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Major Writings - Nichiren Daishounin

The Problem to Be Pondered Night and 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 Problem to Be Pondered Night and Day


The second volume of Myoho-renge-kyo states, "One who refuses to take faith in this sutra and instead slanders it [immediately destroys the seeds for becoming a Buddha in this world].... [There will be those who slander a sutra such as this in the Buddha's lifetime or in the age after his death.] They will despise, hate, envy and bear grudges against those who read, recite, transcribe and embrace this sutra.... After they die, they will fall into the Avichi Hell.... In this way they will be reborn there again and again for kalpas without number." The seventh volume reads, "For a thousand kalpas in the Avichi Hell, [they underwent great pain and torment]." The third volume mentions [those who wandered in the evil paths for the duration of] sanzen-jintengo, and the sixth volume refers to [those who were submerged in the realm of suffering for the span of] gohyaku-jintengo. The Nirvana Sutra states, "Even if you are killed by a mad elephant, you will not fall into the three evil paths. But if you are killed by an evil friend, you are certain to fall into them."


The Hosho Ron of Bodhisattva Saramati reads, "Those who are ignorant and unable to believe in the True Law, who hold false views and are arrogant, suffer such hindrances in retribution for the slanders of their former lives. They cling to incomplete doctrines and are attached to receiving alms and humble respect; they recognize only false doctrines, distance themselves from good friends, approach with familiarity such slanderers of the Law who delight in attachment to the teachings of the lesser vehicle, and do not believe in the great vehicle. Therefore they slander the Dharma of the Buddhas.


"A wise man should not fear enemy households, snakes, fire, poison, the thunderbolts of Indra, attacks by swords and staves, or the various wild beasts such as tigers, wolves and lions. For these can only destroy one's life, but cannot cause him to fall into the Avichi Hell, which is truly terrifying. What he should fear is slander of the profound Dharma as well as companions who are slanderers, for these will surely cause him to fall into the frightful Avichi Hell. Even if one befriends evil companions and with evil intent spills the Buddha's blood, kills his own father and mother, takes the lives of many sages, disrupts the unity of the Buddhist Order and destroys all his roots of goodness, if he fixes his mind on the True Law, he can free himself from that place. But if there is another who slanders the inconceivably profound Law, that person will for immeasurable kalpas be unable to obtain release. However, if there is one who can cause others to awaken to and take faith in a teaching such as this, then he is their father and mother, and also their good friend. This man is a person of wisdom. Because, after the Buddha's passing, he corrects false views and perverse thoughts and causes people to enter the true Way, he shows himself to have pure faith in the three treasures, and performs beneficial deeds which bring enlightenment."


Bodhisattva Nagarjuna states in his Bodai Shiryo Ron, "The World-Honored One expounded five causes leading to the hell of incessant suffering.... But if, with respect to the profound Law that one has yet to comprehend, one were to remain attached [to lesser teachings, and declare that this is not the Buddha's teaching,...] then the accumulated sins of all the above-mentioned five acts would not amount to even a hundredth part of this offense."


A worthy man, while dwelling in security, anticipates danger; a deceitful flatterer, while dwelling amid danger, takes security for granted. A great fire fears even a small quantity of water, and a large tree can have its branches broken by even a small bird. What a wise man fears is slander of the great vehicle. It was on this account that Bodhisattva Vasubandhu declared that he would cut out his tongue, Bodhisattva Ashvaghosha implored that his own head be cut off, and the Great Teacher Chi-tsang made a bridge of his own body. The Learned Doctor Hsuan-tsang went to the sacred land of India to divine [which teaching represents the truth], the Learned Doctor Pu-k'ung likewise went to India to resolve his doubts, and the Great Teacher Dengyo sought confirmation in China. Did not all these men act as they did in order to protect the true meaning of the sutras and treatises?


In Japan today, among the four kinds of believers of the eight sects as well as of the Pure Land and Zen sects, from the emperor and the retired emperor on down to their vassals and the common people, there is not a single person who is not a disciple or supporter of one of the three great teachers: Kobo, Jikaku and Chisho. Ennin, the Great Teacher Jikaku, stated, "[Even though the Kegon and other sutras are termed 'esoteric,' they do not fully expound the secret teaching of the Tathagata;] therefore, they differ [from the Shingon teachings]." Enchin, the Great Teacher Chisho, said, "When compared with the Dainichi Sutra, the Kegon and the Lotus are mere childish theory." And Kukai, the Great Teacher Kobo, remarked, "[Each vehicle that is put forward is claimed to be the true vehicle, but] when examined from a later stage, they are all seen to be mere childish theory." Thus all three of these great teachers held that, though the Lotus Sutra is foremost among all the teachings that Shakyamuni Buddha has preached, now preaches or will preach in the future, when compared with the Dainichi Sutra [expounded by Dainichi Buddha], it is a doctrine of childish theory. Should any thinking person place credence in this assertion? A hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand times more than mad elephants, vicious horses, fierce bulls, savage dogs, poisonous snakes, poisonous thorns, treacherous bluffs, steep cliffs, floods, evil men, evil countries, evil towns, evil dwellings, bad wives, wicked children and malicious retainers, the people of Japan today should fear those eminent priests who keep the precepts and yet hold distorted views!


Question: Are you suggesting that the three great teachers mentioned above were slanderers of the Law? Encho, the Great Teacher Jakko, the second chief priest of Mount Hiei; the Great Teacher Kojo, superintendent of the temple; Anne, the Great Teacher Daigyo; Priest Eryo; Priest Annen; the Supervisor of Monks Jokan; the Administrator of Monks Danna; the Virtuous Monk Eshin and several hundred others [of the Tendai sect], as well as several hundred of Kobo's disciples including Jitsue, Shinzei and Shinga, and also the other great teachers and virtuous monks of the eight sects and ten sects were like so many suns, moons and stars all appearing in succession. During the passage of four hundred years and more, not a single person among these men has ever questioned the teachings of the three great teachers you mentioned above. What sort of wisdom do you base yourself on that you presume to criticize them?


Considering this in light of the points I have made above, I hope my disciples will ponder this matter, cutting short their sleep by night and curtailing their leisure by day. Do not spend this life in vain and regret it for ten thousand years to come.


With my deep respect,

Nichiren


The twenty-third day of the eighth month


I have received one string of coins. I hope all those who seek the truth will gather in one place and listen to this letter.

 

  

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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