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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

With all the calamities befalling Japan how can the Soka Gakkai remain haughty?

OTO GOZEN GO-SHOSOKU (A Letter to Lady Oto)

"Prior to the introduction of Buddhism into China, books written by the Three Emperors, Five Rulers, Three Kings, T'ai Kung-wand, Tan (The Duke of Chou), Lao-tzu and Confucius were called "sutras" or "classics", through which people learned the proprieties: children's indebtedness to their parents, and the relationship between rulers and the ruled. The teachings of these books were observed by the people, and heaven has accepted them. When one didn't follow these dharma, he was punished as a disobedient child or an outlaw. When Buddhism was introduced from India, there arose a dispute between the two sides. One insisted that it should be accepted while the other argued that it should be rejected. The emperor summoned the two sides to debate the issue. The supporters of Buddhism refuted the anti-Buddhists. Since then whenever they debated, anti-Buddhists were defeated just as the sun melts ice, or water puts fire out. Eventually they no longer argued against Buddhism.

As Buddhism was thus introduced into China, it became clear that some scriptures were superior or more profound in content than others. That is to say, they could be divided into Hinayana and Mahayana, exoteric and esoteric, or provisional and true sutras. For example, all rocks are inferior to any gold, and gold can be graded variously. No gold in the human world, however, equals the gold mined from the Jambu River. Even the gold from the Jambu River can never match the gold in the Brahma Heaven. Likewise, all scriptures of Buddhism are like gold: some are superior to or more profound than others.

Hinayana sutras are like small boats, which can accommodate a few people but not hundreds or thousands. Moreover, they must stay close to this shore and can't cross over to the other shore. They can only carry a small amount of cargo. Mahayana sutras are like larger vessels, which can carry easily ten to twenty people. Loaded with a large amount of cargo, they can sail from Kamakura to as far as Kyushu or Mutsu Province (Aomori and Iwate Prefectures) in northern Honshu.

The true sutra is beyond comparison to the other Mahayana sutras. It is like an enormous ship which, loaded with hundreds or thousands of people and a great amount of treasures, is able to sail as far as Korea. This is the one-vehicle teaching of the Lotus Sutra.

Devadatta once was a most evil man, but he became a Buddha called Heavenly King Tathagatha by putting faith in the Lotus Sutra. King Ajatasatru was a wicked king who killed his father, but he later was saved by listening to the Lotus Sutra. Dragon Lady, a woman with a reptilian body, attained Buddhahood after listening to Manjursri's lecture on the Lotus Sutra. Besides, the Buddha declared that it was a gift of the Buddha to each man and woman of the Latter Age of the Decadent Dharma. The Lotus Sutra is the one-vehicle ship as great as Chinese ships.

Consequently, it can be said that all Buddhist scriptures in comparison to non-Buddhist scriptures are like gold against rock. When we compare all Mahayana sutras such as the Flower Garland Sutra, Great Sun Buddha Sutra, Meditation on the Buddha of Infinite Life Sutra, Amitabha Sutra, and Wisdom Sutras to the Lotus Sutra, they are like the glow of fireflies in front of the sun and moon, or ants' nests against the great mountain of Hua-shan.

As some sutras are superior to others, practicers of certain sutras are superior to those of other sutras. Comparison between Shingon esoterists, who have faith in the Great Sun Buddha Sutra, and practicers of the Lotus Sutra is as meaningless as matching fire against water or morning dew against wind. It is said that if a dog barks at a lion, his intestines will be torn out; and if an asura demon shoots an arrow at the sun, his head will be broken into seven pieces. All the esoterists are like the dog or asura, while the practicers of the Lotus Sutra are like the sun or the lion.

Ice, before the sun rises, is as hard as gold. Fire, when there is no water, is as hot as iron in a furnace. However, hard ice can easily be melted by the sun in summer and fire can be extinguished by water. In the same fashion, although esoterists appear to be noble and wise, they are like those who rely on the hardness of ice, without seeing the potential of the sun, or fire without considering water.

You remember how arrogant people today were before the Mongol invasion of Japan, but ever since last October, no one has been haughty. As you heard, I, Nichiren, was the only one who predicted the foreign invasion. If they attack this country again, no one will have the courage to face them. They will act as a monkey facing a dog, or a frog running into a snake.

This is solely because this nation let the priests of Shingon, Pure Land, and Ritsu Sects criticize me, who is the messenger of Sakyamuni Buddha and the practicer of the Lotus Sutra. As a result, this nation has hurt itself, has been disliked by heaven, and all its people have become utter cowards. They are like fire afraid of water, a tree scared of metal (a saw), a pheasant losing courage at a glance of a hawk, or a mouse frozen in front of a cat. No one will be safe. What shall we do?

In a battlefield the Grand General represents the spirit of the whole army. If the Grand General is a coward, then all his soldiers turn to be nothing but cowards. Likewise, a husband is the spirit of his wife. Without him, she will be spiritless. Even married women seem to have difficulties living in this world, but you, without a husband, have never lost your spirit and do better than married women. Moreover, you, who keep faith in gods and revere Buddhas, are a woman superior to all others.

In Kamakura, setting aside Pure Land Buddhists, I could not see how deep the faith of individuals was among followers of the Lotus Sutra. When I was exiled to Sado as a prisoner of the Kamakura shogunate, I hardly had any visitors. However, you proved to be an exceptional woman by not only sending many offerings but also personally visiting me over there. I thought that I was dreaming or seeing an illusion when you appeared; and this time you visited me here. I have no words to express my gratitude. I am certain that the gods will protect you and the ten female raksasa demons will have compassion on you. The Buddha promised that the Lotus Sutra would serve woman as a lantern in the darkness, a ship in the sea, and a guardian in dangerous places.

