Make your own free website on

Major Writings II - Nichiren Daishounin

The Farther the Source, the Longer the Stream
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]

The Farther the Source, the Longer the Stream
I have received one kan of coins and respectfully reported in the presence of the Lotus Sutra that this is an offering from Yorimoto. I believe that from afar, Lord Shakyamuni, Taho Buddha and the Buddhas of the ten directions, and close at hand, the gods of the sun and moon in their heavenly palaces, will certainly watch over you.
If someone excels in this world, even those who are regarded as worthies and sages, to say nothing of ordinary people, will all become jealous and bear grudges against that person. Three thousand court ladies harbored jealousy against Wang Chao-chun, the favorite of the emperor of the Han dynasty. Taishaku’s consorts, who numbered nine million nine hundred thousand nayuta, all envied Kyoshika. Minister Fujiwara no Saneyori bore a grudge against Imperial Prince Kaneakira, and Fujiwara no Tokihira, jealous of Sugawara no Michizane, spoke falsely of him to the emperor, causing him to be exiled.
Consider your own situation in light of these examples. Your lord Ema Nyudo’s domain used to be vast, but has now diminished. He has many sons who could succeed him, and there are also many retainers who have long served him. His retainers must be possessed by growing envy, just as fish become agitated when the water of their pond decreases and birds vie with one another to secure branches when autumn winds begin to blow. Moreover, since you have disobeyed your lord and gone against his wishes from time to time, the calumnies made to him against you must have been all the more numerous. However, even though you have been forced to relinquish your fief time and again, in your letter you said that he has now conferred an estate upon you. This is indeed wondrous. This is precisely what is meant by the statement that unseen virtue brings about visible reward. It must have happened because of your profound sincerity in trying to lead your lord to faith in the Lotus Sutra.
King Ajatashatru, though once the Buddha’s enemy, came to take faith in the Lotus Sutra at the urging of his minister Jivaka so that he was able to prolong his life and continue his rule. King Myoshogon corrected his mistaken views at the exhortation of his two sons. The same is true in your case. Lord Ema has now softened probably as a result of your admonishment. This is solely because of your deep faith in the Lotus Sutra.
The deeper the roots, the more luxuriant the branches. The Farther the Source, the Longer the Stream. All sutras other than the Lotus Sutra have shallow roots and short streams, while the Lotus Sutra has deep roots and a distant source. That is why the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai stated that the Lotus Sutra would survive and spread even in the evil latter age.
Many people have taken faith in this teaching. But since great persecutions, both official and otherwise, have repeatedly befallen me, though these people followed me a year or two, many of them later abandoned their faith, and some even turned against the Lotus Sutra. Some of them outwardly maintain their practice but cherish doubt in their hearts, while others may continue to believe in their hearts but have abandoned their practice.
Shakyamuni Buddha, the heir to King Shuddhodana, was a great king who reigned over the world’s 84,210 countries. All kings of the entire world bowed to him, and he had ten myriad million servants. Nevertheless, he left the palace of King Shuddhodana at the age of nineteen and entered Mount Dandaka, where he was to carry out austerities for twelve years. At that time he was attended by five men: Ajnata Kaundinya, Ashvajit), Bhadrika, Dashabala Kashyapa and Mahanama. Of these five, however, two left Shakyamuni during the sixth year, while the remaining three deserted him in the next six years [no longer able to believe in him]. Alone, Shakyamuni continued his practice and became the Buddha.
The Lotus Sutra is even more difficult to believe [than Shakyamuni] and therefore the sutra itself states that it is ". . . the most difficult to believe and the most difficult to understand." Moreover, in the Latter Day of the Law, persecutions are far more frequent and intense than in the lifetime of Shakyamuni Buddha. The sutra states that a votary who perseveres despite these adversities will gain benefits greater than those obtained by making offerings to the Buddha for an entire aeon.
It is now some 2,230 years since the Buddha’s passing. Those who spread Buddhism in India for more than a thousand years following his death are recorded in history without omission and those who disseminated Buddhism in China for a thousand years and in Japan for seven hundred are also clearly listed. Very few of them, however, met persecutions as terrible as those of the Buddha. Many described themselves as worthy men or sages, but not one of them has ever lived the sutra’s prediction: "[Since hatred and jealousy toward this sutra abound even during the lifetime of the Buddha,] how much worse will it be in the world after his passing?" Bodhisattva Nagarjuna, T’ien-t’ai and Dengyo met great persecutions for the sake of Buddhism, but none as great as those the Buddha describes in the sutra. This is because they were born before the time when the Lotus Sutra is to be spread.
We have now already entered "the last five hundred years," or the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law. This time period is like the sun at the summer solstice on the fifteenth day of the fifth month or the harvest moon on the fifteenth day of the eighth month. T’ien-t’ai and Dengyo were born too early to see it; those born after will regret that they came too late.
The main force of the enemy has already been defeated, and the remainder is no match for me. Now is the very time which the Buddha predicted: "the last five hundred years," "the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law" and the age indicated by the passage, "How much worse will it be in the world after his passing?" If the Buddha’s words are not false, a sage must certainly have appeared in this world. According to the sutras, the greatest war the world has ever seen will break out as a sign of this sage’s advent, and since such a war has already occurred, the sage must already have appeared in this world. The appearance of a legendary beast called ch’i-lin told Chinese contemporaries that Confucius was a sage, and there is no doubt that the resounding of a village shrine heralds a sage’s coming. When the Buddha made his advent in this world, the growth of sandalwood informed his contemporaries that he was a sage. Lao Tzu was recognized as a sage because at birth the sole of one foot was marked with the Chinese character "two" and the other with the character "five."
Then how does one recognize the sage of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law? The sutra states that a person who can preach and embrace the Lotus Sutra is the Buddha’s envoy. In other words, one who embraces the eight volumes, or a single volume, chapter or verse, of the Lotus Sutra, or who chants the daimoku, is the Buddha’s emissary. Also, one who perseveres through great persecutions and embraces the sutra from beginning to end is the Buddha’s emissary.
My mind may not be that of the Buddha’s envoy, since I am but a common mortal. However, since I have incurred the hatred of the three powerful enemies and been exiled twice, I am like the Buddha’s envoy. Though my mind is steeped in the three poisons and my body is that of a common mortal, because my mouth chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, I am like the Buddha’s envoy. If I seek an example in the past, I may be likened to Bodhisattva Fukyo. If I look at the present, I have been living the sutra’s description of persecution "by swords and staves, tiles and stones." In the future, I will doubtless arrive at the place of enlightenment, and those who have sustained me will also dwell together in the pure land of Eagle Peak. I have many other things to tell you, but I will stop here and leave the rest for you to conclude.
The ailing acolyte has recovered, which makes me very happy. Daishin Ajari died exactly as you foresaw. Everyone here praises you, saying that even a latter-day Jivaka would be no match for you. I think they may well be right. We have been telling each other that your predictions about Sammi-bo and Soshiro have come true exactly, just as two tallies match precisely. I entrust my life to you and will consult no other physician.

The fifteenth day of the ninth month in the first year of Koan (1278)


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