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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

The Izu Exile
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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 Izu Exile

I have received rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves, sake, dried rice, peppers, paper and other items from the messenger whom you took the trouble of sending. He also conveyed your message that this offering should be kept secret. I understand.

On the twelfth day of the fifth month, having been exiled, I arrived at the harbor. When I left the boat, still in suffering, and even before learning your name, you kindly took me into your care. What destiny brought us together? You might have been a votary of the Lotus Sutra in times past. Now, in the Latter Day of the Law, you were born as Funamori Yasaburo to take pity on me. Being a man, it was perhaps natural for you to act as you did, but your wife might have been less inclined to help me. Nevertheless, she gave me food, brought me water to wash my hands and feet and treated me with great concern. It is beyond me to fathom [this karmic relationship]; I can only describe it as wondrous.

What caused you to believe in the Lotus Sutra and to make offerings to me during my more than thirty-day stay there? I was hated and resented by the steward and people of the district even more than I was in Kamakura. Those who saw me scowled, while those who merely heard my name were filled with spite. And yet, though I was there in the fifth month when rice was scarce, you secretly fed me. It would almost seem as though my parents had been reborn in Kawana close to Ito in Izu Province.

The fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra states, ‘[If after I {Shakyamuni) have entered extinction there are those who can expound this sutra, I will send... monks and nuns and] men and women of pure faith, to offer alms to the teachers of the Law.’ The meaning of this sutra passage is that the heavenly gods and benevolent deities will assume various forms such as men and women and present offerings to help one who practices the Lotus Sutra. There can be no doubt that you and your wife were born as just such a man and woman of pure faith and now make offerings to the teacher of the Law, Nichiren.

Since I wrote to you in detail earlier, I will make this letter brief. But I would like to mention one thing in particular. When the steward of this district sent me a request to pray for his recovery from illness, I wondered if I should accept it. But since he showed some degree of faith in me, I decided I would appeal to the Lotus Sutra. If I did, I saw no reason why the ten demon daughters should not join forces to aid me. I therefore addressed the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni, Taho and the other Buddhas of the ten directions, the Sun Goddess, Hachiman and the other deities, both major and minor. I was sure that they would consider my request and respond. Certainly they would never forsake me, but would respond as attentively as a person rubs a sore or scratches an itch. And as it turned out, the steward recovered. In gratitude he presented me with a statue of the Buddha which had appeared from the sea along with a catch of fish. He did so because his illness had finally ended, an illness which I am certain was inflicted by the ten demon daughters. The benefit of his recovery will pass on to you and your wife.

We, living beings, have dwelt in the sea of the sufferings of birth and death since time without beginning. But now that we have become votaries of the Lotus Sutra, we will without fail attain the Buddha’s entity which is as indestructible as a diamond, realizing that our bodies and minds that have existed since the beginningless past are inherently endowed with the eternally unchanging nature, and thus awakening to our mystic reality with our mystic wisdom.

Then how can we be in any way different from the Buddha who appeared from the sea? Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, who declared in the remote past of gohyaku-jintengo, "I am the only person [who can rescue and protect others,]" is none other than each of us, living beings. This is the Lotus Sutra’s doctrine of the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, and our behavior is a personal demonstration of "I am always here, preaching the Law." How valuable, then, are the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha for us, but we, ordinary people, are never aware of it. This is the meaning of the passage in the Juryo chapter, "I make it so that living beings in their befuddlement do not see me even when close by." The difference between delusion and enlightenment is like the four different views of the grove of sal trees. Let it be known that the Buddha with the three thousand realms in a single moment of life is any living being in any of the realms of existence who manifests his inherent Buddhahood.

The demon who appeared before Sessen Doji was Taishaku in disguise. The dove which sought the protection of King Shibi was the god Bishukatsuma, King Fumyo, who was imprisoned in the castle of King Hanzoku, was Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. The eyes of common mortals cannot see their true identities, but the eyes of the Buddha can. As the sutra states, the sky and the sea both have paths for birds and fish to come and go. A wooden statue [of the Buddha] is itself a golden Buddha, and a golden Buddha is a wooden statue. Aniruddha’s gold was seen first as a hare and then as a corpse. Sand in the palm of Mahanama’s hand turned into gold. These things are beyond ordinary understanding. A common mortal is a Buddha, and a Buddha a common mortal. This is exactly what is meant by the doctrine of the three thousand realms in a single moment of life and by the phrase, "I in fact attained Buddhahood."

Thus it is quite possible that you and your wife have appeared here as reincarnations of the lord of teachings, the World-Honored One of Great Enlightenment, in order to help me. Although the distance between Ito and Kawana is short, we are not allowed to communicate openly. I am writing this letter for your future reference. Do not discuss these matters with other people, but ponder them yourself. If anyone should learn anything at all about this letter, it will go hard with you. Keep this deep in your heart, and never speak about it. With my deepest regard. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Nichiren

The twenty-seventh day of the sixth month in the first year of Kocho (1261)

To be sent to Funamori Yasaburo.
 

  

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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