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Major Writings II - Nichiren Daishounin

Propagation by the Wise
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]

Propagation by the Wise


Buddhism can be correctly propagated only by a person of unsurpassed wisdom. This is why Shakyamuni, after expounding all the sutras, entrusted the Hinayana teachings to Ananda and the Mahayana teachings to Monju, but refused to transfer the ultimate principle of the Lotus Sutra to any of his immediate disciples. Shakyamuni instead summoned Bodhisattva Jogyo, his disciple from ages past, and entrusted it to him.


Even if there should be a person of wisdom who embraces Buddhism, how could he propagate it without believers who support him? Shakyamuni had the support of Bonten and Taishaku who dwell in heaven. From among the six paths, the Buddha chose the worlds of Heaven and Humanity, and of these two, he chose to be born among human beings. Of all places in the universe inhabited by men, he appeared in India, in the kingdom of Magadha. The king of Magadha should have been a protector of the Buddha, but the ruler was King Ajatashatru, an evil man. The most unfortunate destiny for a Buddha is to be born in the reign of an evil monarch. King Ajatashatru had murdered his father, a wise king who had supported the Buddha. Even worse, he had taken Devadatta as his mentor. Devadatta committed three of the five cardinal sins, worst of all injuring the Buddha and causing him to bleed. The impious and evil king joined forces with this slanderer of Buddhism, compounding the great harm to humanity. Not only for one or two years but for several decades, this king repeatedly harassed the Buddha and killed a great many of his disciples. This infuriated the heavens, and the skies reacted violently. Moreover, the terrestrial gods were so provoked that the great disasters occurred on earth. Month after month violent gales raged, and year after year famines and epidemics struck, killing the majority of the people. Furthermore, neighboring kingdoms attacked on all sides, driving Magadha to the brink of ruin. At that time, motivated by a revelation in a dream, by the advice of his physician and minister Jivaka and finally by his own inner doubts, Ajatashatru left Devadatta and went to Shakyamuni Buddha to repent for his sinful deeds. Therefore his illness was cured immediately, the invasions ceased and the entire country became peaceful. Not only did he recover his health; he was able to thwart the prophecy that he would die on the seventh day of the third month and in fact prolonged his life by forty years. In gratitude, he assembled a thousand arhats to record all the Buddha's teachings, especially the Lotus Sutra, for future generations. It is therefore thanks to King Ajatashatru that we have the Lotus Sutra we embrace today.


Even so, if I, Nichiren, should repeat the teachings given by the Buddha to King Ajatashatru, most Japanese would consider them to be merely my own fabrication. But since you are my disciple and supporter, I will reveal them to you. The Buddha stated, "After my death, during the Latter Day of the Law, there will be many who will piously observe the five ascetic practices as Devadatta did. They will persuade an evil ruler to act against the one person of unsurpassed wisdom. At times they will slander or strike him, cause him to be exiled, and even try to kill him. In that age there will be natural disasters, such as typhoons, famines, and epidemics even greater than those witnessed in this day, and these calamities will continue year after year. There will also be foreign invasions." This is the substance of the tenth volume of the Shugo Sutra.


The present age has evolved exactly as the Buddha predicted it would, and Nichiren is the wise man whom the Buddha described. Although there are people who wish to help me, many of them are weak-willed and others, though having a strong spirit, cannot act upon their intentions. Thus you are one of the very few whose action matches his will. Your faith is stronger than the faith of others, and it is because of your support that I have been able to survive. Both the heavens and the earth are certainly aware of this, so if any misfortune happens to you, it could only mean that heaven wants my life itself. Wherever he may be, whether in the mountains, on the seas, in the skies or in the cities, man cannot escape death. However, a passage from one of the sutras explains that even one's immutable karma can be changed. T'ien-t'ai interprets this passage to mean that one can prolong his fixed span of life.


As I advised you earlier, until the Mongol forces actually attack this country, you should refrain from spreading any alarm. As for the reply to your lord, answer him firmly in this way: "Since I am ill, it is most distressing for me to be transferred to a remote place. Moreover, the entire country is on the verge of ruin. Should an emergency arise, how could I possibly be a coward? At this moment I am resolved to sacrifice my life for my lord. Yet, should a sudden crisis occur, it is doubtful whether I could reach you in time from the distant province of Echigo. Therefore, even at the risk of losing my estate, I will not leave you this year. Anything else you may command of me, I will obey without hesitation or fear. The only people more important to me are the priest Nichiren and my deceased parents. However, I will devote this life to you, even if you disown me, for I have entrusted my life after death to the priest Nichiren."


Nichiren


The sixth day of the ninth month in the second year of Kenji (1276)

 

 

  

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

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