The Offering of a Summer Robe
A woman is like water, which takes the shape of its container.
A women [sic] is like an arrow, which is fitted to the bow.
A woman is like a ship, which is guided by its rudder. Therefore,
a woman will become a thief if her husband is a thief, and
she will become a queen if her husband is a king. If he
is a man of virtue [who has faith in the True Law], she
will become a Buddha. Not only in this life but also in
the life to come, her lot will be determined by her husband.
Hyoe no Saemon is a votary of the Lotus Sutra. Because
you are his wife, whatever may happen, the Buddha must acknowledge
you as a woman of the Lotus Sutra. Moreover, you have aroused
faith of your own accord, and have sent me a summer robe
for the sake of the Lotus Sutra.
There are two kinds of votaries of the Lotus Sutra: saints
and common mortals. The saint peels off his skin and uses
it to transcribe the words of the sutra. If the common mortal
offers his only robe to the votary of the Lotus Sutra, then
the Buddha accepts it as equal to the peeled-off skin of
Your summer robe has been offered to the Buddhas of the
69,384 characters that compose the Lotus Sutra. Thus, it
is equivalent to 69,384 robes. And as every one of these
69,384 Buddhas encompasses all 69,384 characters of the
sutra, it is as though you had offered that many robes to
each of them. To illustrate, suppose there is a spring field
of a thousand square ri which is thick with grass.
When a spark as small as a bean is set to a single blade
of grass, fire will spread throughout the field in an instant,
bursting into an immeasurable and boundless sheet of fire.
The same is the case with this robe. Although it is only
one, it has been offered to the Buddhas of all the characters
of the Lotus Sutra.
Be firmly convinced that the benefits from this offering
will extend to your parents, your grandparents and a countless
number of other people, not to mention the husband you love
The twenty-fifth day of the fifth month.
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 4, page 135.