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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dialogue on the Way to Correctly Hold the Sublime Lotus Sutra (Ji Myo Hokke Mondo Sho)

"The Lotus Sutra teaches: 'If, in the future, there should be in any world, a good son or good daughter having a pure heart and reverential belief, free from doubt, such a one shall not fall into hell or become a hungry spirit or animal, but shall be born, instead, into the presence of the Buddhas of the universe.' You should definitely understand and embrace this passage, expecting, in the next lifetime, to be born into the presence of the Buddhas.

If you find yourself at the foot of a high cliff and, unable to scale the bank, discover that someone has lowered a rope to pull you up and asks that you seize it, should you hesitate to grasp the rope because you doubt the strength of your rescuer or the security of the rope? If you refuse to take hold of the rope, how can you be lifted from the depths? If you place trust in the words of the rescuer and stretch out your hands to clasp the rope, then you may be pulled from the abyss.

So then, how can you be saved if you doubt the strength of the Buddha who declares: "I alone can save and protect you?" How can you be saved if you question the security of the rope of the Lotus Sutra that teaches: "Only with faith can you enter into Buddhahood?" The Sublime Dharma reveals that, "(If you believe in, and devote yourself to this Law) you will, without fail, create the destiny to become a Buddha." If you hesitate to chant the Daimoku of the Sublime Dharma, it will be impossible for you to reach the peak of the precipice of enlightenment. Those who refuse to believe this will fall into hell. Thus, the Sutra teaches: "Those who doubt and disbelieve this Sutra will fall into the evil paths."

How could you possibly spend your life in vain, after having received a human life which is so difficult to receive, after having encountered Buddhism which is so rare to encounter?

If all of your relatives depart from your native village, leaving the path to your home abandoned and overgrown, your eagerness to return there will wane. If a loved one cannot be depended upon, and refuses to make a vow together with you for the future, then your longing to see the loved one will naturallydiminish.

Then why do people not visit the Pure Land of Eagle Peak, an easy place to reach, and much more wonderful than the mansions of nobility? Why do people not long to see the Buddha’s figure, who tenderly declares, "I am your Father?" This thought causes me such overwhelming grief that my heart aches within my chest and my sleeves are heavy with tears.

Pensive or melancholy feelings may arise within you as you note the hue of the clouds in the evening sky, or the pale light of the moon as night gives way to dawn. At these moments, and at any and all other times, you should think of your eternal life. Think of it in the late afternoon of a day colored by the blossoms of spring; think of it on the morning of a heavy snow fall. Remember it on an evening as you watch the winds drive tufts of clouds across the sky. An outgoing breath does not wait for the incoming one. You should not at any moment forget the Buddha’s merciful pledge, "I am always thinking of how to save all living beings." Nor should you abandon the Sutra that reads, "There is no being who cannot become a Buddha."

Yesterday became today and last year became this year, but can you be certain that you will see this year pass into the next? When we count the years that have passed since birth, we know exactly how long we have been living, but one is assured of not even one day more, nor of even a moment longer.

Even with the knowledge that they may die at any moment, many people still are filled with self-conceit and stubbornly adhere to their own narrow ideas, or they foolishly waste themselves striving after fame and profit, neglecting to chant the Daimoku of the Sublime Law. It is truly lamentable that even though this Law allows anyone to realize Buddhahood, such people are unable to enter into the Buddha’s Path. How can the moon-light be reflected off the sleeve of a cold-hearted person?

As a life is nothing more than what exists in a single moment (Ichinen), the Buddha taught that it is a great benefit to believe in the Lotus Sutra and feel the joy of that belief for even a moment. If it were necessary to practice for even two or three moments to realize such joy, it would contradict the Buddha’s vow to allow all beings to enter, equally, the Buddha’s great wisdom, and therefore, it could not be the teaching to bring all beings to immediate enlightenment.

If a person is not in the seat of Eternal Tranquil Light, then any place will be full of agony. What pleasures can be enjoyed by those who are away from the home of true enlightenment?

I pray for you to cherish the Sublime Law, the Law of security in this life time and of wonderful existence in the next. Upholding the Sublime Law is the only real honor of this life time, the only genuine path guiding us into the next. Whole-heartedly chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo yourself and teach it to others. To chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is the purpose of this human life and is the only support we can carry with us into the next."

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo,


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