Reply to Lady Onichi-nyo
already received the three hundred coins that you sent by
the hand of Ben-bo [Nissho], and now you have again sent me
two hundred coins.
Buddha, being truly worthy of respect, never judges by the
size of ones offerings. In the past, Tokusho Doji offered
a mudpie to the Buddha, and was reborn as King Ashoka and
ruled over all of Jambudvipa. A poor woman cut off her hair
and sold it to buy oil [for the Buddha],1
and not even the winds sweeping down from Mount Sumeru could
extinguish the flame of the lamp fed by this oil. Accordingly,
your offerings of two and three strings of coins are far greater
even than those made by one who, ruling over the country of
Japan, offers the entire nation and a pagoda he has constructed
that is adorned with the seven kinds of treasures and that
towers as high as the Trayastrimsha heaven.
character of the Lotus Sutra is like the great earth, which
gives rise to all things. A single character is like the great
ocean, which contains the water from all rivers. A single
character is like the sun and moon, which illuminate the four
single character changes and becomes the moon. The moon changes
and becomes a Buddha? Rice plants change and become seedlings.
Seedlings change and become stalks. Stalks change and become
rice. Rice changes and becomes a person. And a person changes
and becomes a Buddha. A woman changes and becomes the single
character myo. The character myo changes and becomes Shakyamuni
Buddha seated on a lotus pedestal.2
my deep respect,
To Lady Onichi
- This story appears
in the Ajaseajuketsu (Prophecy of Buddhahood for
King Ajatashatru) Sutra. The version recounted here is different
in some particulars. According to the sutra, an old woman
in Magadha had always desired to make an offering to the
Buddha but could not fulfill her wish because of her poverty.
one day she learned that King Ajatashatru was donating a
great quantity of oil to the Buddha for lamps. Deeply impressed,
she went out begging but gained only enough money to buy
oil for a single lamp. Then, though the lamps offered by
King Ajatashatru all eventually went Out, her lamp alone
continued to burn throughout the night.
single character... becomes a Buddha": The translation
of this passage is based on editing of the original Japanese
done after the publication of the Gosho Zenshu, and
therefore differs somewhat from the Gosho Zenshu text.
Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 7.