Nichiren explains karma thus:
“One who climbs a high mountain must eventually descend. One who slights another will in turn be despised. One who deprecates those of handsome appearance will be born ugly. One who robs another of food and clothing is sure to fall into the world of hungry spirits. One who mocks a person who observes the precepts and is worthy of respect will be born to an impoverished and lowly family. One who slanders a family that embraces the correct teaching will be born to a family that holds erroneous views. One who laughs at those who cherish the precepts faithfully will be born a commoner and meet with persecution from one’s sovereign. This is the general law of cause and effect.”
The general law of cause and effect [karmic reward] is easy to understand. A kindergarten student can understand this law. Believing, even the general law of cause and effect, is far more difficult than understanding it theoretically. The reason is that people deny their own responsibility for their misfortunes.
Nichiren goes on to say;
“My sufferings, however, are not ascribable to this [general] causal law. In the past I despised the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. I also ridiculed the sutra itself, sometimes with exaggerated praise and other times with contempt— that sutra as magnificent as two moons shining side by side, two stars conjoined, one Mount Hua placed atop another, or two jewels combined. This is why I have experienced the aforementioned eight kinds of sufferings…”
Finally, he concludes:
“…Usually these sufferings appear one at a time, on into the boundless future, but Nichiren has denounced the enemies of the Lotus Sutra so severely that all eight have descended at once. This is like the case of a peasant heavily in debt to the steward of his village and to other authorities. As long as he remains in his village or district, rather than mercilessly hounding him, they are likely to defer his debts from one year to the next. But when he tries to leave, they rush over and demand that he repay everything at once. This is what the sutra means when it states, “It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law.”
How fortunate we are to denounce the enemies of the Lotus Sutra as did Nichiren! We will be able to repay our karmic debt in this very life. How sad are they who practice the Lotus Sutra with a mind half intent on goodness, those who destine themselves to cycle through the Lower Six Worlds for many kalpas.