"Our true country is the Lotus Sutra"
"Our teacher said: Fascicle three of the Lotus Sutra reads, "It is as though they came from a land where hunger prevails and at once encountered a great king's feast." Chuan (fascicle) six reads, "This my land is secure and at peace, constantly filled with gods and humans....My pure land is indestructible." The intent of these passages from both chapters is that the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings are like a land where one must journey through rubble. To mistakenly think that such a place is one's own country or the capital city comes about because of delusion. Because the beings had all dwelt in such a country for forty- two years, they thought it was their original land. Our true country is the Lotus Sutra. Thus the chapter on "Belief and Understanding" states, "By chance he returned to his own country." The place where one has received the seed of Buddhahood in the remotest past is variously called one's own country, the Pure Land, or the great king's feast. The mind-ground that receives the seed of Buddhahood is precisely the "country" of accepting, holding, believing and understanding.
"Nichiren's disciples must not be cowards" [STN 3:258788]
Our teacher said: This means that, in time of debate, one should not heed even Sakyamuni of the provisional teachings or even of the trace teaching [of the Lotus Sutra]. If one is a coward, he will start to think, "Am I really not to heed even Sakyamuni of the trace teachings?" But if one should not heed even Sakyamuni of the provisional teachings, then how could one heed bodhisattvas from the stage of virtual enlightenment on down? Even less could one heed those who slander the Dharma! Sending forth the great voice of Namu-myo- ho-renge-kyo, one should counter the various sutras and sects. This is the meaninq of the [sutra] passage, "Skillful in answering difficult questions, their hearts were without fear."
"Among practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, there are those like water and
those like fire." [STN 3:2588-89]
Among those who have faith in this sutra, there are differences [like those] of fire and water. Practitioners like fire are many, while those like water are few. "Like fire" means that when they hear the teaching of this sutra, [their faith] flares up like a flame. Although they believe, thinking [the teaching] most noble and superior, their faith is soon extinguished. At the time, theirs seems like remarkable faith, but the lamp of such belief easily goes out. As for the practitioners who are like water, water flows day and night without retreating, never ceasing even in the slightest. One who believes in the Lotus Sutra in this way is called a practitioner like water.
"A woman, "myo" and Sakyamuni are one essence" [STN 3:2589]
Our teacher said: A woman gives birth to a child. The child she has bornwill in turn bear another child. In this way, through many repetitions, countless children will be born. Among them there will be good children, wicked children, children who are upright and handsome, and ugly children. There will be children of short stature and others who are tall, as well as male children and female children.
The meaning here is that, from the single character "myo", all dharmas are produced, from hell, the realm of hungry ghosts, and all the way up to the Buddha realm. There are provisional teachings and true teachings: there is good and there is evil. [The character "myo"] gives birth to all the dharmas.
Again, from the body of the single Buddha Sakyamuni, all Buddhas and bodhisattvas are produced. Amida, Yakushi, Dainichi and the others are all like the ten thousand reflections on the ten thousand bodies of water of the single moon that is Sakyamuni. This being the case, there is no dissimilarity whatsoever between a woman, "myo" and Sakyamuni. The Great Teacher Miao-lo [Chan-jan] states, "Myo is precisely the three thousand realms, and the three thousand realms are precisely "ho". This is the meaning of the passage from the "Devadatta" chapter, "There was a single precious jewel, whose value was equal to the trichiliocosm."
"Arrive without differing thoughts at the Pure Land of Vulture Peak" [STN
Our teacher said: "Differing thoughts" indicates disbelief. When thoughts of disbelief arise in our mind, we should at once dwell in the mind of faith. The point is that one should not make the mind of disbelief one's teacher, but rather, take the mind of faith as one' s teacher. With a pure mind and believing reverence, one should cultivate the practice of the Lotus Satra. Thus in the phrase " is able to uphold this sutra" or "is able to preach this sutra," the Buddha stressed the words: "is able to." Herein lies Vulture Peak. That is the meaning of the passage, "The fourmkinds of lands (66) exist in the single thought-moment; all are [the Land of] Eternally Tranquil Light."
"The transfer document for the last age" [STS 3:25941]
Our teacher said: "Last age" means the fifth five hundred years that begin the Final Dharma age. The "transfer document" is Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, a document that is handed down as proof of inheritance. There are two meanings in this transfer. One is the designation of successorship; the other is the bestowal of wealth. The designation of successorship means that Sakyamuni named as his heirs the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra. The passage of proof states, "[..desiring to make all beings] equal to me, without difference." As for the transfer of wealth, Sakyamuni also passed on to the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra his wisdom and the virtues he had obtained by observing the precepts. The passage of proof states, "We have obtained for ourselves the supreme jewel cluster without seeking it." Thus the five characters of the daimoku constitute a transfer document.