The Person and the Law
- Nanjo-dono Gohenji -
I have just heard from your messenger that you are suffering from a serious illness. I hope you will
recover soon and come to see me.
Also, I have received your gifts of two sacks of salt, a sack of soybeans, a bag of seaweed and a bamboo
container of sake. I have not seen you since you returned home from the province of Kozuke, and I have been wondering how
you are. I can hardly find words to say how much I appreciate your sincerity in sending me a letter and your many gifts.
As you well know, one of the sutras tells us the story of Tokusho Doji, who offered a mud pie to the
Buddha and was later reborn as King Ashoka who ruled over most of India. Since the Buddha is worthy of respect, the boy was
able to receive this great reward even though the pie was only mud. However Shakyamuni Buddha teaches that one who makes offerings
to the votary of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law for even a single day will gain incomparably greater fortune
than he would by offering countless treasures to the Buddha for one hundred thousand aeons. How wonderful then is your heartfelt
sincerity in supporting the votary of the Lotus Sutra over the years! According to the Buddha's own words, you are certain
to be reborn in the pure land of Eagle Peak. What great good fortune you possess!
This is a mountainous place, remote from all human habitation. There is not a single village in any
direction. Although I live in such a forsaken hovel, deep in this mortal flesh I preserve the ultimate secret Law inherited
from Shakyamuni Buddha at Eagle Peak. My heart is where all Buddhas enter nirvana; my tongue, where they turn the wheel of
doctrine; my throat, where they are born into this world; and my mouth, where they attain enlightenment. Because this mountain
is where the wondrous votary of the Lotus Sutra dwells, how can it be any less sacred than the pure land of Eagle Peak? Since
the Law is supreme, the Person is worthy of respect; since the Person is worthy of respect, the Land is sacred. The Jinriki
chapter reads, "Whether in a grove, under a tree, or in a monastery...the Buddhas enter nirvana." Those who visit this place
can instantly expiate the sins they have committed since the infinite past and transform their illusions into wisdom, their
errors into truth, and their sufferings into freedom.
A suffering traveler in central India once came to Munetchi Lake to quench the fires of anguish in his
heart. He proclaimed that its waters satisfied all his desires, just as a cool, clear pond quenches thirst. Although Munetchi
Lake and this place are different, the principle is exactly the same. Thus, the Eagle Peak of India is now here at Mount Minobu.
It has been a long time since you were last here. You should come to see me as soon as you possibly can. I am eagerly looking
forward to seeing you.
How can I describe your sincerity? In truth, it is splendid!
The eleventh day of the ninth month in the fourth year of Koan (1281)