The Person and the Law
- Nanjo-dono Gohenji -
I have just heard from your messenger that you are suffering
from a serious illness. I hope you will recover soon and
come to see me.
Also, I have received your gifts of two sacks of salt,
a sack of soybeans, a bag of seaweed and a bamboo container
of sake. I have not seen you since you returned home from
the province of Kozuke, and I have been wondering how you
are. I can hardly find words to say how much I appreciate
your sincerity in sending me a letter and your many gifts.
As you well know, one of the sutras tells us the story1
of Tokusho Doji, who offered a mud pie to the Buddha and
was later reborn as King Ashoka who ruled over most of India.
Since the Buddha is worthy of respect, the boy was able
to receive this great reward even though the pie was only
mud. However Shakyamuni Buddha teaches that one who makes
offerings to the votary of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter
Day of the Law for even a single day will gain incomparably
greater fortune than he would by offering countless treasures
to the Buddha for one hundred thousand aeons. How wonderful
then is your heartfelt sincerity in supporting the votary
of the Lotus Sutra over the years! According to the Buddha's
own words, you are certain to be reborn in the pure land
of Eagle Peak. What great good fortune you possess!
This is a mountainous place, remote from all human habitation.
There is not a single village in any direction. Although
I live in such a forsaken hovel, deep in this mortal flesh
I preserve the ultimate secret Law inherited from Shakyamuni
Buddha at Eagle Peak. My heart is where all Buddhas enter
nirvana; my tongue, where they turn the wheel of doctrine;
my throat, where they are born into this world; and my mouth,
where they attain enlightenment. Because this mountain is
where the wondrous votary of the Lotus Sutra dwells, how
can it be any less sacred than the pure land of Eagle Peak?
Since the Law is supreme, the Person is worthy of respect;
since the Person is worthy of respect, the Land is sacred.
The Jinriki chapter reads, "Whether in a grove,
under a tree, or in a monastery...the Buddhas enter nirvana."
Those who visit this place can instantly expiate the sins
they have committed since the infinite past and transform
their illusions into wisdom2,
their errors into truth, and their sufferings into freedom.
A suffering traveler in central India once came to Munetchi
Lake to quench the fires of anguish in his heart. He proclaimed
that its waters satisfied all his desires, just as a cool,
clear pond quenches thirst. Although Munetchi Lake and this
place are different, the principle is exactly the same.
Thus, the Eagle Peak of India is now here at Mount Minobu.
It has been a long time since you were last here. You should
come to see me as soon as you possibly can. I am eagerly
looking forward to seeing you.
How can I describe your sincerity? In truth, it is splendid!
The eleventh day of the ninth month in the fourth year
of Koan (1281)
- This story appears in the Zo-agon (Samyuktagama)
Sutra, one of the four Agama or Agon sutras.
- Illusions (Skt. klesa)
are transformed into wisdom (prajna) errors (karma)
into truth (dharmakaya), and sufferings (duhkha) into
freedom (vimukti). The technical terminology of the
original was expanded in the translation for the purpose
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 1, p. 263.