When Tripitaka Master Kumarajiva brought the Lotus Sutra to China, the Heavenly King Vaisravana dispatched countless soldiers to escort him safely over the Pamirs. When Priest Dosho read the Lotus Sutra in a waste land, innumerable tigers came together to protect him. You will also be protected in the same way; the thirty-six earthly deities and the twenty-eight heavenly gods will protect you. Moreover, two heavenly gods always accompany each person just as a shadow follows the body. One is called God Dosho, and another is God Domyo. Both protect a person by accompanying him on both his shoulders, so that Heaven will not punish the innocent by mistake, not to speak of a lady with virtue like you. Grand Master Miao-le has stated: "As long as one has strong faith, he certainly will receive greater protection." It means that the stronger one's faith is, the greater the gods protection.

Let me say this for your sake. I am aware of your long-standing faith, but you must strengthen it. Then you will find the greater protection of the ten female raksasa demons. You need not look afar for an example; although all the people in Japan, from the ruler to common people, tried to harm me, I have survived until today due to my firm faith.

If a steersman handled his boat carelessly, everybody in the boat could be killed. No matter how strong a man physically is, he is unable to use his abilities effectively if he lacks faith.

Even though there are many wisemen in Japan, they can't utilize their wisdom because the shogunate cannot steer a true course. We do not know how many tens of millions of warriors and civilians in Iki, Tsushima, and Kyushu were killed, captured, drowned or thrown off cliffs by Mongols. If they come to attack again, it will be worse, with Kyoto and Kamakura experiencing the tragedy of Iki and Tsushima. You had better get ready to escape somewhere. Thence, those who never wanted to see or listen to me will put their hands together in gassho and take faith in the Lotus Sutra. Even the adherents of Pure Land and Zen Buddhism will chant "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo."

According to the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha carries on His shoulders and back men and women who have firm faith in the sutra. Tripitaka Master Kumarayana is said to have been carried on the back of a wooden statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. As for myself, the Buddha took my place to save my life at Tatsunokuchi. This has always been true, today as in the past. You are my followers. How can you each fail to attain Buddhahood? No matter whom you remarry, do not follow him if he does not believe in the Lotus Sutra. Have a stronger affirmation than ever.

Ice is made of water, but it is colder than water. Blue colored cloth is colored by indigo, but it will be bluer than indigo when dyed repeatedly. In the same fashion, if you pile up your faith in the Lotus Sutra, you will be filled with more vitality and blessings than other people.

A tree can be burnt by fire, but a margoso tree will not be. Fire can be extinguished by water, but the fire of Buddha's cremation will not. Flowers can be scattered by wind, but the flowers in the Heaven of Pure Inhabitants will not. Water can evaporate in a severe drought, but not when it enters the Yellow River. A wicked King named Dammira did not receive any punishment when he beheaded Indian monks. When he beheaded Venerable Aryasimha, however, the king's sword and hand fell to the ground at the same time. When King Pusyamitara burnt the Kukkutarama Temple, his head was broken by the sticks of the twelve heavenly generals. Now, the people of Japan have become enemies of the Lotus Sutra, destroying themselves as well as their country.

Some people, who do not understand me, may call me self-conceited for what I say.  I am not self-conceited. As a practicer of the Lotus Sutra, I must speak out. When what I say is proven to be true in the future, people will believe me. I write this now because I am certain that people in the future will recognize my wisdom.

It is said in the Nirvana Sutra that the dharma is more important than our lives, so we should propagate the dharma at the cost of our lives. My life is insignificant; I have been struck and hated by the people. Nevertheless, because the dharma is important, it will inevitably spread. With the Lotus Sutra spreading I should be more revered after I die than when I am alive. If my remains should be revered, then they should be beneficial to the people. If my remains should be beneficial, I should be revered just as Great Bodhisattva Hachiman. You should know that all men and women who support me will then be respected just as Ta-kenouchi-no-Sukune, who served Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, or his young prince.

The merit of opening the eyes of a blind man is beyond description. How much more does it take to open the eyes of all sentient beings in Japan? Moreover, what does it take to open the eyes of all blind people throughout the world?

The fourth scroll of the Lotus Sutra states: "Anyone who understands the meaning of this sutra after My death will be the eyes of the world of gods and men." It means that those who have firm faith in the Lotus Sutra are the eyes of all gods and men; wherefore those in Japan who are hostile to me are picking the eyes of all heavenly and human beings. Hence, it is natural for heavenly gods to get angry and cause disasters day after day, while earthly deities cause calamities month after month.

Indra in heaven, who respected a fox and learned the dharma from him, was reborn as Sakyamuni Buddha. Sessen Doji, who honored a demon as his teacher, has become the lord of the threefold world. Sages in the past were not concerned about their form, and they never abandoned the dharma. I, Nichiren, today may be stupid, but I am not inferior to either a fox or a demon. People today may be noble, but they are not superior to Indra or Sessen Doji. Because of my humble position in society, however, they simply reject my good words, so this country is about to be destroyed. How sad it is! I am also sad as I am unable to save my disciples who express sympathy to me.

Should any calamity befall you, you must come to this place promptly. I will welcome you. Let us starve together on this mountain.

I suppose Oto Gozen has become matured and wise. I will write you again.


4th of the 8th month

To My Lady Oto

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