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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

The Royal Palace
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 Royal Palace

I have received one and a half kan of coins. I am pleased that you informed me in detail about the fire that destroyed Gokuraku-ji temple. Conflagration is mentioned in the Ninno Sutra as the third, and in the Lotus Sutra as the first, of seven disasters.

No sword can cut the air, and no fire can burn water. Similarly, no fire can harm a sage, a worthy man, a man of good fortune or a man of wisdom. The walled city of Rajagriha in ancient India is said to have enclosed 900,000 dwellings but was destroyed by big fires which broke out on seven occasions. When the king saw the people about to flee the city in despair, his grief knew no bounds. At that time a wise man advised him, saying: "Conflagration, as one of the seven disasters, occurs when a sage has left the country and the good fortune of the king has been exhausted. In this case, however, even though successive fires have destroyed the houses of the populace, they have never once engulfed the royal palace. This indicates that the fault lies not with the king but with the people. Therefore, if you name the entire city in which they dwell ‘the royal palace,’ the god of fire will be afraid to burn their houses." The king thought this advice reasonable and named the city Rajagriha (Royal Palace), and fire never broke out there afterwards. This story teaches us that fire cannot destroy a man of great good fortune.

In this country, however, the shogun’s palace has just burnt down, a sign that the good fortune of Japan is about to be exhausted. Calamities are visiting this country with growing frequency, probably because priests steeped in slander are offering up fervent prayers in an attempt to subdue me, Nichiren.

A name reveals the essence of a thing. The slanderous "saint," Ryoko-bo (Priest Double-fire), is the teacher of all people, high and low, who live in Kamakura. One of the two fires claimed him as its victim, reducing Gokuraku-ji (Paradise Temple) to Jigoku-ji (Hell Temple). The other fire leaped over to devour the ruler’s palace.

Furthermore, this double fire has not only ravaged the country in this life but foretells that the teacher of all Japan and his disciples shall in the next life fall into the hell of incessant suffering and burn in its karmic flames. The ignorant priests did not heed the words of a man of great wisdom and this disaster came about as a result. How pitiful! I have already written to you about this.

Incidentally, I pastured the mare you gave me, and she has found a mate and given birth to a chestnut-colored colt. What a wonderful horse! I want you to see it by all means.

I have heard a great deal about Nagoe-no-ama here too. I was told that someone happened to meet her and took her soundly to task for praising [T’ien-t’ai’s] theoretical doctrine.

As for your wife’s prayers, I suspect that her faith may be weak, even though she does not doubt the Lotus Sutra. I have found that even those who appear to believe just as the sutra teaches may not actually have strong faith, as you are already well aware. Moreover, one could more easily catch the wind than fathom a woman’s mind. The fact that Nichigen-nyo’s prayers have gone unanswered is like a strong bow with a weak bowstring or a fine sword in the hands of a coward. It is in no sense the fault of the Lotus Sutra. Explain to her thoroughly that she herself should discard the Nembutsu and Ritsu teachings once and for all, and to the full extent of her ability teach others to do the same, just as you yourself have carried out your faith steadfastly even despite others’ hatred. No matter how much she may believe in the Lotus Sutra, I doubt that she hates its enemy as much as she would a courtesan.

In all worldly affairs, those who oppose their parents or who disobey their ruler incur the wrath of heaven for their unfilial or disloyal conduct. However, if one’s parent or ruler becomes an enemy of the Lotus Sutra, then disobedience is an act of filial piety and repays one’s debt of gratitude to the nation. Therefore, since I first read the Lotus Sutra, I have upheld my faith without faltering, even though my parents implored me with their palms joined to desist, though my teacher disowned me, and the regent twice exiled me and nearly put me to death. Because I persevered, there are now people who think my teachings may be true. I may well be the only person in all Japan to disobey sovereign, parents and teacher and yet still receive the protection of the heavenly gods in the end. Watch what will happen in the future. If those priests who abuse me, Nichiren, should pray for the peace of the country, they will only hasten the nation’s ruin. Finally, should the consequences become truly grave, all the Japanese people from the ruler on down to the common people will become slaves of the pigtailed Mongols and have bitter regrets.

Aside from the agony which awaits slanderers in the next life, I have enjoined Bonten, Taishaku, the gods of the sun and moon, and the Four Heavenly Kings to punish in this life those who have become enemies of the Lotus Sutra, as a warning to the people. You will see by the results of my prediction whether I, Nichiren, am the votary of the Lotus Sutra or not.

When I speak in this way, the ruler and others may think I am making threats, but I in no way speak out of hatred. I speak out of profound compassion to let them eradicate in this life the tortures of the hell of incessant suffering into which they are otherwise destined to fall. The Great Teacher Chang-an said: "He makes it possible for the offender to rid himself of evil, and thus he acts like a parent to the offender." I, Nichiren, who admonish them for their evil, am father and mother to the ruler and the teacher of all mankind.

There is much more that I would like to say but I will stop here. I appreciate your offerings of one horse load of hulled wheat and ginger.


The twelfth day of the fourth month in the first year of Kenji (1275)


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]