepting and upholding or protecting and embracing one verse of the Lotus Sutra surpasses the act of making offerings to all living beings, of making offerings to the arhats, or even of filling the entire major world system with the seven kinds of treasures as an offering to all the Buddhas.

The sutra reads, "...cannot match those gained by accepting and upholding this Lotus Sutra, even just one four-line verse of it! The latter brings the most numerous blessings of all." T’ien-t’ai states, "...the person is insignificant while the Law is supreme." Miao-lo says, "Although these four stages differ from one another, they all take the Law as their basis." If we compare all the living beings of the nine worlds with the Buddha, the good fortune of all living beings is as light as a single strand of hair, while the good fortune of the Buddha is as heavy as a huge mountain. And the good fortune of all Buddhas is as light as Bonten’s featherweight robe, while the good fortune of one character of the Lotus Sutra is as weighty as the earth. The person in the phrase "the person is insignificant" is the Buddha; the Law that is supreme is the Lotus Sutra.

All the sutras preceding the Lotus Sutra and all the treatises praise the blessings bestowed by the Buddha, and so are like the Buddha himself The Lotus Sutra extols the blessings bestowed by the sutra, and therefore is like the father and mother of the Buddha. The inferiority of the Kegon, Dainichi and other sutras to the Lotus Sutra is like the difference in weight between a single strand of hair and a huge mountain or between a featherweight robe and the earth. If we compare the lowest-ranking votary of the Lotus Sutra to the highest-ranking priests of the Kegon and Shingon sects, the superiority of the former is like that of Taishaku when compared to a monkey or like that of a lion when compared to a hare.

When a subject declares himself king, it invariably costs him his life. When the practitioners of the other sutras claim to Surpass the votary of the Lotus Sutra, the country will surely be ruined and such persons will certainly fall into hell. When not confronted by enemies, one is free to speak as falsely and act as foolishly as one pleases. To illustrate, it is said that before Sadamori and Yoriyoshi appeared, Masakado and Sadato were able to govern their lands, and their wives and children were safe and secure. Without an enemy to prevent them from doing so, the dew evaporates up into the sky and the rain falls to the earth. A strong wind, however, will blow the rain back into the sky, and the sunrise will bring the dew down to the earth. Likewise, before Dengyo appeared, the six sects, including the Kegon sect, were like the dew [rising into the sky]. The Shingon sect is the same; therefore, you should understand that once a strong enemy appears and attacks that sect fiercely with the Lotus Sutra, the chief priest of Mount Hiei and the priests of To-ji and Omuro will all be like dew confronted by the sun.

In the more than twenty-two hundred years since the Buddha’s passing, no one has yet fully explained and spread the Lotus Sutra exactly as the sutra teaches. This is not to say that T’ien-t’ai and Dengyo did not understand the truth of the sutra. But since the proper time had not yet arrived, and the capacity of the people was not suitable, they passed away without writing fully about it. Those who become Nichiren’s disciples, however, can understand it without difficulty.

In the entire land of Jambudvipa, there has never before been a hall or pagoda that produced the image of Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo chapter of the Lotus Sutra. How could such an image fail to appear now? An explanation would be lengthy, so I will stop here.

You have sent me 120 bamboo shoots, and the Lotus Sutra has appeared after over two thousand years. I have spoken of this matter because while your gift may seem to be insignificant, your sincerity is indeed profound. Moreover, at the present time, because of framework and the building of the shrine, people have no spare time. Because your seeking mind is nonetheless so strong, I am certain that the Law has manifested itself to you.

With my deep respect,
Nichiren

The eleventh day of the fifth month

Reply to Lord Nishiyama

  

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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