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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

The Essence of the Juryo Chapter
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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 Essence of the Juryo Chapter

When the Lord Shakyamuni expounded the Juryo chapter, he said, making reference to what all living beings had heard in the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings and in the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra: "All gods, men and asuras of this world believe that after leaving the palace of the Shakyas, Shakyamuni Buddha seated himself at the place of meditation not far from the city of Gaya and attained the supreme enlightenment." This statement shows the idea held by all the Buddha’s disciples and the great bodhisattvas from the time they heard Shakyamuni preach his first sermon in the Kegon Sutra, up through the time he expounded the Anrakugyo chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

We find two flaws in the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings. First, [as Miao-lo says,] "Because they teach that the Ten Worlds are separate from one another, they fail to move beyond the provisional doctrines." That is, they do not reveal the theory of ichinen sanzen, the principle of discarding the provisional and revealing the true, or the capacity of those in the two vehicles to attain Buddhahood, all of which are implicit in the doctrine of the ten factors stated in the Hoben chapter of the theoretical teaching.

Second, "Because they teach that Shakyamuni first attained enlightenment in this world, they fail to discard the Buddha’s provisional status." Thus they do not reveal the Buddha’s original enlightenment expounded in the Juryo chapter. These two great doctrines [the attainment of Buddhahood by those of the two vehicles and the Buddha’s original enlightenment] are the core of the Buddha’s lifetime teachings, the very heart and marrow of all the sutras.

The theoretical teaching states that persons in the two realms of shomon and engaku can attain Buddhahood, thus avoiding one of the shortcomings found in the sutras expounded during the first forty years and more of the Buddha’s preaching. However, since the Juryo chapter had not yet been expounded, the true doctrine of ichinen sanzen remained obscure and the enlightenment of those in the two vehicles was not assured. In these respects the theoretical teaching does not differ from the moon’s reflection on the water or rootless plants drifting on the waves.

The Buddha also stated: "However, men of devout faith, the time is limitless and boundless - a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand, nayuta aeons -- since I in fact attained Buddhahood." With this single proclamation, he refuted as great falsehoods the words of the Kegon Sutra, which states that Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood for the first time in this world; the Avon sutras, which speak of his "first attainment of the path"; the Vimalakirti Sutra, which reads, "For the first time the Buddha sat beneath the tree"; the Daijuku Sutra, which states, "It is sixteen years since the Buddha first attained enlightenment"; the Dainichi Sutra, which describes the Buddha’s enlightenment as having taken place "some years ago when I sat in the place of meditation"; the Ninno Sutra, which refers to the Buddha’s enlightenment as an event of "twenty-nine years ago"; the Muryogi Sutra, which states, "Previously I went to the place of meditation"; and the Hoben chapter of the Lotus Sutra, which says, "When I first sat in the place of meditation."

When we come to the Juryo chapter of the essential teaching the belief that Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood for the first time in India is demolished, and the effects [enlightenment] of the four teachings are likewise demolished. When the effects of the four teachings are demolished, their causes are likewise demolished. "Causes" here refers to Buddhist practice [to attain enlightenment] or to the stage of disciples engaged in practice. Thus the causes and effects as expounded in both the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra are wiped out, and the cause and effect of the Ten Worlds in the essential teaching are revealed. This is the doctrine of original cause and original effect. It teaches that the nine worlds are all present in the beginningless Buddhahood, and that Buddhahood exists in the beginningless nine worlds. It is the true mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, the true hundred worlds and thousand factors, the true ichinen sanzen.

Considered in this light, it is evident that Vairochana Buddha seated on a lotus pedestal as depicted in the Kegon Sutra, the sixteen-foot Shakyamuni described in the Agon sutras, and the other provisional Buddhas mentioned in the Hodo, Hannya, Konkomyo, Amida and Dainichi sutras are no more than reflections of the Buddha of the Juryo chapter. They are like fleeting images of the moon in the sky mirrored on the surface of the water held in vessels of varying sizes. The learned priests and scholars of the many sects are first of all confused as to the meaning of the sutras upon which their own doctrines are based, and more fundamentally, they are ignorant of the teaching expounded in the Juryo chapter of the Lotus Sutra. As a result, they mistake the reflection of the moon on the water for the real moon shining in the sky. Some of them enter the water and try to grasp it with their hands, while others try to snare it with a rope. As the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai says, "They know nothing of the moon in the sky, but gaze only at the moon in the pond." He means that those attached to the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings or the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra are not aware of the moon shining in the sky but see only its reflection in the pond. The Sogi Ritsu also tells of five hundred monkeys who, emerging from the mountains, saw the moon reflected in the water and tried to seize it. However, as it was only a reflection they fell into the water and drowned. This writing equates the monkeys with Devadatta and the group of six monks [who lived in the Buddha’s lifetime].

Were it not for the presence of the Juryo chapter among all the teachings of Shakyamuni, they would be like the heavens without the sun and moon, a kingdom without a king, the mountains and seas without treasures or a person without a soul. This being so, without the Juryo chapter, all the sutras are meaningless. Grass without roots will die in no time and a river without a source will not flow far. A child without parents is looked down upon. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the Juryo chapter, is the mother of all Buddhas throughout the ten directions and the three existences of past, present and future.

With my deep respect,
Nichiren

The seventeenth day of the fourth month
 

  

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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