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Major Writings II - Nichiren Daishounin

Chapter 4: Faith and Understanding [Shinge]
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]

Chapter 4: Faith and Understanding [Shinge]

Chapter six of the Hokke Mongu states, "In the Cheng-fa-hua [ching], this chapter is titled 'Faith and Joy.' While the meaning comes through, 'joy' is not equal to 'understanding.' This present [chapter] expresses the acceptance and understanding [of the four great voice-hearers on hearing the teaching of the one vehicle]. How could 'joy' be most appropriate?"

Among the titles of the twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra, this chapter has the title 'Faith and Understanding.' The three thousand realms in a single instant arise from the character 'faith.' The attainment of the Way by all Buddhas of the three existences also derives from the character 'faith.' This character 'faith' or 'belief' is a sharp sword that can sever fundamental darkness. As expressed in the statement, 'Having no doubt is called belief,' faith is a sharp sword to sever and destroy doubts and delusions. 'Understanding' is another word for wisdom. Faith is like the price [of a jewel], and wisdom, like the jewel itself. (Gosho Zenshu p. 724)

The single character 'faith' will purchase the wisdom of all Buddhas of the three existences of past, present and future. 'Wisdom' means Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Faith is the cause of wisdom and represents the stage of verbal identity. Apart from faith, there can be no understanding, and apart from understanding, there can be no faith. The character 'faith' is defined as the seed of wonderful enlightenment. Now because Nichiren and his disciples believe and accept Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, they obtain a great precious jewel, as stated in the sutra, "This cluster of unsurpassed jewels has come to us unsought." (LS p. 87, 3LS p. 116)  Faith is the seed of wisdom, and disbelief is the cause for falling into hell. 'Faith' corresponds to the principle of true being that is unchanging. The reason is that 'faith' means one arrives at 'understanding that all laws are the Mystic Law' and believes in this as the single principle of the true aspect. 'Understanding' corresponds to the wisdom of true being that accords with conditions. It indicates the wisdom of the Buddha of absolute freedom. (Gosho Zenshu p. 725)

Chapter Nine of the Hokke Mongu states, "Having no doubt is called belief; a clear grasp is called understanding." Chapter Six of the Hokke Mongu states, "When people of intermediate capacity heard the Buddha expound the [of the three carts and burning house], their doubts and confusion were removed, for the first time, and they entered understanding of the Mahayana Teaching; therefore this is called 'faith.' Because they advanced in the Mahayana Teaching, that is called 'understanding.'"

The commentary also states, "Here the two words [faith and understanding] are treated separately with respect to the Mahayana teaching and applied to 'discerning the Way' and 'cultivating the Way.' Because doubts are removed, that is 'faith,' and because one further advances, that is 'understanding.' 'Faith' applies to both discerning and cultivating, while 'understanding' only applies to cultivation. Therefore, cultivation of the Way is called 'understanding.'"

The sutra states, "This is my son, and I in truth am his father. Now everything that belongs to me, all of my wealth and possessions, shall belong entirely to this one of mine." (LS p. 85, 3LS p. 114)

I, Nichiren am the father of all the people of Japan. (Gosho Zenshu p. 726)

The sutra states, "This cluster of unsurpassed jewels has come to us unsought." (LS p. 87, 3LS p. 116)

Now from the standpoint of Nichiren and his disciples, 'unsurpassed' indicates Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, which is most unsurpassed among the unsurpassed. The sutra speaks of the 'unsurpassed cluster of jewels' to indicate the Mystic law. [This phrase] means that Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the treasure in which are clustered all the beneficial practices and meritorious deeds of all Buddhas of the three existences. Faith enables us, without painful practices or merit accumulated through austerities, to receive the peerless treasure through a single utterance. This is the meaning of '[H]as come to us unsought.' (Gosho Zenshu p. 728)

The sutra states, "Now we have become voice-hearers in truth, for we will take the voice of the Buddha way and cause it to be heard by all." (LS p. 94, 3LS p. 124)

Thus, Shariputra expressed his understanding of the Law by saying in [the 3rd] chapter 'listening to the voice.' 'Listening' means to take faith in the sutra and 'the voice' indicates the voice and sound of all phenomena which signifies the Mystic Way. Regarding this voice, [this] chapter states [the above phrase]. 'All' means humans living in the phenomenal world and 'voice' means Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. (Gosho Zenshu p. 728)


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