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Major Writings II - Nichiren Daishounin

The Embankments of Faith
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]

The Embankments of Faith


In your letter, you asked how the effect varies according to the degree of slander against Buddhism. To begin with, the Lotus Sutra was taught to lead all people to enlightenment. However, only those who have faith in it attain enlightenment. Those who slander it fall into the hell of incessant suffering. As the sutra 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....After he dies, he will fall into the hell of incessant suffering."


There are many degrees of slander. Even among those who embrace the Lotus Sutra, very few uphold it steadfastly both in mind and in deed. But those who do will not suffer serious retribution even if they have committed minor offenses against Buddhism. Their strong faith expiates their sins as surely as a flood extinguishes tiny fires.


In the Nirvana Sutra, Shakyamuni states, "If even a good priest sees someone slandering the Law and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then that priest is betraying Buddhism. But if he takes the slanderer severely to task, drives him off or punishes him, then he is my disciple and one who truly understands my teachings."


This admonition forces me to speak out against slander in spite of the persecutions I face, for fear that I might become an enemy of Buddhism if I did not.


However, slander can be either minor or serious, and there are times when we should overlook it rather than attack it. The adherents of the Tendai and Shingon sects slander the Lotus Sutra and should be refuted. But without great wisdom it is very difficult to differentiate correctly between their doctrines and the teaching which Nichiren expounds. Therefore, at times, you might be well advised to refrain from attacking them, just as I did in the Rissho Ankoku Ron.


Whether or not we reproach another for his slander, it is difficult to prevent him from committing a grave sin. If we see or hear a person commit slander and make no attempt to stop him even though he could be saved, we betray our great gifts of sight and hearing and so commit an act of utter mercilessness.


Chang-an wrote, "If you befriend another person but lack the mercy to correct him, you are in fact his enemy." The consequences of this offense are extremely difficult to erase. The most important thing is to continually strengthen your compassion to save others from their own slanderous nature.


When a person's slanders are minor, he may sometimes need to be admonished, but at other times this is unnecessary, for he may be able to correct his faults without being told. Reprove a person for acting against Buddhism when necessary so that both of you can forestall the consequences of slander. Then you should forgive him. The point is that even minor slanders can lead to serious ones, and then the effects he must suffer would be far worse. This is what Chang-an meant when he wrote, "To remove a man's evil is to be like a parent to him."


There are examples of slander even among Nichiren's disciples and believers. I am sure that you have heard about Ichinosawa Nyudo. In his heart he is one of Nichiren's disciples, but outwardly he still remains in the Nembutsu sect. Therefore, I am very concerned about his next life and have presented him with the ten volumes of the Lotus Sutra.


Strengthen your faith now more than ever. Anyone who teaches the truths of Buddhism to others is bound to incur hatred from men and women, priests and nuns. Let them say what they will. The most important thing is for you to entrust your life to the golden teachings of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha, T'ien-t'ai, Miao-lo, Dengyo and Chang-an. This is the way to practice correctly according to the Buddha's teachings. The Lotus Sutra reads, "If one teaches this sutra for even a moment in the dreaded age to come, he will receive support from all the heavens." This passage explains that in the Latter Day when evil people stained by the three poisons will prevail, anyone who embraces the true teaching for even a short time will be aided and supported by the heavens.


Now you should cherish the great desire to attain enlightenment for happiness in your next life. If you doubt or slander even in the slightest, you will fall into the hell of incessant suffering. Suppose there is a ship which sails on the open sea. Even if the ship is stoutly built, should it leak even a bit, the passengers are certain to drown together. Even though the embankment between rice fields is firm, if there is only one tiny crack in it, the water will never be contained. You must bail the sea water of doubt and slander out of the ship of your life and solidify the embankments of your faith. If a believer's offense is slight, forgive him and lead him to obtain benefits. If it is serious, admonish him to strengthen his faith so that he can expiate the sin.


You are a very unusual woman since you asked me to explain the effects of various degrees of slander. You are every bit as praiseworthy as the Dragon King's daughter when she said, "I will reveal the Mahayana doctrine to save people from suffering." The Lotus Sutra reads, "To ask about the meaning of this sutra will indeed be difficult." There are very few people who inquire about the meaning of the Lotus Sutra. Always be determined to denounce slanders against true Buddhism to the best of your ability. It is indeed remarkable that you should be helping me reveal my teachings.


Respectfully,

Nichiren


The third day of the ninth month in the first year of Kenji (1275)

 

 

  

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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