Reply to Soya Nyudo
I have written out the prose section of the
Hoben chapter for you. You should recite it together
with the Jigage, which I sent you earlier.
Each character of this [Lotus] sutra is without
exception a living Buddha of supreme enlightenment, but we
ordinary people, viewing the sutra with the eyes of common
mortals, see it as a mere succession of characters. Hungry
spirits perceive the Ganges River as fire, human beings perceive
it as water, and heavenly beings perceive it as amrita.
The water itself is the same, but it appears differently according
to the karmic capacity of individuals.
The blind cannot see the characters of this
sutra. To the eyes of common mortals, they are but written
words. People of the two vehicles perceive them as the emptiness
of space. Bodhisattvas look on them as innumerable teachings.
However, the Buddha recognizes each character as a golden
Lord Shakyamuni. This is the meaning of the statement that
"[one who is able to hold this sutra] thereby holds the
Buddha's body." Those who practice Buddhism but adhere
to distorted views destroy this loftiest of sutras. Be careful
not to be swayed by various thoughts; with single-minded resolve,
you should aspire to the pure land of Eagle Peak. The Rokuharamitsu
Sutra states that one should become the master of his mind
rather than let his mind master him. I will explain in more
detail when I see you.
With my deep respect,
The third month in the twelfth year of Bun'ei
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 5, page 163.