Bestowal of the Mandala of the Mystic
I am bestowing upon you the Gohonzon of Myoho-renge-kyo.
Though [the daimoku of] this mandala is written in but five
or seven characters, it is the teacher of all Buddhas throughout
the three existences and the seal that guarantees the enlightenment
of all women. It will be a lamp in the darkness of the road
to the next world and a fine horse to carry you over the
mountains of death. It is like the sun and the moon in the
heavens or Mount Sumeru on earth. It is a ship to ferry
people over the sea of suffering. It is the teacher who
leads all people to enlightenment. This mandala has never
yet been revealed or propagated anywhere in the world in
the more than 2,220 years since the Buddhas passing.
prescription of] medicine differs according to the illness.
Ordinary medicine will help a slight ailment, but for grave
illnesses, elixir should be used. During the 2,220 or more
years since the Buddhas death, the peoples illnesses,
that is, their illusions and negative karma, were not serious,
and a succession of learned priests appeared in order to act
as physicians and dispense medicine appropriately as these
illnesses required. These learned priests came from the Kusha,
Jojitsu, Ritsu, Hosso, Sanron, Shingon, Kegon, Tendai, Jodo
and Zen sects. Each of these sects prescribed its own medicine.
For example, the Kegon sect set forth the principle of the
six forms and the ten mysteries, the Sanron sect advocated
the middle path of the eight negations, the Hosso sect stressed
the perception that all phenomena derive from consciousness
only, the Ritsu sect upheld the two hundred and fifty precepts,
the Jodo sect invoked the name of Amida Buddha, the Zen sect
expounded the attainment of Buddhahood by perceiving ones
true nature, the Shingon sect propounded the meditation on
the five elements, and the Tendai sect established the theory
of ichinen sanzen.
however, we have entered the Latter Day of the Law, and the
medicines of these various sects no longer cure the peoples
illnesses. Moreover, all the Japanese have become icchantika
and people of grave slander. Their offense is even worse than
that of killing ones father or mother, fomenting rebellion
or injuring a Buddha. Japan is filled with individuals whose
offenses exceed even those of one who were to single-handedly
remove the eyes of all the human beings of a major world system,
or raze all temples and stupas in the worlds of the ten directions.
Consequently, the heavenly deities glare down furiously upon
our nation day after day while the earthly deities tremble
in continual rage. Nevertheless, all the people of our day
believe themselves to be without fault, and none doubts that
he will be reborn in the Pure Land and attain enlightenment.
blind cannot see or comprehend the shining sun, and someone
who is sound asleep will not even feel an earthquake reverberating
like a great drum. So too it is with all the people of Japan
[who do not realize their own offenses]. The offenses committed
by the men are heavier than those committed by the women.
In like manner, the nuns offenses are heavier than the
laymens and the priests more serious than the
nuns. Among the priests, the offenses of those who observe
the precepts are worse than those of the priests who violate
them, and those of the learned priests are graver still. Such
priests are like those with white leprosy among lepers, and
among those with white leprosy, the most malignant.
what great physician or what efficacious medicine can cure
the illnesses of all people in the Latter Day of the Law?
They cannot be cured by the mudras and mantras
of Dainichi Buddha, the forty-eight vows of Amida Buddha or
the twelve great vows of Yakushi Buddha, not even his pledge
to "heal all ills." Not only do such medicines fail
to cure these illnesses; they aggravate them all the more.
Lord Shakyamuni assembled Taho Buddha as well as all the other
Buddhas, who were his own emanations, from throughout the
ten directions and left one great medicine -- the five characters
of Myoho-renge-kyo-for the people of the Latter Day of the
Law. He refused to entrust it to any of the bodhisattvas such
as Hoe, Kudokurin, Kongosatta, Fugen, Monju, Yakuo and Kannon,
let alone to Mahakashyapa, Shariputra [or any other man of
the two vehicles]. Rather, there were four great bodhisattvas,
including Jogyo, who had been disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha
since gohyaku-jintengo. Not even for a moment had they
ever forgotten the Buddha. Shakyamuni summoned these bodhisattvas
and transferred Myoho-renge-kyo to them.
who takes this efficacious medicine will be surrounded and
protected by these four great bodhisattvas at all times. When
she rises to her feet, so will the bodhisattvas, and when
she walks along the road, they will also do the same. She
and they will be as inseparable as a body and its shadow,
as fish and water, as a voice and its echo, or as the moon
and its light. Should these four great bodhisattvas desert
the woman who chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they would incur
the wrath of Shakyamuni, Taho and all the other Buddhas of
the ten directions. You may be certain that their offense
would be greater than even that of Devadatta, their falsehood
more terrible than Kokalikas. How reassuring! Nam-myoho-renge-kyo,
of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 3, pp 55-59.